Back to Jerusalem

According to International Project, in New York City Jews are the biggest un reached people group at 926,000 people- or 14 percent.

Unreached means not heard or had access to the Gospel.
How many Christians have heard of the 10/40 window? It is an area across north Africa, Middle East and Asia which stretches 10 degrees latitude north of the equator to 40 degrees latitude north of the equator. It is also the most unreached area of the world for the Gospel of Christ.

Considering Jesus’ words, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

And, But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Do you notice where the disciples first go?
The Gospel began in Jerusalem, in fact that day at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples they went out into the street and spoke in tongues so that those who had come from other parts of the world understood them and the Gospel message.

Of the 55 least evangelized countries, 97% (more than 4.4 billion people) of their population lives within the Ten-Forty Window. Of these, there are millions of unreached Jews scattered across 134 countries.

Since those days of the early church missionaries have been taking the gospel to far off regions and to every tribe they can find. But over the past 70 years, one country has seen very few missionaries willing to go into…
Israel.

With a population over 7 million, there are 41 unreached People Groups including 3 quarters of the total Jewish population. That is 75 percent of approximately 6 million (4,500,000) Jews in Israel who have never heard or learned of the Gospel. There are more Muslims in Israel (17 percent) than Evangelical Christians which is less than 1 percent of the population.

How can this be??

Part of the reason is that the church is so fragmented and complicated by the religious confusion through the different Christian denominations, “spin offs” and cult groups’ doctrinal differences and creeds. It makes it as confusing as it was back in the early church days between those who believed in faith in Christ alone, and those who taught faith along with keeping the laws.

Some denominations believe the church has somehow replaced Israel as the chosen people, and that Jews no longer have a part in God’s plans. This is one of the worst heresies of all, and totally unbiblical. There are so many holes in the replacement theology that it would take a whole other article to lay them all out.

Others for socio/political reasons tend to either look at the Jewish state as an oppressive apartheid state or that the modern state of Israel and Jews are not the same nation and people of the Old Testament and don’t believe in the Biblical promises to a modern day Israel.

Still others don’t believe in the mandate of Jesus to share the gospel, instead leaving that for pastors and missionaries.

Can anyone imagine living in a land as rich in heritage and history as Israel, as a Jew, yet not knowing or believing in their own heritage? I can’t. I can’t imagine even going to Israel and not seeing the places and things that those of the old and new Testament experienced. How can one live within sight of Jerusalem and not think about King David, or Bethlehem and not think of the birth of Jesus? Being by Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberius) without thinking of Jesus calming the storm…

Israel is tradition, yet so many Jews don’t believe in the history of the Holy Days they still observe- much like the church in the west, they have ignored, forgotten and lost knowledge of God and His plans for our world. Modern day Israel is a very secular state, as America is, they celebrate things that we do which in Biblical times would be considered abominations. Those who do study and learn at the feet of Rabbis never hear of the prophecies which heralded the coming of their Messiah, and have been taught that Christianity is a religion of the gentiles. They aren’t taught that the earliest Christians, the disciples who followed Jesus’s earthly minstry were Jews. They don’t know that Jesus was a Jew, born to a woman fJews.

Have we Christians given up on the Jews because we don’t believe they deserve the same chance to know Christ as we’ve been given?

Romans 11 tells us that Gentiles were grafted into the family of God to make Jews jealous.
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

We as Christians need to remember that, and also remember that God’s word shows that being born Jewish does not guarantee salvation. Abraham’s son Isaac was chosen, but Ishmael rejected; Jacob was chosen, but Esau rejected (Rom 9:6-13). God can choose to reject some, and save others—it is his own divine choice: “God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy and he hardens whom he wants to harden” (Rom 9:18). Salvation depends upon accepting God’s free gift, not on being born Jewish.

Again, the Lord’s command- and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

We who have the Holy Spirit in us are not exempt from this commandment, which starts in Jerusalem and spreads out to the nation of Israel and the world- but I do realize that not all of us are able to go to Jerusalem to share the Gospel. SO how do we help Jews (and others who live in Israel) recieve the Gospel when it’s not taught and there are so few churches in the country?

As many unreached as there are among the people of Israel, it’s not all bad news as far as reaching Jews and others for Christ as many are turning to Jesus and recognizing Him as their messiah, and more Christians are going to Israel than ever before- 2017 saw more Christian pilgrimages than ever before- Israelis have to be understandably curious.

As you guys know one of the Missionaries who came to our conference last week works in Israel. They realize that even still while Jews are a hard people to witness to, the people who live there live drastically different than what you and I and all Americans live. While we in the west make plans for vacations months in advance, or weddings years ahead of the day, Israelis live in the minute, with the knowledge that at any time they could be killed by a rocket attack. When one lives in a tiny nation surrounded by people who hate them, and where there are bomb shelters in playgrounds and school yards, it’s hard not to live on a day to day basis. And those who truly seem to appreciate a chance to hear the Gospel are those who are on the front lines- the Israeli Defense soldiers.

Look at it this way, everyone- male and female are required to serve in the IDF once they turn 18. They are the young people who’ve never been taught, never heard, and are hungry for something more than “today”. Who better to minister to?

Ministering is not getting into their faces however and ‘thumping’ the Bible. No, sharing love and caring, earning the right and trust to share something which these soldiers see and want the same.

Israel spends most of their defense money on defense, and very little goes to provide for the soldiers. Covenant Ministries has different ways of supporting and sharing with IDF soldiers and needs help to minister to them.

By donating missionary gifts, we can adopt a brigade- by helping provide items such as sweat shirts, ski caps, jackets, socks, gloves, back packs, and T shirts. When they know they are cared for and loved, their emotional and spiritual needs are easier to be met as well as providing help for their material and physical needs. We can also help provide bomb shelters so people will have a little more assurance when those sirens go off that they have a safe place close by. They also work with local folks whether it’s in orchards or fields, or community service. And yes, for those who have the means and want to go to Israel, I’m sure there is room for you to help while you’re there!

Another organization which shares the Gospel message is One For Israel. They teach and share the Gospel, train new disciples and even have the only Hebrew speaking Bible college in Israel. Their website contains some amazing testimonies from Jews who’ve come to know Jesus and received what Paul so longed for, even to the point that he would be willing to go to hell that his fellow Jews would know the gift of Jesus (Romans 9).

We should have the same longing. We need to bring the gospel back to Israel. We can do that by praying for and helping those who are doing just that.

I hope all have a blessed Monday and week!