(Jerusalem, Israel) — While traveling through Israel this month, I’ve been asked by many people if a Palestinian state inevitable, and will it happen this fall? It’s a controversial topic, to be sure, and an increasingly relevant one given the upcoming vote in the U.N. General Assembly this fall. Here’s what I’ve been sharing with people here:

  1. The Bible doesn’t speak specifically to the issue of whether a sovereign Palestinian state will be created or not.
  2. That said, I tend to believe the geopolitical and prophetic evidence suggests there will probably be a Palestinian state in the not-too-distant future.
  3. International pressure on Israel to cut a deal, divide the Land, and create a Palestinian state is overwhelming, relentless, and intensifying.
  4. Currently, the Palestinian leadership refuses to negotiate directly with Israel. Rather, they hope to unilaterally declare a state by getting the vast majority of countries at the U.N. to vote for the creation of state at the General Assembly session in New York in September.
  5. The Palestinians have more than enough votes to pass such a U.N. resolution in the General Assembly (though the U.S. has suggested it would veto a unilateral declaration if it came to the Security Council).
  6. The most intense international pressure for a Palestinian state is coming from Western Europe, which has grown anti-Israel and increasingly anti-Semitic.
  7. A majority of Israelis have become exhausted with the Arab-Israeli conflict and now would support a Palestinian state under certain conditions.
  8. Even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the leader of the center-right Likud Party (which has historically opposed creating a Palestinian state) — has offered to divide the Land and help create one, so long as it is demilitarized and doesn’t divide Jerusalem.
  9. However, the Bible strongly warns the nations not to divide the Land of Israel and states that all nations who do so will face God’s judgment. The Lord said to the Hebrew Prophet Joel, “And I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.” (Joel 3:2) 
  10. Despite this warning, the nations have repeatedly divided the Land of Israel over the centuries.
  11. Bible prophecy suggests the Land will be divided again in the last days. The Hebrew prophet wrote in Daniel 9:26-27 that in the last days “the prince who is to come” (the Antichrist) “will make a firm covenant” (a peace treaty) “with the many” (neighbors of Israel) for seven years, but will then break that treaty after  three and a half years. This strongly — though not definitively — suggests a state will be created or reaffirmed through this treaty.
  12. Eventually, after breaking the peace treaty, the Antichrist will invade and conquer Israel and rule the world with great evil and tyranny from the “Beautiful Land.” The Prophet Daniel wrote, “He will also enter the Beautiful Land, and many countries will fall….and he will go forth with great wrath to destroy and annihilate many. He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain [Jerusalem]” before being destroyed and judged by the Lord Himself. (Daniel 11:41, 44, 45)
  13. On the basis of these and other Scriptures, I suspect a sovereign Palestinian state will be created, though it would likely be temporary in duration. The outlines of a geopolitical deal are already done. Israeli and Palestinian officials have been negotiating on and off for decades. 
  14. So we should expect European pressure to continue to build and eventually a European leader to take the lead and get a deal done — to many, it will look like a wonderful peace deal, at first, but the Bible makes clear it will turn disastrous for Israel, and the Palestinians, and the world.
  15. I do not support the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state because I believe this would violate the Biblical admonition not to divide to the Land. I do support Palestinian autonomy, the right of Palestinians to run their daily lives and their local governments. I believe Israel should always work on doing a better job of treating Arabs with love, compassion and justice. What’s more, I believe the Church should do a much better job loving and caring for Israeli Arabs and Palestinian Arabs, and sharing with them the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ that they might find forgiveness for their sins, peace in their hearts, hope for their future, and salvation for their souls (John 3:16)
  16. The Scriptures are crystal clear: the Lord loves the Palestinian people as much as He loves the Jewish people, and He told Moses to tell the children of Israel to care for non-Jews in the Land and bless them and treat them honestly and fairly and with justice and compassion. (See Deuteronomy 14:29, 23:7, 24:14-15, 24:19-22, 26:12-13)
  17. Jesus modeled love for the Jewish people (Matthew 15:32, Mark 6:34, Mark 8:1-3, Luke 10:3-9, Luke 23:34), and their neighbors (Matthew 19:19, Luke 10:27-37), and their enemies (Matthew 5:43-44) and told His followers to do the same.
  18. Let us continue to pray for the Prince of Peace — Jesus the Messiah — to draw more and more people in the epicenter to Himself. This is the only true and lasting hope for peace.