Monday, December 11, 2017

Trump Moves To Jerusalem--World Reacts

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Last week President Trump announced he will keep his promise to evangelicals and move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Outrage and praise followed this weekend.

Every Christian should be informed as to how various leaders and groups are reacting because these responses will shape the news, religious positions and the political narrative you will be hearing this week about this issue.

Some are hailing the president for keeping yet another promise to the evangelical community. I am among them.

Almost every presidential candidate (from both parties) in recent years has promised they would move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. None have kept their promise.

Until now.

The reaction has been immediate and strong.

Here are 7 different reactions:

1. Hamas

The Palestinian terrorist group "Hamas" issued this statement: We call on the people of Palestine to declare 'rage day' on Friday against Israel, denying the US plan to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital."

Hamas said, "The youth and the Palestine resistance in the West Bank need to respond with all means available to the US decision that harms our Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a red line and the resistance will not allow any desecration of it."

A senior Hamas official said they must resist efforts to "Judaize" Jerusalem.

Terrorist groups and Muslims from a number of countries rioted this weekend destroying property and setting fires in cities throughout the region.

2. Evangelicals-Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee told Fox News that America is "finally doing something that we should've done a long time ago...and that is to recognize that Jerusalem has been the capital of only one people over the past 4000 years."

He noted that Jerusalem rightly belongs to Israel and that Palestinians did not come into being until 1962 when former leader Yasser Arafat took that name, which previously had applied to Jews.

"This is where the Jewish state should have its undisputed capital," Huckabee said, and he called Jerusalem the historic, indigenous land of the Jews and it's the right thing to do.

He praised Trump for keeping his promise, noting that for over 20 years US presidents have been making this promise, then, after being elected, have failed to keep the promise.

3. Muslim World Leaders

The Islamic governments of Turkey, Jordan, Iran, and Syria were among other nations to quickly condemn President Trump's announcement.

The Turkish President Erdogan said the move could ignite a "fire" in the Middle East leading to a "Great Disaster."

Jordan's King Abdulla said, "It is out of depair and debility that they want to declare Jerusalem as capital of the Zionist regime [Israel]. On the issue of Palestine, their hands are tied and they can't achieve their goals."

Syrian President al-Assad said that there will be "dangerous consequences" to Trump's plan, saying the US has now shown its contempt for international law.

4. Pope Francis

Pope Francis cautioned against the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. He says there should have been a broader international agreement before this decision was made.

The Pope is calling on the international community to ensure that "everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant Resolutions o the United Nations."

He believes Jerusalem should become the capital of both Israel and Palestine.

5. Evangelicals--Pastor Robert Jeffress

Pastor Robert Jeffress, pastor of Dallas First Baptist 20,000 member church, agrees with Huckabee,

He tweeted, "Congratulations to President Donald Trump for having the courage to do what no other president has done---recognizing Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel. Another promise made, another promise fulfilled."

Pastor Jeffress has cited Joel 3 as a warning to those who seek to divide up "God's land."

In verses 2 and 3 the Bible says that God will judge any nation that divides the land that God gave to Israel.

6. Jerusalem's Christian Leaders

A joint letter signed by many leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem opposes President Trump's decision. The open letter sent to News Week says in part, "We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division."

They say, "We ask you, Mr. President, to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all."

They ask President Trump to think of Christmas and the "feast of peace" the season brings---and help them build an "inclusive peace for all the peoples of this unique and Holy City."

7. Evangelicals--Greg Laurie

Greg Laurie, pastor of 25,000 member Harvest Church Fellowship in Riverside, California, says that modern Israel was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy and Jerusalem is Israel's "eternal capital."

This is part of a statement he released to the press on Friday:

  • "Jerusalem is the nerve center of the world geographically.
  • "Jerusalem is the salvation center of the world spiritually
  • "Jerusalem is the glory center of the world ultimately.
  • "Jerusalem is the city of the past, the present and the future.
  • "This city was the capital of Israel under King David. David's son Solomon built the first temple, and the Shekinah glory came.
  • "Jesus taught, was crucified and was resurrected there.
  • "When the Jews formed a nation on May 14, 1948, it was a modern-day miracle. And — to Christians — it was a day of fulfilled prophecy. Never has a nation been able to maintain its national identity after being scattered for hundreds of years — until Israel!
  • "God even uses Jerusalem as a picture of what we will see in Heaven in the 'New Jerusalem.'
  • "We are commanded in Scripture to 'pray for the peace of Jerusalem.' God says of the Jewish people, and in effect, the nation Israel, 'Whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye' (Zechariah 2:8 NLT).
  • "That's why we stand with the Jewish people and the nation Israel. We bless them and thank God for them.
  • "Jerusalem is their eternal capital.
  • "All of these are reasons why I am grateful for the U.S. administration's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital."

I will be talking more about this on our live radio program this morning at 9 AM PST on American Christian Network stations.

You can join me live from anywhere in the world. Here's how.

Be Informed. Be Blessed. Be Prayerful.