Need Jesus Too
Jesus Did It!
Dear Fellow Saints - I was 26 years old when I first heard about the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. I believed it as soon as I understood it, and I submitted my life to Jesus when I was 27. Looking back on all the preceding years, I can only think, "What a waste! Why didn't anyone tell me sooner?"
Some Christians think that all Jews have heard about salvation in Jesus. After all, what about all the TV and radio sermons and billboards that are so prevalent? Widespread though these may be, frequently they do not communicate the gospel to my people. They merely tell us that there are a lot of Gentiles around who believe those things and that we Jews are still a minority.
We have heard of the "Gentile" God Jesus, but the true meaning has rarely been communicated. We are a closed community because the Jewish teachers, having no understanding of Christianity, misinform us of its meaning. Furthermore, too many good Christians don't speak of Jesus to us because they fear they will offend us. Believe me, being offended is better than being condemned for eternity!
(more - please read on)
my unmet friend ...
The testimony you've just read is not at all rare. Many Jewish people who have come to faith in Christ share the writer's anguish: "Why didn't anyone tell us about Jesus sooner?"
I am writing to you because we need Christians who want Jews to know Jesus.
My heartache is that many Christians don't care about Jewish evangelism. Yet I know that some do care. Most just don't realize that there are Jewish people who would want to hear the message of Christ if they were approached in a sensitive manner. I hope you are a truly committed Christian and that you really care whether or not others, including us Jews, hear the gospel.
Some Christians have a notion that the world is already fully evangelized. After all, there are more churches, more gospel broadcasts and more of almost every manner of Christian proclamation than ever before. Nevertheless, most of that proclamation seems to be directed away from Jews. To most of my people, those church services, religious radio and television programs, gospel billboards and all manner of gospel statements seem to say, "Not For You; For Gentiles Only."
In part that's because many Christian services and programs seem to come from a different culture than most Jews are accustomed to, but there's something else you should know. We Jews have been indoctrinated to believe that Christ is not for us. We've been taught that people who believe in Jesus hate and persecute us. To this day, most Jewish children are told that the Nazi Holocaust was the work of Christians. They are told that Nazis were believers in Jesus who hated Jews because they thought we "killed" their God. After all, that's what the signs over the death camps proclaimed and we didn't know any different. Even now, many Jews know what it's like to be called a "Christ Killer."
In view of all this, we are educated to believe that it is the courageous thing, the Jewish thing, the necessary thing, NOT TO LISTEN when Christians try to tell us of their religion. We learn that we have already endured too much in the name of Christianity. It seems like the only right thing for us to do is refuse to hear the message that (appears to) cause so much suffering.
Most of my fellow Jews has never heard that Jesus Christ came because God so loved the world. So very few of us realize that Jesus died for our sins as well as the sins of the whole world-that He rose again and brings new life to Jews as well as Gentiles. Nor do most Jews know that Jesus calls on His followers to love our people. Our social conditioning prevents us from seeing that faith in Jesus empowers and motivates people to love one another.
We Jews for Jesus are desperate to cry out the truth of His loving gospel. We want to tell our fellow Jews that Jesus is for us. We need to tell them that, because of Jesus, there are non-Jews who love our people - that believing in Jesus in a biblical way cause people to love, not hate.
Jews who don't believe in Jesus really need to hear this from other Jews who have discovered the truth.
There is a high, thick wall erected between the Jewish community and those of us standing with Christ. It is too high to climb and too wide to speak through. Most Christians haven't even tried to reach out to those on the other side. If they looked carefully, they would see that there is a gate, a door, and a way through that wall. Too few realize that God has provided a way through that barrier.
Most Jewish people see the gate. Yet from their side of the wall they also see an ominous warning:
Perhaps that "Keep Out" sign was placed there long ago by Christians who didn't like Jews, or perhaps it is actually a "Keep In" sign put there by rabbis who feared that if Jewish people passed through the barrier, they would be lost forever.
The Jewish people sometimes hear muffled voices, laughter and singing through the wall, as though there was a celebration on the other side. And indeed there is a celebration of salvation! But most Jews figure it is someone else's party and we are not invited.
Well, God did invite the Jewish people. He never said "You have to discard your Jewishness to be saved."
Nevertheless, most of my people do not know that it is possible for a Jew to believe in Y'shua (the Jewish way to say Jesus). They know that if they believe and confess their faith, they will be outcasts. We Jews for Jesus stand ready to tell them that trusting the Messiah of Israel will not rob them of their Jewish identity. We can testify that faith in Him is worth whatever consequences we may face. God Himself will be our father when our parents reject us for His name's sake. We want to say that rejection by the world only brings us closer to God - that through His Holy Spirit, God gives us the strength to overcome and enables us to transcend the pain of rejection.
Jews who believe in Jesus feel more Jewish than ever because we've been reunited with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and renewed through Jesus the Messiah. Believing in Him enables us to fulfill our Jewish destiny.
for Jesus have a testimony
that can penetrate the Wall that prevents
Jews from knowing of Y'shua.
Please help us show our fellow Jews the truth - that Jesus brings abundant life; that Y'shua is worthy to be loved; that true Christians are loving people. My seminary degree is in Missiology, and it causes me much pain to have to say this: the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations has not been applied to the Jewish people. When it comes to Jews, the Great Commission has become the Great Omission.
Nevertheless, some Jews are willing to hear the gospel. Here are some examples:
Frank is a caring Christian who witnesses as best he can, but he feels he didn't get the meaning across-at least to Diana. One day, he gets a letter like this one telling him about Jews for Jesus. He responds and receives our materials on witnessing. He begins to receive our monthly newsletter. He gains a better understanding of how to share his faith with people such as Melvin, Maggie and Diana. He also sends us their addresses. They each receive a message of the Messiah and our regular publication titled ISSUES, which tells about Jesus in a Jewish way.
Frank planted three seeds, which Jews for Jesus now waters. Because of Frank, three people may yet be saved.
Unfortunately, not all Christians are like Frank. Some worry that planting seeds may dirty their hands.
Take Edward, for example. He sells paper goods to small stores. His line is bags, plates, cups, etc. Melvin's delicatessen is one of his best customers. Edward's clients often invite him to weddings and bar mitzvahs, and he usually attends. Yes, it's good business, but he also enjoys it.
I once spoke at Edward's church. He was proud to tell me how "some of his best friends are Jewish." When I asked if he needed help telling them about Jesus, Edward said, "Oh no! I wouldn't want to offend them by trying to proselytize." I asked Edward if he was convinced that Christ is 'the only way.' He answered a resounding, "Of course!" Yet he didn't see the contradiction between what he told me and what he wouldn't tell his Jewish friends. Edward's stated philosophy, like so many others, is: "I just try to let my life be a light that shines. If people want to know what I believe, I'll be happy to tell them." He neglects to mention that no Jew has ever asked him.
Can you see why Edward's attitude disturbs me so? He really is a Christian. He genuinely likes the Jewish people. But he doesn't see that he is no friend to the Jewish people when he won't introduce them to his best friend, Jesus Christ. Edward wouldn't want himself, his family or fellow church members to be caught dead without Jesus. But to the Jews he knows and says he loves, he doesn't even mention the Messiah, their only hope for life. What kind of friend is that?
I relate these stories to focus on facts that are essential to your understanding of Jewish evangelism:
Many churches and even some
Christian leaders are reluctant to practice what the
Bible teaches about evangelizing Jews because of
the disapproval they will face by Jewish leaders.
The Great Commission applies to
well as Gentiles, and individual Christians as well
as churches are responsible to obey it.
At this present time there is a
according to grace and some Jews are not merely
reachable, they are waiting for someone to tell them.
Either you're going to be like
Christian who only thinks he cares, or you're
going to be like Frank, a Christian who really does care.
We Jews for Jesus need Christians such as you to be" frank" with the Jewish people. We need you to become involved! Here's how we can help you bring a forthright witness to your Jewish friends:
1. We can witness to any Jewish person you know. Just send us his or her name and complete home address. We'll send that individual a personalized letter of witness (with no mention of your name) and if he or she allows us, we will send our regular evangelistic publication, ISSUES. This is a small journal written for Jews who don't yet believe in Y'shua. It contains the gospel facts told in a way that Jews can understand and accept.
As God enables, we'll also personally visit that person. Our missionaries serve in major Jewish centers such as New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Toronto, Los Angeles, Ft. Lauderdale and San Francisco. We also have branches in Israel, Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, France, England, Germany and Australia. Some of our staff also serves on mobile evangelistic teams that crisscross North America. We even have volunteer missionaries in areas where we don't have branches.
2. We can send you our monthly Jews for Jesus Newsletter to inform and inspire you with testimonies and news of what's happening on the field. This newsletter is crisp reading with a vantage point on the Bible and Christian life that most find stimulating and instructional. It provides Jewish insights and Bible backgrounds that raise the sense of spiritual reality.
3. We can send you a book that will help you witness to both Jews and Gentiles. This 138-page guide will teach you how to sensitively reach through the barriers that separate Jews and Christians today. Written by Jews for Jesus founder Moishe Rosen, this is an essential resource for Christians who take the Great Commission seriously. I'll mail this book in appreciation for any donation you can send.
Any way that you want to be involved, even if it is only to let us continue talking to you by sending you the Jews for Jesus Newsletter, will encourage us. And, in turn, we believe that we can be an encouragement to you.
Please take a few moments to fill out the enclosed response card. Notice that there is a place on the response card for you to write the names and addresses of Jewish people who need to hear about Jesus in a Jewish way. (Please provide only names of Jewish people as our letter of witness would be inappropriate for non-Jews.)
Do please give whatever God enables. At this time when so many Jewish people are wondering about Jesus, we need people to care. If you care, please join the small circle of partners who pray for us and support us.
Maybe you don't have a Jewish friend. Maybe you don't even know any Jewish people in your community. Well, you can still help bring Jewish people to Christ by helping us reach out. Won't you prayerfully consider being part of God's provision for Jews for Jesus?
May God's Sonshine brighten your week and enable you to reflect His glory. May His joy abound in your heart and may He bless you!
Your Jewish brother in Jesus,
P.S. Thank you for letting me pour out the feelings of my heart to you, my unmet friend. Even if you don't do anything but read this letter, I sincerely thank you for the time you've given to consider how my fellow Jews need Christ. If you would like to be reconciled to God today, please click here to learn how you can do that.
David Brickner comes from five generations of Jewish believers in Jesus. He is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and the Fuller Seminary. He has contributed to the field of Jewish evangelism as a speaker, author, and producer of Jewish gospel music recordings. He has served with Jews for Jesus since 1981 and as the executive director since 1996.
Jews for Jesus
60 Haight Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-5895
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JESUS DID IT! - or - JESUS DID IT!
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Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for yours sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
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Thank You, and God bless you!