Israel Divide in the Millennial Generation and Why Israel Matters

The following are the two speeches that I am giving today, May 14, 2018, at the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem’s event, “Israel: Seventy and Strong” at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, VA (suburban Washington, DC).

 

Click the following for PDF versions of the speeches:


Israel Divide in the Millennial Generation

Speech Delivered by Dr. Jeremy P. Roberts to the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem

Thank you, International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, Susan Michael, Arlene Samuels, Dr. Tony Crisp, and all other ICEJ leaders involved with inviting me to address you today. I am honored and grateful to deliver this address about the “Israel Divide in the Millennial Generation.”

 

I. Is there an Israel divide amongst millennials?

 

Yes. This is true both anecdotally and empirically.[1]

 

A. Anecdotally

 

I can just feel it in the midst of conversations amongst fellow people born between 1980 and 2000.

 

B. Empirically

 

“Millennials are the only generational cohort in which fewer than half (43%) sympathize more with Israel. And about a quarter of Millennials (27%) sympathize more with the Palestinians, the highest share of any generation.”

 

II. Why is there an Israel divide amongst millennials?

 

Millennials are taught a pejorative view of Israel due to their views theologically, politically, and technologically.

 

A. Theological

 

i. Reformed Theology

 

Soteriology is the study of salvation. There are three main veins of soteriology: Arminianism, Sandy Creek Theologians, and Calvinists. Arminians have an emphasis that man has free will to choose God. Sandy Creek theologians hold to a belief that a healthy tension exists between the free will of man to receive Jesus and the omniscience of God. Calvinists emphasize how God has already elected or predestined who will go to heaven or who will not, while putting very little emphasis on man’s responsibility or opportunity to choose Jesus Christ.

 

Calvinism has become extremely popular amongst younger Christians.[2] A hot movement is taking place called “The Young, Restless, Reformed Movement.”[3]

 

If you read Calvinist leaders, you will see again and again that part of their line of thought is supersessionism, also known as “Replacement Theology.” Reformed theology leads to a belief in Replacement Theology.

 

ii. Replacement Theology

 

Replacement Theology is the most underrated danger in the  theological world. It is the belief that the Church has replaced Israel. In other words, there is no value in Israel any longer.

 

Listen to this quote from of one of the leaders of Reformed theology, Martin Luther, a noted replacement theologian and anti-Semite:

 

Listen, Jew, are you aware that Jerusalem and your sovereignty, together with your temple and priesthood, have been destroyed for over 1,460 years? . . . For such ruthless wrath of God is sufficient evidence that they assuredly have erred and gone astray. . . . Therefore this work of wrath is proof that the Jews, surely rejected by God, are no longer his people, and neither is he any longer their God.”[4]

 

Are you tracking this with me? Reformed theology is extremely popular with millennials. Reformed theologians teach that Israel has been replaced by the Church. Therefore, it teaches Israel is useless.

 

Replacement theology leads to a distorted ecclesiology.

 

iii. Eschatology

 

Have you ever been to the top of Mt. Megiddo? As they say in the Hebrew, “Har Megiddo,” translated as Mt. Megiddo?

 

If you have a distorted soteriology, it leads to replacement theology, which leads to an askew eschatology. Mt. Megiddo is utterly pointless to replacement theologians. It means nothing to them.

 

Have you noticed there is less talk about the end times than there was a generation ago? That’s because the end times matter less when you don’t believe in a literal Israel.

 

B. Political

 

Most millennials are moderate or liberal, politically. Moderates and liberals are less likely to support Israel.[5]

 

Even look at the difference between President Obama’s lack of support of Israel compared with President Trump’s strong support of her.

 

Barack Obama once uninvited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from a visit to the White House. Meanwhile, President Trump moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem today.

 

Politically speaking, millennials are less likely to support Israel because most are moderates or liberals.

 

C. Technological

 

Millennials are addicted to their phones. So are many other generations. As millennials allow the ubiquity of the smart phone to brainwash them on average six hours per day, the people who run their favorite apps and websites determine much of what they believe via the algorithms they implement on various social media platforms.[6]

 

There is a divide amongst millennials’ support of Israel due to their views theologically, politically, and technologically.

 

III. What must be done to remedy the Israel divide amongst millennials?

 

A. Live Theology

 

i. Prayer

As you live out your theology, this means that when you say you “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” you actually do it. Furthermore, you lead others to do it.

 

ii. Support

It means when you say you believe Israel is the apple of God’s eye, and you give money and time toward causes that push forward our beliefs.

 

iii. Teach

Teach of your love of Christ to other people, and that you love His Holy Land.

 

B. Lobby Politically

 

Vote for candidates who are pro-Israel and support them. Don’t just assume that if someone is a Republican that they love Israel. Do your research. Read their websites. Email their office. Always vet before you vote.

 

Turn to your neighbor and repeat that, “Always vet before you vote.” Say it again, “Always vet before you vote.”

 

C. Leverage Technology

 

Use wisdom as you discuss Israel on your social media outlets. Don’t be overbearing. Be kind and loving, yet firm and be bold at the same time.

 

Discuss what is happening in Israel on your social media accounts. Use your influence for God. This would include positively leveraging technology—especially social media.

 

Conclusion

 

I close by telling you a brief story of something that happened in Israel. This closing story will help all of us with one key word: OVERCOME.

 

We must overcome obstacles getting in the way of bringing glory to God and supporting His Holy Land.

 

Numbers 14:24 says, But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.

 

 

You can tell the size and character of a man by what it takes to stop him.

 

Caleb was a man who could not be stopped. He overcame every obstacle. He was 85 years old, but still strong.

 

God promised Caleb a piece of the land, according to this Bible verse.

 

Caleb chose Hebron. He said, “I want that mountain.”

 

Caleb chose a mountain worthy of a spiritual challenge. He chose a mountain that God had promised specifically.

 

Just as the millennial supporters of Israel have much to overcome, so did Caleb.

 

1. Overcome Friends

 

Some friends discourage us in words, and in habits. Some disappoint us. Some doubt us.

 

Caleb was ridiculed. They wanted to stone him.

 

If you choose to support Israel with all your heart, expect opposition from some friends.

 

2. Overcome Delays

 

The delay in time for Caleb was really long.

 

Do not be defeated by time. 40 years elapsed after God promised. 38 years were in the desert.

 

3. Overcome Age

 

At 85, Caleb should’ve been asking for pajamas instead of a sword. Caleb would not relax until the promise was fulfilled. God kept him healthy and strong.

 

Joshua 14:11–12 says, 11 I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. 12 So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”

 

Age is no barrier for doing God’s will. No matter if you’re a millennial or any other generational group, God wants to use you to expand His Kingdom. Expanding His Kingdom includes standing up for Israel.

 

4. Overcome the Enemy

 

Gaze at God’s promises while glancing at your problems. The more we focus on God’s promises, the smaller our problems become.

 

You have a great God. He is bigger than your obstacles. 1 John 4:4 says, Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

 

God bless you.

 

[1] http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/05/23/5-facts-about-how-americans-view-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/
[2] https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/september/42.32.html
[3] E. Ray Clendenen and Brad J. Waggoner, Gen. Ed., Calvinism: A Southern Baptist Dialogue (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2008).
[4] Martin Luther, “On the Jews and their Lies,” in LW 47:138–39.
[5] Ron Lipsman, Liberal Hearts and Conservative Brains: The Correlation Between Age and Political Philosophy (Lincoln, NE: iUniverse Books, 2007).
[6] Jean M. Twenge, iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood (New York: Atria Books, 2017).


Why Israel Matters

Speech Delivered by Dr. Jeremy P. Roberts to the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem

 

 

Thank you, International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, Susan Michael, Arlene Samuels, Dr. Tony Crisp, and all other ICEJ leaders involved with inviting me to address you today. I am honored and grateful to deliver this address about the “Why Israel Matters.”

 

Israel matters to people because it matters to God. So that with me: “Israel matters to people because it matters to God.”

 

God’s desire is to bless the people of all nations. It is a promise that has blessed the world. My talk today was inspired by a sermon I once heard Dr. Jack Graham preach many years ago entitled “God’s Miracle Nation,” so I want to give credit where it is due.

 

On an introductory note, Israel matters because of the promise and the principle.

 

The Promise (Gen 17:1–3)

A Covenant

 

Genesis 17:1–3 says, When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him,

 

It is an unchangeable, unbreakable promise. It is an unconditional promise.

 

The Principle

The Principle of Grace

 

God called Abraham out of paganism into a faith relationship by grace. No merit in this man or any man.

 

I. The Miracle of Israel’s Conception (v. 5)

 

Genesis 17:5 says, 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.

 

Abraham was past child-bearing years, yet he experienced a promise of progeny.

 

Genesis 18:9–14 teaches us of the miracle of Israel. Abraham was 100 years of age, and Sarai was 90.

 

Every Jew is a result of a miracle. God began it with a miracle. As an aside, Jews who have a hard time believing in the salvific nature of Jesus Christ due to the strangeness surrounding His birth should note how just as Judaism was begun miraculously in Genesis 18, so was Christianity begun miraculously Matthew 1–2.

 

II. The Miracle of Israel’s Continuation (Gen 17:7)

 

Genesis 17:7 says, 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

 

Israel is eternally indestructible. Israel was prophesied to be disobedient, disbursed, and discredited, but never destroyed.

 

Satan has tried to exterminate God’s ancient people and destroy His promise multitudinous times:

 

·      The King of Egypt could not diminish the Jew.

·      The Red Sea could not drown the Jew.

·      The Great Fish could not digest the Jew.

·      The Furnace could not devour the Jew

·      The Nations could not disseminate the Jew.

 

God’s people are kept by an everlasting promise. The Jewish people are assimilated, but are never decimated. Jews have their language, their land, and their life.

 

Jesus said, in Matthew 24:34, 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

 

The Jews are like the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean. They flow through the seas of humanity separate and distinct.

 

The Miracle of Continuation

 

Jeremiah 31:35 says, 35 Thus says the Lord, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—the Lord of hosts is his name:

 

If God breaks promises to Israel, He’s not faithful and true to His own Word. Every Jew is a testimony to the faithfulness of God. The indestructible Jew survives and stands beside the grave of his persecutors.

 

Here are some amazing facts about the miraculous continuation of the Jewish people:

 

·      A Jew financed Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World. A Jewish man was on board and was the first to set foot on these shores.

·      Hym Solomon financed George Washington and the Revolutionary War.

·      Both Aspirin and Bayer were invented by a Jew.

·      Salk-Saban invented the vaccine for Polio. He was a Jew.

·      Digitalis was invented by Trabo, a Jew.

·      Novocaine was invented by Stricker, a Jew.

·      The blood test for marriage, the Wasserman Test, was invented by a Jew.

·      Do you have an infection? Streptomyacin was invented by Waxman, a Jew.

·      Psychoanalysis was invented by Freud, a Jew.

·      Do you ever put change in the red kettles during the Christmas season? That’s the great charity, Salvation Army, developed by the mother of William Booth, a Jewess.

 

All of history revolves around the names of six Jews:

 

1.   Moses

2.   Jesus

3.   Paul

4.   Marx

5.   Freud

6.   Einstein

 

What a miracle race!

 

III. The Miracle of Israel’s Constitution

 

Apparently, God thinks Israel matters a lot because of the many miracles He has performed for her sake.

 

Genesis 17:8 says, 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”

 

“Everlasting” tells us that Israel will exist even after the millennial reign.

 

Here’s an interesting factoid: Today, we celebrate 70 years of Israel becoming a nation again. It took place May 14–15, 1948.

 

Amos 9:14–15 says, 14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.

 

They will no more be plucked out.

 

A. A Military Miracle

 

70 years ago today, In May of 1948, there were only 650,000 people in Israel, and they were surrounded by 40 million Arabs who vowed to destroy them. The Jews could not carry a gun, but they had to defend themselves against six Arab states.

 

In one battle, 70,000 Arabs were captured by 400 Israelis. By the time of Armistice, the Jews were 150 miles into Egyptian territory!

 

How? The fight was fixed!

 

God doesn’t love the Jew any more than the Arabs. God is, however, sovereign in history. God has and will work in history.

 

B. A Sociological Miracle

 

The Jews came back to Israel, 70 years ago, from 61 countries. They spoke different languages.

 

IT was said that it would take three generations for these people to become a nation (100 years). They did it in one generation.

 

Israel is not a melting pot; it is a pressure cooker.

 

C. An Agricultural Miracle

 

If you’ve ever been to Israel, then you know what I am saying is true . . . the place is “rich in rocks.” There are a lot of rocks there.

 

60% of Israel is desert. It is small, the size of New Jersey. It only rains in the winter.

 

However, with water projects, expert horticulture, agriculture, and irrigation, the land is blossoming.

 

Israel is one of six nations in the world that raises enough food to feed itself. It is the bread basket of Europe.

 

For example, the Jezreel Valley was a Malaria swamp. It is now growing avocados, plums, strawberries, and bananas. They have record-breaking milk-cows.

 

D. A Linguistic Miracle

 

The ancient language of Hebrew is now studied and spoken. One of my Master’s degrees is in biblical languages, and I got to study it for years. It is a wonderful language.

 

Here is something odd about Hebrew: 130 years ago, no one spoke Hebrew. It was one of the many dead languages, but it has since been revived.

 

IV. The Miracle of Israel’s Conversion

 

Again, Genesis 17:8 says, 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”

 

God has not given up on Israel. God loves them and many love Him. There will be a great revival of faith in Jesus Christ in the last days.

 

The Messiah of Israel is Jesus!

 

Allow these Scriptures to trickle over your soul as I close out this talk:

 

Zechariah 12:2–3, 9–10 says, 2 “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. 3 On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.

 

9 And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

 

How can God be pierced? God became a man and died.

 

Zechariah 13:1 says, “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.

 

Aren’t you thankful for God? Aren’t you thankful for His Holy Land? Oh yes . . . Israel matters!

 

Israel matters to people because it matters to God. So that with me: “Israel matters to people because it matters to God.”

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *