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2021 online sermons » Dr. David Jeremiah » David Jeremiah - A Geographical Prophecy: Jerusalem

David Jeremiah - A Geographical Prophecy: Jerusalem

David Jeremiah - A Geographical Prophecy: Jerusalem
David Jeremiah - A Geographical Prophecy: Jerusalem
TOPICS: Where Do We Go From Here?, Jerusalem, Israel, End times, Prophecy

History was humming in the air like electricity on May 14, 2018. A blue-ribbon crowd assembled in front of the new American Embassy in Jerusalem. The event coincided with the 70th birthday of the state of Israel. The weather was mild and sunny, and the gallery was filled with sunglasses and smiles. After years of vacillation, the United States of America was officially moving its ambassador and diplomatic staff to the true capital of the Jewish state, to Jerusalem. Amen. There were 800 guests in attendance that day, including members of the United States Congress, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, members of the Trump family, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, the Middle East Peace Envoy, representatives of 33 other countries, pastors and rabbis, and, of course, Israel's president and prime minister. Standing in the sunshine before giant flags of the United States and Israel, an emotional Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu punched the podium with his finger, and exclaimed, "What a glorious day. Remember this moment. This is history".

Well, I've had the privilege of visiting Jerusalem many times, and each occasion has been memorable. As you drive in from the east, the sight just takes your breath away. Emerging from a tunnel, your attention leaps to the left. There shimmering in the sunshine is the Temple Mount, the wailing wall, the glistening Dome of the Rock, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Mount of Olives, Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The walls around the old city reflect a golden view; and at night, they're burnished with an eerie glow from great spotlights. The sight of these walls, day or night, almost brings tears to your eyes. This is the old city of Jerusalem. By moving the United States embassy to this hallowed city, the United States made an historic statement in support of Israel, illustrating a unique union between two of the greatest democracies on planet Earth.

Since then, other nations have moved their embassies to Jerusalem. Though the decision to do so is controversial, in fact, as you probably remember, everybody predicted it would create a war, which it did not do. It certainly asks a lot of questions and beg some answers. So, here is the question. Why should there be such a deep emotion about a piece of real estate no bigger than the state of New Jersey? Why should love and hatred for Jerusalem be so strong? One answer is that Jerusalem is bound up with prophecies from Almighty God.

I can hardly believe that I was privileged to be alive when the state of Israel was reborn in 1948. I was seven years old. Now, I have had the privilege of watching another prophetic domino fall with yet another elevation of Jerusalem. In the words of prophetic writer Randall Price, Jerusalem is now set to become "God's stage for the final drama". The city of Jerusalem, as you know, is sacred to Christianity, sacred to Judaism, and sacred to Islam. It's the world's most significant city, and it's mentioned in the Bible 811 times. Now, that might not sound so awesome to you until I tell you that the second most mentioned city in the Bible is Babylon. It's mentioned 200-and-some times. Once you realize how prominent Jerusalem is, you'll see it everywhere. Almost every place you turn, there's something being said about Jerusalem. It is God's city.

Population of Jerusalem is growing. It is moving toward a million people. When Jesus was on this earth, 75,000 people lived in Jerusalem. And according to the Bible, I don't know if you know this, there's a special blessing that resides upon anybody who is born in Jerusalem. Here's what it says in Psalm 87. "And of Zion," or Jerusalem, "it will be said, 'This one and that one were born in her.' And the Most High Himself shall establish her. The Lord will record when He registers the people". Did you know that there are people who, when they find out they're pregnant, go to Jerusalem so their children can be born under the blessing of God because there is a special blessing upon those who are born in Jerusalem? Don't ask me to explain it. I'm just reporting it.

So, Jesus loved Jerusalem. On one occasion, he stood outside of Jerusalem, and we read this in Matthew 23, "He prayed, 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her, how often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing". Jesus loved Jerusalem, and he cried over Jerusalem because of their unwillingness to accept him as their Messiah. If you study the history of the early church, you know that it all started in Jerusalem. The Bible says we're to take the gospel to the whole world, from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world. Jerusalem is the center of world evangelism, according to the book of Acts.

Now, there's several main reasons why Jerusalem is so important and why it's such a constant subject, even in the secular news. First of all, Jerusalem is a central city. Jerusalem is the center of Israel in the same way your heart is the center of your body. No city on earth has captured the world's attention throughout all the centuries like the city of Jerusalem. Ezekiel the prophet put it this way. He said, "This is Jerusalem. I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her". Yes, Jerusalem is the city in the center. It is the center of man's hopes and God's purposes. God loves Jerusalem. Satan hates Jerusalem. Jesus wept over Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit descended into Jerusalem. The nations are drawn to Jerusalem, and one day Christ will return to Jerusalem and reign over the city.

Indeed, the destiny of the world is tied to the future of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a central city. Here's something I didn't realize at the depth that I now realize it. Jerusalem is a chosen city. Do you know that Jerusalem was chosen specifically by God for her role in the history of Israel, in the life of Jesus, and in the events of his return. According to 1 Kings 8:44, Jerusalem is the city which God has chosen. In Deuteronomy chapter 12, five times we are told that God chose Jerusalem for his name. This is God's city, the city of Jerusalem, set in a place like no other city. Here's a passage that uniquely helps you to understand that.

This is 2 Chronicles 6:5-6. You might want to write this passage down. "Since the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt," God is speaking, "I have chosen no city from any tribe of Israel in which to build a house, and My name might be there, nor did I choose any man to be a ruler over my people, Israel, but I have chosen Jerusalem that My name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over my people". In other words, God said, "Since the beginning of time, I never selected any city, there was no special city, but I have selected Jerusalem. Jerusalem is my chosen city. Jerusalem has my special blessing upon it. It's the city that has my name connected to it", and it helps me to understand what happens to me when I go to Jerusalem.

I've been going there now for a number of years, and I've tried to explain even to my wife how, when I walk into that city, it's like a spell comes over me. It's sort of almost surreal. In those moments, it's like I've got one foot in the past and the other in the future, and the walls and the buildings are made of a kind of pale golden limestone that's used a lot in the United States even now. It's called Jerusalem stone. There's always just a whiff of tension in the city of Jerusalem because everybody knows that the ground beneath their feet is the powder keg of the earth. I don't feel unsafe in Jerusalem, that's not it. I mean, everywhere you look somebody's got a rifle slung over their shoulder. It's the most armed city I've ever been in. Everybody who's in Jerusalem, if you're a citizen of Jerusalem, if a young person in Jerusalem, you're in the army. You're a soldier. You don't get to ask to be in the army. You are. And the reason they're able to protect themselves so wonderfully when they're attacked is the whole city is ready to respond. It's the most prepared city to protect itself that I've ever been in.

And there are placed in Jerusalem where I literally walk where Jesus walked. We see some of the locations when we go there where Jesus performed his miracles, where he debated his enemies, where he faced his execution. Most of all, I love going to the quiet beauty of the garden tomb and visualizing how it must have been on Resurrection day. So, I've spent my whole life studying and teaching the Bible, and when I'm in Jerusalem, it's as though I were jumping through its pages, transported to the very scenes of action. I hope you've been there. If you haven't, I hope you go. When you come home, the Bible is never the same thing. You read something in the Scripture, Oh, I was there. I walked on that place. But having said all of that, I still haven't explained to you why I now understand I have such an overwhelming aura when I go to Jerusalem. I've discovered something that goes far beyond emotions and enjoyment.

Men and women, as never before, I've realized that Jerusalem belongs to God as no other city ever has or ever will. There's a biblical sense in which Jerusalem is eternal. It will never die. Jerusalem is God's own unique, eternal city; and that fact, more than any other, explains the wonder of the holy city to me. When I go there, I'm walking in God's city. I'm moving around in the city chosen by the Almighty. So, Jerusalem's a central city, and it's a chosen city. It's also a capital city. Jerusalem became the capital of Israel by decree of King David over 3,000 years ago, and it's remained Israel's capital ever since. Other nations have conquered and settled in the land of Israel, but no one has ever declared Jerusalem their capital. Over the past 2,000 years, even during times of occupation and persecution, a Jewish community has resided in Jerusalem and maintained it as their eternal capital.

For many years, American opinion spoke in favor of moving the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and politicians agreed. Presidential candidates promised to do it. In October of 1995, the U.S. Congress called for the move to occur by May 1999. But one after another, our American presidents deferred, citing the fear of security considerations should they do such a thing. But in June of 2017, the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution 90 to nothing that reaffirmed the 1995 congressional decision and called upon the president to implement it. And six months later, President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the embassy away from Tel Aviv. And critics whined and complained, saying he should've used the issue to work with the Palestinians. But in short, the embassy was relocated to an area in western Jerusalem where Israel commands total sovereignty, and it is now in Jerusalem where you will find the United States embassy.

With that event, another key has been turned in the grand lock of biblical prophecy, and I'll explain what I mean. Here's the answer to that question, "What does this mean"? The second advent of Jesus Christ cannot happen without Jerusalem. Almost all the Christ-centered events in the future will take place in Jerusalem. Without Jerusalem, these events would be impossible. Were I living in Jerusalem today, if I was a citizen of Jerusalem, I would take these prophecies with a great sense of reassurance because they assume the continual existence of this city, a fact that seems at odds with the threats she continually faces every day.

Every time I've gone to Jerusalem, I've had the opportunity to preach on the southern steps of the temple. I looked over to my right, and I could see the Mount of Olives, the hilltop where Jesus ascended to heaven at the close of his gospel ministry. To this very place, we are told in the prophetic Scripture, Jesus will come again. He will come again, and his feet will touch the Mount of Olives, from which he went back to heaven. Not only will Christ return to Jerusalem at his second advent, but that city will be the seat from which he reigns on the earth during the whole millennium. The thousand-year period of Christ's rule on the earth will take place, and it will be centered where? In Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be the Messiah's millennial capital and the home of a temple in which the sacrifices will be memorial. That's only the beginning. The everlasting capital city of Jesus throughout eternity will be Jerusalem. In the Bible, we call it the New Jerusalem. Earthly Jerusalem, to which Jesus will return and from where he will reign a thousand years, is the prelude to another Jerusalem, a city whose foundations and builder is God.

The New Jerusalem is the city we read about in the Bible in Revelation 20 and 21. The Bible says in 21:2, "The holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God". And men and women, this is a real city. The final two chapters of the Bible use the word "city" 11 times to describe the New Jerusalem. This isn't a figure of speech. This is not some spiritual thing. Let's face it. Because our resurrection bodies are going to be real, the body of Jesus was real after he came out of the grave. We're going to have resurrection bodies, just like Jesus had. Because our bodies will be real, we're going to need a real place to live, a real place in which to function, and the New Jerusalem will be just that. It will be a physical location. In the book of Revelation, we have our fullest glimpse of the details of that city. It is the capital city of heaven. And I want to read to you a rather extended section of Revelation chapter 21, so you can remember what the Bible says about this place, our eternal home.

"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.' Then He who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' And He said to me, 'Write, for these words are faithful and true.'"

Now, that's a long section, but this description implies the holy city was designed and built and made ready for the earth. And John didn't see the New Jerusalem being created. It exists now. The New Jerusalem is heaven. It's where my parents are. It's where many of your loved ones are. It's where we go when we die. It's the New Jerusalem. It's in heaven. But the Bible says in the end times it will descend to this earth, this foursquare city. And a lot of people say, "Well, how could that city be big enough to handle all the Christians who are going to be there"? People who ask that question probably are overestimating how many Christians are going to be there. And they're underestimating the incredible volume of space in a foursquare city, the city of my God. So, try this exercise. What do you think this is going to look like? I'm gonna give you a little experience this morning.

Think of the most beautiful spot you've ever seen on planet Earth. For me, it's an island in the Aegean Sea called Santorini. Here it is. I've been there twice. It's an amazing city because it's built on the top of a volcano that, obviously, is dead, and everything is white. And when you're in a ship coming toward the city, it's up high. You have to take an escalator to get up there. And when you see it... I remember saying to Donna, "It looks like we're floating toward heaven". That's what it looks like. And it is a beautiful city, unbelievable. As we stood on the deck of the ship and looked at the white little town with its rounded roofs and quaint simplicity, it looked like it was suspended in space. But ladies and gentlemen, as breathtaking as Santorini is, it's nothing compared to the beauty of the New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem will be so overwhelming, you will not be able to take it in, in one breath. What's happened in Jerusalem now is a prediction of the Jerusalem that is to come.

Jerusalem in Israel is a city which, in essence, never ends. It's an eternal city. The old Jerusalem will be replaced by the New Jerusalem and continue on forever and ever. When you see the New Jerusalem, you'll be overjoyed with its beauty. That's the first thing I want you to think about. The Bible describes the New Jerusalem as a city built on a foundation of precious stones. Entry into this city will be through gates of pearl, and the streets will be paved with gold. The light of the city will come from the Lamb of God himself, who is the light of the world. Near the city center, you'll find the tree of life, which has been missing since the book of Genesis in chapter 3. The inhabitants of the city will be able to eat the leaves of the tree of life, and those leaves will somehow provide a deeper sense of our well-being in heaven. In the heart of the city is the river of life, which will come from beneath the throne of God and flow through the landscape and delight the whole earth. This will be a beautiful river.

So, you'll be overjoyed with its beauty. You'll be overwhelmed with its holiness. Three times in Revelation 21 and 22, John calls the New Jerusalem a holy city. The Wycliffe Bible commentary says that a holy city will be one in which no lie will be uttered in 100 million years. No evil word will ever be spoken. No shady deal will ever be discussed. No unclean picture will ever be seen. No corruption of life will ever be manifest. It will be holy because everyone in it will be holy. In fact, John lists eight kinds of people who will never step foot inside the gates of the New Jerusalem. Here they are in Revelation 21:8. "The cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, all liars, they shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death".

So, when you see the New Jerusalem, you'll be overwhelmed by its beauty. When you enter the city, you'll be overwhelmed by its holiness. And I say that today with some context for where we are now. Is there any place where you can go today that's truly holy, where it hasn't been touched by the icy fingers of sin? Oh, there's some good places. I hope this is one of them. But while this church is filled with good people, it's not holy because sitting in this room today among us, maybe you're one of them, is unholiness. But when you get to heaven, there won't be anything that's unholy. Everything will be perfectly holy. There will be no sin, no thought of sin, no death, no sickness, no crying, no sorrow. None of the results of sin that we experience in the world today, none of that will be present. And so, the New Jerusalem will overjoy you with its beauty, it will overwhelm you with its holiness, and it will overcome you with its Savior.

You know, we talk about how beautiful the city is, and the pearly gates, and walking on streets of gold, and all of that sort of stuff, but I want to tell you something that I know. Once you get to heaven, that won't be what you care about. You won't think about that. You'll see it and say, "Oh, this is beautiful". But the Bible says that in the city of Jerusalem, the new city of Jerusalem, you will find the Lord Jesus Christ, seeing his face, glimpsing his smile, enjoying his fellowship, worshiping his glory. Revelation 22:4 says, "They shall see his face, and His name shall be on their foreheads". I'm not really sure what that means. Apparently, we're going to have some little identification of Jesus Christ on our foreheads.

There's a hymn writer by the name of Fanny Crosby, who's written a lot of the hymns that we sing. She has a hymn about this moment, and she calls this hymn, "My Savior First of All". She writes about the mansion prepared for her, of the loved ones she longs to see, and of the beautiful gates and the sparkling river. But her song has as its chorus "But I long to meet my Savior first of all". Let me tell you what I know, men and women. When you see the Lord Jesus Christ, it will almost make you forget about all the beauty of the city itself. What a moment that will be, to have fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. So, as we describe the city of Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem, and try to understand how it relates to where we are today, let me just give you a couple of takeaways which are part of every one of these messages.

Here's where we are, here's what it means, and now where do we go from here? First of all, let me encourage you to stay fervent in your prayer for Israel. The psalmist tells us to do that. The psalmist says, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. May they prosper who love you". The Bible commands us to pray for Israel, this chosen city of God, this unique city of the future. If you visit Jerusalem and walk through the old city from end to end, you will encounter a labyrinth of languages and cultures and passions. There are more religions in the city of Jerusalem than you can imagine. Only Jesus Christ can ever bring unity to such a tangle of tongues and tempers. We need to pray for the Jews, we need to pray for the Palestinians, we need to pray for the Christians, and all the others who make this land their home. But not only must we pray for the internal culture of Israel. We must pray for the international safety of Israel.

Modern Israel has been faced and forced to maintain a continual state of warfare almost throughout its entire existence. Some have described living in Israel as a very nice house in a very bad neighborhood. Israel is in a fight for its very survival, and not everybody is sympathetic to them. We've noticed in this country, even in recent days and months, a greater sense of antisemitism than we've had in the past. It's a growing thing. It should frighten us because, you know, the Bible says God will bless those who will bless Israel, and he will curse those who curse Israel. If we take a stand against Israel, if we don't support them, if we're not Israel's friends, we put ourselves in great jeopardy. If you don't think Israel is under hostility, I'm gonna tell you something that I know you wouldn't hear anyplace else 'cause nobody will tell you this. You'll be jolted by this, as I was. Listen. This statistic comes from the United Nations. Israel has been the single most discriminated against state at the United Nations.

So, here's the statistics. From 2012 through 2019, the United Nations has made 202 resolutions criticizing other countries. Israel was the subject of 163 of those 202 resolutions. Eighty-one percent of the resolutions against other countries by the United Nations is against Israel. Now, you and I know that's not possible. That couldn't be real. Israel is responsible for 81% of the hostility in the world today? That's not true, but it is true that it represents the hostility that the world still has for this little nation we call Israel. So, let me tell you again, pray for Israel. They count on us as their prayer partners. I hope you will join me in doing that. Number two, stay faithful in your service and in your ministry. 2 Peter 3:11-12 says, "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming".

Peter said since it's true that God's gonna renovate this earth, it's not going to be destroyed, but it's going to be cleansed, and it's going to all be made new. We hear about the new heavens and the new earth, and the New Jerusalem coming down. Peter said, "Since all this is true, what kind of people should we be"? Here is Peter telling us, "Where do we go from here"? And this is what he's saying. This ought to solicit within us a greater sense of holiness and godliness than ever before. There's an old adage that says that sanctification, which is to be holy, sanctification is defined like this. It is being in practice what you already are in position. The Bible says that when we accept Christ, we get the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

So, before God, we're just as righteous as Jesus is. But the reality is we still have to live on this earth, and our responsibility is to live our lives in such a way that we are living as if we really are holy. We're to live lives that are representative of the holiness which God has given us. Oh, how important that is today, because we are being surrounded with evil as never before, and it has never been more important that we, as Christians, refuse to live our lives in a lie, and live our lives in the truth of who we are in Jesus Christ. So, stay fervent in your prayer for Israel, and then stay focused on Israel and Jerusalem.

Today, the largest country in the world by population is China. China has 1.5 billion people. Of the 193 countries in the world, Israel is in the bottom half in terms of its citizens. It has a population of nine million. That's less than one percent of China's population. Israel is one percent of China's population. And yet, Israel's international influence far outweighs the number of people that are living there. The "New York Times" reported that Israel is the seventh most-mentioned country in their newspaper, just behind Russia, England, and Germany, and way ahead of much larger countries like Japan, India, and Italy. And you know that. You can't listen to the news without Israel being mentioned. It's in all the writings. It's in all of the news shows. And as you witness the United States embassy being moved to Jerusalem, you see again that Israel's at the center of the geopolitical world.

Along with that are all of these nations which have now become a part of the Abraham Accords. You probably know about this. The United Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan, all Arab nations, have made accords with Israel, and they now are trading with them and working with them and they've drawn close to Israel. I understand that there are more of these nations on the way. Gradually, over the past decade, the fault lines have moved. Until recently, the Middle East has been everybody against Israel. Israel was public enemy number one in the eyes of all of her neighbors, 37 nations around Israel wanting to kill them. But as Iran has pounded its chest and rattled its sword, it's become obvious that the greatest threat to existence in the Middle East is no longer the little nation of Israel. It's the aggressive, radical Islamic terrorist nation of Iran.

So, Iran doesn't just represent radical Islam. They represent apocalyptic Islam. They envision end of the world scenarios. While the Palestinian controversy still exists, as you know, the Palestinians are very upset with the embassy being in Jerusalem. The Palestinian situation is in some ways being put on the back burner, as the Arabic nations create coalitions with Israel in their defense against Iran. According to the "U.S. News and World Report," Israel is the tenth most powerful nation in the world, and it is certainly the most powerful military force in the Middle East. But the leadership of Iran is plotting and the neighborhood is nervous. So, keep your eyes on the chessboard of the Middle East. Follow the news from there. Become an expert on the land that God has marked as the flashpoint of prophecy.

Many people around the world have enjoyed the wit and personality of Kathie Lee Gifford, who has been a TV host on "Regis and Kathie," as well as the "Today" show. What many people don't know is that Kathie Lee is a dedicated student of the Bible, a huge evangelical fan of Israel. In her words, "My love affair with the land of Israel began the moment I took my very first step onto the Promised Land in June of 1971". She writes, "I was 17 years old, and my father's high school graduation gift to me was a trip for me and my mother to attend the first Jerusalem conference on biblical prophecy. I missed my graduation ceremony, but I couldn't have cared less. I was there where it all happened. And all the stories I had heard, all the Scriptures I had studied since I was a young girl, everything I believed from the Word of God had taken place thousands of years in this land, and I was there experiencing it for the very first time. That thought took my breath away all those years ago," she wrote, "and it still does today".

Like me, Kathie Lee Gifford has been a frequent visitor to Israel. She even wrote a book called "The Rock, the Road, and the Rabbi: My Journey into the Heart of Scriptural Faith in the Land Where It All Began". That book hit the "New York Times" best-selling list. One trip in particular was especially memorable. That was when Kathie Lee's husband, Frank Gifford, agreed to join her in Israel for the first time. Frank had grown up in poverty, and he later became a very famous football player and TV announcer. He also was a man of faith, or at least he thought he was. According to Kathie Lee, "What Frank didn't realize until our trip to Israel is that he had a religion all of his life, but he'd never had a relationship with the living God. During that trip, the group visited the Valley of Elah, where David fought Goliath. The leader explained that the miracle of that story was not David's victory over the giant. After all, David had already defeated a lion and a bear. Instead, the miracle of that story was David's genuine personal relationship with Almighty God. The leader then instructed everyone in the group to go down to the same brook David had visited, and pick up a stone. He asked, 'What is your stone? Where are you going to throw it?'"

In Kathie Lee's words, "I will never forget the look in Frank's eyes, as this man, who was in six halls of fame, obediently reached down to pick up his stone, just as a young shepherd boy had done 3,000 years ago. This experience lit a fire in my belly, and it satisfied a deep longing in Frank's soul. Though the rest of the trip was profoundly moving and illuminating, it was this truth he learned in the Valley of Elah: that religion is nothing without relationship. That gave Frank a strong sense of peace and purpose until the day he died. And finally, at the age of 82, he had found his stone".

What I learned from this is Jerusalem is the center of religion, but Jesus Christ is the center of faith. Don't go to your grave a religious person. Go to your grave a Christian person. Go to heaven. Don't go to the other place. Don't live all of your life under the façade of being a religious person, as Frank Gifford did. Find Jesus Christ in a personal way. Accept him as your Lord and Savior. Invite him to come and forgive your sin and receive him into your life, and you will be a person who has a relationship, not a religion. Relationship is what gets you to heaven. Religion will fool you into thinking you're going there, and you will be disappointed at the end. So, my appeal to you today is this: make sure Jesus Christ is not only the center of Jerusalem and the New Jerusalem, but that he is the center of your life because you have put him on the throne of your heart.
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