The Bible clearly speaks of Jerusalem as a city with a remarkable past, a tumultuous present and a glorious future. Jerusalem was the capital city of the great king David and his son Solomon, who reigned over God’s people, Israel in Old Testament times. In fact, it was the LORD that chose Jerusalem as the city for the throne.
However, I (the LORD) will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen. (1 Kings 11:13,36; 2 Chronicles 6:6)
When the LORD brought the people of Israel out of Egypt, and before they entered into the land of Canaan (later to be called Israel), the LORD told them He would choose a place in which to put His name.
“But you shall seek the place that the LORD your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation there.” (Deuteronomy 12:5)
The kingdom of Israel was considered the “Kingdom of God” as David stated when Solomon was made king.
“And of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons) he has chosen Solomon my son to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.” (I Chronicles 28:5, see also chap. 29:23).
Even though those days and their glory is long gone, the Bible speaks of the Kingdom of God being established on this earth when Jesus returns. Jesus will be the King over all the world and he will sit on the throne of David reigning over all the world in righteousness and peace. Consider the following Bible passages:
“But I (Jesus) say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.” (Matthew 5:34-35)
Jesus is quoting from Psalm 48, which speaks of the future of Jerusalem.
“Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.” (Psalm 48:1-2)
The prophet Isaiah speaks of a time when Jerusalem will be greatly elevated and all people will willingly come to the city of the great King to worship.
“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2-3)
This will require significant topographical and political changes to the earth and the people, which can only occur with the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The prophet Zechariah (chapter 14) speaks of some of these changes and the pilgrimage that people will undertake as part of their worship of the LORD.
Both the Old and New Testaments speak of this future time as “new heavens and new earth”. In the Old Testament, Isaiah proclaims the joy and gladness that the city and her people will enjoy.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness. I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in my people; no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping and the cry of distress.” (Isaiah 65:17-19)
In the New Testament, the apostle John speaks of the new Jerusalem as a transformed city where the Kings’ throne is established, as well as as being the people that have been transformed by Jesus at his return.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’” (Revelation 21:1-5)
Jerusalem, which means “founded peaceful”, has a glorious future in God’s plan. The LORD God chose Jerusalem as the place to put His name, the place where His Son Jesus would reign over the world, and the place where all people would come and worship. The new Jerusalem is also used of the people who have been transformed at Jesus’ return and have a close relationship with him.
This is the future of this earth and the city of Jerusalem. It may be hard to visualize, but this is God’s earth and it is the future He offers to those who will accept it in faith.