By Dr. Todd Baker
B'rit Hadashah Ministries is committed to proclaiming the Gospel to the Jewish people in Israel. So far I have conducted several Gospel outreaches in Israel. We found the Jewish people there to be open, appreciative, and interested in the good news of Jesus the Messiah. Several individuals there have accepted Him as their Lord and Savior and became completed Jews born anew in the Messiah. Taking the Gospel to the Jews of Israel is not an option or choice for us; it is commanded by God in Scripture. In fact the Bible provides seven reasons why this is so. It is no coincidence about the number seven. Seven, in the Bible, is the number of divine completeness. God created and completed the universe in seven days. Christ spoke seven times from the cross when completing the work of redemption. Seven years are left on Daniel's 70 weeks to complete the present age with the return of Christ to earth. And here God gives seven reasons for preaching the Gospel to Israel. Let's look at them in closer detail.
(1) Romans 1:16 plainly says the Gospel is to go to the Jew first. Paul writes in that passage: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation to the Jew first and also to the Gentile." Here we have the divine order of evangelism defined. The Gospel is to go to the Jew first. Why? The answer is not because the Jewish people are somehow superior to the rest of the Gentile world but because God chose their nation and people through whom the Messiah would come and prepared them for this through the Covenants, the Hebrew Scriptures with its many Messianic prophecies, and the Temple and its sacrifices (see Romans 15:8-9 where the divine order of evangelism is confirmed again). Thus Jesus came to save the Jews as a Jew. Jesus came first to offer salvation and the Messianic kingdom to Israel. He said as much during His ministry on earth. When sought by a Gentile Jesus said in Matthew 15:24: "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the House of Israel." Paul and the Apostles followed this divine order in the book of Acts when going to the Jews in the synagogues first to preach the Gospel. Salvation and the Messiah came directly from the Jewish people. Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4:22: "Salvation is of the Jews." The Church is to follow the same order of evangelism given in Romans 1:16 as practiced by the Lord Jesus and the Apostles. We are to witness to the Jews first as they did and commanded us to do.
(2) The Great Commission was given from Jerusalem and the preaching of the Gospel began there. The holy city Jerusalem is mentioned 811 times in Scripture. God has chosen this city as the eternal city where He will place His name there forever (2 Chron. 6:6). Jesus will reign over the world from Jerusalem for a thousand years. Ezekiel 5:5 says God has placed Jerusalem at the center of the earth. There our Lord died for the sins of the world and was raised again. He will return there when He comes again. In Acts 1:8 Christ commanded the Disciples to take the Gospel to the whole world starting in Jerusalem. Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years. It is not only logical but also strategically smart that if one preaches the Gospel to the Jews you should go to the place they hold highest above all else on earth-Jerusalem.
(3) To fulfill prophecy and hasten the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is an obscure and often ignored prophecy found in Matthew 10: 23. Jesus said there "But when they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes." Jesus predicted in this prophecy that the evangelization of the cities of Israel will not be complete before He returns. This prophecy will be fulfilled during the time of the tribulation period when Jewish Christians are persecuted for their Gospel witness in Israel. For nearly 2,000 years of the present Church age the Gospel was not being preached to Jews in Israel because they were scattered throughout the nations of the world since 70 A.D. But all that changed in 1948 when Israel became a nation again and Jews returned en masse to their ancient homeland. The Messianic movement in Israel is growing and now for the first time since the days of Jesus and the Apostles, evangelism and gospel preaching to the Jews is happening in the land again. The fact that this has started and will not be finished before the Second Coming must mean the Lord's return is very soon. Not only do we have a prophecy of this kind found in the New Testament but also one of similar fashion in the Old Testament. It is in Isaiah 62:10-12. Isaiah 62:10-12 is an amazing prophecy that says God will send Gentile believers to Jerusalem "from the ends of the earth" to proclaim to the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem that the Savior is coming to redeem and rescue them. Incidentally, the Hebrew word for "salvation" in Isaiah 62:11 is the same word for the name of Jesus in Hebrew - Yeshua, Y'shua or Yeshuach. Yeshua (Jesus in English) means "The Lord is salvation." "She shall bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus (Yeshua) (Matthew 1:21). For He shall save His people from their sins." In other words, God wants them to say to Jerusalem Yeshua or Jesus is coming! The chapter closes with the prediction that these Gentile ambassadors of Christ will prepare the way for the return of Y'shua the Savior in much the same way John the Baptist prepared Israel for the Messiah's first coming as predicted in Isaiah 40:3. This interpretation is confirmed as the right one by the fact that Isaiah 63 opens with the second coming of the Messiah in glory after His way has been prepared by His Gentile ambassadors of chapter 62 who come to share the Gospel of salvation to Israel and Jerusalem. The fact that this ministry and others are doing this very thing means prophecy is being fulfilled and Christ's coming is extremely close.
(4) Preaching the Gospel to Israel pays the debt we Gentile believers owe to the Jewish people. Paul said in Romans 15:27 that we are indebted to Israel because of the spiritual blessings they brought to the world. Those blessings that came through the Jewish people are the Bible, the Messiah, and the Judeo-Christian ethic on which the whole of Western civilization is built. The New Testament Church is obligated out of Christ's love to share the Gospel to His ethnic people-the Jews. What greater way to pay that spiritual debt of gratitude than to share with them the great riches of salvation given through Jesus Christ.
(5) To possibly prepare Jewish hearts for the Tribulation. The signs of the Lord's return are here to anybody who has a basic understanding of Bible prophecy. When you witness to an Israeli Jew in this late hour you could very well be planting Gospel seed that will save him after the Rapture and allow him to become part of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists mentioned in Revelation 7. God's Word will not return void. Jews we witness to now who do not get saved, can after the Rapture of the Church when they recall what we told them about this event and the tribulation period to follow.
(6) The Salvation of Israel is the heart cry of God and Jesus. Our Lord wept over the lost condition of Jerusalem saying, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing" (Matthew 23:37). Jesus lamented over the fact that they would reject Him as their Lord and Savior and suffer eternal loss and ruin. The Spirit of Christ spoke through the Apostle Paul in Romans 10:1 when he expressed that his ardent desire and prayer to God was that Israel might be saved. Jesus still weeps over the lost condition of Israel today. But He has purchased their salvation for them through His death on the cross. All they have to do, like anyone else, is believe and receive Y'shua as their Messiah to be saved. We as a Church must in love, understanding, and patience give them that opportunity by sharing the Gospel with them. If we don't they will remain lost without their true Messiah.
(7) We must take the Gospel to the Jews of Jerusalem because God commands it. Preaching the Gospel to the Jews of Jerusalem, Israel, and the world is not an option for Bible believing Christians. It is commanded by God in Isaiah 40:9-10. We are not only to bring the good tidings of salvation to Israel but we are to do it with boldness and strength. But to do this takes financial support from Christians who love the Jews and want to bless Israel with an opportunity for them to be saved by hearing and believing the Gospel. I can tell you from personal experience the Jewish people are open and willing to listen about why Jesus is the Messiah of Israel and the world. The only way I can carry out this last days Gospel outreach to Israel is if people like you obey the Holy Sprit's leading and give to this ministry. For "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed. And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent" (Romans 10:14). What greater blessing to give to the Jewish people than to afford them the opportunity to hear the Gospel and believe it for salvation. God promises a special blessing on those who bless the Chosen People. In Genesis 12:3, the Lord says, "I will bless those who bless you." As you give into this ministry, God will bless you and cause prosperity to abound, "not that I seek a gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account" (Phil. 4:17).
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