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Newsletter November: Because I am not ashamed of the Gospel

“Because I am not ashamed of the Gospel”

Last summer some Messianic families from Israel stayed at camping site Tikvah. And how it goes on camping sites, good conversations appeared between co-campers. Over and over again the conversation came to ‘we love Israel’ to which our Messianic friend asked: ‘What do you mean by that?’. In this news letter I address a sensitive, but important subject. And for that I first take you to the two largest people groups in Israel.

70% secular  

For Christians Israel is connected to the Bible. That is why a lot of people connect being Jewish to the belief in God. Well, many Israelites will indeed tell you that their religion is Jewish, but at the same time that they dón’t believe in God! Realize that the majority (about 70%) of the Israeli population is secular. Tel Aviv is proclaimed thé gay city of the world and Israel as one of the most LHBTQ-friendly countries in the world. Many Israelis discover Eastern spirituality. One in three pregnancies in Israel end in an abortion. That is 19,000 per year, financed by the Israeli government.  It is estimated that the same number is being executed in private (source: Be’ad Chaim Israel).

20% Orthodox

20 percent of the Israelis is religious. There are multiple trends all with their own traditions and clothings. Many Christians think that they know the ‘Old Testament’, but most of the times that is not true! Religious Jews follow the Talmud, the oral teaching with additions and interpretations of rabbis. 613 commands (mitsvot) are differentiated. For the rabbis Jeshoea is a false messiah and a curse word. Following Him means treason and bannishment from the family and community. The New Testament is a forbidden book, but also for example Isaiah 53. Within the governmment immigration is in the hands of the orthodox. They think that believers in Jeshoea cannot be Jewish anymore and thus have no right to Israeli citizenship. When you are an atheist, buddhist of whatever you might be, you can make aliyah, but when you believe in Jeshoea, you will not be able to enter Israel that easy. In 2008 Messianic Jews have won a lawsuit against this refusal. Still, in real life it is still hard to make aliyah as a Messianic Jew.

Enemies of the Gospel

Messianic believers find it hard that so many Christians support several ‘good causes’ in Israel without realising that they ‘bless’ orthodox groups which are anti-Jeshoea. Well meant, but the Body of the Messiah is being counteracted this way! Paul says it sharp: “As regards the gospel they are enemies of God, for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.”(Rom.11:28). The Gospel evokes hostility… and hostility seems to be the opposite of our love for Israel. That is why many Christians say: “No, we do not talk about Jeshoea, because there already has been done so much damage (in the history of the Church). God Himself has put a covering over the Jewish people. Give love to them and then it is up to God to open their eyes.” Indeed… centuries lasting Christian antisemitism was aweful and that is why bringing the Gospel is very sentitive to the Jews. Confessing guilt and a humble and loving posture suits us.


But to which I do not agree is the reasoning that Christians do not share the Gospel because God Himself put a covering over Israel. I call this fatalism. Question: If there was a covering, why then did the apostles still preach the Gospel? It wouldn’t have any use then? And why did they always go to the synagogue first then to preach the Gospel? And what does Paul write? “But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away.  Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds;  but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed.”(2 Cor 3: 14-16). Clear language right? And then Peter: “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,  and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,”(Acts 3:19-20). Their repentence will lead to Jesus’ return!

Being a preparer of the way

Love for Israel, standing behind Israel… Many young people with me wrestle with that terminology, because the current Israel is (still) wicked, just like the Netherlands by the way. What is the support that Israel reálly needs? That is a question that keeps me busy. Distinction is needed. A test for myself is: how far am I a preparer of the way for Jeshoea in Israel? Because blessing Israel is about something much bigger: Jeshoea’s return and His Kingdom on earth! Israel is in need and God always leads to thé way to truth and life, which is Jeshoea. Does God ask of us Christians to always stay silent because of the horrable anti-Jewish Church history? Is it then that Gods command for the non-Jewish Church to make Israel jealous is no longer operative? It is, and with a warning: do not be proud towards Gods people! (Rom 11:11). Wé can not convert people, but we cán make them jealous! We can be preparers for His coming! Know that most of the Messianic Jews came to faith by a testimony of non-Jews. Also you can serve God by praying for the spreading of the Gospel and for the Messianic believers in Israel. And pray: How can I help in bringing the Kingdom to Israel?