The Old Testament of the Bible makes it clear that during that period of history, the Israelites – particularly the Jews – were God’s Chosen People. However, there may be uncertainty now as to whether or not the Israelites/Jews are still God’s Chosen People. Perhaps, Christians have replaced the Israelites/Jews in that regard. Another possibility is that both the Israelites/Jews and Christians are now God’s Chosen People.
Before we attempt to resolve this matter, we will briefly explain what we think is meant by the term God’s Chosen People. We believe this term refers to people with whom God desires to have an especially close relationship in which He eminently blesses them, despite their faults. Consider Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There are a number of scriptures in the Book of Genesis that indicate God blessed each of these men in various ways, even though there were times when they evidently did not demonstrate much trust in God. In other words, God’s Chosen People do not always rely on God, but nevertheless, God continues to desire a close relationship with them and bless them.
Now, we will consider several scriptures that specifically state that the Israelites/Jews were God’s Chosen People.
[Note: When we quote Scripture in this article, we use the wording in the New King James Version of the Bible, unless indicated otherwise. When words in a quoted scripture passage are shown in bold print, the emphasis is our own.]
Moses tells the Israelites in Deuteronomy 7:6, “[Y]ou are a holy people to the LORD your God: the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.”
Likewise, in Deuteronomy 14:2, Moses declares to the Israelites, “[Y]ou are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
And, in 1 Kings 3:8, King Solomon says to God, “Your servant (i.e., Solomon himself) is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted.”
So, there is no doubt that the Israelites/Jews were God’s Chosen People during Old Testament times. What we will consider now is whether or not Christians are God’s Chosen People, either in place of the Israelites/Jews or in addition to them.
In the January-February 2020 issue of the publication entitled Zion’s Fire, a publication by Jews who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their Messiah (or Savior), David Ettinger states on page 13,
The Jewish people are still God’s Chosen People. A simple and unbiased reading of Romans Chapters 9 through 11 leads to no other conclusion.
However, according to 1 Peter 2:9, the Church – Christians – are also God’s Chosen People. How can both be “chosen”? Simple. God has ordained both; but they clearly have two distinct purposes. The Church is to proclaim to the unsaved world that Jesus is Lord and Savior. The Jewish people – by their very existence and the as-yet-unfulfilled promises made to them – are a testimony to God’s faithfulness, goodness, and truthfulness.
The pages of the Old Testament and portions of the New are filled with as-yet-unfulfilled promises to the Jewish people. God has not transferred these promises to the Church, but has vowed them to the Jewish people, and He will deliver on those vows.
The redemption of the Jewish people and the establishment of Christ’s physical, 1,000-year Millennial Kingdom on the earth at the end of the age are both major components of God’s end-time agenda.
First Peter:2:9, which is referenced by Ettinger, declares,, “[Y]ou are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” However, there is disagreement among biblical scholars as to whether the Book of 1 Peter was written to both Jewish and gentile Christians or to just one of these two groups. Therefore, this verse should not be relied on in attempting to determine if Christians are God’s Chosen people.
A scripture that does support the belief that Christians are among God’s Chosen People is Mark 13:20, which states, “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.” Since the New Testament of the Bible indicates that Christians are God’s elect, this verse of scripture indicates that Christians are chosen by God and, therefore, they are among God’s Chosen People. [For a discussion regarding who are God’s elect, click on our article entitled “Will Christians Need to Endure the Tribulation?” and scroll down to the comments under the heading, “Who Are the Elect Who Will Need to Endure the Tribulation?”]
The foregoing considerations give us confidence that Christians are included among God’s Chosen People, although not exclusively. And, insofar as we can determine, the Bible provides no support for the belief that the Israelites/Jews are no longer God’s Chosen People. In this regard, we are confident that God would not renege on the commitment that He made to Abraham and several of Abraham’s descendants that they and their descendants would be His Chosen People.