I have been doing a lot of reading lately about Judean Christians, Messianic Evangelism and the underground churches of Asia. And I have found both wonderful and disturbing things. The approach of the Gospel during the last two hundred years in Asia, Israel and to the Jews in America and Europe have been done without the understanding of the people being witnessed to.
In the case of the witness to the Jews, it was done (past tense) to “hurry up the End Days” and Jews were not allowed to keep the culture and history as The Chosen of God. In Asia as well as Africa, the witness to the people was done to “Westernize” them and “Anglicize” them. As a result the efforts were less than successful. Fortunately, the efforts have changed and those of Asia, in particular China and India, have created homegrown evangelists with culturally appealing motives and results. Hundreds of people are coming to the Messiah, Jesus daily. But still the efforts in America to evangelize the Jews is still grounded on the theory that it all related to the “Second Coming” of Jesus.
This is what disturbs me. The true motive should be that the Christ came first for the Jews and then the Gentiles. Westernizing them and turning them into “Good Protestants” is not in the plan of God. Jews are to come to Christ because of His Love for them as the Chosen People of the Father. We, the Western Christians have no more right in turning Jews into Anglicized Christians than we have the right to make Chinese WASP think-alike’s.
We need to let the Chosen Children of God be the people that God made and to promote the message of Jesus in context to the understanding that they are the first of His children. Somehow that is inconceivable to our superiority complex type of thinking. I know that the approach of the “Jews for Jesus” is more in tune with the biblical teaching of Isaiah and Ezekiel, yet they attract as many non-Jews as Jews to their calling. Messianic Judaism is also effective in bringing American Jews to the Lord Redeemer. But the fear of the last thousand years of persecution of the Jews by European Christians will not be erased so easily.
The conflict is still there but that does not seem to be a problem to the Chinese Christians. They and the Believers in India accept Western help but seek to put their “twist” on the Word and make it not American or British, but Asian. Korean Evangelists have been expressing the Gospel with their Eastern perspective that does not have a history of animosity toward the Jews or to the Muslims. Their efforts have shown some success in the Middle East for where ever they go to find work, they set up places of worship. India will soon be reaching out to their neighbors and will join with the Chinese Christians in spreading the Gospel westward into Asia Minor and North Africa as they also seek work ourside of India. But the Chinese are the leaders in the spread of the Good News of Jesus throughout Asia.
And they have a vision! That vision is to bring the Gospel from China along the “Silk Road” all the way to Jerusalem. Even though they suffer persecution in China, they desire to spread the Good News westward into Nations of Turmoil and adversity and plant Churches where ever they are. The goal is to plant faith based communities in every nation. Because of this effort being done under persecution, they will spread the word just as the Christians of the early church did. Their efforts will be more successful because of the persecution. Where the Western efforts show little results, their efforts will reap vast converts and I predict that through the efforts of these persecuted Christians, Jerusalem will become a Nation of Christ and still remain the Nation of Jews.
I have no Bible verses that confirm this other than the belief of Paul that Jerusalem would accept their Messiah before the Second Coming of Jesus. I do not accept some of the ideas that have been presented over the last hundred and fifty years regarding the End Days but I do hold that Jerusalem will be the center of Christian thought rather than Rome or any other Western City. It is an understanding that those who suffer for Christ are better witnesses that those of us who have no concept of suffering. The Gospel spread throughout the Roman Empire during the early years with termendous persecution. In China and India, and now North Africa, persecution of Christians is growing and the Word of God is spreading. I have a warm place in my heart for the Children of Abraham and it has always been my prayer as one adopted into the Family of God, that they would be like the prodigal son and return to the Father and seek his mercy.
So my “prophecy” is that Israel will not come to Christ by the West but by the East. The evangelical approach of America and Europe will fail because they will not trust us. They will accept the Faith of those who will come to them from the East because their motives will be pure while ours will seem to be with strings attached. Perhaps this is the message to the West; let our motives be as pure as the Message. Seek to redeem the Children for their sake and not for any other motive. Let God’s grace guide us and bless us so that we can be fruitful witnesses to His Word.