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Israel & Christians Today – Weekly wrap-up

Andrew Tucker - 1 December 2018

Israel & Christians Today –
Understanding Israel and world events from a Biblical perspective

Jesus commanded us to understand the signs of the times that will lead to His Second Coming (Matthew 24:32-35; see also Luke 21:29-31)). The main sign is the fig tree bearing fruit – ie. the restoration of Israel. In the same context, Jesus also said that Jerusalem will be trodden on until the times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled (Luke 21:24). So we should keep our eyes on Israel, and Jerusalem in particular, if we are to be ready for Jesus’ coming.

World leaders meet to solve the world’s problems
The leaders of the world’s most powerful countries are currently meeting in Argentina at the G20 Summit. It is remarkable to see Putin, Trump, Macron and other leaders conferring together, trying to solve the many complex and potentially devastating problems facing the world today.

Although Israel was not the main topic of the summit, given the explosive situation in Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, they were no doubt the subject of many side meetings. I am reminded of the Old Testament prophecies that the nations will gather together against Jerusalem in the last days. It is only a matter of time, it would seem, before a major war breaks out in the Middle East, and there can be no doubt that Israel will be at the heart of that conflict. In this modern global age, and the close relationships between the world’s leaders, we can expect that in the event of a major crisis decisions will be made in a matter of minutes to create a coalition of nations to act quickly.

Australian considers moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
This past week I have been in Australia, where the government is considering moving the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I was part of a delegation of the largest Jewish and Christian bodies in Canberra to urge members of Parliament to vote in favor of the move. It was the first joint Jewish-Christian delegation to Canberra in history.  If nothing else the question of Jerusalem is uniting Jews and Christians.

Australia is in a moral crisis at the present. There have been six Prime Ministers in the past 10 years, and there is much political unrest. The current Prime Minster Scott Morrison became Prime Minister when Malcolm Turnbull was thrown out of office in an acrimonious leadership dispute within the Liberal party. Bitter at his rejection, Turnbull left politics and has been undermining the party ever since. The governing Liberal Party lost a by-election in the seat of Wentworth in Sydney following Turnbull’s departure from office, and some party members have abandoned the party and become independent. As a result the governing Liberal Party no longer has a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, and it looks like the nation will have go to elections in the first half of next year. All in all, there seems to be a crisis of leadership in the nation. Gone are the statesmen of the past. No-one seems to have the capacity to unify the country and present a vision for the future.

That said, it is amazing that the newly-appointed Prime Minister Morrison is a devoted Pentecostal Christian, and several other leaders within his party are also Christians. The Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is an observant Jew. These two men of faith are standing strong on the Jerusalem issue. It seems like they were appointed to these positions “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). When the PM made his announcement several weeks ago, threats were made by Indonesian and Malaysian leaders that they would boycott Australian goods if the embassy in Israel is moved. The left-wing media has been attacking the PM on the issue. Yet these Christian and Jewish leaders have refused to give in to pressure. The government is currently consulting interested parties and is expected to make a decision on the issue in the coming weeks.

Let’s pray that they make a wise decision.

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