NOTE: This essay is an appendix from my forthcoming book, The High King of Heaven: Discovering the Master Keys to the Great End Time Debate. For further explanation of the ideas found in the essay, please see the book, and also some of the writings previously posted on this blog.
Many premillennarians confidently assert that the creation of the modern nation of Israel in 1948 was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Dispensationalist Thomas Ice says it this way:
There are dozens of biblical passages that predict an end-time regathering of Israel back to her land . . . I believe that modern Israel is a divine work and is in the process of fulfilling Bible prophecy. I believe that Israel, as she is constituted today, is a work of God in progress, preparing the nation for the Tribulation, which will lead to her national conversion, the second coming of Christ, and His millennial reign.1
These words invite careful—very careful—reflection. Certainly all Bible believing Christians would agree with Ice that the creation of the modern nation/state of Israel is a “divine work,” since Scripture clearly teaches that God, by his providence, creates every nation of the sons of Adam, having predetermined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation (Acts 17:26). But is it true that dozens of OT Kingdom prophecies predict this latter-day return of the Jews to Palestine? In God’s sight, are these unbelieving Jews (who make up the vast majority of the modern of Israel) still his people, his “Israel”? In God’s sight, is Palestine still their land? And is God really preparing modern Israel for a seven-year Tribulation, national conversion, the second Coming of Christ, and the inauguration of a millennial reign centered in (a supernaturally transformed) Palestine?
In the body of this book, I have addressed these questions at length. Since, however, many Christians believe that the creation of the modern Israeli state lends credence to premillennial scenarios, a brief review is in order.