The nation of Israel is significant in dispensationalism. People who don’t believe in dispensationalism try to replace Israel with the church. They believe that all of the sin and backsliding of God’s people has caused them to be replaced with the church through Christ. They like to use Matthew 24 as a proof-text.
Matthew 24:24: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
Here we see that Jesus says the elect cannot be deceived. If that is true, then how can the people of Israel be God’s elect when they have been deceived?
It sounds like a tricky question, but dispensationalism makes it easy to answer because it allows us to rightly divide the Scriptures to their appropriate time and place. The church is, in fact, God’s elect, but they are spiritually elect. Israel is still God’s elect, but physically. God made a promise to Abraham, and God does not break His promises. Both Jews and Christians are chosen by God, but in distinct ways. Neither will be forgotten. The Jews are deceived now, but in the future end-time events, they will NOT be deceived.
Numbers 24:2,9: “And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.“
“Blessed is he that blesseth thee” cannot be spiritualized. This promise is for the Jews. The context was very clear in verse 2, “Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes.”
2 Samuel 7:23-24: “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, Lord, art become their God.”
Note here that God’s Word says that Israel will be a people unto God FOREVER, not just the Old Testament period. The physical lineage of Abraham is still God’s chosen elect.
Psalm 105:6-11: “O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:“
The above passage again confirms that the covenant that God made with Abraham is an everlasting covenant, with promises of giving the physical land of Canaan.
Romans 4:14-16: “For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.”
Opponents of dispensationalism like to use this as their proof-text, but it proves them wrong. Paul clearly says that God’s promise is in effect forever to “all the seed,” both those of the law and those of faith: the Christians AND the physical Jews. The law was not abolished.
There are numerous verses that prove that Israel is still God’s chosen people forever:
1 Chronicles 16:13: “O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.”
Isaiah 45:4: “For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.”
Isaiah 45:17: “But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.”
Isaiah 45:25: “In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
This context has to be a physical nation! It can’t be speaking to a spiritual individual. Not every Jew will be saved, but God still has powerful plans for His chosen nation of Israel that will come to pass no matter how wicked certain individuals may become.
Isaiah 65:18-25: “But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.“
The above is a prophecy of the restoration of Israel which will happen in the millennium.
Romans 11:25-28: “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.”
The Jews are deceived at the moment, but they will be restored in the future. God still sees His people as beloved because of their ancestors, with whom He forged His covenant. Even though their faith is not compatible with God’s truth, God will surely restore them.