Jerusalem Conference On Biblical Prophecy

Most Protestants traveling to Bible lands are evangelical believers whose faith embraces a belief, not only in Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah of OT promise, but also in His return to judge the world and fully establish the kingdom of God. The Jerusalem Conference attracted some 1,500 such evangelicals from thirty-two nations from 15-18 June 1971, to hear speakers expound eschatological themes. The program concentrated mainly on widely shared evangelical views and reflected differences only secondarily. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was affirmed to be the hinge of human history, and decision for or against Christ the final determinant of man’s destiny. The conference focused interest on eschatology in a scriptural context at a time when end-time concerns gained wide secular emphasis due to possibilities of nuclear annihilation, global ecological pollution, and world famine due to human overpopulation. That God, not man, determines the outcome of history, and that men and nations are destined for final moral judgment, was a central conference emphasis. The purpose of God in creation, reasserted in the redemption of fallen man, was affirmed to be the ultimate conformity of regenerate mankind to the image of Jesus Christ.

The Jerusalem Conference was significant for the fact that its prophetic interest was not correlated either with social withdrawal or neglect of evangelism. The lively expectation of Christ’s return was said to require more earnest missionary engagement in fulfillment of the entrusted Great Commission, and also a more vigorous quest for social justice and widespread repentance and moral renewal since the Risen Lord will judge men and nations for their misdeeds. Most participants saw in the return of modern Jewry to Palestine a fulfillment of OT prophecies. Conference leaders emphasized, however, that Israel as a nation is answerable to the requirements of divine justice no less than her Arab neighbor-nations.Carl F.H. Henry