Micah 1-4, Psalm 130
Last year on 5/14/18 we witnessed truly an historic day. The nation of Israel was declared a nation in one day as prophesied in Isaiah 66:8 on May 14, 1948. The United States under Harry Truman was the first nation to recognize them as a nation. Now 70 years to the day in another historic moment, we moved our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, therefore declaring Jerusalem what it has always been, the capital of Israel. I listened to the speeches inaugurating the new embassy building. They were heartfelt and it felt good to be an American and on the right side of Israel. One speech after another spoke about this being the first step in the beginning of the peace process. One speech after another discussed how Jerusalem represented the one city where all major religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam can all worship freely together. It all sounded so good, but unless God rewrites history, all of the comments concerning peace were all wrong. Only Pastor Robert Jeffress dared to mention the name of Jesus Christ. Apparently the mentioning of Jesus' name was deemed controversial. In Isaiah 9:6-7, we read, "For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." Peace will never be established without the Prince of Peace on the throne. That only one speaker dared to mention the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, reveals how the overwhelming majority still believe peace will be established by the ingenuity, goodness and diplomacy of man.
Speaking of the Millennial Kingdom, Micah writes in Micah 4:1-3, "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord's house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations from afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore." This beautiful time of peace cannot and will not be established by man. The Bible is clear about the many events which will unfold before this beautiful time of peace. Things will not flow uneventfully to this time of bliss but will be marked by unprecedented hardship and war. Things will culminate to the Tribulation or as Jeremiah calls it in Jeremiah 30:7, "...the time of Jacob's trouble,...". Moving forward we still have the events depicted by Jesus Himself in Matthew 24. In short, we have many battles including the battle of Gog and Magog as depicted in Ezekiel 38-39, the Rapture as depicted in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, the Tribulation as depicted in Revelation 6-19, the judgment of the nations by King Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46, followed by His reigning from Jerusalem in the Millennial Kingdom depicted in Revelation 20:4-6. Though we should all be proud to have been on the right side of history concerning yesterday's event, we must never put an eraser to all of what must unfold as written in the Bible. Peace will only come about when Jesus, the Prince of Peace returns to rule and reign.
Like Robert Jeffress who had the bold conviction to proclaim the name of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, may we do the same. It is so easy to get wrapped up in discussions about politics. There will be many who agree with what President Trump did in standing alongside Israel. There will also be those who disagree saying that this will result in retaliation by the Palestinians. All of this so easily becomes a distraction to the only true message, which is Jesus Christ. History will indeed unfold. There will be winners and losers. We mistakenly believe that these winners and losers will fall along political sides (Republican vs. Democrat) or along national sides (United States vs. Russia) or along denominational lines (Roman Catholic vs. Protestant). All of these distinctions are in fact distractions from the truth. In Galatians 3:28 we read, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." May we never forget this. As Christians, our role is never to divide, but to unify under the one banner, the only banner with the power to save, Jesus Christ. May we all boldly proclaim His name from the rooftops.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: