Most Evangelical Christians dream about visiting Israel one day, and why not? For them, the connection to their faith, the scriptures and the very ground where their Messiah walked is a natural extension of all that is precious to them.
So one would assume that any visit to the land, which will one day be home to the entire Jewish people, as predicted by the Old Testament prophets, should definitely include close contact with those who are already a fulfillment of these scriptures because they live here. Yet, sadly, that is far from a foregone conclusion, especially by prominent and well-known evangelical leaders who are greatly valued by Israeli government officials and politicians.
While the former government courted and carefully developed a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with Christian Zionists, hoping to enjoy the continued fruits of annual tourism and back-home support, no one could predict whether or not the new, incoming leadership would guarantee continuity with that association. Consequently, many evangelical groups wasted no time in extending their loyal support to the new heads of state, assuring them that their allegiance would not wane in any way.
In many ways, it’s totally understandable what Israel has to gain by such a close relationship with Zionist Christians. The support which was once taken for granted has now been part of an unexpected shift when it comes to the next generation of those who identify as faith-oriented people.
In a recent Jerusalem Post article entitled, “Young Evangelical Support for Israel Drops by Half in 3-Year Study,” (June 16, 2021) it stated that “the rate of support for the State of Israel among Evangelicals between the ages of 18 and 29 has declined by more than half between 2018 and 2021 from 69% to 33.6% – according to a study by Tel Aviv University.” (Ibid) The article went on to cite that young Evangelicals perceive a different concept of justice, thinking that from a Christian point of view, “they should develop more compassion toward the Palestinians.” (Ibid)
Such a departure of staunch support for the Jewish nation by its largest allied block could spell trouble for Israeli leaders who need that fervent backing and tremendous benefit provided by the Christian community on so many levels, so it’s not difficult to understand why Israeli politicians would do all they can to garner this support and further nurture its growth.
However, what is the benefit enjoyed by Christians who seek to acquire the favor of Israel’s political leaders? It could be something as simple as admiration for the Jewish people, their compelling history and contribution to mankind throughout millennia. It could also be connected to the debt they perceive that they owe to the very people from whom their Messiah came. Those are natural offshoots of gratitude and inspirational affection which would cause believers to seek close ties with Israel. But in recent days, we have seen an overstepping of boundaries by at least one Christian leader who brazenly believed that his years of massive support gave him the right to dictate which direction the country should take politically.
While evangelical Christians should be encouraged to throw their weight behind Israel, they should also be discouraged from seeking to influence in any, way, the policies or path which must be solely chosen by the people of Israel who exercise their democratic choice.
Having said all that, a perplexing question remains – why have so many well-placed evangelical leaders and organizations chosen to ignore the Israeli Messianic body of believers, causing us to feel abandoned by them?
If one were to speculate, it could be that such Christian groups do not want to appear to be “making waves,” knowing that while gentile believers are admired, welcomed and honored by the State of Israel, Jewish believers are often seen as undesirable traitors who have “adopted another faith” and, therefore, no longer viewed as part of the Jewish people but rather an embarrassment to their state. These facts are very likely known to Christian evangelicals who have opted to “keep the peace” with their Israeli hosts rather than righteously confront the blatant discrimination which exists, not to mention the systematic refusal to allow Messianic Jews to immigrate to their homeland if they choose to do so.
An amazing scriptural parallel is found in the book of Esther, similarly mirroring this situation. The story unfolds as a young Jewish girl named Esther is chosen to be Queen, while at the same time a plot against her people is being mapped out for their destruction. Esther’s uncle, Mordechai reminds her that just because she lives in the king’s house does not guarantee that she will get out alive. He tells her that if she persists in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive, nonetheless, from another place, but that she and her family will be wiped out. His final word to her is that, perhaps she was made queen for such a time as this.
Similarly, Evangelical Christians are in the king’s house. They, likewise, have been granted a coveted place among the hearts of government leaders in the land of Israel. They hold their attention with much to offer them. It is their voice, at this pivotal time in history when Jews, worldwide, are being vilified and threatened, which could make a huge difference in their safety and well-being, especially concerning believing Jews who are, by birth, entitled to be citizens of the Jewish homeland. Why would any true Bible believer not do all they could to right this injustice of not allowing Jewish believers entrance to their ancestral home? Why would they not see that their silence and abandonment of this cause is antithetical to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy which they claim to believe and cherish?
Do they, as Queen Esther, believe that they, too, will escape unscathed or will they relegate the execution of justice to someone else? Evangelical Christians need to come to the conclusion that they, likewise, have been granted a special place in history for such a time as this. In fact, speaking out and supporting the Messianic Israeli community may be their most significant contribution in furthering the end-time plan of God to return His people. If you believe the following scriptures, you have no alternative but to speak out, stop abandoning your Jewish brothers and sisters in the faith and be that voice which stands for the fulfillment of God’s Word in our time. Come to the realization that you were chosen for such a time as this to speak forth God’s decrees of allowing Jewish people of faith back into their land.
Ezekiel 36: 24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.”
Ezekiel 20:34 – “I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered
Jeremiah 16:14-15 As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the countries where He had banished them.” For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.’
Isaiah 11:12 – He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.”
Isaiah 43 I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. I will say to the north, `Give them up!’ and to the south, `Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth…”