Is There Still a Future for Israel?

By Paul J. Scharf

Two times in the last five decades dispensational theology—with its attendant views on the rapture of the church, the restoration of the nation of Israel, and the judgments of the Tribulation—has had a massive cultural impact.

The first began with the 1970 publication of The Late Great Planet Earth, by Hal Lindsey. The second occurred 25 years later, with the printing of the first volume in the Left Behind series by Dr. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

With a combined total of nearly 80 million copies of these books in circulation, we can assume they undoubtedly made an impact on many individuals. But we can also say with authority that these volumes did not alter the theological landscape.

The return of the Lord and its accompanying prophetic events are much closer now than they were in 1970 or 1995. Interest in these issues and, in particular, belief that God still has purposes to fulfill for the nation of Israel, however, appear to be in sharp decline as we near the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century.