With all of the talk about the earthly Jerusalem being the eternal capital of the earthly land of Israel in our time, people always seem to forget one thing. When you look at the scriptures in the Bible we learn that the true patriarchs of the faith had their eyes lifted up toward HEAVEN, looking at the spiritual and eternal things, and not the earthly things. Take a look at old Abraham:
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:8-10)
Abraham and his descendants were looking for the city up above because they wanted to be where their creator and Almighty God was dwelling.
“But ye are come unto mount Sion (ZION), and unto the city of the living God, the HEAVENLY Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and CHURCH of the firstborn, which are written in HEAVEN, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to JESUS the mediator of the NEW covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse NOT him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from HEAVEN: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also HEAVEN. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:22-29)
Every TRUE BELIEVER in Jesus Christ has already come to Mt Zion, the city of the LIVING GOD, the HEAVENLY JERUSALEM. Their focus is ABOVE just like the true believers throughout the history of those who followed the Lord. Hebrews 11 is like a “Hall of Faith” and every one of those faithful believers followed the SAME Jesus Christ whom I serve today! Their focus was not on an EARTHLY city of Jerusalem as so many, have believed in this modern day. I do have sympathy for those who have been ensnared by that great DECEPTION because it is taught in most churches, and I was formerly among the deceived on that point until the Spirit guided me into the truth. If the “fathers of the faith” had their eyes on the heavenly country, then that is where our eyes must also be. There always has been one people of God, and that includes both Jew and Gentile. But stop there for a minute. The scriptures tell us that it is ONLY those who have FAITH who are the children of Abraham! Not only that BUT it tells us that this FAITH must be in the person of Jesus Christ! The TRUE CHILDREN of Abraham are those who have FAITH in Jesus Christ. Any person who does not believe in Jesus Christ is not part of the Kingdom of God. The Jewish apostle Paul was converted to Jesus Christ and he could not have been any clearer in what he said!
Know ye therefore that they which are of FAITH, the same are the children of ABRAHAM. (Galatians 3:7)
That includes both Jewish and Gentile people, and the common denominator is FAITH in Jesus Christ.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith NOT, And to seeds, as of many; but as of ONE, And to thy SEED, which is CHRIST (MESSIAH). (Galatians 3:16)
And if ye be CHRIST’S, then are ye ABRAHAM’S SEED, and heirs according to the PROMISE. (Galatians 3:29)
The SEED (descendant) is Christ (which means Messiah), and so the PROMISE has been FULFILLED in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. The Kingdom of God is a SPIRITUAL KINGDOM, and a person must be born again of the Spirit to get inside that Kingdom. The Bible makes it clear that IF YE BE CHRIST’S, then you are Abraham’s seed (descendant). It is naturally obvious that IF a person BE NOT CHRIST’S, then they are NOT Abraham’s seed (descendant) There is only ONE true ISRAEL of GOD, and that includes both Jewish and Non-Jewish believers in Jesus Christ. This is so FAIR and RIGHTEOUS and JUST because God invites ALL PEOPLE to become part of His Kingdom!
Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are NOT all ISRAEL, which are of ISRAEL: (Romans 9:6)
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in CHRIST (MESSIAH) JESUS neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the ISRAEL OF GOD. (Galatians 6:14-16)
It does not matter a drop whether or not a person has been circumcised or not. The TRUE ISRAEL OF GOD is made up of people who believe in Jesus Christ, whom the Father sent into this world! The Jewish apostle Paul was previously a persecutor and murderer of Christians until the Lord Jesus Christ saved him. Paul made it clear that the true Jews were those who were circumcised in the heart and not the flesh.
“For he is not a JEW, which is one OUTWARDLY; neither is that circumcision, which is OUTWARD in the flesh: But he is a JEW, which is one INWARDLY; and circumcision is that of the HEART, in the SPIRIT, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of GOD.” (Romans 2:28-29)
Faith in Jesus Christ is not merely an option but it is an absolute requirement for salvation and entrance into Heaven!
For ye are all the children of God by FAITH in CHRIST (MESSIAH) JESUS For as many of you as have been baptized into CHRIST (MESSIAH) have put on CHRIST (MESSIAH). There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in CHRIST (MESSIAH) JESUS. And if ye be CHRIST’S (MESSIAH’S), then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)
It does not matter if you are Jewish, Gentile, male or female, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then YOU most definitely are part of the SEED (descendants) of Abraham. YOU are linked together with people (of the same precious faith) from every part of the world. What could be more beautiful than that? This is the GLAD TIDINGS of the Gospel, which the angel spoke about when Christ was born.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL PEOPLE. For unto you is born this day in the city of DAVID a SAVIOUR, which is CHRIST (MESSIAH) THE LORD. (Luke 2:8-11)
Do not miss the TRUTH that this Gospel message was meant for ALL PEOPLE! Once again I must tell you that this is so JUST, so RIGHTEOUS and so FAIR! The very fact that Christ (Messiah) was born in the city of David, shows us that Jesus was the promised Messiah that Micah the prophet spoke about! ( see Micah 5:2) Jesus also made it clear that His Kingdom was NOT of this world!
JESUS answered, My kingdom is NOT of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the JEWS: but now is my kingdom not from hence. (John 18:36)
The apostle Paul spoke along those same lines, and he continued even as the patriarchs of the FAITH, in keeping his focus up ABOVE, and NOT on the earth!
If ye then be RISEN with CHRIST (MESSIAH), seek those things which are ABOVE, where CHRIST (MESSIAH) sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with CHRIST (MESSIAH) in GOD. When CHRIST (MESSIAH), who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)
In the following passage of scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke very highly of the faith of a Gentile man and told the religious Jewish people that he had NOT seen such great FAITH in ISRAEL.
The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of HEAVEN. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:8-12)
Jesus Christ specifically mentioned Abraham, Isaac and Jacob because the religious Jewish leaders prided themselves on their knowledge of the scriptures. The Lord told them that people would come from every part of the earth (East, West, North, and South, see Luke 13:29) and that those same people would sit down and eat with those patriarchs of the faith. The Lord was talking about the Gentiles (from all nations) and the TRUE children of Israel (believers) sitting down TOGETHER in HEAVEN, as ONE people. The unbelieving physical descendants of Israel would be THRUST OUT! Why? Simply because they REJECTED Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the very Son of God, whom the Father sent to redeem their precious souls!
For HERE have we NO continuing city, but we seek ONE TO COME. (Hebrews 13:14)
The Bible makes it clear that HERE (in this present world) WE (true believers in Jesus Christ ) have NO CONTINUING CITY! The land of Israel over in the Middle East is not the continuing city for any group of people, Jewish or Gentile. In fact, the real Jesus Christ actually KNOWS who every true believer is in this world. Jesus knows those who have been born again of the Spirit into his kingdom and those who have not. (John 3:1-21)
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:1-8)
Those who are TRUE BELIEVERS in Jesus Christ have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and they shall not be hurt by the SECOND DEATH simply because they ALREADY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE in Jesus Christ. But those who continue to reject this GREAT SALVATION will be cast into the Lake of Fire, according to God’s Word!
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15)
It is not too late for YOU to get SAVED and have YOUR name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10)
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)
Your SIN separates you from God and in HIS sight you are without life and spiritually DEAD! In other words, YOU are UNGODLY in the sight of a HOLY and RIGHTEOUS GOD! But it is not HOPELESS for YOU at all. This is the great news about Jesus Christ!
For when we were yet without strength, in due time CHRIST died for the UNGODLY. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But GOD commendeth his LOVE toward US, in that, while we were yet sinners, CHRIST died for us. Much more then, being now JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD, we shall be SAVED from wrath through him. (Romans 5:6-9)
It almost sounds too good to be true does it not? Why? Because deep inside your own heart YOU realize what a wretch YOU really are, just as I did when the Spirit of God started moving in my heart. The apostle Paul preached the same way to the Jews and the Greeks (Gentiles) and he consistently pointed them to put their FAITH in Jesus Christ.
Testifying both to the JEWS, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward GOD, and FAITH toward our LORD JESUS CHRIST. (Acts 20:21)