Evangelizing Israel

Evangelizing Israel

Evangelizing IsraelHere are some tips for evangelizing while in Israel:

1.  Don't be intimidated by the people who have fancy religious titles and wear fancy religious attire. If you get into a discussion with them, you will soon realize that while they may know their religion, they actually don't know much about the Bible. You have the Truth and the Holy Spirit, so fear not.

2.  When you begin to share the Gospel, many Jews will have a knee-jerk negative reaction, as their rabbis advised, or they are reacting to the crimes that self-declared Christians, including the Nazis, committed against the Jews over the centuries. Understand that they are not rejecting the Gospel and explain to them that people who commit genocide contradict everything Christ said and did, and therefore were not true Christians.

3.  Ask the Jews to read Psalm 22 and/or Isaiah 53 in their Tanakh, which is our Old Testament, and then show them point-by-point how Jesus fulfilled all of the prophecies they just read (watch this clip). If they interrupt you and make a blanket declaration that the two chapters are referring to the nation of Israel, the Jews who suffered during the Holocaust, Moses, Akiva (a rabbi the Romans killed in 135 AD) or someone else, tell them that while that may be what their rabbis told them, they should go through the rest of the details in the two chapters to see for themselves if they fit Jesus or what they mentioned. (Note: When Jewish rabbis try to refute the Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 prophecies about Jesus, they ramble on about everything but the actual words in these two chapters because those words fit only Jesus. For example, nobody cast lots for, or divided the garments of (Psalm 22:18), or were healed by the stripes (Isaiah 53:5) of Moses, Akiva or anyone else.)

4.  Explain why Jesus could not have been just a prophet, the justice and mercy of God, the evidences for Jesus' resurrection, and why Jesus was crucified.

5.  When you hand out tracts or proselytize on the streets, some (Ultra-)Orthodox Jews may approach, harass, even threaten you with arrest and deportation, claiming that proselytizing is illegal in Israel. Their claim is false. A 1977 anti-proselytizing law forbids offering material incentives for religious conversion, and proselytizing minors like the two above is illegal, but proselytizing adults is actually legal in Israel. Tell this to them, and if they persist, challenge them to show you the clause in the Israeli law that supports their false claim.

6.  Proselytize unhindered from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset, during which the (Ultra-)Orthodox Jews cannot break their Sabbath by engaging in the "work" of stopping Christians from proselytizing.

7.  Expect friendly fire. Local "Christians" may tell you to be "mature" about your faith and respect the faiths of others by not proselytizing, especially at or near other religions' "holy" shrines. Ignore or tell them that you must "obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).

8.  Don't forget the Palestinians and the Palestinian Christians, who need our prayers, encouragement and support arguably even more than the Messianic Jews do.

9.  If you intend to take some Bibles and books, try to find copies in Hebrew and Arabic, as most Arabs and many Jews don't speak English well enough to read it comfortably.

10.  Most importantly, pray, for "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain" (Psalm 127:1).

Be encouraged that compared to a decade ago, the Israelis are palpably more open to the Gospel today.