Israel - Key to World Peace (Part VI)
Jerusalem - Future World Captial
Unlikely as it might seem as things now stand, the future of the world is to be decided at Jerusalem. Because it is from there that the Lord Jesus Christ will reign as King.
That was the promise the angel Gabriel made to Mary, the mother of Jesus, when she was told that she was to give birth to the Son of God:
"Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end" (Luke 1:31-33).
The "throne of David" was in Jerusalem - it was from there that he reigned over Israel, about 1000 years B.C., having made that the capital of the newly united nation. From that city kings ruled for over 400 years until the kingdom was lost, but the prophets of God were insistent about two things, that:
The Kingdom will return to Jerusalem, and
It will then be ruled over by a marvellous King.
From its outset, Israel was no ordinary kingdom. Its kings were appointed by God, made subject to His law, asked to rule His people, in His land; and they could be deposed by Him if they broke His commandments. There has never been such a kingdom on earth before or since. It was the Kingdom of God - God's government on earth over the people he had chosen.
But it came to an end when a succession of kings blatantly disregarded what God commanded and the people remained disobedient and unwilling to respond to His Word. God terminated the arrangement. But, even as He did so, He made it clear that the Kingdom would return when there was a suitable successor descended from King David (see Ezekiel 21:26,27)
There is now no doubt about that successor. The Lord Jesus proved himself to be wholly obedient to God and an entirely worthy King. He always did the will of God His Father, so God raised him from the dead and gave him authority to rule for God on earth. When he returns, Jesus will make Jerusalem the centre of a world that will at last give praise and glory to God. The world will then become a fit place for God's people to live in, as God has always purposed.
Jerusalem at Peace
Just what that world will be like can be understood by piecing together the various pictures painted by the prophets who foretell Jerusalem's glorious future. As you read them, bear in mind that if you want to be a part of this new age you have to do something about it now.
The blessings of tomorrow are dependent upon the willingness we show today, by believing God's promises and by being baptised.
The Kingdom to Return
"You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favour her, yes, the set time, has come ... So the nations shall fear the name of the LORD, And all the kings of the earth your glory. For the LORD shall build up Zion; he shall appear in his glory" (Psalm 102:13-16; see also Acts 1:6; Micah 4:7-8).
The Throne of the Lord
"At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem; they shall walk no more after the stubbornness of their evil heart" (Jeremiah 3:17; see also Matthew 19:28; Zechariah 6:13; Ezekiel 43:7).
World Government and Peace
"Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:3,4; see also Psalm 72:8; Acts 17:31; Psalm 67:4; Revelation 11:15).
Centre of True Religion
"It shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles" (Zechariah 14:16; see also Isaiah 2:1-2; Ezekiel 43:18-27; Psalm 51:18-19).
Jerusalem - at Peace
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces" (Psalm 122:6,7; see also Isaiah 33:20; 52:9; 62:3,6,7,12;63:3,12).
Jews in Jerusalem
"Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you"— (Zech 8:22,23).
Key to the World's Future
The nation of Israel and the city Jerusalem have a great future in store. When the Jewish people realize their true destiny, and accept their God-given King — the Lord Jesus Christ — it will signal the very end of this age and the beginning of a new and better one. People who live under the rulership of the Lord Jesus Christ will then be privileged to see the world run as it really should be.
Those who have prepared now for that coming time, and who have made their peace with God, in the way that he provides — by faith and baptism — will be given eternal life. Those who now sleep in the dust of death will come forth to join with them in the blessings of that age —living to glorify God and to exalt His appointed King.
Jew and Gentile are destined to find their true place together at the close of this age and the start of that which is to come. Be sure to be there by preparing for it now.