Bible Text: Luke 17:20-37 | Speaker: Nelson Nyman | Series: Luke |
“Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask – half our great theological and metaphysical problems – are like that.”
― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Their question showed they didn’t know what IT was.
They ask “when” and he answers with a description of it.
The kingdom of God was of course, Jesus himself…the Holy Spirit, the people of God…
1. Jesus is among us.
Meaning… he can be missed even though he’s here.
What can stop us from seeing Jesus? Self-focus.
“I am not here for self-realization, but to know Jesus Christ. In Christian work our initiative and motivation are too often simply the result of realizing that there is work to be done and that we must do it.
Yet that is never the attitude of a spiritually vigorous saint. His aim is to achieve the realization of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances.”
~ Oswald Chambers
The Bible tells us to look for Jesus in all circumstances.
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 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them.
“…the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
He’s talking to his disciples, but this is applicable to us today as well.
2. He might seem absent.
Sometimes it feels like God is gone.
…and there are always false gods. (false things to worship)
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world,
yet forfeit their soul?
It’s tempting to look elsewhere.
“Our Lord says to be careful only about one thing— our relationship to Him. But our common sense shouts loudly and says, “That is absurd, I must consider how I am going to live, and I must consider what I am going to eat and drink.” Jesus says you must not…
How much trouble has begun to threaten you today? What kind of mean little demons have been looking into your life and saying,
“What are your plans for next month— or next summer?”
Jesus tells us not to worry about any of these things.”
~ Oswald Chambers
3. Common Sense should never supersede His word.
Don’t settle for anything but the real thing.
What was their original question?
“When will the kingdom of God come?”
Jesus continues to answer it.
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.
A whisper becomes a shout. Lightening, a flood…
There are distractions.
Many things are offering what only God can give.
What is one the enemy’s most powerful tools? Distraction
4. His final arrival will be a surprise to many.
Jesus pointed to Noah as an example.
“Noah did everything just as God commanded him.”
When you pack for a trip, you don’t want to forget anything.
You want to be prepared.
5. Obedience is the best preparation for His coming.
Jesus goes on…
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 housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot’s wife!
Obedience makes sure the “good things of the world” don’t keep us from Jesus.
12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place.
The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”
14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the Lord is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”
Jesus uses this as the lesson.
But his sons-in-law thought he was joking
…and it appears they stayed behind.
“Remember Lot’s wife!” She looked back and became a pillar of salt.
What can choke out the word of God? “…the desire for other things.” (Mark 4)
33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their 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.” 36 (Similar to Matt. 24:40)
37 “Where, Lord?” they asked.
He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”
A message of finality.
Do we really believe this?
I asked the question I asked to Annso’s family before we left,
“What would you tell your 20 year old self if you could go back?”
The non-Christians said things like, “I wish I had learned to play a musical instrument.” and, “I wish I had thought harder about my career.” or “I wish I had given more attention to making money.
But all the Christians said, “I wished I had given everything to the Lord earlier.”
A relationship with Jesus Christ is the answer to every question.