Israel—its land and its people—is one of the smallest countries of the world, and yet it is in the news every day. The name Israel is used nearly 2000 times in the Bible, while Jerusalem is mentioned 760 times. The world has its eyes focused on Israel. Some love her. Some hate her. Israel—the Jewish homeland.

It is very popular in evangelical Christian circles to communicate one’s love for Israel and the Jewish community. Pastors and Christian groups jump on the “love Israel” bandwagon. Loving Israel is important, but it cannot come at the expense of the proclamation of the gospel to Israel. Too often we substitute what feels good for what is right. We gravitate toward what is accepted rather than toward what is commanded.

There is a danger in loving Israel if we are misguided, misdirected, or don’t understand what truly loving Israel and the Jewish people means. Building bridges of understanding often comes with strings attached.

Most Christians focus more on loving the Jewish people and Israel, while neglecting to communicate the gospel to the Jewish people.

It is much easier to show love and friendship, because it feels good. It is applauded. Telling someone they need Jesus and are risking eternal separation from God if they do not consider His claims is difficult, uncomfortable, and frightening to do. Therefore, individuals and groups often placate their own feelings by substituting their kind of love for the kind of love we are commanded to show.

Remember—we are commanded to take the Good News of Messiah Jesus to everyone. We are not given another option. Everyone needs to hear, but do not forget: “to the Jew first” (Rom. 1:16, ESV).

MESSIANIC DOCTRINE AND THEOLOGY

Hebrew4Christians

I have used this site quite often in my search for understanding our Jewish roots, Hebrew, and the connection between the two. The writer on this site has a very solid understanding of the theology of Israel, and deep understanding of our Jewish roots, and a great knowledge of Hebrew. It is a Christian site. His articles are excellent.

www.hebrew4christians.com

Caspari Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies

From their web site:

“Our vision is to see a strong and growing presence of Jewish believers in Jesus in the midst of the Jewish people and in the body of Messiah throughout the world. Our mission is to support the growth of Jewish believers in Jesus, in Israel and abroad, through strategic education and research. Caspari Center is an evangelical ministry that bases its work upon the Bible as the true and authoritative guide for faith, doctrine and life. The Apostolic and Nicene Creeds and the Reformation principle of justification by faith in Jesus the Messiah alone are considered vital for the understanding of the Scriptures.

I would highly recommend their quarterly publication, Mishkan.

http://caspari.com

Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism

LCJE is the only global organization in existence today in which people involved in the field of
Jewish evangelism can come together and share information and resources, study current trends in Jewish ministry, stimulate one another’s thinking on theological and missiological issues, strategize on a global level so that more Jewish people will hear and consider the Good News of Jesus, and arrange consultation that will be useful to those engaged in Jewish evangelism. I have been a member of this organization for 27 years. I would highly recommend their site and the link to previously presented papers.

http://www.lcje.net

Chaim Ministries

Chaim is a ministry to the Jewish community in the greater Philadelphia area. Their ministry’s purpose it to promote the gospel among the Jewish people through direct evangelism, motivating and equipping churches, and teaching the Bible to Jewish believers in Jesus.  It is their desire to help rebuild the Reformed witness to the Jewish people in the USA. This link is to their “Reformed Perspectives on the Jewish People” page. It is a valuable resource.

http://www.chaim.org/refpersp.htm

RealMessiah.com and Dr. Michael Brown

Dr. Michael Brown is one of the foremost Jewish Christian theologians and scholars living today. He has debated rabbis, defended the faith, and written many very valuable books on Jewish Christian doctrine, theology, and apologetics. He also has a daily radio program on theological issues, oftentimes from a Jewish perspective. I highly recommend his resources. His books can be purchased at www.lightofmessiah.org.

http://realmessiah.askdrbrown.org/Messianic-Judaism and www.askdrbrown.org

Ariel Ministries and Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum

Dr.Arnold Fruchtenbaum is another well-respected and solid Jewish theologian who also has a great heard for Jewish outreach. He has written an extensive and deeply theological book on the study of Israel entitled “Israelology”. I would encourage you to check out his resources.

From their web site:

“Today, Ariel Ministries has plunged directly into the mainstream of Jewish missions by combining the two key areas of evangelism and discipleship, with a heavy emphasis on Bible theology and doctrine. We seek to develop a balanced program of reaching out to others, as we grow in maturity ourselves. And, today, there are thousands upon thousands of Jewish Christians eager to live well-balanced lives – sharing their faith, praying, diligently studying the Word and pursuing fellowship with other believers.”

http://ariel.org/amms.htm

Jews for Jesus

Much can be learned from the Jews for Jesus web site regarding being devoted to Israel and also maintaining a healthy understanding of the need to proclaim the message of Jesus to the Jewish people. I will refer you to a paper done by David Brickner, their Executive Director regarding the current “Christian Zionist movement.

www.jewsforjesus.com

 NEWS FROM THE LAND

 

Jerusalem Post

In order to pray for Jerusalem, it is good to have news from Jerusalem. Check out the Jerusalem Post online!

www.jpost.com/Headlines/Home.aspx

 

JTA- The Jewish Telegraph Agency

JTA is the definitive, trusted global source of breaking news, investigative reporting, in-depth analysis, opinion and features on current events and issues of interest to the Jewish people. An unaffiliated not-for-profit organization, we pride ourselves on our independence and integrity.

www.jta.org

CAUTION!

We would caution those who love Israel to think twice before supporting any organization that prohibits or discourages sharing Jesus with the Jewish people. Those organizations include:

International Fellowship of Christians and Jews and On the Wings of Eagles

This organization has a well known infomercial on Christian TV and their director, Yechiel Eckstein, is an Orthodox rabbi and an opponent of any efforts to reach Jewish people with the message of Jesus. His “on the Wings of Eagles” ministry is advertised as a ministry to bring Jewish people from Russia to Israel as well as a humanitarian organization brining relief to the poor and homeless in Israel.

I echo the sentiments of David Brickner, Executive Director of Jews for Jesus who states, “Despite the fact that Rabbi Eckstein is an Orthodox rabbi, his organization is prominent in shaping Christian attitudes towards Israel and the Jewish people.  Sadly, the majority of his donors, who are evangelical Christians, may be unaware that Rabbi Eckstein is not a believer in Jesus or that the moneys that he funnels to Jewish organizations are not given in Jesus’ name.”

(Citation: How Christian Is Christian Zionism? An Update On Its Uneasy Interaction With Jewish Missions And Evangelism, David Brickner, Executive Director, Jews for Jesus, presented at the 26th Annual Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism-NA, March 2-4, 2009, Phoenix, Arizona) full paper found at http://www.lcje.net/ link to papers

Christians United for Israel and John Hagee

Christians United for Israel, or CUFI, is a political organization whose stated goal is to raise awareness and support for the state of Israel. It is a multimillion-dollar organization whose income primarily comes from evangelical Christians who love Israel and the Jewish people.

It is important to understand that CUFI is solely a political organization and is in no way “Christian”. First of all “Christian” is not an adjective. Organizations are not Christian. People are. Or aren’t. CUFI, at their most recent national convention had an unbelieving Orthodox Jewish rabbi bring the invocation and a Mormon (Glen Beck) deliver the main message. Christ was not proclaimed and CUFI has a policy of NOT sharing Jesus with Jewish people at their events or through their organization.

John Hagee has been questioned regarding his theology of Jewish salvation. He has skirted the issue and revised one of his books because it clearly stated that he believes Jewish people do not need Jesus to go to heaven (the two-covenant theory/or Abrahamic covenant theory).

There are many other organizations doing work to support Israel without compromising the gospel.

A word of advice:

Be wary of any messianic rabbinical organizations or individual that endorses or encourages conversion to Messianic Judaism.

Be wary of any messianic congregation or organization that emphasizes Torah observance over the supremacy of Messiah Jesus (Christ). Many in the messianic congregational movement hold this idea, or at least attitude.


 

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