Compassion for Israel

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Steve Strang

Don’t miss this opportunity to show Jesus’ love in a tangible way.
Surrounded by hostile Arab nations, Israel has been in a constant struggle to survive since its establishment as a nation in 1948. Today the struggle is more intense than ever, and Israel needs our help. The Bible tells us that God promised the land that was once called Canaan to Abraham and his descendants forever (see Gen. 12:5-7, 13:14-15). Most evangelicals support Israel based on these Scriptures. As a young boy I was taught that the creation of the Jewish state after World War II was the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

When the Arab nations attacked Israel in 1967 and were defeated in six days, many Christian leaders claimed that the outcome of the war proved the Jews were indeed God’s chosen people because they so easily defeated their foes.

In the Six-Day War, Israel won the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip from Egypt, Golan Heights from Syria and the West Bank, including part of Jerusalem, from Jordan. A few years later the Israelis made peace with Egypt and returned Sinai.

Now, the war to annihilate Israel continues, but instead of being initiated by neighboring countries, it is led by terrorists within the country who want to create a Palestinian state and believe resorting to violence is the way to do it. In defense Israel has erected a security fence that, while causing some inconvenience to the Palestinians, is saving innocent lives.

Recently several liberal Protestant denominations, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Disciples of Christ, debated anti-Israeli resolutions that call for Israel to tear down its security fence and end the “occupation.” The one-sided resolutions do not even mention Palestinian terrorism.

According to syndicated columnist Tom Teepen, the Presbyterian Church USA has placed itself at the de facto head of a movement among mainstream Protestant groups to put pressure on Israel by threatening to cease investing in certain companies that do business with this nation. The Presbyterians contend that the companies support the occupation of Palestinian territories by providing various kinds of equipment to Israel.

The press coverage of some of the denominations that introduced the resolutions to censure Israel implies all Christians believe Israel is occupying Palestinian land. That’s not true—and it’s time for us to speak up.

Thankfully John Hagee is leading the way. He and 10 other Christian leaders signed a pledge to preserve Israel based on Genesis 28:13-15 that was published in the Jerusalem Post in May. I was honored to add my name before reprinting the pledge in the July issue of Charisma.

For many years Charisma has taken a stand with Israel. Now it’s time to show our support in a more tangible way—by providing much needed humanitarian aid.

Due to the overwhelming number of suicide bombings that occur in the country, Israel needs armored ambulances to take the victims for medical help. The task is so dangerous normal ambulances won’t do. Each armored ambulance costs $150,000, and we are asking the readers of Charisma to help us provide one (see the article on page 70). Don’t miss this opportunity to give generously and show the love of Jesus to the Jewish state in a tangible way.

And be sure to speak up on behalf of Israel if you have influence in any of the denominations that are supporting the Palestine Liberation Organization. Put pressure on political leaders here and in Israel, too, to restore the true destiny of the Jewish people. Herbert Zweibon, chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel, says not a single legislator has stepped forward to champion the cause of the Jewish people. Find out more at www.afsi.org.

Also, encourage your local church to participate in the International Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem on October 2, co-chaired by Robert Stearns and Jack Hayford and endorsed by hundreds of Christian leaders around the world. For more information, go to www.daytopray.com.

As you take action to show your support for Israel, remember what Jesus said: “‘Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me'” (Matt. 25:40, NKJV).

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