Signs of the times

Christadelphians are interested in the signs of the times and events in the Middle East that herald the return of Jesus Christ to the earth.

Jesus promised to return to earth, to restore on earth the kingdom to Israel. That kingdom will involve replacing human rule by divine rule, so that the world fulfils the promise inherent within it ever since Creation. Men and women who are living at Christ’s return will be given wonderful opportunities to learn God’s ways and appreciate His government. The true Gospel is good news about hope for a hopeless world. The Bible provides convincing reasons for people today to forsake lives directed only towards passing pleasures, and provides us with the means of recognising the Lord when he returns, and thus a tangible hope of accepting him at his coming.

The establishment of the Kingdom of God is not a distant hope but is now a very present prospect.

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jerusalemJerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world; it has been fought over many times and destroyed twice.

Even today, its ownership is still being fought over. In 1980 the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) declared Jerusalem as Israel's "eternal and indivisible" capital but the United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared that the Knesset's "Jerusalem Law" was "null and void and must be rescinded forthwith". And the struggle goes on, recently, with Australia joining the USA in declaring that Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel.

So, it seems that Jerusalem is a 'Hot Potato' which burns the fingers of all who try to impose their influence on Jerusalem and ought Bible students be surprise, then, at this constant squabbling over Jerusalem?

Not really, because the both Jesus and the Prophets of the Old Testament inform us that Jerusalem will be the focus of all the world just before Christ returns , for example Zechariah states that Jerusalem will be besieged by armies just before the return of Christ ¶

Zech 12v2 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.

3 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.

In the last few decades Jerusalem has indeed proved to be a 'burdensome stone' to all Nations who have involved themselves with it, but this prophecy says more, it tells us that all the nations will gather themselves together to attack Jerusalem ( this is also prophecied in Joel 3:2)

However, the Prophet Zechariah also states that on this occasion Jerusalem will not fall to the invading armies but will be defended by the LORD in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, whom the Jews will finally recognise as their Messiah.

Zech 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem;

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

This can only mean the return of Christ and the Jews finally understanding that he is their Messiah. And current events tell us that this may happen soon. The attitude of the whole world is subtly changing towards Israel. Should the UN decide at some time to legalise the Palestinian State there could arise a situation where the Nations of the world try to wrest the land from Israel by force. Even if this does not occur immediately, Israel seems to have few friends left and the USA once a strong and staunch ally no longer has the power, nor possibly, the will to stand by her whatever the consequences. And it is when Israel is alone and powerless that the Lord Jesus will return to save his people.

Surely, the return of Christ is near when he will make Jerusalem his Capital from which he will rule the world and it will no longer be a 'burdensome stone' but the joy of the whole world for the prophet Isaiah states

Isa 56:7 mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Ps 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.

When Jesus returns to claim his Kingdom and rule from Jerusalem, that city will no longer be a burden it will be a place of praise to God and Isaiah counsels the faithful to pray earnestly for that day Isa 62:7 And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Lets us therefore watch Israel, pray for the peace of Jerusalem and wait expectantly for the return of Christ.