What’s Next? from Jerusalem
God knows the end from the beginning. He has made hundreds of detailed predictions in the Bible, stacking the odds of fulfillment against Himself so that when they do come to pass, we know they’re from Him alone.
The Place: Jerusalem (Matthew 24:3)
Jerusalem is the center of the earth:
Geographical center: Israel is at the center of the world, Jerusalem is at the center of Israel, and the temple is at the center of Jerusalem.
Salvation center: Jerusalem is where Jesus died and rose again.
Political center: Israel is the storm center of the world politically. God said, “I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone…. All nations of the earth are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:3).
Glory center: There is a kingless throne in Jerusalem and a throneless King in heaven. When Jesus comes, the two will meet, beginning a new reign of peace.
The Prediction: The Temple Destroyed (Matthew 24:2)
Jesus predicted the fall of the temple: “Assuredly…not one stone shall be left here upon another” (v. 2).
In AD 70, the Romans destroyed the temple. Jesus’ prophecy was fulfilled, and the religious system of the Jews was forever changed.
This statement shocked His disciples; the presence of the temple was a sign of God’s favor.
The Promise: His Coming (Matthew 24:4-8, 42)
This is a promise of preparation: Jesus went away to prepare a place for us (see John 14:1-3), and though we don’t know when He’ll return (see Matthew 24:42), He promised He will come back for us.
We are looking for two future events to happen:
The rapture: Jesus will come in the air; believers will meet Him in the atmosphere. This is when Jesus claims His bride; it will be sudden and unpredictable (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
The second coming: Jesus will come to the earth with the church, His bride. This coming will be proclaimed everywhere, as Scripture predicts (see Revelation 1:7; 14:1-20).
Finally, we will rule with Christ in the new heaven and new earth (see Revelation 21:1). This will be our home forever. We will rejoice not for what is at this home but who is at this home with us.
Connect Up: Consider Jerusalem’s importance throughout history. Knowing the story ends with a new heaven and new earth, how does the reality of our future draw you closer to the Lord? What do you think the new heaven and new earth will be like (see Revelation 22)?
Connect In: How does the future help shape your present interaction with fellow believers? How does the hope of a new heaven and new earth influence how you help others in our current dwelling place?
Connect Out: Are you ready? Are your family, friends, and coworkers ready? Take a few moments to pray for the people you know who need Jesus.