O JERUSALEM, JERUSALEM!
Luke 13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!”
Jerusalem is the city of the Great King, and as such, she represents the dwelling place of all those who make Jesus their King.
Matthew 5:35 “...Nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.”
Jesus is lamenting the fact that those who dwell in His city and are under His protection from the enemy, do not take heed to His warnings and run to Him in the face of danger, just as when a hen makes a warning sound and her chicks run under her covering for protection.
What is it that makes men unwilling to run to God in times of danger?
Many do not know God’s lovingkindness and compassion well enough, so they fear Him, others do not trust God enough to run to Him in their hour of need, while others do not think that God cares for them, so they say to themselves, why bother.
1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
Is no wonder that the enemy uses fear to try and scare away from God those who are not really sure of God’s unconditional love for them, once the devil gets them away from God’s protection they become easy prey.
I believe that this kind of fear will be the greatest factor that will be at play at the soon return of Jesus, when He comes to take us to be with Him in the clouds, while He judges those left back here on the earth.
When the dreadful signs appear in the sky that His return is imminent, I fear that many believers will not see Jesus as coming to rescue them, but rather to judge them, due to the fact that they have not been made perfect in God’s love, you can get so embroiled on religious traditions and practices, that you forget what real Christianity is all about.
I know that I harp on this a lot, but I truly believe that so many Christians in this present generation have been sold a bill of goods that does not measure up to what the Scriptures really teach about what is going to happen at Jesus’ return.
For years I believed that the rapture would be an event that would happen instantly and without warning, for that was how many Christian movies about the rapture portrayed it, and the endless preachings that no body knew the day nor the hour, so why bother to look for His return.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-6 “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.”
Notice the stark contrast that Paul creates between light and darkness, and between those who know what the coming events entails and between those who do not know.
Those of us who believe, have the Scriptures, that is why Paul tells us that we (should) know perfectly that Jesus’ return will catch the unbelievers by surprise, but then he says: but you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. The reason why it should not overtake us as a thief is because we are children of light, we have the Scriptures to enlighten us, and then he underscores what the Scriptures teach about Jesus’ return: but let us watch and be sober, watch for what you may ask? His return of course.
Luke 21:27 “Then they will se the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
Now here is the key to what I am harping about; when Jesus appears in the cloud everybody will see Him, believers as well as unbelievers, what Paul is trying to teach us has more to do with how we are going to react when we see Him, will we see Him as a judge or as a savior.
No doubt the world will be surprised when He appears, for they will see Him as a judge coming to judge them, and they are not, and have not been looking forward to that, however, we should see Him as a Savior coming to rescue us, for we have been anxiously awaiting for His return.
But what if you have been told for years and years, as I was, that nobody knows about His return, so don’t bother with it, how will you react then, when you see Him in the cloud and all those people around you are running to the bomb shelters, will you run with them to get away from Him? Or will you with a firm and secure voice tell those around you what the Scriptures declare, that they that call upon the name of the Lord will be saved?
Acts 2:19-21 “I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
In Luke 21:26 Jesus tells us that men’s heart will be failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken, which is what we see occurring in the Scripture that we just quoted from in the book of Acts.
In the midst of the heavens and the earth becoming unglued, will you be able to say with complete assurance to those around you that, that is your Jesus coming in the cloud to take you away from all this chaos? And will you also be able to tell them what the Scriptures declare, that if they call upon the name of the Lord that they too shall be saved?
That will very much depend on whether deep within your heart His perfect love for you, has casted out all fears, and also as to whether you have a reasonable understanding of what Scriptures teach will happen at His return.
I always thank God for His grace and mercy that makes up for all that we do not know or understand, for He truly loves us, but as children of the Light we have an obligation to receive the enlightenment of His truth, if for nothing else, that we may be of help to those around us when that glorious day finally appears.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem...How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!”
Remember our opening Scripture? Well, Jerusalem plays a very key role in the end time fulfillment of prophecy as it pertains to the return of Jesus to the earth, if we understand this next Scripture it will help us even more to be ready and to know that His return is imminent.
Zechariah 12:2-3 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.”
The Scriptures clearly indicate that Judah in general, present day Israel, and Jerusalem in particular, will be the focus point that will initiate the return of the Lord to the earth. Many Scriptures point to an invasion of the land of Judah by a confederacy of nations to the north of Israel, to remove Jerusalem from been the capitol of Israel will be their main objective, while the extermination of the Jewish nation will be their overall goal.
Zechariah 12:9 “It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
Before God’s final judgment against humanity begins, He will show Himself Holy to the nations of the world, that means that He will perform a miraculous deliverance of behalf of the city of Jerusalem, by supernaturally destroying all the nations that attacked Jerusalem.
We will witness that invasion, and it will be a sign to us to get ready, for when Jesus reveals Himself to destroy those invading nations, it will also be the time when He reveals Himself to all who want to be taken out of this world.
The timing of the invasion of the land of Israel by a northern confederacy may come as a surprise to us, but not the outcome, for when that invasion takes place, we are pretty much done here on the earth.
1 Thessalonians 5:8-9 “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”