From the perspective of Elsa Koppel, Jerusalem Encounter Participant:
The message that Israel has not been rejected or replaced but will be restored is one that cannot be overstated.
At a time when some denominations are cutting themselves off from the root, a deceiving spirit is spreading that must be defeated with the truth of God’s Word.
In Christ the Jew and Gentile are designed to be one. The Kingdom can be built no other way (see Ephesians 2).
If we turn from Israel, we forgo our ability to build God’s Kingdom and I dare say, become irrelevant to the work of God.
Our connection to Israel is vital and helping Christians understand that equally so. In Isaiah 62:1 it says, “For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.”
We are to spread the truth of God’s heart towards Israel and the importance of our connection to her with friends, family, the local church and beyond. Consider ways you can use your gifts and abilities to communicate this message and spread a proactive love for Israel in the body of Christ.
If you turn on the news right now, odds are you’ll hear about Israel. You’ll see video clips of tension and terrorism, soundbites about settlements and land rights. What won’t make the highlight reel, is the spiritual awakening, the holy homecoming, the restoration promise that is already underway.
While this may have eluded the media cameras, it has not been lost on Jews for Jesus, a global nonprofit organization comprised of believers, the majority of whom are Jewish. In fact, they have been one of the major vessels of God’s restorative work in the land and beyond.
Officially founded in 1973 in California, Jews for Jesus missionaries will be quick to point out, they have really been around since 32 A.D., give or take a year. Jews for Jesus does away with the lie that believing in Jesus is a conversion away from Judaism, that to become “Christian” is the spiritual death of a Jew.
It is in fact quite the opposite, for to say yes to Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, the fulfillment of prophecies, is the most Jewish thing one can do.
Their mission statement to “relentlessly pursue God’s plan for the salvation of the Jewish people” (About, n.d.) is carried out in a multitude of ways. They have missionaries all over the world hosting Shabbat dinners which lead to candid discussion about who Jesus is. They host annual events which “celebrate Jewish traditions, explore the identity of Jesus and build community” (About, n.d.).
These events are also a great service to Gentile believers who can learn more about the Jewish roots of their faith. Jews for Jesus engages in street outreach, handing out warm cups of coffee (Brews for Jesus), playing their own music and giving away gospel tracts to Jewish seekers. They have an impactful social media outreach touching millions and make themselves accessible with chat windows popping up on every page of their website.
Just last year alone, Jews for Jesus workers had over 25,000 phone calls with Jewish seekers and believers. All this seed planting takes patience, but David Brickner speaks for the whole organization when he says, “The seed we sow will land in all kinds of soil. It will be thrown in the midst of tares, but if we are faithful to sow the seed we can trust God to bring the increase” (Jews for Jesus Newsletter, 2018). Last year (2017), through Jews for Jesus’ ministry, 311 Hebrew hearts said yes to Yeshua and 303 Gentiles professed their faith in the risen Lord.
The stories behind the numbers, seeing God’s work in the secret places of a human soul come to fruition, certainly makes the waiting worth it.
Learn More about Jews for Jesus: https://jewsforjesus.org/