Gospel Progress in Israel
This artcle was written by David Zadok, Pastor of Grace and Truth Assembly in Israel. David is a graduate of the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies. The Grace and Truth Assembly is the church planted by RBMS missionary Baruch Maoz.
Although the world media have been busy covering the Israeli-Palestinian war in Gaza, media reports have been completely silent about the genuine spiritual hunger that the conflict is creating among the people. Israelis are searching for answers to the great questions of life. On the Sabbath two days ago, a 14 year old girl who has been attending the Grace and Truth congregation for some time came to faith in Messiah. At the same time, a Jewish lady who is not yet a believer has asked if she can come to our worship service.
Last Thursday afternoon Avraham called the office and asked if he had reached the ‘Messianic Jews.’ He told us he wants ‘to join the congregation’. ‘I’m a religious person,’ said Avraham. ‘I’m married. I have five kids and I’m sick of keeping the law. All these restrictions don’t make sense to me. I feel very lonely and I want to join believers like you.’
Avraham wants to be associated with a religion that gives freedom but he has many questions about God. The religion he grew up in, he says, puts limitations on everything. ‘Why is God like that?’ he asked. ‘How do you explain keeping the Sabbath?’ ‘What does it mean to be a sinner?’ ‘Did God ever sin?’ ‘I am a great sinner and I have many bad thoughts; God will not want me!’ ‘Should I pray to Jesus?’ ‘Is there a holy cross?’
It seems that Avraham doubts everything in Judaism which he grew up with and needs a new perspective on the God he believes in but, apparently, hardly knows. Yulia shared with him the Good News of Messiah, the God-Man. Avraham wants to visit the congregation but he won’t drive his car on the Sabbath. Nevertheless, he is willing to meet someone to learn about the Faith.
Some Holocaust survivors we know in the south of Israel (in a city just kilometers from the Gaza border) got in touch with Eddie, the evangelist of the Grace and Truth congregation. They wanted us to visit them to talk about the Bible. When Eddie and I showed up we found about twenty-five frail, elderly people seated and waiting for us. The leader of the group greeted us and after introducing us he invited us to speak. Eddie shared some thoughts from the Psalms for about forty minutes and then I spoke about how God has often turned Israel’s tragic history of war into triumph. I used that thought as a basis from which to speak about Jesus the Messiah’s victory over Satan and death.
As Eddie and I were leaving, I reflected on the invitation. When was the last time a group of Jewish people, let alone a group of Holocaust survivors, called on us to share the gospel with them? We pray that God may even now be turning the current conflict in Gaza into a victory for Messiah and his kingdom.
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