LOUISVILLE, KY -- As the United Nations is poised to vote on Palestinian statehood within the month, Muslims living in the West Bank and Gaza are already gearing up for what may be the worst bloodshed in years.
As West Bank residents prematurely prepare to protest, sending messages through social networking sites, Israel is readying itself for the worst by investing $22 million in new riot gear. At question is whether Palestine will become the 194th state to be recognized by the U.N. If it is, it may well be one of the most controversial and least prepared for self-governance.
As demonstrations and upheaval continue to plague the Middle East, Israelis are understandably apprehensive about establishing yet another hostile nation to the mix of states committed to their eradication. While Palestinian officials insist any demonstrations will be peaceful, if history is any indication of future behavior, the General Assembly vote could well spark further violence.
According to Dr. Timothy Paul Jones, the author of the Rose Guide to End-Times Prophecy, the political issues are symptomatic of larger and more historical issues. Most Christians believe God's covenant with Abraham, particularly the Jewish people, is still in effect. In other words, God's promises millennia past supersede political land-for-peace agreements.
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"When it comes to how God fulfills his promises of land and blessings," says Jones, "evangelical Christians take a variety of viewpoints." These viewpoints fall into three main beliefs: Dispensationalism, Covenantalism, and New Covenantalism. By far, the majority of fundamentalist Christians fall into the first category which suggests that the Jews will possess the land promised to Abraham.
Because Christians view the land of Israel and the Jewish people as part of God's bigger end time plan, support for both the political as well as the covenantal "Israel" is strong.
In the Rose Guide to End-Time Prophecy, Jones uncomplicates the reasons Christians and Jews have had a mostly supportive relationship in the last century. Jones and a host of other Christian educators and leaders don't expect to see a sudden softening in support for the state of Israel.