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Conflict over Jerusalem

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As U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Israel this week, international reaction continues to push for Arab involvement in Jerusalem. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was in Brussels this week encouraging the EU to recognize Palestine as a full-fledged state (Times of Israel, January 22, 2018). At an earlier visit with Jordanian King Abdullah in Amman, Mr. Pence was informed that East Jerusalem must be the capital of a Palestinian state (Jerusalem Post, January 21, 2018). Among King Abdullah’s most sobering comments on this visit was his view of the overall importance of Jerusalem to the world: “For us, Jerusalem is key to Muslims and Christians, as it is to Jews. It is key to peace in the region.” The king also emphasized the importance of a two-state solution.

The Bible predicted that Jerusalem would be a “cup of drunkenness” and a “very heavy stone” for the nations surrounding it (Zechariah 12:2-3)—and it has been for millennia. It has been a source of war and a symbol of peace. Even today, many modern nations and governments desire to control it, including the Palestinians and the Vatican. End-time prophecies describe a time just prior to its desolation, when Jerusalem will be “surrounded by armies” (Luke 21:20). A charismatic world leader will defile the “holy place” (Daniel 12:11; Matthew 24:15-16) and kill God’s two witnesses in Jerusalem at the end of their 3½-year prophetic ministry (Revelation 11:3-9).

The Bible also reveals that Jerusalem is a key to peace in the region and the world! Ultimately, the returning Messiah, Jesus Christ, will descend on Jerusalem and make it the new world capital. From there He will reign as King of kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 17:14), and from there the law will go forth to all the earth (Micah 4:2). Watch for the world’s attention to focus increasingly on Jerusalem, and watch for the Europeans and the Vatican to become more deeply involved in Jerusalem’s future—and watch for the Jews to reinstitute sacrifices on the Temple Mount. For more details about coming events in this dynamic part of the world, read “The Future of Jerusalem.”