By Hank Hanegraaff

First, the phrase replacement theologian is designed to be an insult. The ultimate pejorative leveled at those who deny the heart of dispensationalism—namely, that God has two distinct peoples, one of whom must be raptured (the church) before God can continue His plan with the other (Israel). Let Christians question the notion of a pre-tribulational rapture followed by a Holy Land holocaust in which the vast majority of Jews perish, and they are immediately shouted down as peddlers of godless heresy. Popular dispensationalists are blunt in their denunciations: “Replacement theologians are now carrying Hitler’s anointing and his message.”

Furthermore, the moniker “replacement theology” is inaccurate. Those people labeled “replacement theologians” neither believe that the church has replaced Israel, nor the other way round. Instead, they hold that all people clothed in Christ constitute one congruent chosen covenant community connected by the cross: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:28–29 NKJV). Salvation is not a matter of race; rather, it is a matter of relationship.

Finally, the use of the term replacement is highly ironic. Why? Because the very people who wield the term as an insult believe the mistaken notion that Israel will replace a soon-to- be-raptured church during seven horrific years of tribulation. Ironically, those who suffer the rebuke are repulsed by the very rhetoric of replacement. Also ironic is the fact that those who are now claiming that replacement theologians are guilty of spreading “the message of anti-Semitism” are themselves in the process of herding Jews into the Holy Land. They firmly believe that these Jews will soon be slaughtered in a blood bath that exceeds even that of Hitler’s Holocaust.

In part adapted from The Apocalypse Code

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”

Acts 10:34–35

For further study, see  “Is the pre-tribulational rapture theory biblical?” . See also Hank Hanegraaff, The Apocalypse Code: Find Out What the Bible Really Says About the End Times . . . and Why It Matters Today (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2007).

***Note the preceding text is adapted from The Complete Bible Answer Book: Collector’s Edition: Revised and Expanded (2024). To receive for your partnering gift please click here. ***