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New poll finds Israelis very supportive of new “unity government,” even as Gantz’s former allies eviscerate him.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — To put it mildly, some of the political allies that were once closest and most loyal to Benny Gantz are livid that he has formed a national unity government with their mortal enemy, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Yair Lapid, for example, charges that Gantz is perpetrating “the worst act of fraud in the history of this country” by agreeing to work with Netanyahu.

Lapid apologized “to all those people who I convinced to vote for Benny Gantz and Blue and White this past year. I didn’t believe that they would steal your vote and give it to Netanyahu, that they would use your vote to form the fifth Netanyahu government.”

That said, frustrated and exhausted by three national elections in one year, most Israelis are very supportive of the deal and want it to work.

“Sixty-two percent of Israelis support the newly agreed upon Likud-Blue and White unity government, while just 22% oppose it, according to a survey released Tuesday,” reported the Times of Israel.

Other key findings:

  • “The coalition deal inked Monday between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chief Benny Gantz was supported by 80% of Likud voters and 57% of Blue and White voters, the Channel 13 poll found….
  • “However, only 31% of respondents believed Netanyahu would honor the rotation deal requiring him vacate the Prime Minister’s Office; 41% believe he won’t do so and 23% said they don’t know.
  • “Finally, 48% believe Gantz gave up more to strike the deal, while 25% said Netanyahu made greater concessions.
  • “Channel 13 polled 710 Israelis and the survey had a 3.7% margin of error.”

I have no idea if this new government can work. But I certainly hope so. The country needs unity right now, not more partisan division.

Please continue to pray for Israel’s leaders to know best how to help Israel defeat the coronavirus, reboot the economy, and to effectively deal with a range of other threats, including from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas. Thanks.

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BREAKING: Netanyahu and Gantz just signed deal forming emergency unity government. Here’s what we know so far.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — Most Israelis thought it wasn’t going to happen. 

Three elections. Millions of dollars in campaign ads and statements trashing each others. Marathon negotiating sessions. Ultimatums. Threats.

And yet, just minutes ago, Netanyahu and Gantz signed a deal creating a national emergency unity government.

Netanyahu “will remain Prime Minister for another 18 months and then be replaced by Blue & White leader Benny Gantz, who will serve as vice prime minister in the meantime,” reports The Jerusalem Post. “Netanyahu will be vice prime minister under Gantz after that.”

“The cabinet will include about 30 ministers,” reports Ynet News. “Blue and White will receive 16 ministries, including defense, foreign affairs for half of the term, justice, immigration and absorption, culture and sports, economics and welfare…communications, agriculture, strategic issues, tourism, social equality and diaspora affairs. Likud will receive the foreign affairs portfolio for half of the term, public security, transportation, housing, education, environmental protection, energy, Jerusalem affairs and other less key posts.”

“We prevented fourth elections — we’ll safeguard democracy,” Gantz said, reported the Times of Israel. “We’ll fight the coronavirus and look out for all Israeli citizens. We have a national emergency government.”

Developing…..

(file photo from several weeks ago)

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BREAKING: US coronavirus death toll hits two record highs this week. Israel doing significantly better. Here’s the latest.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — The coronavirus pandemic and related lockdown in Israel has been painful. Fully 26.1% of Israelis are out of work, and businesses are hurting.

That said, strict containment measures taken by the Israeli government — earlier than almost every other country — appear to have proven effective.

  • Israel currently has 12,591 confirmed cases of infection
  • 141 Israelis have died, almost all over the age of 70 — each case is very sad, but overall the numbers are quite low given the high percentage of elderly and thus vulnerable people in Israeli society
  • 2,626 Israelis have recovered

Increasingly, authorities are discussing how/when to re-open society and reboot the economy. We’ve been on a full lockdown through much of Passover. Now, restrictions are easing a bit. Netanyahu and Gantz still haven’t finalized a national unity government — and on-going negotiations may still fall apart — but more on that later.

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Globally, nearly 2.1 million people have been infected, with 138,008 deaths as of April 16th, according to tracking done by John Hopkins University.

In the United States, the pandemic entails a far more sobering story. The curve may be flattening, but the number of deaths have hit record highs for the past several days.

According to a report by Reuters:

  • U.S. coronavirus deaths increased by a record number for the second day in a row, rising by at least 2,371 on Wednesday to top 30,800.
  • The United States recorded its first coronavirus fatality on Feb. 29.
  • It took 38 days to reach 10,000 deaths and just nine more days to go from 10,000 fatalities to 30,000.
  • The previous high single-day death toll was 2,364 on Tuesday.
  • U.S. confirmed cases topped 635,000 in the United States and 2 million globally

The good news: “FEMA is actually working as we speak to move facial masks to priority infrastructure,” Vice President Pence noted yesterday. “There’ll be 6.5 million masks that go out before the end of this week and additional 20 million before April the 20th. And then we’ll be adding 6.5 million each and every week.”

Here are some useful numbers, provided by the White House:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) deliveries coordinated or currently being shipped by FEMA and HHS:
    • 2 million N95 respirators
    • 6 million surgical masks
    • 5 million face shields
    • 7 million surgical gowns
    • 3 million gloves
    • 212,000 coveralls
    • 8,600 medical station beds

Please continue praying:

  • for all those who are suffering that the Lord would heal and comfort them
  • for all those who have lost a loved one, that the Lord would comfort them
  • for protection and strength for all health care workers and first responders
  • for wisdom for our national leaders
  • for pastors and ministry leaders to continue teaching the Word of God with clarity and compassion, and to know how best to minister to people with church doors closed
  • for all those who have lost their jobs and all who are struggling financially
  • for The Joshua Fund team to have both the wisdom and financial resources to continue investing in, strengthening and encouraging vital ministries in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and the neighboring Arab countries

(Photo from the White House website. Graphic courtesy of the Times of Israel)

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Wall Street Journal lists “The Jerusalem Assassin” one of the “best spy novels to read while stuck at home.” Here’s the story.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — “We put out the call for subscribers’ favorite spy novels, to provide a bit of international intrigue for any grudgingly homebound readers,” the Wall Street Journal reported on April 10. 

“Many readers remembered the book that began their obsession with the genre. ‘Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity,’ one subscriber wrote, ‘was the very first spy novel I read and led me on a 40-year journey through Ludlum, Clancy, Silva, Flynn, Thor and so on.’”

“Some of those names—Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy—may be known to those who have only a passing familiarity with the genre,” the Journal noted. “But their contemporary peers also turned out to be among the favorites of many WSJ readers.”

I’m deeply honored that my latest international political thriller, The Jerusalem Assassin, made the list. It’s the third in my new series that began with The Kremlin Conspiracy and The Persian Gamble.

“During these times of quarantine and distancing,” another Journal subscriber wrote, “finding a new novel is great but finding a new series is gold!”

Couldn’t have put it any better.

WSJ-spynovels  —————————

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Jesus is the most famous Israeli in history. Few Jews know much about him. But that’s changing. This is the curious story of growing interest in Jesus in the Jewish community, including a movement of Rabbis and Jewish scholars urging fellow Jews to read the New Testament. #Passover #Easter #HolyWeek

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(Jerusalem, Israel) – In a week in which many are celebrating Passover or Easter, it’s worth noting that Jesus of Nazareth (Yeshua, in Hebrew) is the most famous and beloved Jewish person in human history.

Jesus is certainly the most famous and beloved Israeli in human history, followed by more than 2.2 billion people around the world.

Yet few Jewish people – and even fewer Israelis – know much about Jesus.

While the New Testament is the best-selling Israeli book in human history, few Jewish people have ever read it.

Yet, all this is changing.

Over the past decade or so, more Jewish people in Israel and around the world have been reading the Gospels, reading the entire New Testament, and exploring the claims of Jesus than at any other time in the last 2,000 years.

Online short-form videos in English of Jewish people explaining the Gospels and the New Testament to other Jewish people have been watched more than 68 million times over the last several years, according to Eitan Bar, the Israeli-born Jewish director of media at One for Israel, the non-profit organization that produces the videos. [I was featured in one of these videos, which you can watch by clicking here.]

The Hebrew-language versions of these online videos in Israel have been watched more than 28 million times over the past few years, Bar tells me.

In fact, I’m astonished by the growing interest Jews have in understanding the New Testament, and by how many Rabbis and Jewish scholars are encouraging their fellow Jews to read the New Testament in full.

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Consider the following:

EXAMPLE: In this column a few years ago on the Times of Israel news site, Joshua Stanton, the Associate Director of the Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College writes about three American Rabbis who were competing on the “American Bible Challenge” TV quiz show. Stanton found it interesting (and good) that these Rabbis were competing in an environment that requires them to know the New Testament in great detail, not just the Hebrew Scriptures. He noted: “The presence of the new rabbinical team might point to a different phenomenon altogether: an interest on the part of some Jews to read the Christian Bible. Far from an exercise in assimilation, it stems from the increased recognition that embedded within Christian texts are kernels of wisdom about early rabbinic Judaism. If Jesus was a rabbi, then he and his followers would likely exhibit traits similar to those of other rabbis and their discipleship circles. In learning about one early rabbi (albeit a unique one, whose followers eventually split from the rabbinic tradition), we as Jews might gain insight into our own tradition.” He also noted that “while some of us still experience surface tension in reading the sacred texts of other traditions, the concern associated with reading the Christian Bible may be decreasing. With animosity quite low between Jews and Christians in the United States, and differences clearly defined, Jews may grow increasingly comfortable with the insights they gain from Christian texts, even as they recognize the differences inherent to them.”

EXAMPLE: CNN ran a story called, “Jews Reclaim Jesus As One Of Their Own.”

EXAMPLE: A book was released a few years ago by a prominent American Rabbi named Shmuley Boteach called, Kosher Jesus. The Rabbi argued that while Jesus is not the Messiah, he was Jewish, was a Rabbi, was a great teacher, and that Jews should read the New Testament and learn from this remarkable “brother” of theirs. “Why is it necessary for Jews to reclaim the Jewish Jesus and educate Christians about the source of his teachings?” Boteach wrote. “First, virtually all Jewish ideas that have shaped the world have been taken from our people without attribution so that Judaism is treated today as a discarded relic with little contemporary relevance. We gave the world God. Today his name is Jesus. We gave the world the Sabbath. Today it’s called Sunday. We gave the world the Ten Commandments. Today it’s called morality. And we gave the world the biblical insistence that all humans are created equally in the image of God. Today it’s called democracy. As a result, young Jews are not even aware of the transformative ideas of their own faith, which might explain their lack of attachment to it….”

EXAMPLE: Josh Fleet, the associate religion editor at the Huffington Post, wrote an article entitled, “The J-Word: Why Jesus Is Taboo in Polite Jewish Conversation.” Excerpt: “[T]he topic of Jesus should not be a Jewish taboo. If we believe so much that our relationship with Christianity is based on deceit, tragedy and senseless hatred — that it has broken us — then we are obligated to believe it can be based on trust, opportunity and boundless love — that it can be fixed….Though we may not admit it, we are fascinated by Jesus. The latest trend has some reclaiming him as a devoutly Jewish sage — or at least someone Jews can learn from today. The Jewish Annotated New Testament, published in November 2011 and written from a Jewish perspective, re-contextualizes Christian Scripture and provides an opening for increased Jewish-Christian communion.”

EXAMPLE: Rabbi Jason Miller, an American Rabbi based in Michigan, posted a blog with this headline: “Jesus, We Can Finally Talk About Jesus.” Excerpt: “I’ve always said that the only times Jewish people mention Jesus are when they stub their toe, miss the bus, or tell you about their theater tickets to a certain Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera. Two new books will change that. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s Kosher Jesus and The Jewish Annotated New Testament (edited by Marc Z. Brettler and Amy-Jill Levine). The former discusses the Jewish life of Jesus of Nazareth and the latter is a newly revised edition of the Christian Scriptures with notes and essays from Jewish scholars in the hope of making the “New Testament” accessible to Jews.

EXAMPLE: Several years ago, the New York Times ran an intriguing article headlined, “Focusing on the Jewish story of the New Testament.” It was about two professors – Amy-Jill Levine of Vanderbilt, and Marc Zvi Brettler of Brandeis – both practicing Jews, who had just released The Jewish Annotated New Testament (through Oxford University Press) in hopes of encouraging more Jews to read the New Testament and learn more about their own Jewish history and the Jewish roots of Christianity. Levine told the Times, “The more I study the New Testament, the better a Jew I become.” The release of their version prompted much news coverage (though for space I won’t link to the articles here.)

EXAMPLE: The Jewish Chronicle published an article headlined, “We Shouldn’t Be Afraid Of Saying ‘Rabbi Jesus.”

EXAMPLE: Benyamin Cohen, the son of an Orthodox Jewish Rabbi, published a book entitled, My Jesus Year: A Rabbi’s Son Wanders the Bible Belt in Search of His Own Faith.

EXAMPLE: Rabbi Michael J. Cook, an American Reform Jewish leader, published a book nearly a decade ago titled, Modern Jews Engage the New Testament: Enhancing Jewish Well-Being in a Christian Environment. This was a topic Rabbi Cook had been discussing for several years. In April 2006, Ynet News published this story: “Rabbi: Jews should know New Testament — Reform rabbi says time has come to break ‘self-imposed ignorance’ about Christian bible; conservative and orthodox movements: matter so simple.”

I’m encouraged by these trend lines, and during this Passover/Easter week I hope you are too.

After all, shouldn’t every Israeli — indeed, every Jewish person — read and understand the full story of Jesus, the most famous and beloved Jew in human history?

[Note: This column is adapted from one I wrote in 2017.]

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Fascinating new poll, released during Passover/Easter week, finds vast majority of American pastors see signs of Biblical “last days” in current events. 70% say rebirth of Israel one of those signs. 56% believe events signal that Messiah will come soon. Here are the results in full.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — “For too long many pastors have shied away from teaching on birth pains and events leading up to the second coming, but the current pandemic demonstrates the need for solid, non-sensational preaching done in a biblical manner.”

That was my comment to the reporter who covered the release this week of a fascinating new survey from LifeWay, the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. The poll was commissioned by an organization I helped found several years ago called the Alliance For the Peace of Jerusalem.

Two of the most interesting results:

  • 70% of American pastors believe that the rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948, and the re-gathering of the Jewish people in the Holy Land, are among the biblical signs of the “last days” and the coming of the Messiah to reign from Jerusalem.
  • Given all that is currently happening in the world, 56% of pastors believe that the Messiah will return soon, perhaps even in their lifetime.

I encourage you to read it and share it on social media with family and friends.

Pastors, I encourage you to read it, share and discuss it with your staff, and even cite it in upcoming messages.

[Note: This is a different poll than the one released last week by The Joshua Fund.]

Here is a link to the news story, plus a link to the full LifeWay survey.

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VAST MAJORITY OF PASTORS SEE SIGNS OF END TIMES IN CURRENT EVENTS

By Aaron Earls

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Almost 9 in 10 pastors see at least some current events matching those Jesus said would occur shortly before he returns to Earth, according to a new survey focused on Christian eschatology, or the study of end times.

A study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research of pastors at evangelical and historically black churches found 97% say they believe Jesus Christ will literally and personally return to Earth again.

“While Christians prepare to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, many pastors believe they see signs his return may be close,” said Scott McConnell, executive director LifeWay Research. “These sentiments were expressed in January before the prospect of a global pandemic became known.”

In Matthew 24, Jesus’ disciples asked him about signs of his coming, and he responded by speaking of “birth pains” that would precede his return.

Darrell Bock, New Testament studies professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, noted that the Bible has several lists of potential signs of Jesus’ return, like the Olivet Discourse passages of Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 21, and some include concepts of global sicknesses.

“Numerous biblical texts speak of disturbances in the creation that disorient and trouble people,” said Bock. “These disturbances have quite a range with earthquakes and wars being the most common. However, Jesus mentions plagues or pestilence explicitly in Luke 21.”

According to Mitch Glaser, president of Chosen People Ministries, the idea of birth pains is not unique to the New Testament or evangelicals, as he said Ultra-Orthodox Jews also believe that these types of signs are indicators of the Messiah’s coming.

“The term used in rabbinic literature, ‘birth pangs of Mashiach,’ is similar to the Olivet Discourse,” Glaser said. “The pandemic is viewed in this way by many religious Jewish people who share a heightened Messianic expectation with evangelicals.”

In the study sponsored by a group of ministries led by Chosen People and conducted in early 2020, LifeWay Research asked pastors if they considered certain current events to be included in Jesus’ warnings.

At least 3 in 4 pastors agree Jesus was referring to current events including the rise of false prophets and false teachings (83%), the love of many believers growing cold (81%), traditional morals becoming less accepted (79%), wars and national conflicts (78%), earthquakes and other natural disasters (76%), and people abandoning their Christian faith (75%).

Clear majorities also see famines (70%) and anti-Semitism toward Jewish people worldwide (63%) as signs of Jesus’ return.

Around 1 in 10 pastors (11%) say they don’t consider any of these part of the birth pains to which Jesus was referring.

“For too long many pastors have shied away from teaching on birth pains and events leading up to the second coming,” said best-selling author Joel Rosenberg, “but the current pandemic demonstrates the need for solid, non-sensational preaching done in a biblical manner.”

More than half of pastors (56%) expect Jesus to return in their lifetime.

Perhaps due in part to those beliefs, 89% of evangelical and historically black church pastors say that communicating the urgency of Christ’s return is important……

[To read the rest of this article, please click here.]

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Is a spiritual awakening coming? New York Times, Jerusalem Post and other media cover Joshua Fund poll showing 44% of Americans see virus as “wake up call” to turn back to God and the Bible.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — With the coronavirus pandemic worsening, the death toll climbing, and more than half the world in lockdown, even those in the secular media are writing about how Americans are viewing the crisis in spiritual terms, and whether any of this has to do with Bible prophecy.

I’ve been encouraged that in the last few days, a number of major media outlets — in the U.S. and here in Israel — have covered the poll that The Joshua Fund commissioned.

It’s too soon, in my view, to know whether a spiritual awakening is coming. But clearly, tens of millions of Americans are asking questions and searching the Bible and Christian teaching for answers and this is a dramatic and important development.

Please take some time to read these articles and share them with family and friends on social media. (see below for links to the full post on The Joshua Fund’s website)  

As I noted earlier this week, these are no ordinary times. Americans in near full lockdown are anxious, and understandably so. Yet millions are turning to God, the Bible and Christian sermons for answers, some of them for the first time. That may be the most important silver lining in this crisis so far.

In response to these results, The Joshua Fund has published “What Does The Bible Teach About Pestilence, Plagues & Global Pandemics?”, a 12-page fact sheet derived from insight from a number of senior pastors, theologians and seminary professors. It can be found at http://www.joshuafund.com.

The full survey is also posted on The Joshua Fund website at https://www.joshuafund.com/. 

I hope that you and your family will gather together daily to pray for God to have mercy on us all.

“Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.” (Isaiah 26:20)

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How do thriller writers predict future headlines (or try to)? I have no idea how others do it. But I spoke to the editor of @TheRealBookSpy about my process — and he wrote the most interesting profile of any done on me in 20 years. Here it is.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — The most important journalist covering the world of spy novels and thrillers is a fascinating guy in Michigan named Ryan Steck. His site, “The Real Book Spy,” is must-reading for anyone who’s anyone in the thriller-verse. 

So, I was more than happy to do an hour-long interview with Ryan — not just to discuss about The Jerusalem Assassin, which we talked about at length at the end of the interview, but about how I got into writing fiction in the first place, why I do it, what world leaders are reading them, and how I write political thrillers that seem (sometimes) to predict the future. (spoiler: not easy)

I could post the first few paragraphs of the article so you get the feel for it. But as President George H.W. Bush used to say, “Not gonna do it. Wouldn’t be prudent. Certainly not at this juncture.” (Thank you, Dana Carvey.)

Let me just give you the link to the whole thing and encourage you to read it all, from beginning to end. Honestly, this was, by far, the most fair, thorough and creative profile ever done on me. And I’ve been in the business for almost 20 years.

Thank you, Ryan — rock on, brother! May you and your family be healthy and safe. 

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BREAKING: White House warns 240,000 Americans could die from coronavirus. Amidst chilling forecast, new poll finds 44% of Americans believe virus a “wake up call” to return to God and the Bible. Here’s the latest.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — The White House issued a chilling warning on Tuesday: the “best case scenario” now is for upwards of 100,000 to 240,000Americans to die as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

If proper social distancing measures aren’t followed, the numbers could spike beyond 1.5 million deaths, the experts said.

“This could be a hell of a bad two weeks,” the President said, in his most sobering comments of the crisis, thus far.

The country will remain in near lockdown mode through April, at least, at devastating economic cost. But what other choice is there?

It is little wonder, then, that nearly half of Americans (44%) say they believe that the coronavirus and resulting economic meltdown is a “wake-up call for us to turn back to faith in God,” and/or “signs of coming judgment,” according to a new poll commissioned by The Joshua Fund.

“This survey provides a fascinating window into how Americans see the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is dramatically increasing their interest in spiritual matters,” I noted in a press release that went out yesterday. “The results are clear: this unprecedented global crisis is causing Americans to start reading the Bible and listen to Bible teaching and Christian sermons online, even though they usually don’t; search online for teaching on Bible prophecy and God’s future for mankind; and/or engage in more spiritual conversations with family and friends.”

The breakdown of those who believe this crisis
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is a “wake-up call” back to faith in God includes:

  • 25% of self-identified “secular” Americans;
  • 42% of Jewish Americans;
  • 58% of Republicans; and
  • 41% of Democrats, including 34% of liberal Democrats and 47% of moderate Democrats.

Additionally, 22% of self-identified non-Christian respondents and 40% of Christian respondents indicate the global coronavirus pandemic and economic chaos have resulted in more interest in God and spiritual matters.

These are no ordinary times. Americans in near full lockdown are anxious, and understandably so. Yet millions are turning to God, the Bible and Christian sermons for answers, some of them for the first time. That may be the most important silver lining in this crisis so far.

In response to these results, The Joshua Fund has published “What Does The Bible Teach About Pestilence, Plagues & Global Pandemics?”, a 12-page fact sheet derived from insight from a number of senior pastors, theologians and seminary professors. It can be found at http://www.joshuafund.com.

The full survey is also posted on The Joshua Fund website at https://www.joshuafund.com/.

The crisis is worsening here in Israel and throughout the Middle East, as well. More than 5,300 cases and at least 20 deaths, so far, and this is expected to spike up sharply. Plus, nearly 1/3 of the labor force out of work.

I’ll report more on this on this blog in the days to come, and on Twitter more frequently.

For now, I hope that you and your family will gather together daily to pray for God to have mercy on us all.

“Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.” (Isaiah 26:20)

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BREAKING: 44% of Americans say virus a “wake up call” to return to God. Nearly 1/3 believe we are living in “what the Bible calls the last days.” Fascinating if surprising results in exclusive poll released by The Joshua Fund. Full details.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — The Washington Examiner was the first to publish the story, “Poll: 29% see Biblical ‘last days,’ 44% say virus is God’s ‘wake-up call.'”

You can read the full results of the exclusive national poll by clicking here.

Here’s the press release that just went out:

Exclusive New Poll Shows COVID-19 Creating Enormous Spiritual Interest, Causing Americans To Read The Bible, Listen To Sermons, Some For First Time.

Results Indicate Millions See Pandemic as a “Wake-Up Call” to Return to Faith. Nearly one-in-three Americans believe we are living in the “last days.”

Media Contact:
Kristin Cole, 615-289-6701 — kristin@alarryross.com

Nearly half of Americans (44%) say they believe that the coronavirus and resulting economic meltdown is a “wake-up call for us to turn back to faith in God,” and/or “signs of coming judgment,” according to a new poll commissioned by The Joshua Fund.

The survey was conducted March 23-26, 2020, by nationally respected pollsters McLaughlin & Associates. It was commissioned by The Joshua Fund, an Evangelical non-profit educational and charitable organization founded in 2006 by Joel C. Rosenberg. Rosenberg is a New York Times best-selling author of non-fiction and fiction books. He is best known for writing about “worst-case scenarios.” He has specifically written about pandemics in his 2006 book Epicenter: Why the Current Rumblings in the Middle East Will Change Your Future, and his 2012 book, Implosion: Can America Recover from Its Economic and Spiritual Challenges in Time?

“This survey provides a fascinating window into how Americans see the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is dramatically increasing their interest in spiritual matters,” said Rosenberg. “The results are clear: this unprecedented global crisis is causing Americans to start reading the Bible and listen to Bible teaching and Christian sermons online, even though they usually don’t; search online for teaching on Bible prophecy and God’s future for mankind; and/or engage in more spiritual conversations with family and friends.”

The McLaughlin & Associates questions were asked of 1,000 likely American voters. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence interval.

The breakdown of those who believe this crisis is a “wake-up call” back to faith in God includes:

  • 25% of self-identified “secular” Americans;
  • 42% of Jewish Americans;
  • 58% of Republicans; and
  • 41% of Democrats, including 34% of liberal Democrats and 47% of moderate Democrats.

Additionally, 22% of self-identified non-Christian respondents and 40% of Christian respondents indicate the global coronavirus pandemic and economic chaos have resulted in more interest in God and spiritual matters.

“These are no ordinary times,” said Rosenberg. “Americans in near full lockdown are anxious, and understandably so. Yet millions are turning to God, the Bible and Christian sermons for answers, some of them for the first time. That may be the most important silver lining in this crisis so far.”

What’s more, nearly one-third of all Americans (29%) said they believe that this crisis indicates that “we are living in what the Bible calls the ‘last days.’” Broken down by demographic, this includes:

  • Nearly 30% of Jewish Americans;
  • 30% of Democrats, including 27% of liberal Democrats and 34% of moderate Democrats;
  • 39% of Republicans;
  • 37% of military households;
  • 40% of African Americans, 50% of Hispanic Americans and 25% of White Americans; and
  • Some 28% of individuals 18-29, 33% of people age 30-40, 29% of people age 41-55, 33% of those between 56-65, and some 24% of seniors over 65.

In response to these results, The Joshua Fund has published “What Does The Bible Teach About Pestilence, Plagues & Global Pandemics?”, a 12-page fact sheet derived from insight from a number of senior pastors, theologians and seminary professors. It can be found at http://www.joshuafund.com.

The full survey is also posted on The Joshua Fund website at https://www.joshuafund.com/.

NOTE: The Joshua Fund is a nonprofit, non-partisan educational and charitable organization created to mobilize Christians to “bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus” by caring for the poor and needy, strengthen the Church in the Middle East and teach the importance of the Scriptures and biblical prophecy. The purpose of the survey was to better understand Americans’ spiritual views, not advance any partisan political objectives or influence federal, state or local legislation. The organization was founded in 2006 by Joel and Lynn Rosenberg. For more information, visit https://www.joshuafund.com/.

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