This question came to me via Spirit & Truth, a website I am privileged to have a part in.
Thanks very much for your TELOS series of Biblical Covenantalism. I stumbled upon this at just the time I needed it – and therefore believe God led me to your sight.
The minister of our church is staunchly amillenialist, and I am involved in discussions with him. The question he will get me on, unless you can provide me with a biblically based answer is this:
If the land promise to Abraham and his descendants is a literal piece of real estate, and it has been given as an EVERLASTING possession, what happens to the EVERLASTING nature of that covenant promise in the New Heavens and the New Earth?
Thanks for your question.
In the first place your pastor’s position is unreasonable, putting the burden of proof where it doesn’t belong. Since he clearly knows that the text(s) say the land was given to Israel by God, by challenging it with such a question he is demanding of the Bible that it answers his queries before he will believe it. This is a symptom of the all-too-common problem of making unaided reason an authority over the clear wording of Scripture.
If you want an idea of why he is being unreasonable, ask him to explain how Christ can be both 100% God and 100% man at one and the same time. Ask him to explain it (don’t let him fob you off with the Chalcedonian Creed). My point is that certain Christian truths (like the dual natures of Christ) are difficult because Scripture does not pander to our wish to have all our questions answered. It expects faith in what is said (which is enough for us).
As far as a biblically-based answer; well, what is to prevent Israel having a designated piece of real estate on the new earth? We know there are nations and kings there (Rev. 21:24, 26).
I want you not to make an issue of this with your pastor. He will not change if he does not see. And he will not see if he has certain presuppositions: lenses through which he interprets the Bible.