Lewis Sperry Chafer has documented 24 contrasts between Israel and the Church, (Systematic Theology, IV, 47-53).
They show that the two groups cannot be united into one. They also show that God is dealing with each separately, in special and distinctive programs.
- The Extent of Biblical Revelation:
Israel—nearly four-fifths of the Bible;
- The Divine Purpose:
Israel—the earthly promises in the covenants;
Church—the heavenly promises in the gospel.
- The Seed of Abraham:
Israel—the physical seed, of whom some become a spiritual seed;
Church—a spiritual seed.
Israel—physical birth that produces a relationship;
Church—spiritual birth that brings relationship.
Israel— Abrahamic and all the following covenants;
Church—indirectly related to the Abrahamic and New Covenants.
Church—from all nations.
- Divine Dealing:
Israel—national and individual;
Israel—seen in all ages from Abraham;
Church—seen only in this present age.
Israel— no missionary activity and no gospel to preach;
Church—a commission to fulfill.
- The Death of Christ:
Israel—guilty nationally, to be saved by it;
Church—perfectly saved by it now.
- The Father:
Israel—by a peculiar relationship God was Father to the nation;
Church—we are related individually to God as Father.
Israel—Messiah, Immanuel, King;
Church—Savior, Lord, Bridegroom, Head.
- The Holy Spirit:
Israel—came upon some temporarily;
- Governing Principle:
Israel—Mosaic law system;
Church— grace system.
- Divine Enablement:
Church— the indwelling Holy Spirit.
- Two Farewell Discourses:
Church—Upper Room Discourse.
- The Promise of Christ’s Return:
Israel—in power and glory for judgment;
Church—to receive us to Himself.
Israel— a servant;
Church—members of the family.
- Christ’s Earthly Reign:
Israel—had a priesthood;
Church—is a priesthood.
Israel—must face judgment;
Church—delivered from all judgments.
- Positions in Eternity:
Israel—spirits of just men made perfect in the new earth;
Church—church of the firstborn in the new heavens.