Ninth International Conference on Jewish Evangelism: Consultation Statement

“Messiah Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

The ninth international conference of the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism (LCJE) met in Hoddesdon, England, 7 – 12 August, 2011. One hundred eighty people from six continents met together in the unity of the Holy Spirit as Jewish and gentile believers in Jesus. The conference theme was Mission and Jewish Evangelism – Always and Everywhere.

Meetings were held at the High Leigh Conference Centre where eighty years ago this July a like-minded group met as the International Hebrew Christian Alliance. The theme of their 1931 meeting was “Arise and Shine for Thy Light Has Come.” The words of their president, Sir Leon Levison, spoken at that IHCA conference, affirmed their hope in the gospel of salvation for Jewish people everywhere in their day. He said, “It was the Son of God who became the Son of Man, so that the sons of men might become the sons of God.”

Like that earlier conference, we take up the word of God to offer the following message to Jewish people, congregations of Jesus’ followers and all who are concerned with Jewish evangelism. “Messiah Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

To the Jewish people:

We condemn the reemergence of anti-Semitism and prejudice against the State of Israel. We abhor every manner of thought or behaviour, which aims to threaten the survival of Jewish people. At the same time, individual Jewish people and the Jewish state bear equivalent responsibility to love their neighbour, promote religious freedom and pursue justice for all peoples. Nonetheless, we trust God for his faithful and loving care for his covenant people.

We rejoice in reports of continued numerical and spiritual growth of Jewish believers in Jesus. We recognize that in Messiah Jesus (Yeshua) is the only hope of forgiveness for sin and eternal life for all who believe.

We implore you to consider redemption as it has come in Jesus of Nazareth. He is the promised divine Messiah and the final atonement for sin. In him is the light of revelation to the nations and your glory, O Israel.

“Messiah Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

To the congregations of Jesus’ followers:

As the Lausanne Consultation on Jewish Evangelism, we declare our deep appreciation to the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization for producing the 2010 Cape Town Commitment, and in particular Part IIB, Section 1A. In a biblical context of reconciliation, it calls upon the whole church “to share the good news of Jesus as Messiah, Lord and Saviour with Jewish people.” Therefore, we unite our hearts with the global Lausanne Movement in affirming this document and especially this section of the Cape Town Commitment that reads:

Reconciliation to God is inseparable from reconciliation to one another. Christ, who is our peace, made peace through the cross, and preached peace to the divided world of Jew and Gentile. The unity of the people of God is both a fact (‘he made the two one’), and a mandate (‘make every effort to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace’). God’s plan for the integration of the whole creation in Christ is modelled in the ethnic reconciliation of God’s new humanity. Such is the power of the gospel as promised to Abraham (Ephesians 1:10; 2:1-16; 3:6; Galatians 3:6-8).

We affirm that whereas the Jewish people were not strangers to the covenants and promises of God, in the way that Paul describes the Gentiles, they still stand in need of reconciliation to God through the Messiah Jesus. There is no difference, said Paul, between Jew and Gentile in sin; neither is there any difference in salvation. Only in and through the cross can both have access to God the Father through the one Spirit (Ephesians 2:11-22; Romans 3:23; Romans 10:12-13; Ephesians 2:18).

A) We continue, therefore, strongly to affirm the need for the whole Church to share the good news of Jesus as Messiah, Lord and Saviour with Jewish people. And in the spirit of Romans 14-15, we urge Gentile believers to accept, encourage and pray for Messianic Jewish believers, in their witness among their own people.

To this we can say, “Yes” and “Amen.” We urge all to pray God’s mercy and grace upon suffering and persecuted people, including those of the Arab world. We invite congregations of Jesus’ followers to study the Cape Town Commitment and make plans to act upon it. Our members stand ready as partners to serve the Lord with you in reaching Jewish people for Jesus – always and everywhere.

“Messiah Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

To all concerned with Jewish evangelism:

We are dismayed by any reluctance among Christians to share the gospel with Jewish people, since “it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Likewise, we deplore the teaching of “Two Covenant Theology,” which negates the necessity of the gospel for Jewish people and hinders Jewish evangelism. We ask Christians to recognize the negative impact of these views upon their responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission, which is Jesus’ command that his followers take the gospel to all nations.

We rejoice in the power of the gospel that enables Messianic Jews and Arab believers in Jesus to find reconciliation in Christ. Therefore, we encourage the whole church always and everywhere to take the gospel “to the Jew first” and to all the nations.

It is vital that all who are concerned for the spiritual welfare of the Jewish people join us in the cause of Jewish evangelism. We call upon the whole church to take the whole gospel to Jewish people always and everywhere.

“Messiah Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

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