Question: I can't believe that you consider one's view of the events of the Last Days to be critical to one's salvation. Or do you? |

TBC Staff

Question: I would say that my eschatological beliefs line up with what I read in The Berean Call. I am unequivocally a premillennial pretribulationist, and a futurist regarding prophecy. Yet, I thought you went beyond the eschatological ring and broke its pugilistic rules when you committed a "low-blow" against those you mentioned in the August 2006 TBC in the Q&A who "hold a prejudice against...Israel," implying that their views "cast doubt upon whether one really knows the true God." Are you saying a belief in replacement theology seriously brings into question whether they are truly saved or not? I can't believe that you consider one's view of the events of the Last Days to be critical to one's salvation. Or do you?

Response: Thank you for asking. Perhaps my language was not as precise as it ought to be and therefore others may have the same question. No, I did not say that "one's view of the events of the Last Days [is] critical to one's salvation." I have never included eschatology in the gospel. My concern was with God's identity and glory. I wrote: "...the Bible identifies Him as ‘the God of Israel 203 times, the God of Jacob 28 times, the God of Abraham 17 times, and the God of Isaac 13 times.' These designations are foundational to everything the Bible teaches, including the very character of God. To profess to believe in God and at the same time to hold a prejudice against Jewish people or against Israel that turns these clear biblical identifications into meaningless titles casts doubt upon whether one really knows the true God."

I pointed out the fact that "In His refutation of the Sadducees' denial of the resurrection, Christ's primary argument was based upon God's statement to Moses: ‘I AM...the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob...this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations' (Ex 3:15). Clearly, this was the identity of the true God then, is now, and will be forever. God never changes."

Christ was saying that if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not resurrected to exist eternally, then their names could not be part of the eternal name of the eternal God. This was Christ's logic and I simply adopt it with respect to Israel as a nation descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Reasoning as Christ did, I argued: "If the nation of Israel is dead, or has been replaced by the church and does not have an eternal future, then the very term ‘God of Israel' would not be to God's glory. Instead, it would be a slur upon His character in view of His many promises that Israel would never cease to exist. Yet that is the position taken by those who say that Israel has been replaced by the church."

I didn't say that before anyone can believe the gospel we must explain that God is "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" or they can't be saved. I am saying that when one professes faith in Christ and in the One who sent Him, but later, through prejudice against Jews or Israel, refuses to accept God as He reveals Himself in relation to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the nation descended from them, doubts are legitimately raised as to whether this person truly knows the true God. My point is that in countering Replacement Theology we need to focus on the identity and character of God, His name, and His promises to those whom He first called " be a special people of God unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth" (Dt 7:6).