Sermons

Summary: What praying for "peace of Jerusalem" means and doesn’t mean. When it becomes a sin to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Personalized applications - praying for your Jerusalem - what you face as a citizen of the new Jerusalem, the Kingdom of God through

I. PATRIOTIC PSALM - Calling For Patriotism & National Peace

A. Much Like Our Patriotic Songs – “God Bless America”

B. Jews A Very Proud People

1. Knew they where “God’s Chosen” -via them a Messiah would come

2. God had done so many great works on their behalf

C. Jerusalem Was A Very Proud City

1. Mountain city

2. Called “City of David”

a. it was there that David brought the head of Goliath (1 Sam 17)

b. it was there, David drove out the Jebusites

c. it was there, David fixed his own dwelling

d. it was there, David built an alter to the Lord on threshing floor

e. it was there, David brought the ark of the covenant

f. it was there, David established it as the new capital

3. Called “City of God”, “City of the Great King”, “Holy Mountain”

a. there, Solomon built the temple on Mount Moriah

b. there, Solomon strengthened & adorned the city

c. there, Solomon made it the religious center of the nation

4. Great nationalistic pride in Jerusalem & about Jerusalem (Ps 51:18 ; Ps 137:6-7; Jer 51:50)

C. Yet Jerusalem Is A City That Has Seen More Upheaval Than Peace

1. Taken & retaken by Egyptians, Assyrians, Kings of Israel

2. (588 B.C.) taken & destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon

3. (536 B.C.) rebuilt by Cyrus of Persia

4. (167 B.C.) conquered by Greeks, later by Rome

5. (AD 70) destroyed by Rome, laid in ruins

6. (AD 135) Jews took re-possession of Jerusalem, but destroyed again great slaughter

7. (AD 614) Persians conquered it / Then in 637 - Arabians/ 960 Egyptians / 1073 Turcomans/ 1187 Moslems/ 1946 - Jews

8. Pray for peace? You bet - most dangerous city to live in

II. PULPITS THIS MORNING “PRAYING FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM” – I’M DISTURBED

A. Prayed With A Reteric That’s Inflamitary – That’s Incindiary – That’s Not “Peaceful”

B. Prayed With A Theology That Elevates Religion Above A Relationship With God

III. WHEN IS A SIN TO PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM?

A. When Prayers Of Patriotism Elevate Politics Above People

1. This week I’ve heard prayers: “help them crush their enemies”

a. that’s a one-sided peace

b. what about our missionaries? Our churches?

c. what about the youngest of children?

d. what about God-fearing / Christ trusting people in Beiruit?

e. what about ungodly of Beiruit who’ve never heard of Christ?

f. so do you still want Israel to “crush her enemies?”

2. Patriotism wonderful thing - “God bless America” – I love to sing that

3. But when Patriotism elevated above people – becomes sin

a. America is already blessed – America, bless God

b. America – bless your neighbors

c. we can’t stop natural disasters, but can stop human disaster of children dying of malnutrition, disease because didn’t have a $1 vaccination

4. When is it a sin to pray for the peace of Jerusalem

a. when I fail to pray for the peace of Beiruit

b. when I fail to pray for the peace of people of Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iran, for Haiti, Pine Ridge

B. When Prayers Of Patriotism Elevate Religion Above Relationship w/ Christ

1. But aren’t the Jews God’s “favored people”?

a. Gal 3:26-29 “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus… 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. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed…”

b. Col 3:8-11 “But now you yourselves are to…put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew , circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”

2. With Christ cultural/racial distinctions/favorites are erased

a. new covenant – new agreement

b. new circumcision (of the heart)

c. new citizenship – kingdom transcending geographical/political

C. Praying For Peace Of Jerusalem Then Takes On Much Broader /Personal Meaning

1. “Let there be peace on earth”

2. “Let it begin in me” – I can’t control what’s happening on a foreign soil, but I do have control of what’s happening right where I toil!

IV. PRAYING FOR PEACE OF JERUSALEM INCLUDES

A. Peace For Her Streets – My Streets

1. Where you walk, where you go, your paths, your decisions

2. Prov 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

3. My ways are not your ways says the Lord

4. Psalm 23 – valley of the shadow – of death, of grief, of disappointment

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