Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The World's Focal Point--Jerusalem

"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it." Zechariah 12:2-3

What do the following cities have in common?

1. Tokyo, Japan - 28,025,000
2. Mexico City, Mexico - 18,131,000
3. Mumbai, India - 18,042,000
4. Sáo Paulo, Brazil - 17, 711,000
5. New York City, USA - 16,626,000
6. Shanghai, China - 14,173,000
7. Lagos, Nigeria - 13,488,000
8. Los Angeles, USA - 13,129,000
9. Calcutta, India - 12,900,000
10. Buenos Aires, Argentina - 12,431,000

Give up? No! I gave you their population. Wow! Those are huge numbers. According to the World Atlas .com site Jerusalem is not in the top 100.

So what is the point? How often do you hear about these cities in the news? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? With only a couple of exceptions, I can't remember when I last heard these cities in the news. Yes! We hear of New York, LA, or Mexico City often, but that is due to their proximity. I dare say that the majority of these cities are not mentioned in the news weekly or even once a month.

Jerusalem comes in at a whopping 2,550,000 people. Now, when was the last time a day went by when the city was not mentioned in some news outlet? While it may not be mentioned every single day, I can't ever remember a week going by in years when the city was not mentioned. It seems that all eyes are on Jerusalem. Why? Because that is exactly what God told Zechariah and the other prophets that He would bring to pass. Let's not forget the New Testament and Jesus' focus on Jerusalem either.

This is a rather new phenomena! Just a little over 100 years ago, the city was in the middle of a wasteland. Here is Mark Twain's comment on Jerusalem during a visit in 1867, "“A fast walker could go outside the walls of Jerusalem and walk entirely around the city in an hour. I do not know how else to make one understand how small it is.”

However, God promised it would become the center of world attention at the end of the age. The UN has deliberated more on Jerusalem and Israel than any topic at all. News agencies from every continent routinely carry articles and stories with news about Jerusalem and the Middle East. Recently, (also prophetic) discussions appeared almost daily worldwide about splitting Jerusalem in pieces.

Since Jerusalem is now the burdensome stone for all people, shouldn't we pay close attention to the way we live seeing the Lord is coming soon? Since we see this cup of trembling now the main news item in the world, shouldn't we quit playing church and looking for temporary, monetary blessings (this seems to be the entire focus of many ministries today!) and share the gospel individually more than ever?

A focus on Jerusalem! Another clear sign we are near to Christ's coming. It is even at the door!

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