Evangelizing Israel

Evangelizing Israel

Evangelizing IsraelIf you are interested in evangelizing while in Israel, these tips may prove useful:

1.  Don't be intimidated by the religious people in Israel with their religious titles and attire. If you get into a discussion with them, you will soon realize that while they 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 to the Jews in Israel, many of them will have a knee-jerk negative reaction. They are reacting as their rabbis told them to react and/or reacting to the crimes that the Crusaders and other self-declared Christians, including the Nazis, committed against them over the centuries. Understand that they are not rejecting the Gospel itself and explain to them that neither the Crusaders nor the Nazis obeyed Christ 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 how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies they just read. If they interrupt and say that the two chapters are referring to the nation of Israel, tell them that while that may be what their rabbis told them to believe and say when Christians bring up these two chapters, their verses clearly fit Jesus. Calmly invite them to go through the two chapters verse-by-verse with you to see if the details fit Jesus, and tell them that thereafter, you will be happy to see with them if the details also fit the nation of Israel, the Jews in the Holocaust, Moses, Akiva or anyone else they want to bring up. (Note: When Jewish rabbis try to refute that Psalm 22 and/or Isaiah 53 prophesy about Jesus, they ramble on about everything else in the world except the actual words in these two chapters because those words irrefutably fit Jesus, why and how He died, and nobody else. For example, nobody cast lots for or divided the garments (Psalm 22:18) or were healed by the stripes (Isaiah 53:5) of Akiva, a rabbi the Romans killed in 135 AD.

4.  Explain why Jesus  could not have been just a prophet (see Jesus' birthplace), sin, the justice and mercy of God (see Garden of Gethsemane), the evidences for Jesus' resurrection (see Jesus' tomb) 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/or deportation, claiming that proselytizing is illegal in Israel. Their claim is false. A 1977 anti-proselytizing law forbids offering or receiving material benefits as incentive for religious conversion, and proselytizing minors like the two above is illegal, but proselytizing adults is actually legal in Israel. Inform them of this truth and if they continue to contest, ask them to show you the clause in the Israeli law that supports their false claim.

6.  Proselytize openly and 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, to respect the faiths of others, and to refrain from 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.