QUESTION: Does Family Church believe in replacement theology (basically, God has replaced Israel with His Church)?
What does Family Church believe? There’s a lot of ways to answer this and even though it’s not specifically the question asked I decided before I got there, I’d start here, and for a good reason. I can sum up Family Church beliefs in one word, Bible.
Now I know that’s a loaded statement. Every Christian church claims this but really this is it for us too. We do our best to follow the Bible with a focus on the doctrines that are clearly established. That being said, individual Family Church pastors are entitled to seek God on their own and focus their churches based on how God leads them. So to answer this question, I cannot say what Family Church’s position on it is but what my position is. I’ll be honest, before this question came I didn’t think about “replacement theology” as a way of thinking. That does not mean that I didn’t think about it in essence, just not as a specific doctrine.
I’m going to start by answering with scripture how I feel about some aspects of replacement theology I’ve seen in my brief research.
Has the church replaced Israel in God’s plan? Romans 2:29 says, “But he is a Jew who is one inwardly…” Now this is interesting but consider this, Romans 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them (Israel) is for their salvation.” Let’s look at two more scriptures, Romans 11:11-12, “I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their (Israel’s) transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!” Basically what these scriptures show us is this, Israel’s rejection became our blessing but Paul’s desire and ours too should be that they come to a knowledge of truth. So they weren’t as much replaced here as we were added in.
Now, there is another part of the theology that needs looked at, do the promises to Israel apply to the church? Galatians 3:7-9 says, “Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.” Galatians 3:14 says, “In order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” I think that the Bible clearly teaches that we are blessed with their blessing.
I believe that there is still a type of blessing for Israel, simply because God doesn’t lie and God doesn’t change. Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Was not Israel called to be Gods people? Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” God didn’t remove all blessing from them just because He added us in. However, that being said, all humans can do things to be separated from the promises of God. So it’s not that God changed but if anyone separates from Him, He has no choice but to let them go.
It seems to me that in scripture there is also provision for God to use the Jews in the last days. That Israel will return to Him and be used for His purpose. That does not mean however that they will not still have to choose it. They will have to choose right and to follow God but I believe that the blinders (John 12:40) that have been put on them will be removed.
Now I want to end this with a few thoughts. 1) I did not do a full in depth study on this subject and I am always open to further light based on scripture. 2) I don’t currently think that an in depth study of this would be particularly fruitful. As a pastor, my primary focus and the Church’s primary need is to be equipped for the work of the ministry of spreading the Gospel. Whether it be to Jews, atheists, gentiles, black, white, or any color in between, people first need to know that Jesus died and paid for their sin so they could get to God. After that, their focus needs to be on living in Godly direction to reach more people. I’m not saying that other biblical topics are unimportant, I’m saying what’s most important is the need at hand.