We are now moving ahead rapidly with the new Tel Aviv Messianic Center. The plans are complete, the permits are coming through, and the workers are beginning to build out the empty 4,000-square-foot concrete shell. Our general contractor is an Israeli believer, and it is comforting to know we have someone leading the charge who is both good at his job and prays as he works!
Once finished, the building will be beautiful. The auditorium, or sanctuary, can hold about 130 people. In addition, we will be able to set up tables and chairs for 100 people to enjoy fellowship dinners, holiday celebrations, and our monthly Sabbath dinners. We will also have ample space for Bible studies and children’s rooms.
Our current rented center, which is less than half the size of the new space, is known for its excellent coffee bar, where most gospel conversations take place during events. The new café layout will have an enlarged area where dozens of young people will be able to sit, drink coffee (an Israeli pastime), and talk about the Lord! When we move into the new center, it will be an even more prominent place to gather and talk with espresso in hand.
Like the older rental, our new center will also provide a follow-up location for Israelis who have traveled around the globe after their army service. These young travelers go abroad and return to Israel after their overseas adventures. We envision the new center as a place of many happy reunions for those who traveled to faraway places like New Zealand, Taiwan, Japan, and even the United States, where they met Chosen People Ministries staff and godly volunteers who hosted them in their homes. We will continue the conversations they started while they were traveling. Our team is always ready to reach them with the gospel!
DEDICATION TOUR OF NEW CENTER
I recently returned from Israel, where I had the joy of walking through our new building site with the architect, contractor, and our leader in Israel. As we previewed the empty space, we imagined the voices of children singing and laughing and adults passionately worshiping the Lord while quietly praying for the salvation of friends and loved ones.
I prayed over the new center and would appreciate your joining me in asking the Lord to fill this new place with His Spirit and glory! Let me remind you we are planning a new center dedication tour to Israel in December, which coincides with the Festival of Dedication—Hanukkah!
The tour will include eight days on the ground. On one of those days, we will light the Hanukkah menorah in the new center and dedicate this facility to the Lord. You will find more information by going to www.chosenpeople.com/dedicationtour/. It is not too early to register, as we only have room for thirty-nine people.
The plan for the tour is to arrive in Israel on December 6 and leave on December 15. Hanukkah begins the night of December 7, but we want to be ready for the festivities and allow some time to get over our jet lag! We will enjoy the warm, golden glow of lit menorahs rising over the entire nation of Israel as millions of Israelis celebrate the same feast Jesus observed (John 10). It will be a little chilly and not very crowded at that time of year in Tel Aviv, and we will all be in a celebratory mood as we praise God for the new center and for all He is doing among Israelis.
MAKING GOOD PROGRESS
Thank you for your support and prayers. We are now more than 65 percent toward our goal of raising $6,500,000 to pay for the building, renovation, furniture, etc. We know the Lord will provide the additional $2,500,000 because He is merciful, generous, mighty, and loves His chosen people more than we ever could!
God made promises to the Jewish people, which He will certainly fulfill. We believe this new center is one tool the Lord will use to turn the nation to the Messiah.
THE GREAT COMMISSION
I know you are familiar with the Great Commission, but let me clarify how our outreach to the Jewish people is a central component of our fulfilling the Great Commission. After all, we would never want Jewish evangelism—reaching Israelis and Jewish people like me living outside the land—to become the great omission of the Great Commission!
Matthew records Jesus telling His disciples,
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
There is a link between the Lord’s command to go and make disciples of all the nations, the Great Commission, and what I refer to as the great mandate found in Romans 11:11. Paul wrote, “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.”
These two great gospel threads flow seamlessly in the apostle Paul’s writings, and I hope it will be the same for you.
Paul also reminds us the salvation of the Jewish people is a vital part of God’s divine strategy to reclaim His world and place it under the dominion of His Son! According to Paul, the salvation of Israel in the last days is the final human step leading to the second coming of Christ. The Messianic Jewish apostle wrote in Romans 11,
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.” From the standpoint of the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
Jewish evangelism is the gateway leading to blessings for the nations.
Paul previously told the Gentiles the turning of Israel and the return of Christ would bring about God’s blessings for the Gentiles. “Now if their transgression is riches for the world and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! . . . For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead” (Romans 11:12, 15)?
God chose the Jewish people for a unique role, and one day, this assignment for Israel will become even more evident as the end-time remnant of Jewish people repents, and the Lord returns (Zechariah 12:10; Isaiah 9:6–7; Acts 3:19ff.).
Gentile believers have a critical role in the second coming of Messiah, especially by sharing the gospel with Jewish people!
Another critical passage revealing God’s heart for the Jewish people 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” (Romans 1:16).
Jewish evangelism must never become one of the side jobs of the churches. Paul reminded the Romans to prioritize Jewish evangelism when the gospel was just beginning to spread in the early church. Therefore, including the Jewish people in our evangelistic planning is critical.
God chose the Jewish people to be a bridge of redemption to the world by providing the Scriptures and the Savior Himself, who was born of a Jewish virgin. The Jewish people brought the message of eternal life to the Gentiles. He now calls upon the Gentiles to bring the message back to the original messengers!
Reaching Jewish people for Jesus should be an intentional strategy for every Christian and every local church because God loves His chosen people and because the second coming of Christ depends on Jewish evangelism. God calls us to live today in light of tomorrow, as Jesus could return soon—and then our evangelistic work will be done.
Thanks for caring about the salvation of the Jewish people. May the Lord give us many fantastic opportunities to reach our Jewish friends and families for the Lord. Thanks for standing with us!