About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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The Historic Claim

Arabs, including those living on the West Bank today, claim a historic right to Jerusalem.  They do so in part because of their conquests and occupation of the city over many centuries.  The battle over the historic claim to Jerusalem is nothing new.  Around 444 BC a Jewish man named Nehemiah proclaimed the following after being ridiculed by non-Jews for his vision to rebuild the city's wall.  "The God of heaven will give us success.  We His servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it" (Nehemiah 2:20 NIV). 


In Biblical terms, Jerusalem belongs to the God of the Jews and He promised it to them.  The promise of land (Genesis 15:18) that includes Jerusalem is one of several promises found in what we call the Abrahamic Covenant.  The sad historical fact is that Jerusalem , due to Israel's unfaithfulness to their God, has been dominated by non-Jews more often than not.  That changed in 1967, when in miraculous fashion Israelis reclaimed their city, but the struggle doesn't end there.           


The prophet Zechariah predicted many future events concerning Jerusalem.  Here are just a few of them which I believe are relevant today.  Jerusalem will be a cup of trembling that will send the surrounding people reeling (12:2).  All the nations of earth will gather against Jerusalem and will be injured in the process (12:3).  The city's inhabitants will be shielded in the day of battle as they declare their allegiance to their God (12:6).  The nations that attack Jerusalem will be destroyed (12:9).  Then, God will pour out His Spirit on the inhabitants of Jerusalem and cleanse them of their sins (12:10 and 13:1). 


I realize there are various views concerning Biblical prophecy, but from my futurist view I see Zechariah's predictions being fulfilled in what has been called the Great Tribulation - a 7 year period of time that will end with the return of Jesus to Jerusalem.  At this point Jesus will secure Jerusalem for the Jews and will rule the nations from there for a thousand years, fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant. 


Amos 9:15 states that once the Jews are back in their land, which they now are, they will never be uprooted from it again.  The presence of Jews in their land, which includes Jerusalem, is why the final war of this age will be fought over the city where God has chosen to have His name dwell (2 Chronicles 6:6).  Jerusalem has a great and blessed future. 



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