Why would anybody pick Jerusalem to be the capital of the world? It’s not the oldest city, the biggest city, or the richest city in the world. And it’s often in the news because of acts of terrorism and violent clashes.
But it is located very well – at the confluence of three major continents, and in a very key position strategically. More importantly than that, we are told in the Bible that it is a special place, because God chose it to put His name there:
“Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name.” – 1 Kings 11:36
David was a king who ruled from Jerusalem in around 1000 BC. He had a very strong faith in God, and pleased God. God made a special promise to David that his throne (which was in Jerusalem) would be established for ever. This would be possible because he would have a descendant who would be immortal.
“Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.” – 2 Samuel 7:16
It sounds amazing, but this is what was promised to him – it’s worth reading the whole chapter if you can. David’s descendant was to be Jesus Christ, who would be descended from both David and from God.
“You shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” – Luke 1:31-33.
So we are told that the Son of God will rule from Jerusalem. That’s enough to make it a very special city indeed!
When will this happen? There is a prophecy in Ezekiel that Jerusalem would be a troublesome place, and it would be completely destroyed (or ‘overturned’) three times in its history:
“You, O profane wicked one, prince of Israel, whose day has come, the time of your final punishment, thus says the Lord God: Remove the turban and take off the crown. Things shall not remain as they are… a ruin, ruin, ruin I will make it. This also shall not be, until he comes, the one to whom judgement belongs, and I will give it to him.” – Ezekiel 21:27
We know that this has already happened twice: once by the Babylonian army in 586 BC and once by the Romans in 70 AD. It has not yet happened a third time, so this event is still in the future.
For many years, it would make no sense to punish the Jews by overturning Jerusalem (as this verse suggests) because the Jews did not inhabit Israel, and so anything happening in Jerusalem would not affect them. But all that changed in 1948 when they returned to their land and the new state of Israel, and again in 1967 when the Jews occupied the whole city of Jerusalem once again. Now any overturning of their capital city would very dramatically affect them!
We know from other Bible prophecies that this third overturning will be done by many nations all coming together against Jerusalem. “For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken.” – Zechariah 14:2
We can actually see this building at the moment, with lots of nations preparing to fight with Israel. The Bible tells us that when all seems lost, God “will go forth and fight against those nations” (verse 3), and it is at this point that Jesus Christ will be established as the king (the rightful king, according to our verse in Ezekiel 21). He will reign from Jerusalem over all the earth.
“At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it.” – Jeremiah 3:17.
So it will be the capital of the world. We have a choice now to be a part of this kingdom to come, but time is running out. The nations are gathering even now against Jerusalem, and the battle is coming. Will you be ready?
These notes are a summary of one of our Bible Hour talks – see Coming Up page for more talks like this one.