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Modern Israel as Proof of God's Existence
In Defense of the Faith
Friday, May 26, 2017
Alf Cengia

Is it possible to use modern Israel as proof of God's existence? Recently a friend posed me that interesting question. 

As he noted, most Christian apologists currently debating atheists tend to be amillennial (and postmillennial). Therefore it wouldn't be natural for them to use events such as Israel's restoration in 1948 as an apologetic proof.

But he wanted to know if I was aware of any examples of dispensationalists using fulfilled prophecies about Israel as an apologetics tool against atheists.  Aside from the odd mention of prophetic proofs in various prophecy books, I couldn't think of a formal example where anyone pointed to prophecy in a debate with an atheist.

My friend's question got me to pondering things. Here are some of my plodding thoughts...

The first thing to realize about many atheists (not all) is that they naturally resist any argument for God. That's why elaborate theories such as the Multiverse (multi-universe) and Bubble Universes are concocted. Atheism needs these possible scenarios in order to extend the probability of our intricate universe and earth's existence existing entirely from chance events.

Committed atheists aren't looking for proof of God. They try to avoid it. But let's get back to Israel.

Scientist Werner Gitt wrote Without Excuse in which he argues for proof of God's existence using Information Science. Gitt has a section where he argues, statistically, that fulfilled Bible prophecy is proof of God. He writes:

More than 3,000 prophetical statements have been fulfilled, often several hundred years after they were announced. Not one prophecy is known to have come about differently than predicted, a fact that presents itself as a unique criterion for testing the reliability of the Bible...

Intriguingly, Gitt offers The Scattering and Return of Israel (page 210) as a primary example of fulfilled prophecy.  He cites verses such as Jeremiah 16:14-15. Gitt also mentions the signing of the Balfour Declaration, the Palestine Mandate Territory and the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948.

Of course no evidence he submits - regardless of how compelling - will be accepted by atheism. There will be inevitable objections to any biblical examples. On the other hand many Christian scholars also reject the notion that modern Israel has any prophetic significance. Surprisingly (to me) some dispensationalists are in that category.

Christian apologists sometimes use the example of the Emmaus Story (Luke 24:13-27) as prophetic proof of Christ as Messiah, and verification of the Bible. Yet they overlook those prophecies which pertain to Israel's future existence as a nation and return to the land.

For the record: the Bible affirms that Israel will seek God because of its afflictions (Deut 4:30-31; Hos 5:15); that God will act to restore and cleanse her for His name's sake (Ezek 36:22-38); that she shall possess the land forever (Jer 7:7, 25:5; Amos 9:14-15) and that God would never reject Israel's descendants for what they have done (Jer 31:31-37).

Despite these clear-cut prophetic texts, Christian anti-Zionism charges that modern Israel is a construct of political manipulation and meddling. See pro-Palestinian Scholars such as Gary Burge and Stephen Sizer.

The Reformed Community also puts prophetic texts concerning Israel through various methods of re-interpretation. In the book Christ's Prophetic Plans, John MacArthur made the case that "those of a Reformed mindset" should reconsider eschatology due to their commitments to literal hermeneutics and the doctrine of sovereign election.

MacArthur wrote:

Calvinists should affirm that God's sovereign election cannot be forfeited, for His purposes can never be thwarted. Thus, the promises made to elect Israel must be fulfilled by Israel; just as the promises made to the elect church will be fulfilled for us. (p 155)

Note: Israel is also called chosen in the NT. Acts 3:12, 13-15, 25 and Rom 11:26-29 confirm Israel's standing as a chosen nation. See also 1 Chron 16:13; 2 Sam 7:23-24; Isaiah 45:4.

It's difficult to apply prophecy concerning Israel as proof of God. Skeptics simply refuse to believe for personal reasons. Atheists don't want to believe in God and many in the Reformed community took strong traditional issue with MacArthur's premillennial stance on Israel's sovereign election.

As for me, let's briefly look at the situation:

Because of disobedience, Israel was scattered among the nations just as the Bible predicted (Ezek 5:10, 12, 17: 21; Zech 2:6 etc). Throughout the history of Israel and the Diaspora, Jews have been persecuted and threatened with extinction. Yet they survived. Why?

For I am with you,' says the LORD, `to save you; Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, Yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, And will not let you go altogether unpunished.' Jer 30:11 (See also Jer 31:35-37)

Israel has also been gathered back into the land in unbelief in preparation for refinement, as prophesied (Deut 30:1-5; Hos 5:15; Zech 13:9 etc). Since becoming a nation once again in 1948, tiny Israel has survived threats to its existence; most notably in 1948 and in 1967 (The Six Day War).

All prophecy scoffers need do to prove their point is to abolish Jewish persecution and the unfair demonization of modern Israel. Get Israel's neighbors, Hamas, the P.A. and Palestinian Christian activists to say "Jewish state" without choking on their breakfast cereals.

If Zionists were able to engineer Modern Israel, allegedly without God's help, surely scoffers can arrange for the world to stop hating Jews. And why is the world so contentious about Jerusalem (Zech 12:3)? The very fact we continue to discuss these issues is proof of God's word.

At the time of writing we are approaching the June 5th 2017, 50th anniversary of the six-day-war. Even secular people have recognized God's protective hand in this conflagration. Israel will continue to exist because of God's promises. It is a living poof of God's faithfulness to His word.

Israel exists because God exists.

Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalayim - Pray for peace in Jerusalem

For further reading:

I may not endorse everything on this website but The Miracle of Israel’s Survival article makes some great points. See also John Walvoord's The New State of Israel.

About Alf Cengia

Last week: When Confessing Our Sins



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