During President Trump‘s rally in Pensacola, Florida this Friday, a GOP state senator spoke at the podium and confirmed what many suspect is the driving force behind Trump’s controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: biblical eschatology.
While introducing Trump, Senator Doug Broxson declared that the “King of Kings” would be returning to Jerusalem thanks to Trump’s decision.
“President Trump promised to protect our religious freedom,” Broxson said.
“Now, I don’t know about you, but when I heard about Jerusalem — where the King of Kings [applause] where our soon coming King is coming back to Jerusalem, it is because President Trump declared Jerusalem to be capital of Israel.”
The crowd loved it.
As CNN’s Diana Butler Bass points out, for many evangelicals Jerusalem is about prophecy, not politics.
This theology — a literal belief that all these things must happen before Jesus will return to reign on Earth — is called “dispensational pre-millennialism” and it is not the quirky opinion of some isolated church. Although the majority of Christians do not share these views, versions of dispensational pre-millennialism dominate American evangelicalism.
When the President issued his order, I was not the only person hearing echoes of dispensationalism. Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s evangelical advisers, declared: “Jerusalem has been the object of the affection of both Jews and Christians down through history and the touchstone of prophecy.”
I doubt that President Trump could explain dispensational pre-millennialism. I doubt he knows the term. But his evangelical supporters know it. Some of his advisers are probably whispering these prophecies in his ears. Trump might not really care how they interpret the Bible, but he cares that white evangelicals continue to stand with him. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is one way to affirm his commitment to these evangelicals — reminding them that he, Donald J. Trump, is pressing biblical history forward to its conclusion and that he is God’s man in the unfolding of these last days.
Featured image via screen grab (YouTube)