By Dr. David R. Reagan
Founder & Director, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Founder & Director, Lamb & Lion Ministries
Let's begin with some definitions. Eschatology is the branch of theology that relates to end time prophecies and events. Chutzpah is a Hebrew word that can be translated as nerve, gall, or audacity. When an English-speaking person uses the word, chutzpah, he normally does so to emphasize that a particular statement or action is especially outrageous. So, "Eschatological Chutzpah" refers to a statement about end time prophecy that is characterized by unmitigated audacity.
To understand and appreciate two such statements I have in mind, one further definition is required — the definition of Dispensationalism. This term, as it applies to end time prophecy, refers to those who are Premillennial in viewpoint and who believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. They also believe that the Jews are still the Chosen People of God and that one day, at the end of the Tribulation, a great remnant of them will accept Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah.
Dispensationalists are very careful to keep God's promises to the Jews separate from the promises He has made to the Church. And they adamantly reject the anti-Jewish viewpoint that has dominated Christendom for 2,000 years, called Replacement Theology. It is the unbiblical idea that God has washed His hands of the Jews and has no purpose left for them because they rejected Jesus as their Messiah.
Dispensationalists point to Romans 3:1-4 and Romans 9-11 as proof positive that God still loves the Jewish people and that He still has a purpose for them. They totally reject the idea that the promises God made to the Jews have been transferred to the Church.
Dispensationalists also believe that the numerous prophecies in the Old Testament about an end time regathering of the Jews to their homeland and the re-establishment of their state are being fulfilled in Israel today. Accordingly, Dispensationalists are often referred to as "Christian Zionists" since they are the staunchest defenders of the Jewish state in all of Christendom today.
Chutzpah Example #1
Now, with this background, let's proceed to two incredible examples of Eschatological Chutzpah that I want to share with you.
On July 12th, Hank Hanegraaff, president of the Christian Research Institute, interviewed Dr. Gary Burge on his radio program called "The Bible Answer Man." Dr. Burge is a professor of theology at Wheaton College.
Dr. Burge is also the most outspoken American Christian critic of Israel and supporter of the Palestinians. He has helped organize conferences held within the Palestinian Authority where Jew haters have spewed their contempt of the Jews and Israel, have denounced the Jewish claim on the land, and have expressed their unqualified support of the cut-throat, blood-thirsty leaders of the Palestinian Movement, including Yasser Arafat, who was the world's leading terrorist.
The first example of Eschatological Chutzpah on this program occurred when Hank Hanegraaff began with a preamble in which he condemned Christian Zionists for being "racist" and supporting "ethnic cleansing." Absolutely incredible!
Who are the real racists in the Middle East who are intent on ethnic-cleansing? They are the Arab Muslims whom Hanegraaff and Burge so enthusiastically support. There are over one million Arabs living within the Jewish state, all of whom have complete democratic rights. Not one Jew is allowed to live in the surrounding Arab nations. And who is intent on killing whom? It is not the Jews who are committing acts of terror against innocent civilians. It is not Jews who are daily shooting rockets into Arab countries. It is not the Jews who are teaching their children in their schools to hate and kill Arabs.
As I have often put it: "The situation in the Middle East can be summed up very simply in this observation: If the Arabs were to disarm, there would be peace; but if the Jews were to disarm, Israel would cease to exist."
Chutzpah Example #2
The second example of Eschatological Chutzpah in this off-the-wall radio conversation was Gary Burge's contention that Dispensationalists are the true anti-Semites! How he could deliver that line with a straight face is beyond my comprehension.
His explanation of this absurd accusation was based on the fact that Dispensationalists teach the Church will be raptured out of this world before the Tribulation begins while the Jews will be left behind to suffer the wrath of God (together with unsaved Gentiles), and that two-thirds of the Jews will die in the process (together with one-half of the Gentiles).
How can this teaching be considered anti-Semitic when it comes straight out of the Scriptures? (See, for example, Zechariah 13:7-9.) The Bible teaches very specifically that in the end times God will regather the Jews back to their homeland and re-establish their state (Isaiah 11:10-12 and Ezekiel 37:1-22). God will then bring all the nations of the world against the Jewish state (Zechariah 12:1-3), not because He hates the Jews, but because He loves them (Malachi 3:1-4). He wants to bring them to the end of themselves and put them in a position where they will have no one to turn to except Him. At that point, the Father will send Jesus back, and when the Jewish people see Him returning in majesty, they will repent and accept Him as their Messiah, to the everlasting glory of God (Zechariah 12:10).
And so you have it — a perfect example of Eschatological Chutzpah. Just think about it: two anti-Semitic proponents of the Islamic enemies of Israel calling the greatest supporters of Israel, "anti-Semitic." Now, that's the definition of chutzpah!