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696. Jerusalem Council in Reverse

Today we’re experiencing the exact opposite of what the Early Church experienced at The Jerusalem Council.
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
In Acts 15 we see the Church grappling with what to do with the increasing number of Gentiles. Today the issue is what to domessianic cross with Jews who are coming to faith in Yeshua (Jesus). Some Messianic leaders are concerned that those who are assimilated into Gentile Churches will lose their Jewish identity and will fail to pass on their rich Jewish heritage to their children.

Messianic Jews (believers in Yeshua) typically end up on one of three types of congregations. In the first type,messianic jew flag the majority is Jewish and Jewish life is fostered. This is the norm in Israel. The second is a messianic congregation in which the Gentile majority joins the Jewish minority to some extent in identifying with Jewish life. This is the most common situation among congregations within the Messianic Movement. The third type finds Jewish believers in churches that may or may not attempt to connect with Jewish life in some significant way.

Determining which one is best is a difficult issue. Some Jewish believers who have been assimilated into Gentile churches are quite satisfied with their new life in Christ and see no reason to return to any remnants of Judaism. Others hold that the “irrevocable gifts and calling” of Romans 11:29 commands Jewish beliers to maintain and foster their Jewish identity. They believe that while Jews and Gentiles are to become one, Scripture confirms that their identities are to remain separate. The argument is that God created the nation of Israel and took the Jewish people as His own to show the world what He is like, and that display would be lost if the Jews ever lost their unique identity. Some go so far as to say that the assimilation of Jewish believers into the culture of a Gentile church is a form of Replacement Theology-the Jews disappear and the Church stands alone as God’s covenant people.

AS I SEE IT
messianic symbolI am grateful that God has given me in interest and an appreciation for the importance of Israel and the Jewish people in His plan of salvation. It’s impossible to fully appreciate what God has done for us Gentiles without appreciating what God has done and will yet do for Israel, her people, and especially, Jerusalem. Christ will rule from a restored Jerusalem during the Millennial Kingdom, and our ultimate home will be the New Jerusalem. I find it especially interesting that during the Millennial Kingdom, those who are left from the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up year to year to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths (see Zech. 14:16).

Clearly, “all things Jewish” will not have been abandoned. Jesus Christ will reign from the rebuilt Temple. The sacrificial systemMessianicSymbols will be re instituted in some Christ-fulfilling form, and the Feasts of the Lord will be celebrated (also in light of their fulfillment in Christ). In fact, in those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” (see Zech. 8:23).
My intent in this brief article is to cause you to consider not only the importance of Israel, but the issue of Jewish believers and how they should live out their faith. For most Christians, it’s a foreign concept, but it’s worth giving it some thought. Certainly all believers are precious in God’s sight, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an extra special celebration in heaven each time one of God’s Chosen People comes to faith in Yeshua. What happens next is surely of great importance to God.

becomingoneIf you find this issue intriguing, I suggest Becoming One which I co-authored with a Jewish believer who leads a messianic Israeli-Connection-Smallcongregation in New York as well as The Israeli Connection which will provide an overview of why Israel should be of great interest to every believer.

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