Monthly Archives: April 2021

What is Next for Israel?

Dear friend of God’s chosen people,

It is my joy to introduce you to Dr. Michael Rydelnik, the director of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute and the radio host for Open Line on Moody Radio, which airs every Saturday at 9:00 am. Chosen People Ministries has enjoyed the service of dozens of Moody Jewish Studies graduates working on our staff in the United States, Israel, and worldwide!

Michael is a dear friend of mine who came to know the Lord through Chosen People Ministries. His wife, Eva, has served on the Chosen People Ministries staff for multiple decades.

I asked Michael if we could share his article, which focuses on why Israel is evidence of the reality of God and the truth of the Scriptures! Scripture often calls Israel a “witness” or a “light to the nations.” These names capture Israel’s fundamental calling to bring blessings to the world. This call is clearly depicted in Genesis 12:1–3 when God told Abraham that it would be through Israel that all the world’s nations would be blessed. Jesus relayed something similar to the woman at the well when He said, “Salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22).

Today, Israel is blessing others as the “vaccine nation,” leading the world in the percentage of citizens vaccinated against COVID-19 and providing invaluable information about the vaccine. Israel is often a shining example in some unexpected ways!

I know Dr. Rydelnik’s teaching will spiritually enrich you! And as always, thank you for your faithful prayers, love, and support for YOUR Mission to the Jewish People.

Your brother in Messiah,


Is the Modern State of Israel the Fulfillment of Prophecy?

by Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Even if we concede for the moment that the Jewish people’s continuing presence is evidence for the reliability of the Bible, we are well within our rights to raise other concerns. What, for example, is the connection between the Jewish people and the highly contested real estate in the Middle East that makes up modern-day Israel? For some, the relationship between God’s covenant promise to preserve the Jewish people and the equally emphasized “Promised Land” is highly problematic. Today even some committed Jews and Christians may wonder what relationship the present day State of Israel has with the land it sits on. In 1948, varying numbers of Orthodox Jews were horrified that anyone could even consider a Jewish state based upon modern notions of nationality in place of a kingdom under the Messiah’s reign. This sentiment persists today.

Yet, politics aside, it cannot be denied that not only have the children of Israel endured despite the harsh treatment they have received, but against all odds, after 2,000 years of exile, the Jewish people have once again returned to the Land of Israel as the biblical prophets promised they would. The Hebrew prophets foretold a day when God would draw His people back to Israel. Although centuries of dispersion caused this aspiration to retreat into the far background of Jewish life, it never fully disappeared. If nothing else, the hope that is voiced every year during Passover—“Next year in Jerusalem!”— serves as an annual reminder of the Jewish people’s lost heritage.

So unlikely did a realistic restoration of the Jews to their Land seem that throughout church history, Christians, for the most part, could not conceive of a literal fulfillment of this promise. Therefore, many believers in Jesus interpreted these prophecies figuratively or historically—if they thought of them at all. However, some believers in the nineteenth century did indeed take the promise of a return literally and began to anticipate a Jewish return to the Land of Israel. Thus, you could say that what has become known as Christian or biblical Zionism was birthed at the same time or even earlier than rising Jewish aspirations for modern statehood promoted by Theodore Herzl.

Statehood and the Promise of the Bible

Is the existence of the modern State of Israel a further validation of Scripture’s reliability along the same lines as that of the Jewish people’s continuing presence in the world? Consider the following conditions set out in the scriptural record.

First of all, a national spiritual regeneration by turning to Jesus is not a biblical prerequisite for a major movement of Jewish people returning to and possessing the Land of Israel. In fact, the prophet Zechariah indicated the Jewish people would turn to God, through the Messiah, only after returning to Israel (Zech.12:10; 13:1). Likewise, the prophet Ezekiel stated God’s promise, “For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land” (Ezek. 36:24). The passage continues, “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean…. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36:25–26). Note that the spiritual regeneration of Israel follows the restoration of the Jewish people to the Land. Thus regathered, Israel will, as a nation, turn in faith toward the promised Messiah.

Second, the Bible predicts Israel would return to the Land in stages. Ezekiel 37 contains the stark and unforgettable vision of a valley of dry bones. The bones come to life in stages: first sinews on the bones, then flesh, then skin, and finally, the breath of life (Ezek. 37:6–10). Then God tells Ezekiel, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel” (Ezek. 37:11). This vivid depiction of the Jewish people’s restoration to their Promised Land is well in keeping with what is actually occurring. The regathering does not occur instantaneously; rather, it is a process culminating when the nation as a whole receives the Messiah according to Jewish expectation.

The dry bones represent Israel in exile, without hope. The process of the bones coming together with sinew, flesh, and skin refers to the successive waves of returning Jews before Israel’s rebirth. This is, in fact, how the Jewish people have returned to the Land. There were five separate aliyot (immigration waves) from 1881 to 1939, returning Jewish people from Europe to the Promised Land. After Israel’s birth in 1948, an estimated one million European Jewish survivors of the Holocaust came to Israel, followed by a majority of the 800,000 Jewish people driven from their homes in Arab countries. More recently, 1.5 million Jewish people fled the Former Soviet Union and immigrated to Israel. These immigration waves show how the Jewish people have returned in stages. The body without breath represents unbelieving Israel, restored but not yet regenerated. Finally, according to this passage, God breathes life into these bodies, representing the day when all Israel turns to the Messiah.

Third, the Bible predicts Israel would return to her Land through persecution. The Hebrew Scripture says of Israel, “For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers” (Jer. 16:15). God will use “fishermen” and “hunters” to pursue His people back to Israel (Jer. 16:16). This metaphor for persecution has been literally fulfilled in Israel’s rebirth. Since the birth of modern Zionism, the primary motivation for return to the Land of Israel has been anti-Jewish persecution. In the last hundred years, Czarist pogroms, Polish economic discrimination, Nazi genocide, Arab hatred, Soviet repression, and more recently, an alarming rise in European and North American antisemitism have driven Jewish people back to their homeland.

Fourth, the Bible predicts that, after a period of exile, the children of Israel would return to reestablish national identity, thus setting the stage for the arrival of the Messiah and the consummation of history as we know it. At that time, the Messiah will deliver Israel from her enemies (Zech. 14:3).

Ask yourself, do the facts of history—particularly the emergence of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East—line up sufficiently with the predictions of the Hebrew Bible to form a credible connection? Since Israel has returned in unbelief, in stages, through persecution, the establishment of the modern State of Israel likely fulfills the predictions of the ancient Hebrew prophets and sets the stage for events yet to come.

The return to Zion is powerful evidence of the truth of Scripture. It is beyond remarkable that God would restore a dispersed and persecuted people to their Land after two thousand years of exile. Given the relationship between these events and the predictions of the Bible, would you say it is more or less likely that this has truly come about by the hand of God?

And if the above is true—what impact should this have on our lives? Certainly, we should pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6)! Also, if the return of Jesus is linked to the Jewish people turning to Him, then how should we view Jewish evangelism today? This question is answered by the Apostle Paul in Romans 11:11–29! As God’s people, we must do all we can to reach Jewish people with the message of the gospel!

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Renewing Our Hope in Jewish Evangelism

Dear friend in the Messiah,

Shalom in His grace!

Your Mission to the Jewish People recently enjoyed a fruitful Passover season. The last few weeks have been filled with opportunities to share the message about the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Thousands attended our Messiah in the Passover digital event on March 30.

We have also been in the midst of a Messiah in the Passover online campaign and have met tens of thousands of people interested in Jewish evangelism. Hundreds upon hundreds of Jewish people requested our free booklet, Passover: A Time for Redemption.

We have also created an online series of small-group evangelistic Bible studies, which are going well. By God’s grace, we have seen Jewish people come to faith through these studies.

We could not do any of this without your faithful prayers and generous support. On behalf of our staff family across North America and in nineteen countries worldwide—THANK YOU!

You are such an important part of our mission to bring Jewish people to Jesus.


I know that some of you are new to Chosen People Ministries. It is important to me to make sure you understand why we share the gospel with Jewish people day in and day out.

The Apostle Paul recounted his struggle to understand why his fellow Jewish people did not embrace Jesus as their Messiah. For example, in Romans 9, we learn of Paul’s burden for the Jewish people:

I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever, Amen. (Romans 9:1–5)

Paul said that he was, in essence, willing to go to hell so that Jewish people might go to heaven. He had an immense burden for his own people. In Romans 10:1, we learn about Paul’s desire to pray for the Jewish people. “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.”

In chapter eleven, Paul concluded that God had not rejected the Jewish people. There is hope for their salvation in the present age and in the age to come. Paul declared in Romans 11:1 that he himself was a Jew. Paul was living evidence of a faithful remnant!

Paul reminded his readers that God did not reject Israel and that there is a remnant of Jewish people who believe and will believe in Jesus. God preserves a remnant in every generation. This remnant doctrine is fundamental in Scripture and is mentioned from Genesis through Revelation.

The idea of a remnant reaches back to the Hebrew Scriptures. Noah is a biblical type of remnant when God preserved him and his family from the flood. Also, in the negotiations between God and Abraham, we learn that God was willing to preserve a city, Sodom, for the sake of the remnant.

When Elijah thought he was the last man to stand up for righteousness, God showed Elijah that he was not alone because God had preserved a remnant, 7,000 men who had not bowed the knee to Ba’al.

This remnant theology is still true today! I, too, am a Jewish believer in Jesus, and there is a remnant of Jews today who are accepting the gift of salvation through our various ministries.

Jewish believers in Jesus are the modern-day remnant.

Here are five key ideas drawn from Romans chapters nine through eleven:

1. God will be faithful to the Jewish people who have been given the gifts of the law, the covenants, the promises, and from whom came the Messiah (Romans 9:1–5).

2. There is no way of salvation outside of accepting Jesus the Messiah for either Jew or Gentile (Romans 10:1–4).

3. God will save a remnant of Jewish people in every age who will be faithful to His Word. Jewish followers of God and His Messiah will always be in the minority until the very end of the age (Romans 11:1–5).

4. The turning of the Jewish people to Jesus will be a sign of His imminent return (Romans 11:25).

5. Israel’s future is bright as God will keep His promises to Abraham and save His people, establish His kingdom in the land of promise, and reveal the Messiah to Israel (Romans 11:28–29).

The Apostle Paul looked toward a future remnant and added, “For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins’” (Romans 11:25–27).

Sharing Messiah with Jewish people ought to be an evangelistic priority today, just as it was for Paul, not a second thought.

Jewish evangelism must never become the great omission of the Great Commission.


Paul calls upon the Church to provoke the Jewish people to jealousy:

I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous. (Romans 11:11)

Believers, and especially Gentile followers of Jesus, are called by God to bring the good news of the Jewish Messiah to the Jewish people.

Paul affirmed that, through Israel’s national rejection of her Messiah, salvation had come to the Gentiles to make Jewish people jealous. This is true today as God wants to use the faithful witness of everyday Gentile believers to lead Jewish people to faith in Jesus the Messiah.

So, dear friend in the Messiah, how can a Gentile believer make a Jewish person jealous? There are several ways to do this, but I believe that the most powerful testimony a believer can have to a Jewish person is by demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit.

When Gentile believers display a combination of the fruit of the Spirit and an understanding of God’s covenant love for Israel, Jewish people will be more likely to become jealous of the relationship Gentile believers have with God through Jesus the Messiah.


For many Christians, the keystone verse about Jewish evangelism is Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” It is the clarion call for Jewish evangelism. This passage is clear!

As followers of the Jewish Messiah, we should intentionally seek out Jewish people to befriend and reach for Jesus. This is for the benefit of our Jewish family and friends and because we want to participate in God’s plan for the ages.

After all, the Bible teaches that when Jewish people turn to Jesus, then Jesus will return (Matthew 23:37–39, Zechariah 12:10)!

Chosen People Ministries—Your Mission to the Jewish People—can help you reach the Jewish people:

1. We can visit your church and speak on topics related to Jewish people and Jewish evangelism. Please tell your pastor about us.

2. We can provide books, tracts, and online materials to help train and inspire you to reach Jewish people for Jesus and for you to pass along to your Jewish friends and coworkers.

3. We can meet your Jewish friends through Zoom, in person, and by email, if you wish.

4. You can pray for us as we share the gospel in Israel, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago, and many other cities across our great country.

May the Lord fill you with joy and the hope of His coming when we will hear the blowing of the trumpet and cry of the Jewish remnant, “Blessed is He who comes in the name the Lord” (Matthew 23:37–39).

Your brother in the Messiah,


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