U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem...What Does It Mean?
This week, President Trump declared the U.S. would relocate the American embassy back to Jerusalem and formally acknowledged that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. While the Arab world is despondent over that news, Christians seem to be quite elated over it. But I'm not sure all Christians know why. Let's discuss it.
As an American, we rejoice for all good things concerning Israel. Israel is the United States' most trusted ally. The injustice that happens and the hatred toward Israel is atrocious. So all good news about Israel is good. And America and Israel should be friends till the end. Hopefully, the United States government enhances and continues its political favor toward Israel, as they are the most decent nation in the region.
But that's my view as an American. Where does my Christian view come in? Is there any difference between my Christian stance and my American stance? Are we able to separate the two?
If we can't separate the two, then we've lost the most important perspective of all—our Christian one.
For myself, Middle East news never moves me one way or the other. And it shouldn't move you either. There's no reason to be too excited about good news nor upset at bad news, even when it involves Israel. Why? Because we already know exactly what's happening and what's going to happen to Jerusalem in the near future.
But that's my view as an American. Where does my Christian view come in? Is there any difference between my Christian stance and my American stance? Are we able to separate the two? If we can't separate the two, then we've lost the most important perspective of all—our Christian one.
1. Israel was scattered and driven out of its land by God in the Old Testament over and over, every time they broke the covenant by disobeying God.
2. Israel was again scattered and driven out of its land in 70 AD because they rejected Christ and disobeyed God's New Command of "believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ". Jesus even prophesied to them, "O Jerusalem...I would have gathered you, but you wouldn't let me...your house is left to you desolate" (Luke 13:34).
3. Israel will always be at enmity with the Arabs. God prophesied it to Abraham concerning Ishmael and Isaac. Every time Israel broke covenant with God, their enemies encamped around them and persecuted them. It continues today. Without Christ, they have no active covenant with God. The New Testament was not an addition to the Old. It sprung out of the Old and replaced it. The New Covenant is now the "Everlasting Covenant" that people are frequently mis-quoting, "Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant" (Heb 13:20). The blood of the everlasting covenant is the blood of Jesus, and not Old Testament blood.
4. Israel will never have peace again until the Antichrist arises to give them a "false peace" for three and a half years before defiling the holy place during the tribulation "week".
5. So, any Christian who is praying for the peace of Jerusalem is only praying for the Antichrist to come. No other peace talk news has any bearing whatsoever on Christians. It may impact America, but it doesn't impact the Church in any way. And it won't happen until Antichrist.
6. Actually, praying for the peace of Jerusalem is only praying for Jesus to return for the rapture of the saints, then the Antichrist to be revealed, then for the 7 year tribulation, then for the 2nd return of Jesus. Then Jerusalem gets her perfect peace, and all Israel is saved because they accept Jesus as their Messiah.
7. End time events are in process now...wars and rumors and distresses around the world. Israel is part of that. Slowly, God has been bringing Jews back to their land, just has He promised.
8. At some point, the holy temple will be rebuilt and the Jews will re-initiate animal sacrifices as under Old Covenant law. Is that what Christians are hoping for? Is that part of our love and hope for Israel, that they finally get to promote Judaism fully, shed animal blood, and even more blatantly reject Jesus Christ?
9. The rebuilding of the temple is the one remaining event that we can watch for. And we can even root for it. And we can even pray that the U.S. helps to pay for it if necessary. Why? Because it means Jesus' return is close. It's possible that the rebuilding of the temple will not begin until after Christians are out of here at the rapture. But certainly the end is upon us if we see it begin.
10. Other than the temple getting rebuilt, there is no other event that really signifies much. No peace treaty news, no armies forming means anything, no Antichrist guesswork helps anything.
So, Christians keep rooting for Israel in various ways, but I don't think we've really paused to notice what we're rooting for.
You see, for believers in Christ, the unbelieving Jews are not our friends. They still reject Christ, they resist our gospel, and they actually excommunicate family members and friends who become Christian. Unbelieving Jews are in the same friendship status as they were with Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, John—they are enemies, "As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes" (Heb 11:28). That does not mean they are natural enemies, but only spiritual enemies (Evil and misguided groups in history once thought to form armies and kill Jews in the name of Christianity, but that was not true Christianity).
If Christians truly love the Jewish people, we will spend our efforts to spread the gospel to them rather than just trying to fabricate this "kind sentiment" in some way. True kindness would be to turn them to Christ so they don't go to hell. The problem is that the organizations promoting "Christians for Israel" aren't doing that. They are befriending unsaved Jews, but never take the second step of challenging them to receive Christ.
Our Christian perspective must be different than and even supersede our American one, even as it pertains to Israel.
Jerusalem, America, Christianity