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60 Luke 17.20-37

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Already…Not Yet

v    Opening illustration

Ø     There are 27 mentions of the Kingdom of God in Luke’s Gospel

§        What does Jesus mean when he says “Kingdom of God”

§        What is the Kingdom of God?

·        To some…

¨     A future physical place

·        To others…

¨     A spiritual reality

Ø     Let me give you the Biblical Definition:

§        God’s People, in God’s Place, under God’s Rule

·        The Bible is the story of exactly that…

v    Look at…

Ø     Garden of Eden

§        Adam and Eve (God’s People)

§        In God’s Place (Garden)

§        Under God’s rule (Don’t eat of the tree of the Knowledge…)

·        Since then, always partial fulfillment of…

Ø     Patriarchs

§        Abraham

·        God’s person (credited to him as Righteousness)

·        Not in yet God’s Place

¨     Looking forward to God’s place (Promised land)

·        Under God’s rule

Ø     Time of Judges and Samuel

§        God’s people in God’s Place

·        But not under God’s rule

Ø     Faulty monarchy

§        David and Solomon and then split

·        On and on…

v    Now we get to the time of Christ…

Ø     And the  Pharisees ask him a very interesting question

READ v. 20-21


Be Kingdom Aware

v    The Pharisees were looking for the Kingdom of God as a future event

Ø     And they, like many of us, had it all worked out

§        Specific signs were to happen

·        And then the Messiah was to come and restore Israel politically

¨     Restore the Davidic Kingdom

Ø     Kick the Romans out, etc.

v    They were looking back

Ø     But Jesus says, look right before you

§        “Not with careful observation”

§        Not “Here” or “There”

·        Jesus says…

¨     V. 21 ~ The Kingdom of God is ‘Entos Humen’

Ø     NIV translates that “within you”

§        The GK actually means literally

·        In your midst, among you

Ø     I believe that Jesus opens his arms and says…

§        ‘The Kingdom of God is standing right in front of you’

·        He is the Kingdom of God

v    He is God’s person

Ø     The Kingdom’s KING!

v    In God’s Place

Ø     In God’s creation

v    Under God’s rule

Ø     Jesus said himself

§        John 6:38

·        For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me

v    The Pharisees were not Kingdom Aware

Ø     They were looking right at the Kingdom of God incarnate and missing it

§        Even though Jesus healed the lame, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead

·        They missed it

§        Even though Jesus raised the dead and cast out demons

·        They missed it

§        Even though Jesus spoke in parables and taught with authority

·        They missed it

v    Jesus is standing in their midst and saying…

Ø     The Kingdom is Already here!

§        It’s King has come

v    But the Kingdom of God has an “Already…Not Yet” dimension to it

Ø     Yes the Kingdom is already here in the form of Jesus

§        He has inaugurated the Kingdom of God

·        Spiritually speaking it is here (Christ reigning, Gospel advancing)

Ø     But it is not yet consummated

§        It is not yet complete

§        It is not yet a complete physical reality

·        And that is what he turns to his disciples and makes them aware of…

Read v. 22-25


v    He is urging his followers during this time of “Not Yet” to…

Be Kingdom Wise


v    Illustration: 60’ series Mission Impossible

Ø     Famous for the “mask pull off” at the end of the episode

§        All those who were supposed to know the person were fooled

·        Point Jesus is making is…

¨     Be Kingdom wise

Ø     Don’t be fooled by imposters


Ø     Jesus is warning the disciples and us that there will be many in the “Not Yet” period of time that appear on the scene and…

§        May look like the messiah

§        Act like him

§        Perform miraculous sign and wonders like him

·        But they are nothing but false teachers

v    2 Peter 2 gives a description of such men…

Ø     READ 2 Peter 2:1-3, 10b-12, 13b15, 17-18 (p. 1894)

§        People will be coming and shouting…

·        Here he is! There he is!

¨     But the follower of Christ must be Kingdom wise

v    Not only that, but Jesus makes it simple for his followers to recognize his coming

Ø     It will not be a hidden event

§        You won’t miss Christ’s second coming!

·        V. 24 ~ It will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other

Ø     So many Christians are worried that they do not have enough Biblical knowledge to recognize his coming

§        That they will miss it

·        Perhaps you are thinking the same thing right here today!

¨     Take comfort in these words of Christ

Ø     They are for you today

§        You will not miss it!

·        Now you are Kingdom wise!

v    There is another aspect to the “Not Yet” time period that Jesus wants his disciples to understand…

READ v. 26-29


Be Kingdom Warned

v    Jesus chooses these two examples from the OT for a good reason

Ø     In many ways, they parallel the experience of his disciples then and now

§        Just as in Noah and Lot’s time…

·        Life seems to be going on as it always had

¨     Eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting, building

Ø     Nothing seems out of the ordinary

§        As one of the Commentators put it…

·        “They were shallow, complacent, comfortable and LOST!”

¨     The warning for us here is…

¨     Do not to get lulled into complacency by the cycle of life

§        Just as in Noah and Lot’s time…

·        People are indifferent to the things of God

¨     The activities portrayed here describe a secular life

Ø     And there is nothing wrong with those activities

§        In fact, 1 Cor 10:31 says that we can glorify God through them

·        So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God

·        The problem occurs when the things of this life become our main purpose in life

¨     And not a conduit to glorify God

Ø     The warning here is…

§        Do not allow the things of life to become our main purpose

§        Just as in Noah and Lot’s time…

·        Judgment will certainly come when the time is complete

¨     The Ark took 100 years to build

Ø     And then the flood

¨     Lot and his family had to be removed from the city

Ø     And then the fire and sulfur rained down

§        The warning here is…

·        Judgment will certainly come when the time is complete

v    However…

Ø     There is another parallel that we cannot escape

§        Noah and Lot, although imperfect like us, were righteous men

·        And listen to what the Scriptures tell us about them

¨     2 Peter 7-8

Ø     and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men, for (lot), living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard

·        The admonition  for Christians today is to be like Lot

¨     Instead of letting yourself be comfortable with the depravity of the world around us…

Ø     We should be inwardly distressed

Ø     Inwardly tormented

§        Jeremiah is called the “weeping prophet”

·        Why?

¨     Because he wept over the rebellious people

¨     Read Lamentations

v    The second challenge for us today is to be like Noah…

Ø     Listen to what the Scriptures tell us about Noah

§        2 Peter 2:5

·        he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness…

v    If we should be like Lot inwardly…

Ø     We should be like Noah outwardly

§        Preaching righteousness

v    I get so much good stuff from the Men’s Bible Study on Saturday morning

Ø     Jer 6:10-11

§        To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it. But I am full of the wrath of the Lord, and I cannot hold it in

v    We should be like Jeremiah

Ø     Always warning the people around us

§        Not because we have to…

·        But because we cannot hold it in

¨     Even though our society tells us to be tolerant

¨     Even though society tells us that truth for you is not truth for me

¨     Even though our society tells us to respect other people’s choices

¨     Even though society tells us that what we are saying is hate speech

¨     Even though society tells us that the Bible is irrelevant

¨     Even though society tells us that the Bible is offensive to them

Ø     Don’t hold it in!

§        We should be Noahs and Lots in this world

Finally, as disciple of Jesus Christ in the “Not Yet” period, we should…

Be Kingdom Ready


READ v. 30-37


v    Jesus uses several pictures to get across one main point…

Ø     Be ready for his coming

Ø     V. 31-32 ~ Be ready by not being earthly minded, but heavenly minded

§        Picture of a person on a roof and in a field

·        When the day of consummation comes

¨     Don’t have the things of this world on your mind

¨     Don’t go back to get something

¨     Don’t look back longingly toward your old life

Ø     Illustration: “lotswife” disease

§        Have you heard of this disease…

·        “Lotswife” disease

¨     Attacks the vertebrae of the neck

¨     Slowly makes your neck turn backwards

¨     I’m kidding, of course

Ø     But many of us have “Lot’s Wife” disease

§        Tendency to look back longingly on our former way of life

·        As Lot’s wife was to her life in Sodom and Gomorrah

¨     One of my life verses is…

Ø     Luke 9:62

§        No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God

§        We cannot as Jesus’ followers always be looking back to our former way of life

READ V. 34-35

v    The second picture Jesus paints regarding being Kingdom ready is of 2 sets of people

Ø     Two in bed, two grinding grain

§        In each case one is taken and one is not

v    Through this Jesus is saying…

Ø     Be ready for Christ’s coming by being on the right side of judgment

§        You see…

·        When Christ comes again, there will be only two groups of people

¨     Those taken in judgment

¨     And those that escape the judgment

Ø     And when Christ comes again, there is but one question that will be asked…

§        Who is on the Lord’s Side?

·        Frances Havergal, in his great hymn, answers that question

§        Who is on the Lord’s Side? (Frances Havergal)

¨     Jesus, Thou hast bought us, not with gold or gem,
But with Thine own life blood, for Thy diadem;
With Thy blessing filling each who comes to Thee,
Thou hast made us willing, Thou hast made us free.
By Thy grand redemption, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

v    If you believe those words…

Ø     You are ready for the judgment

§        You are indeed on the Lord’s side



v    And we have to be careful that we are not pharisaic about the Kingdom of God

Ø     Know that the Kingdom of God starts and stops with Jesus Christ

§        And he is among us

·        As in the picture in Rev 1

¨     Christ standing among the lampstands of the Church

Ø     Don’t miss what’s right in front of you

§        Cf. 7:22; 11:20; 16:16; 4:16ff

Ø     And the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the blueprint on how to escape the judgment

§        Putting your faith in Jesus Christ

§        Making him your prophet, priest and King

·        Your Prophet by whom you hear the Word of God

·        Your Priest through whom you receive redemption

·        Your King to whom you submit

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