Besieged Israel is a beacon of faith

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As Christians living in America, it is difficult for us to completely understand the Jewish people and the love they have for their homeland, a love that goes far beyond patriotism. A recent personal experience has given me deeper insight and new compassion for their plight.

The Rev. Bryan Cockrell (left) joined 34 other Georgia ministers on a trip to Israel in December.  SPECIAL
The Rev. Bryan Cockrell (left) joined 34 other Georgia ministers on a trip to Israel in December.

This past December, I received an invitation from Christians United for Israel to join 34 other Georgia-based pastors on a trip to Israel.

I had always felt uncomfortable when considering travel to the Holy Land because of the constant reports of unrest, yet I felt God was opening this door for me. After prayer, I sensed peace about participating in the trip and started making plans to go.

As a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I expected this journey to be a wonderful learning experience, but I came away with much more than an increased understanding of Biblical history.

As we visited the Israeli soldiers on the borders they defend, I was able to see firsthand the daily threat to Israel. It was enlightening to meet a young Jewish man from the United States who returned to support and defend the country he loves, and to learn how Jewish people from every corner of the world love Israel and are committed to stand with their homeland.

The promise of God to the Jewish people recorded in Genesis 12:2-3 says, “I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

I believe the United States of America has been blessed because we have blessed Israel. And today, as we watch a new threat arise in Iran with their president delivering hate speeches expressing a desire to wipe Israel off the map, it is critical that we continue to stand with the Jewish people.

Words aren’t adequate to express my gratitude for all I experienced on this trip. In my letter of appreciation to the man God used to make it possible, I committed as long as I am a pastor to educate my congregation on the Biblical mandate to support Israel, our greatest ally in the Middle East.

Last week, we hosted a Standing with Israel Rally at The Sanctuary in Evans. We invited both Christians and Jews. The East Coast director for Christians United for Israel, Victor Styrsky, was the speaker. To learn more about the event or issues at hand, please call The Sanctuary office at (706) 364-8284.

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Jane18 03/10/12 - 10:06 am
Pastor Cockrell, the promise

Pastor Cockrell, the promise you have referred to, was to Abraham, passed on to Isaac, and to Jacob, and the 12 tribes of Israel(Jacobs' name change by GOD). It was not to just the Jewish(family of Judah) people, it was to all the sons(families) of Jacob(Israel). We are to stand with the litle country of Israel, they are part of our family. I told someone this statement a week ago,"All Jewish people are Israelites, but...,Not all Israelites are Jewish". ...Also, when you think of the most blessed country on this planet, WHO HAS BEEN BLESSED MORE IN RICHES AND POWER THAN ANY OTHER NATION THAN AMERICA?We are still the most powerful, but the riches have been taken from us. Two reasons, we have gotten away from the commandments of GOD, and the enemies of GOD are taking over everything we have trusted in:our commerce, our education, our politics, and our religious beliefs. They have, and we have let them, "fundamentally change"this great country!!

afadel 03/11/12 - 08:00 am
Does the "Biblical mandate to

Does the "Biblical mandate to support Israel" mean that Christians are obligated to comply with every wish an Israeli politician has? Are we supposed to start a war with Iran just because some Israeli politicians want us to, even though Iran is no threat to us? Are Christians supposed to support the Israeli government's discriminatory policies against non-Jews? Are Christians supposed to support Israel's policy of denying non-Jewish refugees from 1947-8 the right to return to the homes from which the Jewish militias expelled them?

I strongly recommend the film "With God on Our Side," which provides a more balanced view the duty of worldwide Christians towards the peoples of historical Palestine/Israel and the Occupied Territories than Christians United for Israel.

Fundamental_Arminian 03/12/12 - 09:58 am
afadel, Israel is a Jewish

afadel, Israel is a Jewish state. Unlike our nation, it doesn't have religious freedom or equality, because it has a state religion: Orthodox Judaism. Still, it practices religious tolerance by letting people of other faiths practice their religions in peace.

In contrast, surrounding Muslim nations have little, if any, religious tolerance. This is why my brothers and sisters in Christ have such a hard time in those nations and why many have been forced to leave without any right of return even though the Christian faith was in the area about 600 years before the prophet Muhammad's birth.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 03/12/12 - 10:05 am
afadel asked: Are we supposed

afadel asked:

Are we supposed to start a war with Iran just because some Israeli politicians want us to, even though Iran is no threat to us?

Well, we started a war against Iraq even though Iraq was no threat to us. We started a war against Libya even though Libya was no threat to us. The precedent has been set.

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