How fitting! Just days after President Trump’s historic visit to Israel, and the Jewish celebration of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day, commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem following the Six Day War), I celebrate with Christians from all over America who stand with Israel!
I am attending the Leadership Briefing and Summer Conference of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). To start things off, we received the briefing from ICEJ leadership and it was glowing!
If you are a Christian and love Israel, yet are unfamiliar with ICEJ, become familiar! ICEJ has been around since 1980, has a presence in well over 100 countries, and 14 million people are associated with ICEJ, making it the largest ministry in support of Israel in the world.
ICEJ engages in a myriad of projects that educate, promote support for Israel, show compassion, and press for justice on behalf of Israel and we heard from ICEJ leaders such as Susan Michael and Malcolm Hedding. Here is just a short list of ongoing projects:
- Haifa Home for Holocaust Survivors – founded and run solely by the ICEJ
- IsraelAid – assisting Jews, Arabs and others in Israel living in poverty
- Funding and administrative help in helping Jews from around the world make aliyah (return to the homeland)
- Providing bomb shelters to neighborhoods near the Gaza Strip
- Providing body armor for IDF and police forces in Israel
- Providing very low-cost, specialized tours of Israel to pastors/ministry leaders and young people
- Producing small group Bible studies and providing speakers to churches and organizations to further educate lay people on rightly relating to Israel
- Coordinating and hosting the annual Feast of Tabernacles, which brings together thousands of Christians from around the world
- ACLI – American Christian Leaders for Israel. An initiative of the US Branch, the newly-formed ACLI seeks to provide a unified voice of truth to the American public in support of Israel and the Jewish people.
…and that is honestly a short list!
We were also informed of the hurdles ICEJ (and others in support of Israel) face:
- Growing Biblical illiteracy. Fewer people who identify themselves as Christians actually hold a Biblical worldview. Many don’t understand the Old Testament, therefore, have lost the importance of God’s call upon Israel. Misunderstanding the Old Testament leaves understanding the New Testament vulnerable to secular ideas.
- Replacement Theology. Fitting hand-in-glove to growing Biblical illiteracy, Replacement Theology (RT) is growing in strength. Emboldened by antisemitic narrative (at times naively, at times purposefully), the basic tenet of RT is that because the Jews rejected God, God has rejected them, thus transferring all the Biblical promises to the church. RT is espoused by some “big name” evangelicals, and is false teaching. Be careful who you turn to for spiritual guidance regarding Israel!
- Growing antisemitism. College campuses are fraught with antisemitism, as it is often crammed down the throats of unsuspecting students by incredibly liberal professors. In addition, surveys indicate that 26% of the world is antisemitic. 70% of those have never met a Jewish person. Furthermore, while only 9% of American adults identify as antisemitic, only 10% hold a strong Biblical worldview! That must change!
- Growing influence of Islam. After 8 years of “free reign” in America, things have quieted on the Muslim front in our country. But don’t be fooled. While it would be absolutely inappropriate to lump every Muslim into the same batch (indeed, many are peaceful), the truth is that some are jihadist…and they are very patient. As soon as the political winds turn again in their favor, they will re-surface in even greater number and severity. (Consider what is happening in Europe, where they still have “free reign.”)
The message is clear, it is time for Christians to rise up and join the Lord God of Israel in blessing His people. A key passage for this conference comes from Psalm 102:
But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
you are remembered throughout all generations.
You will arise and have pity on Zion;
it is the time to favor her;
the appointed time has come.
In this 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification, the Lord is once again remembered for His faithfulness to His chosen land and His chosen people. He has arisen and is showing favor to Israel.
The appointed time has come, Christians! Study about Israel, show support of Israel, stand with Israel and pray for Israel!