Shalom in Yeshua,
Is Evangelism Kosher?
The topic of evangelism, specifically Jewish evangelism, made it to prime-time TV lately as Larry King hosted a program featuring the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, the head of Jews for Jesus, and two leading Jewish spokesmen. The traditional Jewish men were extremely upset that evangelicals were beginning to target Jews. They acted as if soul-winning were a foreign concept to Judaism. That is not the case.
The Book of Jewish Knowledge by Nathan Ausubel has a section titled Jewish Missionaries in which the following is found:
“That there were active Jewish religious missionaries twenty-two centuries ago might perhaps come as a surprise to those who have been accustomed to think of missionaries as being exclusively Christian. But Jewish missionaries were active long before the advent of Christianity. An especially vigorous propaganda movement for the Jewish religion had been carried out in the Greco-Roman world during the early Hellenistic era by numerous unprofessional evangelists. These were dedicated zealots, both men and women, who were not unlike Jesus, the Apostles, and Paul of Tarsus. They roamed through all the Mediterranean countries, preaching, teaching, and proselytizing everywhere. Their successes inevitably stirred up hornets’ nests of opposition.
Jews believed they had a special part to play in the imminent redemption of all mankind. They had the absolute conviction _ drawn by them from the Bible _ that God had most specifically chosen them to serve as a `light for the nations’ in order to unite all peoples around the Torah.”
Yeshua’s Charge to His Talmidim
Following His resurrection from the dead, Yeshua appeared to His eleven talmidim (disciples) as they sat at table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Then He said to them:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is immersed will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” ([biblegateway passage=”Mark 16:15-16″ display=”Mark 16:15-16″])
Note the emphasis on the word “believe.” The Messiah was trying to make an important point here. Faith is what pleases God most. Unbelief leads to destruction. People need a chance to believe. But how can they believe if Yeshua’s talmidim don’t share His message? As Rabbi Saul of Tarsus puts it in the Book of Romans:”How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, unless they are sent? As it is written: `How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’ ” ([biblegateway passage=”Romans 10:14-15″ display=”Romans 10:14-15″])
What is the Evangel?
The word ev-angel from which evangelism comes is derived from Hebrew. The word angel in Hebrew is malach which also means messenger. The Ev-angel is the good messenger and by implication, the Good Message or the Good News. It is for all people everywhere. It is a message of love, of forgiveness, of God reaching down to earth to reconcile men and women to Himself.
We developed the following outline many years ago after teaching a program called Evangelism Explosion. We wanted to be able to present Yeshua entirely from the Old Covenant Scriptures. It is not difficult. He can be found throughout the Tenach!
The Good News in succinct outline form is as follows:
I. GOD: LOVES MAN; IS HOLY.
Why did God create us? Isaiah 43:7, 10
What does God expect of us? Deuteronomy 6:3-5
II. MAN: SINS; IS SEPARATED FROM GOD.
Is man basically good? Psalm 53:2,3
How does our sin affect God? Isaiah 59:2
III. GOOD DEEDS: INADEQUATE FOR SALVATION.
How does God see human efforts to achieve salvation? Isaiah 64:6
What made Abraham righteous? Genesis 15:6
IV. ATONEMENT: AT ONE WITH GOD.
What is atonement in the Torah? Leviticus 17:11
What did the High Priest do? Leviticus 16:15
V. MESSIAH: YESHUA, THE SUFFERING SERVANT
Was the Messiah’s death foretold? Isaiah 53:1-12
Was the Messiah God’s son? Psalm 2; Proverbs 30:4
VI. FAITH: IN MESSIAH’S ATONING DEATH.
What attitude of heart does God desire? Psalm 51: 6-10, 17What does God promise us? Isaiah 1:18
VII. A NEW BEGINNING: ETERNAL LIFE BEGINS NOW
What are the benefits? Jeremiah 31:10-14
What did God say about the New Covenant? Jeremiah 31:31-33
The Harvest is Ripe
Speaking of the harvest (of souls) to His disciples, Yeshua emphasized the vast scope of the harvest and the need for more workers: “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” ([biblegateway passage=”Matt 9:37-38″ display=”Matt 9:37-38″])
You have done precisely that as you have sent Jewish Jewels into the harvest field. Every soul that we touch for eternity via television, printed material and personal contact is also a soul that you have touched because we are co-laboring in the end-time harvest. Take Dorothy, for example. This precious Jewish lady in her late seventies found Jewish Jewels on television in New York City shortly after we went on the air. (YOU put us on and are continuing to keep us on!) Dorothy called Jewish Jewels to purchase something. Rona answered and learned that Dorothy had heard the Good News of Messiah many times. Now it was her time to receive Yeshua as Savior, so Rona led Dorothy in a simple prayer of faith and she became a completed Jew. Glory to God! Jamie called Dorothy
the next day and she said: “I wish you were here.” Pray that she grows in faith, reads the Bible we sent her, and becomes a strong witness for Yeshua.
A Typical Day at Jewish Jewels
Bertha, age 85, limped into the store with her caregiver on Dec. 10,1999 and walked over to our display of T-shirts. “I want three of those for my grandchildren.” Rona asked her, “What do you think this shirt says?” Bertha answered, “We believe in Yiddish; and my grandchildren go to Heder (Hebrew School) and they would love these shirts.”
Rona had Bertha sit down, brought the T-shirt to her and pointed out that the word on the shirt was “Yeshua” not “Yiddish.” Rona asked Bertha if she knew what Yeshua meant. She said, “Sure, it means Yiddish.” Dawn, her caregiver, said, “No, it means Jesus.” Bertha responded, “I know he is Jewish. When did they make him a Goy? Rona’s next words were: “Let me tell you the real reason you came to this store today. It’s called an appointment with God.”
“I believe in God.” Bertha said, and Rona responded; “That’s not enough. If you want to go to heaven and you want to receive eternal life, we need to pray and ask God to accept Yeshua’s death as full payment for your sins.” In a very serious and almost teary-eyed way, Bertha said, “Then what are we waiting for? Let’s pray.” (All the angels in heaven began to rejoice. [[biblegateway passage=”Luke 15:10″ display=”Luke 15:10″]])
Bibles and Bagels Bears Fruit
Elaine, a Jewish grandmother, was brought to last month’s Bibles and Bagels at Jewish Jewels by her daughter-in-law who had been sharing with her for years. Neil taught a study on “Who is a Jew?” Elaine followed the study with great interest. At the end of the study, we briefly explained the simple gospel message to this precious lady. As her daughter-in-law watched, amazed and deeply moved, Elaine received her Messiah. Seeing Yeshua in a Jewish context makes all the difference!!! Now this entire family is “one in the Messiah
.“Passover 2000: Share the Lamb
We will be hosting a 5-Star Passover Banquet at the Sheraton Ft. Lauderdale Airport Hotel during the Feast of Unleavened Bread this year. You are invited to join us on Saturday April 22nd for a special evening in the presence of our King. It is the perfect time to invite a Jewish friend or neighbor who might be curious about Messianic Judaism. They will have already attended a “traditional ” seder and will hear the true Biblical message of Passover and its fulfillment in Yeshua Ha Mashiach, the Lamb of God. Call our Banquet Coordinator at (954)741-7634 for details.
Tools to Help You Share
All those with a burden to share the Messiah with His own people will be greatly blessed and edified by a book we have recently discovered: Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus by Dr. Michael L. Brown. Mike is a brilliant Messianic Jewish scholar. He is also a friend who shares our desire to see our Jewish people come to know Yeshua. This book is great. Order your copy today! For your Jewish friends we have, Raisins and Almonds _ a wonderful little book and a sensitive witnessing tool with Scriptures and stories in English with some Hebrew. Illustrated, lovely! Appropriate for even Orthodox Jews. We highly recommend this book.
Neil and Jamie