The Godfather of Jewish Evangelism

by | Mar 1, 2010 | Evangelism, Israel & Jewish Roots, People & Stories

Moishe Rosen, founder of Jews for Jesus, looks back on his confrontational career with plenty of satisfaction—and few regrets.

Moishe Rosen spends a lot of time resting now as he copes with the effects of prostate disease that metastasized into bone cancer. Last fall, he nearly died after surgery for an intestinal blockage.

Although outlasting the doctor’s prediction in January 2008 that he wouldn’t live past Thanksgiving, soon after that surgery Rosen considered hospice care. Ultimately, he rejected it, reasoning he didn’t want it until he was unable to get out of bed.

“At 77, how much longer should I live?” asks the outspoken founder of Jews for Jesus (JFJ), who turns 78 if he survives until April 12.

“Do I mind going?” he asks. “I don’t know if I’ll like the journey, but I’ll let you know when you get there.”

That humor demonstrates the wit that long ago prompted Brooklyn’s Jewish Press to declare that Rosen was obviously using Madison Avenue advertising writers. No simple evangelist could write so persuasively, the newspaper theorized.

Though the Press didn’t know it was praising Rosen, his flock of admirers has no such reticence. They know that this somewhat cantankerous guy is one of the true fathers of Jewish evangelism in the modern world.

For Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), memories of Rosen go back to 1987, when the two men stood outside the U.S. Supreme Court building. Sekulow had just completed oral arguments in defense of JFJ’s right to distribute gospel tracts at the Los Angeles International Airport.

“Moishe turned to me and said, ‘I think you’re going to be here often,’” Sekulow recalls. “I laughed because nobody was here that often, especially in those days. One out of 10,000 lawyers maybe argues a case, and that’s probably an overstatement.”

Sekulow not only secured a victory for JFJ, he has returned to the high court 13 times while serving as a thorn in the side of liberal activists.

Marveling at Rosen’s insight, Sekulow remembers later walking by a building at Second Street and Constitution Avenue. Noticing a “for sale” sign, Rosen remarked that his attorney ought to buy it. Though Sekulow scoffed, close to a decade later ACLJ did just that.

“The guy had tremendous foresight in a whole lot of areas,” Sekulow says. “And he was relentless. I never saw him take a setback as something that was going to be a permanent situation.”

Add to that toughness a pioneering spirit, says JFJ board member Lon Solomon. When the suburban Washington, D.C., pastor became a believer in 1971, he reasoned that he must be the only Jew who believed in Christ as Messiah. After all, he didn’t know any others who did. 

Now if a Jew makes that decision, it is no secret that he has company. Solomon credits this shift in cultural awareness to JFJ’s overt, unashamed proclamation of the gospel to Jews.

“More than any other single person, Moishe has been responsible for putting the idea of being Jewish and believing in Jesus on the map,” says Solomon, pastor of McLean Bible Church in northern Virginia. “He has inspired several generations of young Jewish men and women to have a burden to reach their own people. He has been a marvelous example.”

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Discerning False Prophets and Delusions with Mario Murillo

Discerning False Prophets and Delusions with Mario Murillo

My longtime friend Mario Murillo is providing a critical role in the body of Christ in speaking up against the wolves in sheep clothing. Matthew Henry said, "A traitor inside the camp is more dangerous than 1,000 persecutors outside the camp." Christians want to be...

Do You Need A Miracle? It’s In Your Mouth!

Do You Need A Miracle? It’s In Your Mouth!

So many people are in need of a miracle these days. So many people are experiencing lack, illness and despair. So many of these people are Christian people that are bewildered as to why they are experiencing such hardship. The Christian life is not an easy one, but it...

Is America Destined to Become Like Sodom and Gomorrah?

Is America Destined to Become Like Sodom and Gomorrah?

Sodom and Gomorrah were real cities and real people lived there. These were notoriously sinful cities that God warned but eventually destroyed because of their wickedness (Gen. 19:24). These cities, infamous for their debauchery and homosexuality, are mentioned 23...

How to Get Rid of Guilt Forever

How to Get Rid of Guilt Forever

Are you bugged by a guilty conscience … carrying around baggage from a certain mistake or decision that produces feelings of regret or even self-loathing? We’ve all said or done things that we wish we could take back. And while it’s completely natural to grieve over a...

4 Tips to Fix Your Christian Marriage Problems

4 Tips to Fix Your Christian Marriage Problems

Christian married couples, like everyone else in the world, can have their ups and downs. The pressures at work, home and family can mount a pile so high you barely see your spouse on the other side. God created marriage and He longs for you to have a healthy,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Prophecy: The Isaiah 60 Church Will Arise

I saw a movie several years ago about an Amish community. In the movie, when someone needed help (whether it was a crisis, a barn raising or help in harvesting their fields) they would ring a large...
Did Mr. Rogers Warn Against Transgenderism?

Did Mr. Rogers Warn Against Transgenderism?

While he may not have realized it at the time, Fred Rogers, otherwise known as "Mr. Rogers" on the children's television program "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," may have been anti-trans and also prophetic about the culture in America more than 40 years ago. A devoted...

Evangelist John Ramirez Exposing Satanism Infecting America

Evangelist John Ramirez Exposing Satanism Infecting America

Spiritual warfare is raging across America, yet few are talking about it or the ramifications that come with it. The Bible warns Christians of the enemy's plans, but the deception of the devil has relegated many to the sidelines instead of the frontlines where they...

14 Fervent Prayers for Gen Z

14 Fervent Prayers for Gen Z

Generation Z—those born between 1997 and 2012—is rising. They are entering the workforce, entering politics and entering the ministry. But spiritually speaking, this generation is in crisis. Forty-six percent of Gen Z say they’ve committed their lives to Jesus, which...

The Fresh and Mighty Wind of God’s Spirit Is Now Blowing

The Fresh and Mighty Wind of God’s Spirit Is Now Blowing

There is a fresh wind blowing. It is the fresh wind of His Spirit. It is not only a wind that will bring refreshment, healing, empowerment and strength, but it is a wind that will bring deep rest, deep clarity and a deep stirring of what He is breathing upon! I had a...

Yes, Jesus Did Address Sexual Sin

Yes, Jesus Did Address Sexual Sin

Yes, Chris Bryant, Jesus really did address the subject of homosexuality, no matter how much you might want to twist the issue. After the Church of England recently set down an edict that forbid same-sex couples to marry but that each individual would receive "God's...

Pin It on Pinterest