Depending on one’s theological background, the term Christian Zionism might elicit a variety of responses. Many Christians will cite their theological beliefs to undergird their support for or their opposition to the State of Israel. But what exactly is Christian Zionism? Theologian and Alliance committee member Darrell Bock writes in the book The New Christian Zionism,
“Christian Zionism is bigger than any denomination, theological tradition or period. It focuses in the character of God and the teaching of Jesus and the apostles. Those at the start of the Christian faith argued that God will keep his promises to Israel. This confidence also provides a basis of assurance about his promises to us.”
Christian Zionism, then, is the belief that God will keep His promises to Israel, including the promise of land, which means that the Jewish people have a right to the land of Israel. This is not to say, of course, that the current State of Israel is infallible; it is not. However, Christian Zionism says that God has not revoked His promise of land to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
So, how exactly should Christians feel about Christian Zionism? What should we believe about it? Is Christian Zionism only for those who hold to premillennial dispensationalism (a theological conviction that upholds the land promises to the Jewish people as a literal interpretation of Scripture)? Or, could it be that any Christian, regardless of theological persuasion, can support the State of Israel?
In this series, we will look at the biblical, historical, political, and moral reasons why any Christian can and should feel comfortable with supporting the State of Israel.
Biblical Foundations: A Brief Survey
The Lord originally promised the land of Israel to the Jewish people in His covenant with Abraham:
“It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates’” (Genesis 15:17–18).
The Torah—the first five books of the Bible—further expounds on the land aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant, specifying that possession…not ownership…of the land depends on moral and religious conditions, which included treating foreigners well:
“If the Lord your God enlarges your territory, just as He has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land which He promised to give your fathers—if you carefully observe all this commandment which I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in His ways always—then you shall add three more cities for yourself, besides these three” (Deuteronomy 19:8–9).
“When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:33–34).
As we continue to read through Scripture, we read that the Israelites did not follow what God commanded them and they were exiled as a result of their disobedience. Israel was exiled to Assyria, and Judah to Babylon. However, while in exile, the Hebrew prophets foretold of a future return of the Jewish people to their land: “And He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12).
The New Testament also anticipates that the Jewish people will return to their land in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, as the time of Jesus’ second coming draws closer:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Matthew 23:37–39)
“And so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins’” (Romans 11:26–27).
“And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it” (Revelation 21:2, 22–24).
This selection of passages represents only a fraction of the Scriptures that comment on a future for the Jewish people in the land of Israel. Even still, it is clear the whole of the Bible anticipates the regathering of the Jewish people to their own land. If we believe that the Bible is true, and God keeps His promises, we must believe that He will keep this one.
In the next installment of this series, we will look at the historical basis for Christian Zionism.
 McDermott, Gerald R., ed. The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel & the Land. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016, 317.
 Ibid., 51.
 Ibid., 52.
 Ibid., 53.