NASHVILLE (NRB) — A Holocaust survivor, pastor David Jeremiah, and Bible teacher Kay Arthur were among those who led a special session celebrating the 70th anniversary of the modern state of Israel March 1 at Proclaim 18, the National Religious Broadcasters’ (NRB) International Christian Media Convention.
Polish-born Luna Fuss-Kaufman was 12 years old when World War II broke out, but her family did not go into hiding. “I personally believed that if I was a Jew I wasn’t going to hide it,” Fuss-Kaufman told NRB. Eventually her family was incarcerated in several camps. The first one was depicted in the film “Schindler’s List,” she said.
Fuss-Kaufman’s father and sister perished in the war, she said, but she and her mother survived, in one instance escaping because a man killed everyone around them and then ran out of bullets and left. She showed NRB a photo of the prison dress she wore for a year and still owns.
“There’s only one planet, and we have to learn to share the planet,” Fuss-Kaufman said. “We can’t condemn somebody because they believe in a different way than we do. We have to learn that we all need to follow our own religion and our own beliefs and we have to share this planet or we will destroy civilization.”
NRB serves as an example and a sign of hope “to those of us who have suffered,” Fuss-Kaufman said, applauding the group “for the work you are doing in keeping this world alive.”
Sari Granitza of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel, spoke briefly, emphasizing the need to remember the past and educate for a better future. The Jewish people are not a nation that goes back to avenge, she said, but one that forges ahead, building bridges. “One of the important bridges we are building is a friendship with the Christian world – a friendship that we cherish,” she said.
David Jeremiah of the broadcast ministry Turning Point said he has been leading tour groups to Israel for 30 years, and his last one in 2016 included 700 people. God’s covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12 consists of an unconditional promise to bless Abraham, Jeremiah said, “and that promise has been lavishly kept.”
“That point is dramatically illustrated in so many ways, but I’ve chosen just one. It is illustrated by the disproportionate number of Nobel Prizes awarded to the Jewish people.”
From 1901 to 2017, about 900 Nobel Prizes were awarded in recognition of significant contributions to mankind. Of that total, at least 195 have been awarded to Jews, Jeremiah said. Of the 7.6 billion inhabitants of the world, about 15 million are Jewish -- less than one quarter of 1 percent of the total world population. “That miniscule percentage of the population has won 22 percent of all the Nobel Prizes awarded to date,” he said.
God also promised to make Abraham a blessing to many, Jeremiah noted. “Just think of what the world would be without the Jews. Without them we would have no Bible, without them we would have no Jesus. Without the Jewish Jesus there would be no Christianity. Without the Jews there would be no Ten Commandments.”
God promised to bless those who bless Israel, “and He has kept that promise faithfully,” Jeremiah told Proclaim 18 attendees. “No nation in history has blessed Israel like the United States of America, and no nation has been as blessed as the United States of America.”
Amid ongoing unrest in the Middle East, “We who know the Bible stand back and we don’t worry because we know the right to the Promised Land has already been determined by the only One who has the authority to determine it,” Jeremiah said.
“… God’s promise and the prophecies of His Word are overwhelmingly challenging us to place Israel in the center of our prayers, of our purposes, and of our protection.”
Kay Arthur conveyed her love for Israel and said she has traveled there many times, reminding the people that God gave them that land. Even so, “there will be no peace for Israel that will last until the Prince of Peace comes – the Lord Jesus Christ,” she said.
Someday all the earth will know that Israel is the beloved of God, Arthur said, adding that people who know the Bible know the importance of Israel. “We have to get the message out. That’s why the NRB is so important.”
“May we put the Word of God back in the preeminence of our message, and may we live it, and may we love Israel as God loved Israel, and may we remember that someday Jerusalem is going to be the praise of all the earth,” Arthur said.
Radio talk show host Dennis Prager, a Jew and cofounder of Prager University, said he tells fellow Jews there is no way to understand Jewish history or Israel today without God.
“Can you offer me a secular explanation for three things: the survival of the Jews, the return of the Jews, and the hatred of the Jews?” Prager asked. “Can you offer me one secular, non-God-centered explanation for all of that? I have never gotten one.”
Hatred of Jews is unique, Prager said. “Every group on earth has been disliked by another group. … Anywhere you go on earth, there is ethnic bigotry, racism, etc. But Jew hatred is not like that. I wish Jew hatred and Israel hatred were just another bigotry. It isn’t. All Jew hatred is exterminationist hatred. That’s the difference. … In every generation, someone rises to annihilate us.”
Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, president & CEO of NRB, said, “We think Christians should remember the modern state of Israel, the Jewish people, and we do need to remember that one of the reasons we need to support the state is that never again should they face something like the Holocaust. They should have a country, they should have a nation, they should have a land, and I’m glad it was the land that God laid out for them in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures.”
By Erin Roach
Published: March 6, 2018