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A JESUS WHO WILL COME AGAIN

Mar 18, 2018

A Jesus Who Will Come Again

Luke 17:20-37
Pastor Duane Smets
March 18th, 2018

I.   The Realm of the King
II.  The Return of the King
III. The Rule of the King

Good morning, good morning good morning. If you’re new or visiting we’re so glad you’re here and hope you have a great time today. My name is Duane and I’m the preaching pastor here at The Resolved.

It’s really good to be with you all today! Last week I was out preaching at our church plant, Servant Church. For those of you who don’t know we planted another church out of our church about two years ago in the Barrio Logan area of town. So I was preaching there, looking in on them and delivering the Christmas gift check of money we raised together for them in December.

It was super good to see so many of the people we love and sent out and then to see a number of new faces who have joined in on what God is doing there! Pastor Chris will actually be here in about a month preaching and giving an in person update, so we’re looking forward to that.

In other news, you’re not going to believe it but Easter is in two weeks! Does it seem like it got here a lot quicker this year to anyone else? I’m excited though for this Easter.

Do you guys know who you’re going to invite and bring yet this year? I got a few friends I’m planning on hitting up. And I’ve got some advice for you. Make it a personal invite. I mean you can post something online and yeah do that. But there is far more power in a personal invite. People like being asked, being wanted and they are much more likely to come if you call them up or text them to invite them than just seeing some ad on social media. Easter is THE number ONE Sunday people will most likely come to church if you invite them. So here’s the deal, everyone bring one! Everyone bring one! Deal?

It’s going to be a great Sunday. Special music, sermon, baptisms, they’ll be a photo booth again and we’re only doing one service this year, so it’s gonna be packed! So make sure to come and to invite some and if you haven’t been baptized as a Christian yet, get baptized. There’s not a better Sunday to do it! Just come to the short meet up after service today or next week to talk about baptism and how we do it here…you get a shirt and we do the baptisms while we’re singing and it’s great time of celebration.

Okay, one more news-ish promo. Good Friday. Two nights before Easter. It’s a unusual 45 minute Friday night service here where with music and guided prayer we walk through the whole drama of what happened when Jesus died. It’s a dark, candle lit, somber service and we really want to encourage you to be here for it because part of what makes the Easter experience so special is entering into the whole range of emotions involved in the weekend when Jesus died and then rose again. So bring someone on Easter and don’t miss Good Friday.

Ahhhh. Alright. Commercials done. Let’s get into Luke. For those of you who are new, we’re going through the book of Luke in the Bible this year except on the occasional Sunday when I’m not preaching. Today’s sermon is from Luke 17:20-37 in a sermon I’ve titled, “A Jesus Who Will Come Again.” Why don’t you stand with me as we read God’s Word given to us through Luke and then we’ll get into it.

Luke 17:20-37

20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” 

22 And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. 23 And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. 24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. 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 be on 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.”

• Pastoral Declaration: This is the Word of the Lord.
• Congregational Response: Thanks Be To God.

A Jesus Who Will Come Again. Have you ever wished that you could see Jesus? Like maybe you’re already a Christian and have been one whose read the stories about Him and you wish you could’ve been there? Or maybe you’re not a Christian yet, not quite sure about Jesus but you’d like the opportunity to see Him yourself to see if He’s real and decide whether or not you really buy what he’s selling?

I think all of us at different times have thought those things. And I think we’re actually supposed to. In verse 22 Jesus talks about days when people will “desire to see one of (his) days” but they won’t be able to.

We’re in that time now and likewise even back then, for those who did see Jesus with their physical eyes, they didn’t quite see Him in full, as He really was. So it left this desire to see him in full, or as verse 30 says for Him to be fully “revealed.”

I think the main idea of this passage, what Jesus mainly wanted to instill and help us to believe is that He will come again, He will come again in full and He wants us to long for that day and be ready for it. So if there’s one thing I hope we walk away thinking believing and desiring it can be summed up in this simple phrase that is actually from the very last words of the entire Bible, “Come Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20). Come Lord Jesus.

I’ve got three points from our text to walk through together today, “The Realm of the King”, “The Return of the King” and “The Rule of the King.”

I. The Realm of the King

With this first point, “The Realm of the King” I want to first dig into the “Kingdom of God” language Jesus uses here in this section of Luke.

The kingdom of God is one of the central unifying themes throughout the Bible. In time and human history there have been many different types of human government which have all proven to be problematic. The Bible’s ideal government is a theocracy where God rules as King.

The claim of the Bible is that God does do that as the only Sovereign, meaning He reigns over all, all time, all powers, all places and all peoples…ordering and ruling it for His good and ultimate purposes. I’ll just a give you a couple examples.

2 Chronicles 29:11-12 says, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. 12 Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all.”

Daniel 2:20-22 says, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; he reveals deep and hidden things.”

So God is the King who rules over all from above and who has a plan. But down here, on earth we have and have had lots of problems. So the hope or promise of the Bible is that God the King would come down and set up His good rulership physically here on earth.

This promise or hope repeatedly gets expressed in prayers and prophecies for a Christ king to come and do that. That’s actually what the word Christ means, it’s not a last name but a title for the messiah King who would come and fix things.

During Jesus' time on earth as we’ve seen throughout Luke He repeatedly is recognized by others as this Christ and He refers to Himself as this Christ along with all the other names for this messiah King to come, like “Son of Man” which He uses in our passage for today four different times.

And that’s actually what sets up the this whole discussion and teaching of Jesus. Because these guys, these Pharisee guys are confused because Jesus is saying He’s this kingly messiah but they don’t see Him doing the things they thought would come with the King bringing the Kingdom of God on earth.

The Jewish people at that time were ruled by a Gentile King, a racist Roman Emperor, who abused them as a people and they wanted new laws and freedom from that oppression. They want change in the government. They want a savior and new ruler who will make things better.

So they basically ask Jesus, if you’re the king, then when you gonna start kingdom and clean up this corrupt government? That’s what they’re saying in verse 20 when it says they “asked…when the kingdom of God would come.”

So question. Does any of this sound familiar? I mean this was nearly 2000 years ago. But doesn’t this sound familiar? New person in office. New laws. This is what we need. This is who we need. This is what needs to happen. Let’s get real. Real talk family.

Obama was elected to office in 2008. Anyone remember what his campaign slogan was? Change. We thought having the first black president would put an end to racism. We hoped he could fix our broken health care system. We thought he could bring change to the worldwide tension and strife between fighting countries and people groups.

Obama was in office for eight years but the change many of us were hoping for didn’t happen. In 2016 Trump was elected to office and what was his campaign slogan? “Make America Great Again.” I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but things don’t seem that great? Sadly he’s been a dividing force in our country fanning the flames of racial tension. Health care is still a problem and national and international strife and tensions are seemingly even higher than ever and more of a problem.

Hmmm. Maybe we just need a different president? Maybe the 46th president of the United States will be able to get it right and fix things? Is that what we should put our hope in?

Ya feel me? The things people care about and are talking about today are the same kind of things people cared about and were talking about back in Jesus day. So what’s Jesus’ answer?

Verse 20 he says, “The Kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed.” Which is another way of saying, it’s not going to happen the way you think it is. It’s not going to be through normal means and processes. Jesus didn’t come to earth to get elected and will never go through the vetting processes of human governments.

Then look what He says next in verse 21, “The kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” Which he makes clear in the very next verse means looking at Him, seeing Him in that day. He was in their midst so when they looked at Jesus they looked at the king of kingdom of God.

So what we walk away from this discussion with Jesus is this principle, Jesus is the King of the kingdom. And real hope for real change can only come from Him. When we look at Jesus we see the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God in Jesus’ first coming He came to show the goodness of God, what God cares about in His rule and reign. Earlier in Luke in chapter 9:11 it says Jesus “…spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.”

Before addressing the government issue Jesus the King wants to address the heart issue. Jesus came as King in His first coming to bring healing. To share and show the healing of God that we all need.

Deep down we all have the same desire, the desire to be free from pain, fear, sorrow, shame, guilt and death and we long to see justice exercise in our land. We begin to experience that in part here and now when we look to Jesus and one day when He returns, those who believe now will experience it in full. So we say, come Lord Jesus.

Today, friends, family. Jesus wants to be your king. One day He will be the physical King over all lands but first He wants to be king of your heart. Do you see Jesus as the king? The kingdom of God is the rule and reign of God…is Jesus ruling and reigning in your life or is something else or someone else?

What you need, what we all need is Jesus the king. So come Lord Jesus and reign in our lives.

Often Jesus doesn’t look like the king we need. He often doesn’t fit our expectations or desires. So let’s dig into Jesus’ answer to that in our next point for today, “The Return of the King.”

II. The Return of the King

Now in case you didn’t catch it I named this point after one of the best books and movies of all time, in my opinion is the third installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, “The Return of the King.”

Throughout the Lord of the Rings story Aragorn has simply been a ranger, using his gifts and strength to help the weak and fight evil. In his return to Gondor he is revealed as the rightful king in a glorious and victorious battle.

It’s a fitting comparison, J.R.R. Tolkien undoubtedly took from the story of Jesus we’re looking at today.

There’s basically two things Jesus says here about His second coming and return.

One it’ll be a COSMIC event. They’ll be lighting flashing lighting up the sky when he comes. Later on in Luke 21:27 he says, he’ll come “…in a could with power and great glory.” Other passages of the Bible fill out even more details.

Matthew 24 has the longest description where in that chapter Jesus says He comes with all the angels of heaven sounding the arrival trumpet.

The book of Revelation says His face will be shining like the sun, He’ll be riding on a white horse, with a sword, a golden sash around His chest and a tattoo on His thigh that says, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” He’s no joke when He returns!

When it happens that’s just it. No more human governments. There’s no fight or battle. Philippians 4:10 says clearly that when it happens every single knee will bow before Him. And the Bible all over the place says it happens in a single day.

It’s a cosmic event and nothing can stop it from happening, not even Jesus’ own suffering and death Jesus says in verse 25 of our passage.

We’ll talk more about Jesus’ explanation of what it’ll be like for people here on earth when it happens in our last point for today…but first the other main thing we walk away from what He says along with the cosmic description is that it will be an EVERYONE event, everyone will see it and recognize it.

In verse 30 He says He “will be revealed.” That’s a key and important phrase. People’s main problem with Jesus in His day is that He didn’t look like a king and do the things they wanted a king to do. Instead He was a poor carpenter who traveled around with this rag tag group of guys preaching a bunch and healing broken people. He just looked like a really good human being, not God the king in the flesh.

Today, this is still the main problem people have with Jesus. To many He just looks like a good teacher who did some good things. But not a king. Not God. Not that great.

But Jesus says there’s a day when He will be revealed. His clothes of humanity will come off and He will show Himself to be who He was all along, the glorious divine King of the universe and He will shine!

Cyril of Alexandria, a black north African pastor in the fourth century who is considered one of the ancient Fathers of Christianity, said this about Jesus’ return, “He will not descend from heaven obscurely or secretly but with Godlike glory!”

So if you’ve ever heard the silly idea of people disappearing and no one knowing what happened and that maybe you’ve been left behind, then you gotta know that’s not in the Bible and not what Jesus says, it’s just a fictional myth.

An important question for us to ask, really of anything from the Bible, is why God chose to tell us this, why He thought it would be good for us to know?

Clearly it’s to believe it and be ready but I also think within that is to expect it and desire it. Jesus and the Bible paint a picture for us to think of in our mind’s eye of His coming.

Personally, I love photography. I’m not a very good photographer but I love pictures that people who are take. I follow probably a bunch of photographers on Instagram. And whether it’s real life looking outside or photos I see on Instagram, hands down my favorite ones are ones of the sky, pictures of the sun, the clouds and the ocean.

The reason they’re my favorite, other than there’s is something just beautiful and magical about looking out into God’s creation…is that they make me think about the day Jesus will come again.

When I look up in the sky and I see something like this, I think, “Oh is it happening? It is this it?!!!"

When I see a picture like this I think, “This is definitely what it’ll be like!” Or when Jesus says it’ll be with lighting, I think maybe something like this picture by William Justo?.

But my all time favorite scenario for Jesus coming back would be like this picture by the guy who’s probably my favorite photographer, Aaron Chang. If Jesus comes back while I’m surfing I will be a very very happy man. I think that’d be perfect!

What I am sure of is when Jesus comes again it will be great and glorious. The return of the King will be astounding. I can’t wait. Come Lord Jesus!

Well, the last thing we have to talk about today is how it won’t be great for everyone. So let’s transition to our last point for this morning, “The Rule of the King.”

III. The Rule of the King

In verses 26 through 37 of our text for today Jesus mainly talks about the consequence of those who reject Him as King before He returns when it’s too late. And the bulk of what addresses is that it won’t be a happy day for everyone. For many it’ll will be a sad day of judgment.

First he says it will be like the days of Noah when God flooded the earth and the days of Lot when God rained down fire and suffer upon Sodom and Gomorrah. These are two of the Bible’s most famous stories of God’s judgment.

With Noah, God had him build the ark and offered to save any who come into it, but they all thought Noah was crazy. With Lot, Abraham prayed and begged God not to destroy before giving people a chance to escape. So God sent two angels to the city telling people to get out but only Lot and his two daughters listened.

In both cases the judgment of happened suddenly and quickly and in both cases people received warning and had opportunity to escape it but both groups of people ignored the warnings.

After mentioning what happened with the people of Noah and Lot’s day Jesus emphasizes that each person must make a decision for themselves. He brings up three scenarios, one’s house, one’s spouse, and friends at work saying people will be split up, families, spouses, and friends.

You won’t be saved because your friends with a Christian, because you’re married to a Christian, or because you live in a house of Christian. Each person has to decide for themselves whether Jesus the Christ and receive Him as their king.

I think what this brings up is the importance of recognizing that there are stages to God’s plan in history. Right now we are in the age and stage of grace and forgiveness. We have opportunity to turn to Jesus as our King and receive His good gifts of healing and grace.

But the stage of forgiveness will not last forever! Judgment will come. And rightfully so. It’s really the thing we long for. Justice and equity in the land. The end of evil and suffering forevermore. And it will come, when Jesus returns as King to judge and to rule.

Nobody knows when, but it will happen suddenly and for those who are not ready it will be tragic. All tragedies are like that. They happen suddenly. Think of 9/11 or any shooting or any earthquake or tornado that has ever struck earth. We never see it coming. It just happens and then anything you could’ve done to not be there or escape it is too late.

Jesus is like a weather and tragedy forecaster here telling us what’s going to happen and how we can prepare for it and be ready. Be ready for the justice and judgement of the king.

Sometimes when bad things happen people will say things like, “Where was God in that?” What’s funny by that logic is that people don’t usually give God the credit for all the other days in the year where He was sustaining life, holding back evil, making the sun rise, the flowers grow giving grace upon grace to us.

God is a giving giving God and the truth is none of give Him the thanks or honor He deserves. Instead, if we’re honest none of us measure up and in reality deserve not to be taken in with Jesus but rather to be left behind to receive His judgment.

But that’s why Jesus came the first time. When Jesus was on trial before Pilate the Roman governor he asked Jesus point blank if He were a king. And Jesus responded directly saying He was and that as the Sovereign King of the universe He was the one who had in fact put Pilate in power. So when Pilate crucified Jesus he crucified him with a sign over his head calling Jesus the King.

On the cross, Jesus did what no human king has ever done, he took the faults of his people upon Himself as if they were His own and He paid an eternal price for all the sins of the world on the cross. He did that so we would see true love and receive His forgiveness and embrace Him in our hearts and lives as our King.

It seems to me today that we make one of two errors. We either put all our hope in politics, in frail human rulers and laws or we just say forget it and check out. I think what Jesus calls us to is to embrace His kingship, His rule and reign as the true answer for the problems of our hearts and country and then to not check out but increasingly live that out together as we await His glorious coming.

So we pray Come Lord and we stand up for justice in our land because the true judge is coming and we want to be ready.

Are you ready? Are you ready to see Jesus the King with your eyes? Everyone will bow the knee when He returns. Some will bow in worship and praise and some will bow to receive a just and eternal sentence. The first way of bowing is a lot better. The second Jesus says will bow and receive judgment akin to being cast out as corpse for vultures to continually feed on. That doesn’t sound too good.

Listen, friends family, let’s not be like the people in Noah’s or Lot’s day. Let’s be people who hear the warning of Jesus, see Him as the King and because of that can’t wait for the day when we see Him face to face. Let’s be the kind of people who long for that day and pray, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Come makes things right. Help us to live out your kingdom here and now while we wait.

Conclusion

Well, we’ve talked about The Realm of the King, The Return of the King and the The Rule of the King. I started out the sermon asking if anyone ever wished they could see Jesus. We end today hearing the promise that we will all one day see Him.

Seeing Jesus will be more glorious than any sunset, any skyscape, any picture we have ever laid eyes on. It will be a wonderful day for all who know Jesus as their King.

Jesus is a Jesus who will come again and this is the hope we have for the human race.

We’re going to respond as we do each week here at The Resolved and that’s by reading some words of Confession followed by some words of Assurance and then receiving what we call the Lord’s Supper. In the Lord’s Supper we take a piece of bread as Jesus’ perfect life and dip it in the wine or the juice as His perfect blood shed on the cross as a way of saying, “Jesus, we believe you, you are my King.”

This week I thought it would be fitting to read the words from the instructions the Apostle Paul gave on how to do this in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26,

“For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”

When we partake of the bread and the wine as His body and blood we are proclaiming that Jesus will come again!

 

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