I received the following question:

Were the Jews only (Gentiles excluded) promised the land of Israel? Why are not the Jews more honorable since God chose them first?

I would be happy to answer this question. I have eight points in reply.

1. Yes, only the Jews (Gentiles excluded) are promised the land of Israel.

2. The Jews have a special place in God’s future plans and in His heart.

3. Just because the Jews were chosen first does not necessarily mean that they are more honorable. Remember, “many of the last shall be first and the first shall be last.” (Matthew 19:30, 20:16; Mark 9:35, 10:31; Luke 13:30.) This statement is full of meaning, and might mean a different thing in the different places Christ used it, but my point is that “first” doesn’t necessarily mean a better position than “last.”

4. The truth that all are equal is a truth for our present day only. In other words, as a sinner saved by grace, I have no higher position before God than you or anyone else does today. This was not the case in the past (prior to this dispensation,) and will not necessarily be true in the future when we receive our rewards from God (and the Jews do as well.) This is a truth for today, not for all time.

5. There will be plenty of great places to be in the future besides the land of Israel! But I, for one, plan to visit there at my first opportunity.

6. It is my opinion that when you love someone, it becomes a matter of course that you will seek to get to know what that person enjoys. If my loved one has a hobby, I will try to get into that hobby too to be closer to the one I love, for instance. Also, when there are people my loved one loves, I will get to love those people myself since they are important to the one I love.
 
I think this applies just as much with God. If I truly love God, I should get to know the things He approves of and approve of them myself. I should get to know the things He enjoys and enjoy them myself. And I should get to know the people He loves and love them myself.

Now, God loves all people, and even all mankind. Thus, we need to show love to those around us. But it is clear to anyone who reads the Scriptures that God has a special place in His heart for the people called Israel. They aren’t the only ones in His heart, but it is certain that He thinks very highly of them. As one who loves God, then, how can I help but come to love Israel as well, since they are so loved by the One I love? I cannot understand those believers who seem to be so against Israel and trying at every turn to be down on them, and to insist that we supplant them. If God thought so highly of them, if He loved them so much, and since He loved me so much and I love Him so much, should I not come to love them since He does?

Because this is the case, it is not a big deal for me to give Israel a great place of honor in the future. Since God loves them so much, I should as well, and I am happy to think that they will receive great blessings from Him in the future.

7. I do not really think that I have to have “the highest position of all” in order to be happy. Many who study doctrine want to make our calling the highest of all, the highest ever offered. And indeed, according to Ephesians 2:6, it sounds like we have a very high position indeed! But at the same time, am I certain that this is the highest of all? Do I have to insist that we are higher than Israel ever was or will be? Many insist on this, but on reflection I cannot be sure. Can I really believe that I will be higher in the future than David or the twelve apostles? I am not prepared to say that I will be. Perhaps it’s true, but I see no reason to say it of myself, and no reason to boast of it. I’d rather take the position that I am “only a sinner, saved by grace.” A sinner with a Savior! Then, if God wants to call me a whole batch of wonderful things, He can do so when I see Him and hear it from His Own lips. I think this is a good attitude to have, and perhaps one that Christ Himself would suggest. See Luke 14:8-11. But I can say for certain that we will be blessed for our faith, John 20:29. How blessed I will leave up to Him.

8. I have often thought that, if I received the lowest position of all in God’s Kingdom, but it was the one God wanted me to have, then I would be happy. Not that I aspire to be the lowest in the Kingdom, but that I would be satisfied to be wherever God puts me. Who will receive more blessings from Him is up to Him. I am satisfied to leave it at that.

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