Is Jerusalem important?

So last week a certain politician announced that his country was going to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the (contemporary) nation-state of Israel (as the country itself already treats it). And it inspired some considerable controversy.

Now, as a Christian I am interested in the history of Israel, as the place where Jesus lived and the nation whose Messiah I believe He is; and I am also interested in the eschatology of Israel, ie. what will happen in ‘the last days’ of Israel.

And I am aware of the fervent disagreements between Christians on this matter.

On the one hand there are Preterists who think that the last days of national Israel were completed when the Temple was destroyed in AD 70, thus fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy (Mk. 14:2//Luke 21:6//Matthew 24:2).

On the other hand there are Premillenialists who think that Jesus is going to literally return to a Jerusalem which is the capital of an Israel to which the Jews have returned (Ez. 36:8-12) ‘a second time’ (Is. 11:11), be at last acknowledged as Messiah by the ultra-Orthodox ‘Pharisees and scribes’ (Matthew 23:9) and enter a rebuilt Temple (Ezekiel 44-46) from which He will reign for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4).

And I am aware that there are also many who believe that Jesus is going to literally and physically return, but do not think that the current state of Israel has any theological significance. You might have heard the joke about the amillenialist, the premillenialist, and the ‘panmillenialist’ who think it will all ‘pan out alright’ in the end!

Yesterday I was leading prayer at Manchester House of Prayer, and in the wake of this week’s events it seemed apt to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem’ (Ps. 122:6). And my first prayer was a confession that “we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Rom. 8:26), and a request for supernatural wisdom and understanding (Col. 1:9).

Anyway, today’s question is simply this:
Do you think Jerusalem is IMPORTANT–and why?



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