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 equivalent to our Old Testament, and then show them how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies they just read. If they interrupt and say that the two passages are referring to the nation of Israel, tell them that while that may be what their rabbis may have told them to believe and say when Christians bring up these two passages, the verses in the passages clearly fit Jesus, and have them (re)focus on the words in the two passages.

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, and 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. Better yet, contact and pre-order from the organizations listed on the Palestinian Christians page. It will be easier, save you from having to lug the extra weight around during your trip, and provide support for those organizations.

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.