Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday, October 11th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Philemon 1; Ecclesiastes 2; Jeremiah 17-18
Today's scripture focus is Luke 17:25-37.

Luke 17:25-37

English Standard Version (ESV)
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 will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, 29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— 30 so will it beon the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back.32 Remember Lot's wife. 33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.34 I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35 There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.” 37 And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

Accompanying John MacArthur sermons: Seven Characteristics of the Coming King Part 3 and Part 4
Accompanying Mark Driscoll sermon: The Coming of the Kingdom

The kingdom of God is here already but not yet fully.  That will only happen when Christ comes again.  That day will be one of triumph and Jesus Christ will finally be exalted and glorified and honoured exactly like He should have been all along.

MacArthur: The Second Coming is about Christ, it's about His glory and His honor and it's about the end of sin and the beginning of righteousness. That's why we long for it. And if you love the Lord with a mature love, then you have that longing for Him to be glorified.

However, the very fact that the Second Coming brings about the end of sin, also means it's day of wrath and judgment such as the world has never seen before.  There have been cataclysmic changes before - creation and the flood being the two most notable.  But this will be the final judgment.

Nathan and I are on a short holiday right now, and I just didn't have to time to put my thoughts together, so I'm going to let MacArthur take it from here....
Jesus' coming will be desired by believers. Verse 22, "You will long to see it." Secondly, Jesus' coming will be visible globally. It will be like lightning flashing clear across the entire sky. They will not only be desired and visible, it will be delayed. Before He can come, verse 25, He must suffer many things and be rejected by this nation...meaning the Jews as well as the rest of the world. Only when that rejection ends and it will end, Israel will be saved and there will be people saved out of every tongue and tribe and nation on the planet in a massive work of salvation during the time of Tribulation just prior to His return. So it will be delayed until that rejection ends and that great work of salvation is complete. Fourth, Jesus' coming will be unexpected...unexpected. Verses 26 to 30, it came in a time they didn't think. They were warned. They had preachers. They were told, but they didn't expect it. In spite of all the warnings, in spite of all the preliminary signs, it will not be expected. People will be impenitent, they will be unbelieving, they will be wicked in the extreme, like they were in Noah's day. They were extremely wicked in Noah's day. In Genesis 6 God says, "All the imagination of man's heart was only evil continually." They were extremely wicked in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. They were severely wicked, says the Old Testament, severely wicked. But they were indifferent to all warning, indifferent to all the righteous who pled with them, that preacher of righteousness, Noah, and that righteous man, Lot. They will not expect it even though they're told, even though they're warned, they will not expect it. He will come in a day, in an hour that you think not, He said. Number five, the Second Coming will be desired, visible, delayed, unexpected and it will be revelatory....His coming will disclose where people's hearts are. This is a warning not to cling to the stuff of this world....

In that day if you're on the housetop...go back to Luke 17...housetops in the land of Israel were the patios, they were the gardens. They put potted plants up there and they had some chairs and some places to recline up there and they enjoyed the outdoors on the patio at the top of the house and they had an outside staircase down to the ground. And the warning is, if you're up there and you see the judgment precursors, the preliminary judgments begin to come, don't even go down and inside to get something. Don't do that. Just get out of there. Judgment is coming.
This is a warning to people to make sure that you put the value where the value ought to be. Those are normally the reasonable actions, I think. It would be normally reasonable to say if there was some hurricane coming, go down and get your stuff and get to safety, or if there was a fire sweeping your way and you're out in a field, run to your house, get the things that are precious and save them. But there is no future for this world in this day. It's all going to be destroyed. The whole earth is going to be transformed, reconfigured. Nothing of the past needs to be taken into the glory of the Kingdom.
And if you're out in a field, He says, don't go back to the house to get something. It's all going to feel the judgment, it's all going to feel the destruction. If you do go back, demonstrates what you love....
The emphasis here is not on details but on a general attitude. Leave everything in this world behind and to point out clearly, exactly what our Lord means He says, "Remember Lot's wife...remember Lot's wife." What triggered it was probably the "turn back," at the end of verse 31. Don't turn back to the house, remember Lot's wife? Remember nemonic...nemonic. That word is an adjective that means something designed as a device to aid the memory. Lot's wife was a story in herself, but she is a rigid salt pillar in the mind of every Jew for centuries. She is the archetypal person who was near deliverance and was destroyed because she looked back....

it [the Second Coming] will be revelatory. It will reveal the condition of the heart. Have a prepared heart for a time of judgment....

Jesus' coming will be divisive. Divisive, that's not new. I just quoted you from Scriptures and they're all throughout the teaching of Jesus, hate your father, your mother and be willing to be My disciple. I came, said Jesus, not to bring peace but a sword to set children against their parents and parents against their children and siblings against siblings and husbands against wives, and wives against husbands. It is a divisive thing to come to Christ. It is the most devising...divisive thing because you live in two completely different worlds with two completely different loves and two completely different motivations. That's true now. Some of you experience that every day of your life because you're alienated from your own children, you're alienated from your own spouse, you're alienated from your own parents, you're alienated from the friends and the people you associate with and you're terminally alienated, and eternally alienated because you are in Christ and they are not. You possess eternal life and they do not. And the price you've had to pay for your commitment to Christ is the loss of that intimacy to a very significant and serious degree.....

You have people taken and people left. Now the question is, what does it mean to be taken and what does it mean to be left, right? Taken where, left where?....the same word, same verb, is used speaking of how the Flood took people away in the sense of destruction and that there will be some taken in judgment when the Lord returns and others will be left. Taken means taken just as in the case of the judgment of Noah, into judgment and eternal damnation. Left means left alive on the earth to enter into the Kingdom...left alive on earth to enter into the Kingdom. Out of a bed one will go, one will be left. Out of a kitchen, one will be go, one will be left. And we add Matthew's text, out of a field, one will go, and one will be left. It will be divisive and it's showing people working together in proximity to show you that this happens in the most intimate settings of family because life in those days was family life, fields, kitchens, beds. So it will be divisive and this time it will be eternally divisive everlastingly divisive. They will be separated forever, never to be joined together again.....

finally, it is permanent....permanent in its fatality.....

"And answering they said to Him," these would be the disciples to whom He has been speaking since verse 22, "Where, Lord? What's the location of this event?" They're still thick about getting the picture of its global reality. Where? we going to know where? They still think it's going to happen and somebody is going to have to point them to it. They don't understand that nobody's going to have to say, "Oh, it's over there, oh it's over there...oh, it happened happened over there...oh, we're the secret in group, it happened over here and the rest of you didn't see it." They still don't understand that it will be global, it will be visible. When it happens nobody will miss it. The whole earth will be involved. And so they're still asking where, Lord? And His answer is amazing. "He said to them," He gives them a proverb, very likely this was a Jewish proverb. "Where the body is, there also will vultures be gathered." If you have a carcass, you're going to have vultures....what is He pointing to here? It's very simple really. His saying is this, you always know where the corpses are because you look for the vultures and wherever the vultures are, that's where the corpses are. And that's how it's going to be in My coming. Wherever the vultures hover, that's where I've been. That's how He ends this message. Wherever the carnage is, wherever the dead lie, spiritually dead yes, but physically dead too in judgment. Wherever the bodies of the unregenerate lie all over the world, wherever the corpses are, that's where I have been....He comes to judge the ungodly and the carnage is worldwide.

Jesus wants to move them from this euphoric idea of the coming of the Messiah to a terrifying reality that before there is going to be a Kingdom, there is going to be irreversible judgment and destruction. And we borrow again the words of Peter. "Seeing that all these things are coming to pass, what manner of persons should you be?" What kind of person do you want to be when this comes? Where do you want to be? You want to be cast into eternal hell, you want to be part of the everlasting carnage? Or do you want to be in the Kingdom?

Monday's scripture focus: Luke 18:1-8
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Jeremiah 19-20
Sunday's passage: Jeremiah 21-22
Monday's passage: Hebrews 1, Ecclesiastes 3, Jeremiah 23-24

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