Now, Religion in the News, a report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from the Palm Beach Florida Post, dateline Jerusalem.
Representatives of fifty evangelical groups have agreed to make an unprecedented joint statement promising not to carry out missionary activity in Israel. As a result, Israeli legislator Nissim Zvili, said he would drop his sponsorship of an anti-proselytizing bill that has drawn protests from Christians around the world.
“This is better than a law,” Zvili said.
In a statement the Christian groups say they rejoice in the presence of a Jewish people in this country of their ancestors and agree to avoid activities which alienate them from their tradition and community.
Tom: Now wait a minute here. Wasn’t the salvation of the Jews of so great a concern to the Apostle Paul that he was actually giving up, that is he was willing to give up his own salvation for his kinsman if that could mean that they would turn to Christ? Which of course, it could not, but it demonstrates his heart to see the Jews saved, doesn’t it? I mean which is a far cry from what we just heard.
Dave: Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” That includes the Jews. Not only does that include the Jews, he said, “Beginning at Jerusalem and then to the uttermost parts of the earth.” Paul tells us that the gospel is to the Jew first and then to the Greek. So this is absolutely staggering. Who cares about a law? There is a law against preaching, you know the religious leaders came down on Peter, James and John at the very beginning of the church and they imprisoned them, they beat them, they killed many of them, but they still preached the gospel. Everybody—all people are sinners. Jews and Gentiles. Paul argues that in the Book of Romans. He says, “We conclude, the whole world is under the condemnation of God because of sin.” “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” And there is absolutely no hope of salvation for anyone, Jew or Gentile except for Jesus Christ. And Peter himself, in Acts:4:12 in front of the Sanhedrin, when they are telling him not to preach about Jesus, he says, “There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we MUST be saved.” So this group of fifty, I don’t know who they are all of them—
Tom: Well they claim their—
Dave: Supposedly evangelicals among them.
Dave: When they’re holding the gospel from Israel.
Dave: And that is criminal.
Tom: Well Peter, following—Peter would be out of a job here. I mean he is the minister to the Jews right? Paul to the Gentiles, Peter to the Jews. He’d be out of ministry work.
Dave: The Church began in Jerusalem. They were all Jews. Preaching to Jews. So this just—I mean Tom, it’s an indication again of the depths of the apostasy in which we are. It’s expediency, politically correct, religiously correct. We’re not going to offend anyone and somehow truth doesn’t matter any more. I’ve been in Israel sharing the gospel in the streets and the beaches. I never had any one try to prevent me. We would even plug a movie projector into—you know, borrow a little electricity from some small store right there on busy streets to plug in our movie projector and show gospel films. If you love someone, you want them to know the truth. You want them to know Christ. And just because Jewish people are offended, they are not the only ones that offended. The Greeks were offended, the Romans were offended. It says that Paul disputed in the market daily. He’s disputing with these people and we’ve got to dispute as well. Not because we want to argue, but because we believe what the Bible says. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, the life. No man comes to Father but by me.” Paul said, “The gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes,” and Jesus solemnly said, “He that believeth on the Son has life. He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Now if I believe that that is true, if I believe that Jesus is who he claimed to be, God who became a man, who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and that there is salvation only in him, then I am going to tell people about that. If they want to crucify me, if they want to laugh at me, they want to imprison me, nevertheless I have to tell them. And that evangelicals would agree not to tell the Jews, that’s—I find it unfathomable.