Summary: Does the nation of Israel have a special place in God's heart, does it play an important part of the end times?

God: Is Israel still special to you today? Jer. 31:10

1. If you pick up a Bible or a newspaper on any given day, and read it long enough, you can rest assured that you will read something about the Nation of Israel. Contrary to what politicians and pundits may say, Israel, not the United States, not Russia, but Israel, is the most important nation on earth. Jerusalem, not Washington, not Moscow, not Peking, not Paris, not London, is the most important city on earth. Why?

2. You cannot understand the future, you cannot understand Bible prophecy, you cannot even understand the ways and the workings of God, if you don't understand Israel. The Jew is God's yardstick; God's measuring rod; God's blueprint; God's outline; God's plan for the future.

3. The Jew is going according to the Word, and the world is going according to the Jew. Israel is to the nations what the sun is to the planets. Just as surely as the planets revolve around the sun, the nations of this world revolve around Israel.

4. Israel is the geographical center of the world. Ezek. 5:5 tells us, ''Thus saith the Lord God; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her.”' *** The ancient rabbi' used to refer to Israel as ''the navel of the earth.'' In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, there in Jerusalem, there is an inscription which reads, ''This is the center of the earth.'' It is here at this tiny nation that three great continents - Europe, Asia, and Africa, meet together.

5. It is the spiritual center of the world. It is here that Jesus was born; Jesus lived; Jesus died; Jesus was raised; Jesus ascended; and one day Jesus will return to rule and reign over this earth. The three major religions of this world - Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (though Christianity technically is not a religion) claim Jerusalem as a spiritual capitol.

6. It is the prophetical center of the world. If you want to know what time it is on God's clock, look at Israel. If you want to know what day it is on God's calendar, look at Israel. If you want to know what degree it is on God's thermometer, look at Israel. You can summarize biblical prophecy in three words: Jews, Jerusalem, and Jesus. All are inextricably interwoven.

7. It is the political center of the world. It is here that Armageddon, the last battle of the last war, will be fought. David exhorted in Ps. 122:6, ''Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.'' Now why did he not say pray for peace on earth? Because there will be no peace on earth until there is peace in Jerusalem. There will be no peace in Jerusalem until the Prince of Peace returns.

*** Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, recounts the story of meeting with Yasser Arafat, former head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in the guesthouse of one of Saddam Hussein's palaces in Baghdad. They were discussing the possibilities of peace in the Middle East. Dr. Patterson proposed the one solution found in Scripture and read Arafat these words: Isa 19:23-25, “In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.”

Patterson then said: "Mr.Arafat, there is coming a day when there will be peace in the Middle East, and in those days, God will say 'Assyria, My people; Egypt, My people; and Israel, My inheritance.' That peace can only come in the land and in the heart of an individual when Jesus is made the King."

8. Patterson was right. There will be no lasting peace in the world until there is peace in the Middle East. There will be no peace in the Middle East until there is peace in Jerusalem. There will be no peace in Jerusalem until Jesus returns. The key to political peace remains in possession of the fate of Israel. Don’t you wish our President and Secretary of State understood that?

*** Frederick the Great of Prussia, was a staunch Lutheran in the old Prussian tradition, a very religious man. But he began to read after Voltaire, the French writer and skeptic, and he began to have doubts about his faith.

1. He was being tormented by doubt, and he called in one of his court chaplains, and he said, ''Forget your philosophy and forget your theology, give me some firm proof that there is a God, and that the Bible is the Word of God.'' That court chaplain simply replied, ''The Jew, Sire, the Jew.''

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