Why Are the Jewish People Special?

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The following was offered by Dr. John F. Walvoord at the dedication of Chosen People Ministries’ International headquarters building in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Why a Jewish mission? Why don’t we have an African mission, or a French mission, or an English mission? Of course the reason is quite simple — the Jews are a very special people. This is not a matter of our opinion, it is a matter of Scriptural revelation.

It’s rather amazing that you can study the history of the church and see how blind the theologians and leaders of the church often were to the declared revelation of the Word of God concerning the special purpose of the nation of Israel. In fact, some of their theologians went so far as to say that it was impossible to save a Jew. How could they be so blind? After all, the early church was predominantly Jewish!

Do You Have to Stop Being Jewish to Believe in Jesus?

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Written by David Sedaca

Although this question is frequently asked, many attempts to answer it are based on misconceptions or prejudices rather than pure facts. The simple answer to this question is that a person DOES NOT have to stop being Jewish to believe in Jesus. The reasons for this are as follows.

In first place, being Jewish is much more than being a practicing Jew. According to the American Jewish Congress, more than 50% of American Jews are either non-practicing, secular, humanistic, agnostic or atheist. But the remarkable fact is that those Jewish people are still considered Jews! So if religion does not define one’s “Jewishness,” why should the belief in Jesus change one’s “Jewish status”?

No Longer Jewish?

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Written by Ben Volman

It is a widely-held misconception that a Jewish person who follows Yeshua as Messiah is no longer Jewish. This view has been mistakenly repeated both by Christians and Jews.

But if well-known atheists such as Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud are still considered Jews, how could a dedicated Jewish follower of a Jewish rabbi lose his or her Jewish identity? Some will answer that Messianic Jews are apostates who have left their religion, traitors who joined a Gentile faith that despises and degrades Judaism. However, neither passion nor mocking makes an argument true.

My Orthodox Grandpa

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By Nikki H.

Because of family circumstances, my grandparents helped raise me and were like second parents. They were Orthodox Jews, so every morning and evening, grandpa went to shul (synagogue) to pray, and they sent me to a Yeshiva (Jewish religious school) and to Hebrew school. I remember in the second grade telling my grandparents that I made a vow to God that I would never worship an idol (of course in my mind at the time, that meant the “Christian gods”).

I grew up hearing stories of how my grandparents’ seven brothers and sisters and parents all died in concentration camps. I was told the Nazis who murdered them wore on their belt buckles the words, “For the Glory of Christ.” After coming to know the Lord, I could barely talk about my grandparents with anyone without breaking down in tears. I loved them so much, and I could not see how they could ever come to know their Messiah.

Presenting Messiah to Your Jewish Friend

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Friends sharing Good News with friends

The Apostle John gives a good summary of witnessing in his first epistle: “the life [of Jesus] was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you . . . that which we have seen and heard . . .” (1 John 1:2-3). Effective witnessing is telling what one has seen and/or heard-much as a witness in a legal case gives a testimony. But witnessing to a Jewish person goes far beyond reciting the facts of the Gospel message. Witnessing must become a dialog between two individuals, each with mutual respect and a genuine interest in the well being of the other. Because the best witness is the witness of a friend or close relation (see John 1:40-45), the first step in sharing the Gospel with a Jewish person is to develop a friendship. Your witness will do best as it grows naturally out of a deepening relationship.

Evangelism: Comparing Kabbalah and the Scriptures

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Like the popularizers of Eastern Religion in the 1960s and 1970s, the New Age Kabbalistic teachings tend to focus on what “sells” most easily to the consumer. Here are a few of the commonly cited principles of Kabbalah and some witnessing tips and Scriptures to help you in your witness.

Stress the accessibility of the Scripture in its plain meaning.

The Kabbalists teach: There is a “code” encrypted in the letters of the Hebrew Scriptures that, once deciphered, reveals the hidden truth of God.

The Scripture says: “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

Yielding to Messiah

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Rich Freeman, a Jewish believer in Messiah, came to faith in 1983 through the witness of his wife, Julia. When he told his father, Wally, about his faith decision, Wally was aghast. Born and raised in a secular Jewish home, Wally nonetheless had strong cultural connections with his Jewish heritage and culture. Serving in the Navy in World War II, Wally had also experienced anti-Semitism first hand. He could well remember sailors who called him “Christ-killer” and said, “The Germans are doing us a favor.”

What Does It Mean to Be “Born Again”?

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“You must be born again.”

These words of Jesus, spoken in John 3:7, are so central to the evangelistic message of the Gospel that one can scarcely imagine a Gospel without them. Yet what do they mean to us? What would they have meant to Nicodemus, the teacher of Israel and a member of the Sanhedrin?

Part of the answer may be found in the words, “…unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Here, at least, was a point of contact. As a first century Jew, Nicodemus would long for even a glimpse of the kingdom of God. But Jesus’ revelation of the kingdom and the prevailing Jewish understanding of God’s kingdom promise were far apart-yet they remain instructive to those today who, like Nicodemus, seek the Messiah even under the cover of darkness.

The Righteous Gentiles of Jewish Evangelism

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Does it take one Jewish person to lead another to faith in the Jewish Messiah? The answer may surprise you: “Certainly not!” As the number of Jewish believers has increased, it is true that many Jewish people do come to faith in Jesus through the witness of Jewish followers of Messiah. But the fact is that many others are led to Messiah through the witness of faithful  non-Jewish believers who have heeded the call of the Apostle Paul that the Gospel is “to the Jew first” (Romans 1:16).

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus

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Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volume 1
General and Historical Objections

When it comes to Jewish Christian apologetics, the best answers are those that respond to actual objections. Incisive and direct, this book provides an honest, fair, and thorough discussion of 35 common objections, such as:

  • No religious or educated Jew would ever believe in Jesus.
  • Messianic Judaism, or Hebrew Christianity, is just one big deception.
  • If Jesus is really the Messiah, why isn’t there peace on earth?
  • Christians have always hated and persecuted the Jewish people.

Believers and seekers alike will appreciate Brown’s spiritually focused answers, which are thoroughly documented and footnoted.

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volume 2
Theological Objections

Dr. Michael Brown looks at real questions and real answers, formed by years of dialog with rabbis and religious Jews. Some objections include:

  • Jews don’t believe in the Trinity. We believe in one God, not three.
  • God doesn’t have a son.
  • The Christian concept of salvation is contrary to the Hebrew Bible and Jewish tradition.
  • Jews don’t need saving.
  • Jews don’t believe in a suffering Messiah.

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus, Volume 2 shows how New Testament teaching on the nature of God and the divinity of the Messiah is in harmony with the Hebrew Scriptures, how blood sacrifices joined with repentance were the heart and soul of the Torah’s system of atonement, and how Yeshua fulfillled a lofty Jewish concept, bringing atonement to the world through his death.