Being Salt and Light in Ocean View, HI

Luke 17:20-37

welcome this morning I got a couple of quick announcements and we’ll jump right into the sermon the first announcement is that we have a busy business meeting coming up on May 17th at 3:30 p.m. via zoom if you’d like more information on that meeting just email us at OB bchawaii at and the second thing is if you would like to tithe or donate to the church you can you can do that via PayPal donate button on the church website or you can just send checks via the post office through the post office box which is a pedo box six nine one six ocean view Hawaii nine six seven thirty-seven all right and let’s just jump right in so today we are in Luke chapter 17 and we’re gonna be going through verses 20 to 37 all right so let’s jump right in chapter 17 in Luke verses 20 and 21 says now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming he answered and said to them the kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed nor will they say look here it is or there it is for behold the kingdom of God is in your midst the Pharisees and their many followers were looking forward to the arrival of an outward earthly visible Kingdom one in which the Jews would occupy a very prominent place they were hardly able to wait for its arrival they were so anxious to know what when it would be established and they were willing to obtain information with with respect to this subject for any source even Jesus by this time in Jesus’s ministry the Pharisees had rejected his main message of the gospel but they were still curious and as many people are even today to know his opinion about the timetable of the kingdom Jesus however seemi is in in his answer indicates that they believed in a misconception concerning the nature of the kingdom and that is that it would arrive with loud proclamations and prancing horses marching armies and military music in other words they believed that it would be announced with a loud outward show stop where so people would be getting would be greeting its arrival by shouting here it is or there it is but Jesus tells them that they’re actually wrong he states that the kingdom of God is essentially spiritual in its essence and it’s within or if one prefers inside a person wherever God truly is truly recognized and honored as king there one finds the his kingdom or his kingship the kingdom is not an outward visible entity so that people would be able to exclaim it and point to it they’re his well rather it consists of inner qualities such as righteousness and peace and joy and the Holy Spirit these qualities exist wherever God is recognized as king the miracles of Jesus show the presence and power of the King on another occasion Jesus told Pharisees but if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God then the kingdom of God has come upon you that’s actually in Matthew 1228 the kingdom is more than a future reality it’s already present the Pharisees did not have to wait for it this disciples were already a part of it even today the kingdom as Jesus established it is present wherever people acknowledge Jesus is king you don’t have to wait to be a part of it it’s it is spread by the new the new nature that Christ placed in the heart of every believer Jesus speaks on his coming again one of the greatest delusions of our time is that man is going to improve himself and his world that he’s going to build the kingdom of God but without God he expects to bring in the new millennium without Christ now the glorious day of of the kingdom was subject of much of what Christ had to say in fact he emphasized the future the change that was coming and his return in this passage before Christ before us Christ warns his disciples not to be concerned about his return now the return of Christ is in two phases the first phase we call the rapture of the church which is the taking away of believers and you can see it detailed for us in 1st Thessalonians chapter 4 verses 13 through 18 but in this passage he is talking about the second phase of his return which is returning to earth to establish his kingdom this will take place after the rapture and the Great Tribulation in verses 22 and 23 it says and he said to the disciples the days will come when you will long to see one of the days of son of man and you will not see it and they will say to you look there or look here I do not go away and do not run after them the first time he came they failed to recognize him because they were looking for a conquering Messiah to come and deliver them from Rome instead he came as a baby and he lived as a peasant the next time he comes it will not be an isolated place like Bethlehem but he will come and glory therefore he warns them not to pay attention to these who say he’s here or there or he is coming at a certain time just like one of the this is one reason you cannot set a date for the coming of Christ because well really only God knows the verses are important so these verses aren’t partners therefore we must look closely and rightly divide them the Pharisees are out of the picture now these words are spoken to Christ followers both then and down through the ages the expression the days will come means well of course the time the time will arrive the one the word one in one of these days maybe a Jewish term for the first of the days and I saw a reference to was a John 20 verse 1 the phrase the Son of Man probably signifies the Messianic era at the close of the world’s history or the millennium and you will not see it means that it will not be delayed for a long time the expression the Son of Man is used here for the first time in Luke but it actually occurs 25 times in this gospel it is how Jesus designates himself it emphasizes that he is not the nationalistic Messiah of Jewish dreams but in a sense just the savior of the world he is unique among men he is the son of man he is a man of sorrows but this very path of Sorrows leads to a crown of crown of glory moreover this glory is revealed not only when he comes with the clouds that we see in Daniel 7 verse 13 but reaches back through his entire life on earth through every redemptive act he is always the glorious son of man you know believers were longed to see the beginning of this messianic era today we would say they were yearn for the second coming of Christ but because of the days of preceding that time of fulfillment will be the days of severe oppression and persecution hmm the words we but the words but will not see it and they will say to you look here indicate that there will be people who in their nervous excitement will believe that the son of man has already arrived but just hiding somewhere Jesus warns just follow followers not to go running after them the time of arrival would not be known in advance and the actual return when it occurs will be visible all over the world it will be as lightning suddenly flashes but brilliant brightly but brilliantly lights up the entire sky from one end to the other as the next verse tells us verse number 24 for just like the lightning when it flashes out of one part of the sky it shines to the other part of the sky so will the Son of Man be in his day when will Jesus return well I know the answer at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation Christ will come he’ll set up his kingdom his appearing will be as evident to all as a sudden and great blinding flash of lightning most individuals even those in Galilee or Judea missed up we missed the humble beginning of the kingdom at Jesus’s first coming none can possibly miss the completion of the kingdom at his second coming verse 25 says but first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation however long before the second coming takes place the net sheeni the son of man must suffer it is a must for the decree from God from eternity must be carried out prophecy must be fulfilled those belonging to him from eternity must be ransomed and he must must suffer many things the gruesome details of these sufferings are withheld from us at this time and probably forget it easily the words and must be rejected by this generation shows that Jesus was pointing to Calvary the return of Christ will happen not because people think it must happen now but because God has declared that the time is right verse 26 s and just as it happened in the days of Noah so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man the time immediately preceding Christ’s return the days of the Son of Man will be like the days of Noah an account of Noah and the flood is found in Genesis 6 through 9 and while this preacher of righteousness was building the ark he warned the people but they refused to take his word to heart and what he was doing and what he was saying while there was extreme wickedness in the time of Noah and will be detestable witness in the time immediately preceding Christ’s second coming Jesus’s words in Luke 17 26 and 27 emphasize the sudden and unexpected nature of his return many will be so absorbed in their affairs of this life that they failed to prepare for his coming his return will take them by surprise Luke 17 27 says they were eating they were drinking they were marrying and being given in in marriage until the day that Noah entered the Ark and the flood came and destroyed them all now what’s wrong with these things Mary it’s not wrong it is right what’s wrong with eating and drinking we got to do these things to live there’s nothing wrong with these things at all in fact by means of these things men are able to glorify God at least according to 1st Corinthians 10:31 which says whenever you eat or you drink or whatever you do do all for the glory of God why does Jesus mention these things well the generation of Noah was living as if God did not exist when judgment was actually eminent even though Noah preached patiently the Society of his day failed to take his message seriously 2nd Peter 2:5 makes that statement or this statement and did not spear the ancient world but preserve Noah the preacher of righteousness was seven others when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly he didn’t gain a single convert except for his wife his three sons and their wives the everyday routines went on you know eating and drinking one generation led to another marrying and giving in marriage there was nothing wrong with this everyday routine unless people are lulled in in it thinking that there is no more than the endless sequence of such things there was no thought on the part of anyone except Noah and his family of the coming catastrophe Noah boarded the ark and as soon as that flood came and destroyed all the people that were outside the ark God’s means of salvation from the flood today men and women are eating and drinking and not even marrying even though living together and they do not recognize the judgment of God that is out there in the future when we do not know so the truth within this verse is be ready but God will come suddenly Luke 17 28 and 29 says it was the same as happened in the days of lot they were eating they were drinking they were buying and selling they were planting and they were building but on that day lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all here’s a tremendous thing our Lord says on this occasion lot was the nephron nephew of Abraham and the son of her end when Abraham traveled to Canaan lot and his household went with him lot chose to settle in the Fertile Jordan Valley and eventually he moved to Sodom law is altogether different from Noah yet there are some similarities none in Sodom were panicking or selling off their property are getting out of town stock market didn’t collapse because the lot said judgment was coming they just simply didn’t believe Sodom was destroyed with fire and brimstone today in this day and age we called brimstone sulfur sulfur is pretty well known yellow mineral that burns and produces a pretty horrible poisonous gas here in Hawaii I think all of us are pretty familiar with this the devastation God rained down on Sodom was so complete that its location has been lost to this very day sulfur is also mentioned in the final judgment of the wicked which says in Revelation 21:8 the lake that burns with fire and brimstone or sulfur which is the which is the second death Jesus was making one final point the future fulfillment of the kingdom will come as unexpectedly as a worldwide flood in Noah’s time or the destruction of Sodom in lot’s time sadly most people living today live only for self as they don’t ever expect to be held accountable by God for the lives that they have lived many will die carelessly to their surprise face judgment we can see that in Hebrews 9:27 and others will be a lot alive at Christ’s return and be throwing thrown headlong into irreversible calamity God would not destroy the city until law had been taken out of it neither will he bring the great tribulation upon this earth which immediately precedes the coming of Christ to this earth until he has taken his own out of the world Sodom because of her sin stood on the brink of destruction and the moment Locke left town judgment fell I believe the minute believers leave this earth in the rapture the Great Tribulation will begin Luke 17 30 says it will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed certain and sudden are perhaps the best words to describe God’s judgment on Noah’s world and on Sodom unprepared and selfish are good words to describe those who God condemned she’s just made it clear that it will be like that when the fulfillment of the kingdom is complete at last he called it the day the Son of Man is revealed the term day refers to what the other New Testament writers identify as the day of the Lord the day of the Lord will come like a thief 2nd Peter 3:10 says does that exactly material prosperity and apparent security will prevail at the time of Christ’s return God has people in the world today who are just like a lot in some respects although they have been although they have trusted Christ as their Savior they compromise with the world yet as believers they will be taken out of the world before the judgment comes today the world doesn’t listen to the church as in last day they think we’re just past the missing let’s continue in verse 30 31 on that day the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back in the first century people often put railing around the flat roof the flat house or the roof of their housetop and used it as a kind of a patio for relaxing or cooling off after sundown some people used their roof as a workroom such individuals might suppose that from the rooftop they would have kind of an advanced warning of Christ’s return for example they could see maybe a thunderstorm coming off in the distance or an army marching in but that wasn’t the case the final revelation of the king and the kingdom will come quickly so quickly that a man must not come down down to the inside he can only face the inevitable in any case material possessions are worthless in the face of the kingdom only faith in Jesus matters the same is true for the man who held who is in the field working there is there will be no advance notice given he could not turn back to this house to make preparations it will be too late and he saw the fleeing at Christ’s return us of course out of the question only proper attitude the only proper attitude to have when he returns is complete surrendered to him into his word then and now such devotion should be placed above all other worldly interests in Matthew and marks account this warning is applied to the day just previous to Jerusalem’s fault next Jesus adds an illustration showing the tragic result of looking back and yearning for the possessions that are left behind now let’s read verse 32 which just says remember Lot’s wife the story is told in Genesis chapter 19 verses 17 through 26 and it says and one day the two angels had brought them lot his wife and his daughters out they said flee for your life do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley flee to the hills lest you be consumed but Lot’s wife looked back from behind him and she became a pillar of salt the sad thing about Lot’s wife was however not many think what it was it was not at least primarily that she had turned into a pillar of salt but that in her scale of values she place earth above heaven and material above spiritual she’s an example of one who did not believe God she had friends in Sodom probably were having a bridge party that afternoon or whatever she kept saying let’s go back she evidently longed for some of the material possessions that she left behind she looked back and she was turned into a pillar of salt what a tragedy for this self-centered woman to be remembered in history only as a bad example she didn’t believe that God would destroy the city therefore we are to remember Lot’s wife the important thing for us is to believe God we need to be prepared for his return so much so that in our thoughts and in our words and in our deeds we assign preeminence to him doing everything out of love for him and the triune God Luke 17 33 36 says whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it and whoever loses his life will preserve it I tell you on that night there will be two one in one bed and one will be taken and the other left there will be two women grinding in the same place and one will be taken and the other will be left two men will be in the field and one will be taken and the other will be left here Jesus describes the separation that will happen at his return tonight emphasizes the unexpected nature of his coming believers will be taken the unbelievers will be left to face the judgment although he did not explain the meaning of taken the emphasis is on that believers will be taken to himself escaping judgment so in my mind taken equals saved and left is abandoned to judgment Jesus had had earlier taught his followers whoever wants to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life on account of me will save it see that in Luke 9 24 verse 33 here is quite similar jesus has moved from illustrations of sudden the suddenness of his coming to the need for preparing for his coming many people have tried to make their lives secure in this lifetime by focusing on self and possessions eating and drinking marrying and buying and selling and building all these things people focus on this world who failed to prepare for God’s judgment will lose everything just as Lot’s wife did so then how can a person prepare only by losing one’s life people who commit all their hopes all their dreams all their expert Asians both for this life and for eternity to Jesus Christ well surely be written such people will preserve their lives for eternity with God Jesus says if anyone wants to come to me he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me also Luke Luke 9:23 some Bible students have called this verse an example of the great reversal emphasizing that Jesus teaching was the opposite of natural human inclination we win by losing and we lose by winning this truth only makes sense to those with the eyes of faith the question is whether we want to be winners only for this life or if we want to be winners for all of eternity Jesus makes the point that two people engaged in identical activities could have different eternal destinies the two in one bed might have been as close as husband and wife yet one might be prepared for judgment while the other is swept away Jesus also gives us an example of routine activity frequently shared by friends grinding grains together was an essential part of the responsibilities of women that women had and was almost always done in Paris back then as close as two friends might be in this life they might face two very different eternal destinies judgment will reveal a separation as far as heaviness out listen to what the Julia Ward Howe wrote in the hymn Battle Hymn of the Republic I’m sure a couple of lines he has sounded forth his trumpet that shall never sound retreat he is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment scene Oh be swift my soul to answer him be jubilant my feet I think we get the message get moving on verse 37 says answering they said to him where Lord and he said them where the body is there also the vultures will be gathered the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom was coming and as we have seen he didn’t answer them directly instead he insisted on insisted that the identity of the kingdom was more important was the more important issue and then he proceeded to give some details about the future of his kingdom to the disciples we could summarize his teaching as follows the kingdom is present now but has not been fulfilled that will happen only when the Son of Man is revealed the consummation of the kingdom will happen suddenly so be prepared the disciples next asked another question the issue burning in their minds was where is there a particular place to look for Christ’s return and Jesus de-emphasized the where and taught the importance of the main thing the present reality of the kingdom and the fact of his return Jesus already taught his disciples that there were any number of wrong answers to the question where in earlier context Jesus had to answer the question by mentioning lightning as it’s as if he said you won’t be able to miss it any more than you can miss a sky full of lightning okay so further the answer to further answer the question where he gave them a riddle in the form of a proverb jesus’ statement has been stumping bible students and scholars ever since when jesus said wheresoever the body is most interpreters think he was referring to a dead body meaning wherever there are those who are spiritually dead there the final judgment overtake them now it is a terrible picture of judgment you know dark sky with huge you know carrion birds which come picked you know pick the bones clean off of the courts wherever there is responsive irresponsibility or lack of response to God the pride of the preacher there is spiritual death and the gathering of black carrion birds of judgment compare this verse with Revelation 19 verse 17 then an angel then I saw an angel standing in the Sun and he cried out with a loud voice saying to all the birds which fly in Midheaven come assemble the great for the great supper of God this is what we call the Battle of art of gaited which is actually the war of Armageddon and will be ended with when Christ comes to establish his kingdom on earth surely Jesus was answering the disciples questions along the following lines vultures easily locate carcasses without telling anyone that where they are by nature they’re irresistible gathered to places where they can actually feed in the same way anyone in the world would be able to locate the place where the Son of Man is revealed they will be irresistibly drawn to that place when the kingdom is fulfilled are fully realized in Christ’s return there will be an irresistible dividing of humanity the time and place are unimportant for everyone will recognize it surely as vultures recognize meal the fulfillment of the kingdom is certain people need to enter the kingdom now so that they can escape judgment have faith to be ready when he comes the important thing is not to set dates but should be ready when he comes for true faith leads to faithfulness to look around at the increase in sin will discourage you and to look back as Lot’s wife did may destroy you so instead look up and eagerly expect the Lord’s return life is short therefore opportunities to make our lives shine for Jesus should be grasped I’m closing a word of Prayer Lord God I just thank you for your word and for your your love your grace and your mercy that you give us Lord I pray that you would strengthen each one of us that you would guide you each one of us to do and be that you will for us or I just thank you for all you do in our lives and I just pray in your precious name Jesus


One Comment

  1. Enjoyed your sermon Nate. It’s good to be reminded of the truth that Christ will return. It keeps things in perspective and challenges me to keep my life focused on Him. Appreciate your words. Praise God He is coming soon, what a day that will be…

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