The Normalization of Israel

The Normalization of Israel

Since the return of Israel in 1948, Christian scholars and leaders have had to reassess their view of Israel in their eschatology of the last days to account for Israel as a nation.

Replacement theology has a distorted view of Israel which concludes that the Christian Church has replaced Israel and they are now considered to be “spiritual Israel.” Therefore, all the promises made to literal Israel are voided or reapplied to the Christian Church. This view normally holds that God has judged and rejected the Jewish people as a whole and has long fostered antisemitism in the world.

Entire denominations have taken anti-Israel positions and felt justified in doing so, because they hold God has rejected Israel as evidenced by the scattering of the tribes to the nations. They have failed to see that God has promised to bring them home and to restore them. (Ezekiel 36:24). According to Lifeway Research about 30% of Evangelicals still hold a replacement theology view and another 32% are not sure. ( This means that most Christians are still in transition regarding how to view Israel and what place they have before God. 

Another distorted view of Israel by some Christians is what might be called, “The Normalization of Israel.” This view also assumes that Israel no longer holds a position of “God’s Chosen People.” They see them as having forfeited this position and are, therefore, to be viewed as any other people. Christians who hold this view see the Jews as lost and in need of salvation, in the same way, anyone else who is without hope would need redemption. The apostle Paul raises this question in Romans 11, “Has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite.” He describes the Jewish people as the elect of God according to the election of grace. (Romans 11:5).

In Ezekiel 36:22, God says He will return the tribes from the nations for His own name’s sake to honor His covenant promises to Israel. (Ezekiel 36:22-23). He says he will redeem them, take away their idols, and give them new hearts to follow Him which includes “Putting His Spirit in them.” (Ezekiel 36:24-26).

Why does God promise to do this for the Jewish people? He is honoring His covenant promises to them. This is the “Election of Grace.” All of these biblical reminders of God’s election of the Jewish people nullify the “Normalization View of Israel” that the Jewish people have no special place before God. The removal of this “Normalization View” should also challenge the church to understand it is not our role to go out and convert the Jews. God, himself, says he will redeem them. (Zechariah 10:8-9). 

“The Normalization View” used by Christians should be replaced by “The Chosen People View.” Based on research one can conclude that most Christians today hold the “Normalization View” concerning the Jews ( This group would include the “Replacement Theology” group and the undecided, totaling more than 60% of Evangelicals. Despite these numbers, Christians are still some of the strongest supporters of the Jewish State along with the U.S. Congress. These figures indicate that there is a need for more education and a greater shift in understanding the role of Israel in the earth. 

The shift away from the Normalization View to the Chosen People View of the Jews should help us see that God has a special covenant relationship with the Jews. Why is this truth important to grasp? It directly impacts how we see evangelization of the Jews which is a huge part of global missions for mainline Christians who want to evangelize the world.

We heard this vision for world evangelization voiced recently at the southern steps of the Temple in Jerusalem in May of this year when leaders convened following 21-days of fasting and prayer for Israel. This vision to evangelize Israel was voiced over the chants of a huge gathering of Orthodox Jews chanting, “Missionaries go home.”  

The next big shift in how we relate to Israel is to move from the distortion of “replacement theology” to address the distortion of seeing Israel as just another nation (The Normalization of Israel),” to see Israel as God’s Chosen people who have a prophetic role and destiny in the earth. 

It seems to me that the proper focus for the Evangelical should be to pray for and encourage the return of the Jewish people to their homeland in fulfillment of prophecy knowing that God will, himself, redeem and bring them salvation. It is not our role to try to convert the Jewish people. Isaiah describes our role with a beautiful picture of the Jewish people returning to Israel:

“Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations and set up My standard for the peoples: They shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders; Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers.” (Isaiah 49:22-23). 

The role of Evangelicals needs to shift from evangelizing the Jews to supporting the Aliyah return of the Jews from the nations. One of the ways we “carry the sons and daughters back in our arms” is through prayer and by supporting those organizations who are bringing them back.

There is a great need to break down the walls erected between Jews and Christians by showing compassion and love toward the Jewish people. Even Jesus went about doing good and ministering to people’s needs before presenting the kingdom. This shift of seeing the Jews as God’s covenant people should bring a change of focus to look at the humanitarian needs of the Jews along with supporting security for the Jewish state.  

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