There is something about Israel that captures the imagination upon arrival. Years ago when I first became a new believer, the thought of traveling to Israel fascinated me. I had done a lot of traveling in the past, but nothing compared to one day touring the Holy Land. Most recently however, my dream of traveling there became a reality as I got to witness firsthand the biblical richness of the ancient city.
Israel is well known as a religious destination by Christians around the world. For a city that is estimated to be 4,000 years old, its existence is well documented. Despite its rich history however, skeptics have long argued and contested the biblical reliability of Israel.
I learned quickly though, that there is little to dispute.
The late Chuck Smith, founding pastor of the Calvary Chapel movement, once said that a trip to Israel was equivalent to a year’s worth of studying in seminary. Upon arrival to this great land, I realized the truth behind his statement.
All of the years that I had personally poured into studying the Bible were further enriched as I traveled through the Holy Land.
The Bible came to life like never before and I was able to look at the Word of God from a firsthand perspective.
Site by site with my bible in hand, my eyes were opened to subjects I was previously unfamiliar with. As a result, my love for Jesus Christ grew in a way that I‘m still trying to comprehend.
Before arriving at the Holy Land, I prayed that by the end of my journey there, I would have a deeper understanding of the Great Commission. I learned that my faith in Jesus is founded upon facts. The Bible is not a fairy tale or a fable but a reliable text that documents real, true historical events that actually happened.
Witnessing this further confirmed to me the reliability of the Word of God.
It also created in me a greater anticipation to share God’s Word with others. The bible tells us to go and make disciples of all nations. Seeing Israel’s rich history stirred within me a greater desire to fulfill the call of the Great Commission.
I must admit that I was initially hesitant to travel to Israel, especially considering the persecution that is happening in the Middle East right now. I concluded that now is the BEST time to face my fears despite the media’s downplay of traveling there. I experienced a tremendous sense of security and peace while touring throughout Israel. From the moment I arrived in Tel Aviv, I felt protected. I knew that I was safe and remembered God’s love for Israel and the Holy Land.
From riding in a boat in the Sea of Galilee to walking through the streets of Old Town Jerusalem, the moments you capture while touring the country of Israel will be remembered when you come across a biblical text that describes a place you have personally encountered.
Perhaps you too dream about visiting the ancient country of Israel. May I suggest to you that there is no better time and no better investment that I could think of that comes close to the richness of touring the Holy Land.I would like to encourage you to prioritize a visit there. Touring Israel’s holy sites is one of the greatest investments of time that I have ever made. Not only will you be able to tour through the same land that Jesus once walked, but you will also experience a boost in your faith unlike anything else you will ever experience. Inquire at your church about upcoming tours to Israel and perhaps you will soon experience Israel’s biblical richness.
By Gabriela Fletcher
Gabriela Fletcher is the Publisher and Editor of OC & LA Christian Magazine. Visit TheOCChristianMagazine.com for additional publication information. Learn more about the Israel Ministry of Tourism at GoIsrael.com.