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Should Christians Have A Heart For Israel? | Introduction

by Rev. Jerry Marcellino & Yochanan Ben Yehuda Should Christians Have A Heart For Israel?
Should Christians Have A Heart For Israel? | Introduction
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Should Christians Have A Heart For Israel? | Introduction

Cultivating a Heart for Israel by Rev. Jerry Marcellino with Yochanan Ben Yehuda

Many years ago, when I was a younger Christian, I heard someone say “Christianity is fundamentally a heart-religion.” As the years have passed, I have come to more fully understand the truth of this statement. This undeniable truth can be found throughout all of God’s Word. Notice, then, just a small sampling of the biblical support for embracing this conviction:

  • Deuteronomy 6:5 (Also quoted by our Lord in Matt 22:37) – “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your sou l and with all your might.”
  • Psalm 51:17b “...A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
  • Ezekiel 36:26 – “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a ne w spirit within you....”
  • Matthew 6:21 – “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
  • Luke 24:25 – “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!”
  • Acts 4:32 – “And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul....”
  • Romans 10:9-10 – “that if you confess... Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart...for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness....”
  • 1 Timothy 1:5 – “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
  • Hebrews 10:22 – “let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith....”
  • 1 Peter 1:22 – “...fervently love one another from the heart....”

So then, it is quite apparent from Scripture that Christianity is, in its essence, a heart-religion. When God saves a man, woman, or child, He does not merely reform their external moral actions — He literally transforms them from the inside out (Matt 15:8- 11,17-19). In other words, He gives them new hearts! These new hearts were made new by God’s sovereign mercy and grace! They then become the temple of the Living God (2 Cor 6:16), the permanent residence of the Holy Spirit. This is the place where God begins to bring forth the fruit (Gal 5:22; Phil 2:12-13) which flows out of a brand new heart (2 Cor 5:17). Such a life wants to obey God’ s Word and desires to love what God loves. We frequently observe these spiritual qualities to be powerfully at work in believers when we hear them say, “______ has a heart for God,” or “______ has a heart for ministry,” or when they say, “I have a heart for young people,” “I have a heart for revival,” and “I have a heart for the lost.” Now, depending on where you live in the evangelical Christian world, you might have heard these and many other, “I have a heart for ______” statements that could be added to our list. However, one statement that is rarely heard is “I have a heart for Israel!” This passionate aim was obviously the heart of the great Apostle to the Gentiles. Notice the following words of Paul: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their (i.e., Israel’s) salvation” (Romans 10:1). Such passion for the lost sheep of Israel should be ours as well! This explains Paul’s “heart for Israel” emphasis at the outset of his Epistle to the Romans when he says, “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” (1:16). Our hope and prayer behind the writing of this series is to stir up all fellow believers everywhere to honestly ask themselves the following question: “Do I have a heart for Israel?”

If you can answer, “Yes” to this question, then may this series (Should Christians Have a H eart for Israel?) stir you even more to pray for the future salvation of Israel. If your answer is “No”, then may this series be the means that God uses to convince you that Christians should have a heart for Israel. Our hope is that you will be moved to an even greater love for Israel by faithfully bearing witness to her and by fervently praying for the soon fulfillment of Romans 11:25-29:

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 (Isa 59:20, “...a Redeemer will come to 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.

Up next:

Should Christians Have a Heart for Israel? | Part 1

Should Christians Have A Heart For Israel? | Part 2

Should Christians Have A Heart For Israel? | Part 3

Should Christians Have A Heart For Israel? | Part 4

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Galilee of the Nations has been on the front lines of providing wonderful Messianic Jewish resources for the entire Body since 1998, enriching the lives of many. I appreciate the work they are doing to exalt Yeshua and to bring His people into His presence.

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