60 seconds with the general director Jun/Jul 1975
Thousands of letters come across my desk each month. They come from far and near in many sizes, shapes, and languages. They fall into a number of general categories.
First, there are those that express appreciation for help received through some aspect of our ministry – sometimes for a piece of our literature or a message preached by one of our missionaries; on other occasions it is the result of relief which has been given abroad, or scholarship aid made available to a young man or woman studying for the ministry. Increasingly, we are receiving letters telling of salvation through personal contact with our Mission personnel.
Secondly, there are letters requesting prayer – sometimes for an unsaved loved one, a physical ailment, a wayward child, a broken marriage, or the need of employment. Our staff gathers each day from 10:00 – 10:30 to remember these requests before our heavenly Father.
Thirdly, there are gifts in support of this ministry, often accompanied by a letter. All are given lovingly as unto the Lord, and many are given sacrificially – an elderly woman on social security; a financially-pressed family saving its dimes to send to The Friends of Israel. Occasionally, a letter comes from a young and struggling church that has determined it will start its missionary program by supporting a sound Jewish mission. In recent months we have received a diamond ring, a silver punch bowl set, and a gold coin – “gold, silver, and precious stone” – in some cases all they had to give, and all designated for the work of this ministry. Few things in life can be more humbling than letters and gifts like these.
Fourthly, we receive a great many letters containing theological questions. Some require relatively simple responses; others are complex. They cover the whole spectrum of biblical truth. As God enables, we attempt to respond to each inquiry although, I confess, at times the task seems monumental.
Recently, one of our friends inquired concerning the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. “Are the Jews, in fact, preparing to rebuild the Temple?” If so, did I know the cost of a single stone. She strongly suggested that she would indeed like to purchase one of the stones in the rebuilt Temple. I assured her that though many Israelis would like to rebuild the Temple, there is strong opposition from the orthodox Jews. They believe that it must be rebuilt by the Messiah when He comes. Other complications exist as well. The Moslem Dome of the Rock is situated on the Temple mount; and, it is unlikely that orthodox Jewry would permit Christians to purchase stones for its rebuilding, even if that were possible.
After responding to her letter, I began to meditate on her question and my response. It occurred to me that there is a spiritual lesson in this for each of us. After all, doesn’t the Bible say that at the present time, the true Church is the temple of God (an habitation for the Spirit’s dwelling) just as the Tabernacle and Temple were in the Old Testament?
“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” Ephesians 2:22
Speaking on the same theme, Peter wrote,
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house . . .” (1 Peter 2:5)
The true Church is invisible, but no less substantial than the Temple yet to be rebuilt on Mount Moriah. In reality then, support of this ministry aids in the securing of stones that go into the living temple which God is presently erecting.
As we await the return of the One who is the Chief Cornerstone. I remain
Marvin J. Rosenthal