The Future Kingdom (Luke 17:20-18:8)

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 Men will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

28 “It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”

37 “Where, Lord?” they asked.

He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

 Learn it:

            As Jesus is getting closer and closer to Jerusalem his warnings become more and more stern.  A Pharisee asks Jesus when his kingdom will come.  This is a natural question!  Jesus has been preaching about this future kingdom that is coming and of course people are going to want to know when it will arrive!  I don’t think people were ready for the answer to their question.  Jesus paints this bleak picture and there will false testimonies.  He compares the coming kingdom to the judgement days of Noah and Lot.  Those were some harsh times! 

            Life is going to be going along as normal.  People will be living and marrying.  Business will be going along with their normal things.  Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere the he will return and there is nothing we can do to stop it.  After this Jesus tells a parable to his disciples on how to endure until the coming kingdom.  He tells them to pray.  To be like the persistent widow and keep asking the judge.  Eventually the judge gave in to the widow and how much more will God listen to our prayers?  Prayer and hope are the most important tools we have as we wait for Jesus to return. 

 Live it:

            How do we apply Jesus’ teaching about the coming kingdom?  There are many passages in the Bible about the signs of his return.  It’s fun to examine them and apply them to our current times to figure out when he is coming.  While we need to know what the signs are it’s important that we respond to them appropriately.  It should lead us to wanting to spread the gospel to all the people we know.  We can see that the world isn’t getting better and sin is continuing to spread like wildfire.  We know that the end is going to look like and we should want to save as many people as possible from what is ahead. 

            While things look bad, we should be like the persistent widow.  We should all the hope that God is going to be faithful and help us.  He is always looking out for us.  We should also use the power of prayer.  Knowing that he hears them all and will respond perfectly.  Pray for his protection.  Continue to pray for the friend or family who continues to reject the gospel.  God hears them all and will give us what we need.  Pray today that God will use you to build his kingdom and bring others into a relationship with him!    

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