Does God really only love the israelites?
You may have heard of a group called Hebrew Israelites. Their beliefs really brought about this
question to me. Through various conversations with them, I've learned that they
believe black Americans are the descendants of Jacob, the son of Isaac, and
that God only loves them and only they can receive eternal life.
Their cause for this belief is the many scriptures that talks about how they are chosen and God respects them. Some examples are:
- "For he finds fault with them when he says: 'Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah," (Hebrews 8:8, ESV)
- "They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises." (Romans 9:4, ESV)
- "And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities."(Psalms 130:8 KJV)
- "And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them."(Exodus 2:25 KJV)
The common theme here is that God really loves Israel. He chose them to make covenant out of all the nations on earth. The Bible even says that to them belong the adoption, covenants, & the promises. When I read these, I had a bunch of questions and worries. How could a God who is supposed to be just only allow the descendants of Israel to be saved ? Does God really only love the original people of Israel? The answer I've come to know is simply, that he does not.
The Bible makes it very clear that it is not the outward appearance that makes anyone "Jew". "For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God."(Romans 2:28-29, ESV).
When the Bible says Jew or Israel/Israelites it is not always referring to the ancient nation. "This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring." (Romans 9:8, ESV) "And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." (Galatians 3:29, ESV)
If you are in Christ, you are Abraham's offspring. You are Israel if you are in Christ.
In Revelation, the Bible says every nation will be in heaven, therefore if God loves his people, the ones who will spend eternity with him, he cannot only love the descendants of the Israelites."After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands," (Revelation 7:9, ESV)
The Bible repeats over and over that the center, only way, and the importance of salvation is Christ and what he's done and who he is. It is NOT by ancestry plus faith that we are saved. God tells us how we are saved and there's no debate about it. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," (Ephesians 2:8, ESV)
God is no respecter of persons. That's a literal quote from Acts 10:34 (KJV). In greek the use of the word respect here literally means partial or favoritism. The same exact word used in James that's clearly called out as sin. "But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors."
(James 2:9 ESV) God cannot sin, as we know, so he is not partial.
So the question is why does Exodus 2 say God respects Israel? Well, Exodus was written in Hebrew. The Hebrew word for "respect"in the KJV translation means to know. Many other biblical translations other than KJV actually says "he knew" instead of respect. It is not the same respect used in the New Testament that means partial.
God is not partial. He cannot be.
Our salvation comes completely as a gift from God by grace through faith and
nothing more. God does not only love the physical descendants of the ancient
Israelites, but all his children and they come from every nation. God does love
Israel, they are his people. If someone is in Christ, they are apart of