Jesus lamented over the inhabitants of Jerusalem because they had rejected His ministry and they were unwilling to be gathered into the kingdom of God. Mat 23:37‑39. He then explained to the disciples that the temple and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed. Mat
Jesus lamented over the inhabitants of Jerusalem because they had rejected His ministry and they were unwilling to be gathered into the kingdom of God. Mat 23:37‑39. He then explained to the disciples that the temple and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed. Mat 24:1‑2.
Notably, the Jewish historian, Josephus, recounted that when Jerusalem was destroyed in AD70, approximately 1.3 million people were killed. Furthermore, almost 100 000 Jews were taken captive by the Roman conquerors. Many of these slaves were condemned to circuses throughout the Roman kingdom, where their deaths as gladiators, or as fodder for wild beasts, served as entertainment for the citizens of the Empire. Truly, the city of Jerusalem and its inhabitants were laid to waste.
In contrast, the Christians who received the prophetic word of Christ directing them to depart from the natural Jerusalem, with its abominable loyalty to the customs of the Old Covenant, were preserved from this destruction. Luk 21:20-21. Significantly, Paul, Peter and James identified them as ‘the elect’ – citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem. Rom 11:7. 1Pe 1:1-2. Jas 2:5.
The Lord explained to Isaiah that this polarising effect of God’s word would continue until He ‘makes the earth empty and makes it waste’; that is, until there is no longer anyone in the earth who is remembered by God. Isa 24:1‑6. Jesus spoke of this ‘end’, asking, ‘When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?’ Luk 18:7‑8. Jesus was referring to His physical return to earth at the conclusion of the eighth world kingdom.
‘The last hour’, which precedes the establishment of this kingdom, is the final period in which the gospel is preached as an evangelistic initiative in the earth. At the conclusion of this period, not one person remaining in the world will be a believer. It is for this reason that, when Jesus appears a second time, He will not find faith in the earth. All those who are of faith will no longer be in the world; they will be citizens of God’s kingdom.