What Is the Future of Jerusalem?

Manfred E. Kober, Th.D.

The city of Jerusalem is perennially in the news. The Palestinians demand that the city be divided and East Jerusalem become the capital of a Palestinian state. Iran is close to developing a nuclear bomb with the declared purpose of wiping Jerusalem, indeed, all of Israel, off the face of the earth. Will Israel’s enemies succeed? The Bible pictures a rather complete scenario of the city of peace. There is bad news followed by good news. In the near future it will encounter difficulties. Eventually it will live up to its glorious name.

We must not forget that God is very protective of his people, the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem. God’s chosen people have a central place in the population of this planet. Other nations gain significance only as they are rightly related to Israel (Deut. 32:7-10). The Lord declares that geographically Israel is the center of the earth (Ez. 5:5; 38:12, literally, “the navel of the earth”). In the center of Israel lies the city of Jerusalem. The present center of Jerusalem is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built at the site of Calvary. In its central sanctuary stands a strange convex bird-bath-like stone configuration which has been there since Crusader days. Its designation is “the Navel of the Earth.” Christ died at the very center of the earth! But God’s redeeming work is not completed. Future redemption will include the deliverance of creation from the curse of sin (Rom. 8:21-22).

Christ will reign physically from the throne of David in Jerusalem for 1000 years. Jerusalem, which has witnessed more total destructions than any other city, will at last become the city of peace. What does the prophetic Word declare concerning Jerusalem?

1. Jerusalem will be populated by returning Jews.

After the rapture all the world’s Jews will experience severe persecution (Mat. 24:9) and will hastily return to Israel. Millions of Jews will take up residence in the land of their ancestors and Jerusalem will be its capital (Ez. 37:21; 39:28).

2. Jerusalem will be protected by Antichrist.

With America’s protection withdrawn from Israel after the rapture of the believers, Israel will turn to the powerful Roman prince for protection. He will make a covenant of peace with Israel, giving that nation a complete sense of security. They will live in unprotected settlements in apparent safety, realizing little the impending attack by Russia and ensuing abomination of desolation by Antichrist (Dan. 9:27; Ez. 38:14).

3. Jerusalem will be delivered at Gog and Magog.

At the mid-point of the Tribulation, the armies of Gog and Magog and their confederates will invade Israel in a Blitzkrieg maneuver that startles the rest of the world. In a spectacular outpouring of eight specific judgments, God will protect the land and the people of Israel and utterly destroy the invaders (Ez. 38:18-23: 39:4).

4. Jerusalem will be invaded by Antichrist.

With Antichrist’s major opponent eliminated, but an eastern army of 200 million challenging his rule (Rv. 9:16), he moves his military headquarters from Rome to Jerusalem, desecrating the altar and desolating the temple, driving the Jews from their place of worship and demanding worship as deity (2. Thess. 2:4: Dan. 9:27b; Dan. 11:45; Mt. 24:14-16).

5. Jerusalem will be evangelized by the two witnesses.

Apparently during the last three and a half years of the Tribulation, two unnamed witnesses appear on earth. When Antichrist kills them, their bodies will lie on display in the streets of Jerusalem. Then suddenly, after three days, they will be resurrected and ascend to heaven (Rev. 11:3, 7-8, 11-12).

6. Jerusalem will be shaken by an earthquake.

As the two witnesses are summoned to heaven, a major earthquake shakes Jerusalem, destroying one-tenth of the city and violently crushing 7000 individuals in retribution of their delight over the death of the two witnesses (Rev. 11:13).

7. Jerusalem will be destroyed at the campaign of Armageddon.

During the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation a series of attacks will be launched against Israel by the major armies of the world. Although the campaign is named after the main battlefield of Armageddon in northern Israel (Rev. 16:16), another focal point of conflict will be Jerusalem, as enemy armies conquer the city one final time. This violation of the holy city prompts God to intervene directly (Zech. 12:1-3; 14:1-3).

8. Jerusalem will be rescued by the Messiah.

The destruction of Jerusalem in the final days of Armageddon elicits a swift response from heaven. The times of the Gentiles come to an end. The Son of David returns from heaven, accompanied by vast hosts of saints and angels (Rev. 19:11-14). He destroys Israel’s invaders before He ever descends to the Mount of Olives. Triumphantly He enters the Eastern gate, captures Antichrist and the false prophet, deposits them in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 19:20) and assumes His rule over the world (Zech. 12:4-5; Zech. 14:3-4; 11-12).

9. Jerusalem will be elevated above the surrounding area.

Topographical changes at the Second Advent involve a deep east-west valley in the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4) and an elevation of Israel’s central mountain range into a plateau, positioning Israel as the world’s capital above the surrounding area. (Zech. 14:10).

10. Jerusalem will be exalted as the world’s capital.

Jerusalem at last will be what God intended it to be. The Prince of Peace will rule the world from here during the Millennium, bringing peace and prosperity to the world. Especially the Prophet Isaiah heralds the glorious destiny of the city. “It shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow unto it. . .Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Is. 2:2-30). “My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet and restful places” (32:18) “They shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel” (60:14).

If you know Christ as your personal Savior, you will enjoy His glorious fellowship and comforting presence there for a thousand years and, in the heavenly Jerusalem, for all eternity (Rev. 22:1-5).

© Manfred E Kober

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