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The Status of the Gospel in Israel

by | Thu, Mar 17 2022

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The Bible tells us that Jesus was rejected by the Jewish people, and since then there has been a long history of uneasy tension. But today millions of Jews are hearing the gospel, and many of them are turning to Jesus.

Dr. Erez Saraf is a Jewish psychologist, and president of the One for Israel Bible College. He’s also the CEO of ‘One for Israel’, a ministry on the cutting edge of internet evangelism. Erez recently joined us on 20Twenty to discuss the experiences of Jewish people who put their trust in Jesus.

Often there is great tension and severe persecution by the church. It is completely opposite to what Jesus said, and people can find themselves ostracized and rejected by their Jewish communities. Sometimes even by their families.

“As a result of that, there’s a great resistance in the Jewish world,” says Erez. “Since the Reformation, Western missionaries have started coming to Jewish communities. I’m not against them in any way, but for the Jewish community, they look different. They don’t look like us or speak like us. The main conclusion was they’re trying to shove a foreign God down our throats.”

Well-meaning missionaries continue to come to Israel with no coordination whatsoever and no contact with the local believers. But the good news is a large and growing group of Jewish people have heard the gospel from gentile Christians and have started to follow the Messiah.

“God is using this growing group to share the good news with our families, our neighbours and with our people,” Erez says. “They realise we’re Jewish. They realise that we’re native Israelis. Hebrew is our mother tongue. We are often called terrible names, but it’s really not about us. It’s about the Messiah we represent.”

Erez believes it’s a tremendous privilege to be part of God’s move at this time. He is seeing the number of Jewish believers growing, and God’s message spreading from Israel throughout the Middle East. There is an active evangelistic movement in Arabic, and many Muslims are turning to the true God of the Bible.

“My personal story is representative of the generation of Israeli Jewish people that are now believers in the Messiah,” says Erez.  “I’ve grown up knowing absolutely nothing about Jesus. The New Testament is not sold in Hebrew.  A relationship with God is a unique term most Jewish people don’t think about.”

Erez said he noticed the different way Christians talked and prayed to God. In the Jewish world, prayers are written and read. “I had a spiritual experience with the Lord and I asked Him to forgive my sins and be my Lord.,” he says. “I have a great sense of joy because I have a relationship with God. I’ve met the true messiah.”

But Erez also felt a great sense of sadness and urgency. Jews don’t get to hear this message, and Erez decided to go back home and tell his family and friends about his great discovery. Yeshua is not just the Messiah of the gentiles, He is also the Messiah of the Jewish people.

“The thing that we need the most is prayer,” says Erez. “We’re putting out online a 31-day Prayer for Israel devotional, where people can be encouraged but also informed.”

“The Bible has put great love for Israel in our hearts, and the best way to bless Israel is with Jesus.”

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