O Jerusalem Jerusalem Print E-mail

by: Bishop Samuel Smith

Jerusalem is the focal point of the Mid-East crisis, with world-wide ramifications. It is a city coveted by Arabs and Israelis alike and is called “holy” by Moslems, Christians, and Jews.

It seems strange that in this modern era of “moon walks” and “space shuttles,” that an ancient city keeps crowding its way back into the headlines. Even today, Jerusalem is not large when compared to the likes of New York, Los Angeles, or London. Its population is 262,000 with a total of 41 square miles. Jerusalem’s beginning dates back 4,000 years. Its chief historic importance began about 1,000 B.C. when King David made it the capital of the Israelite tribes.

As Israel embarked on a “roller coaster” religious trip, God allowed them to be conquered by various enemies as a means of judging them for their sins. Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, has known both the blessings of God and His wrath! Time and again the chosen seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob turned their backs upon God; and time and again, God sent prophets to restore Israel. Sometimes revival occurred only to be followed by more disobedience and eventual captivity.

God, Himself, came in the form of man to show Israel the way back to righteousness, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” (St. John 1:5 and 11).

On the Mound of Olives, overlooking the city, Jesus lamented, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!” (Luke 13:34).

It was at Jerusalem that our Lord was deceitfully betrayed, cruelly abducted, unfairly tried, and wrongfully sentenced. He who knew no sin paid the wages of sin… Death! He was the Lamb of God, once and for all, shedding His blood to remit every repented sin.

At Jerusalem, Christ was crucified, buried, and resurrected. Luke’s gospel records, “And that repentence and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:47).

Immediately before ascending into Heaven, Jesus said, “…tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

It was, indeed, in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost that the promised Holy Ghost and power fell in the upper room. In Jerusalem, Peter, having the Keys to the Kingdom, upon being asked, “What shall we do?” preached, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38); thus, fulfilling the command given in St. Luke 24:47 and 49.

Jerusalem has figured prominently in God’s dealing with the nation Israel, His revelation as Jesus Christ coming to seek and to save; and His offered redemption through the new birth. For these same reasons, Jerusalem will not be overlooked today!

Bible prophecy is just as current as the news headlines. To know what time it is prophetically, look at Israel! Israel is God’s time clock and Jerusalem is its minute hand. Jesus said, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh…when these things come to pass, lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh.” (St. Luke 21:20 and 28) The ancient city of Jerusalem holds the attention of the world, because it is there that mankind watches the drama of the “endtime” unfold.

The inhabitants of Jerusalem, both ancient and modern, have suffered much for the hardness of their hearts and their rejection of Jesus, the Messiah! Only when they turn to the Prince of Peace will they know true peace.

The Lord, our God, is still calling whosoever will come, unto salvation today. May we answer the “call” as the first Jerusalem church did; keeping an eye on the time clock as our redemption draweth nigh.

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