The Kingdom Now and Later | Luke 17:20-25

The Kingdom Now and Later | Luke 17:20-25

Introduction

Please Stand for the reading of God’s Word

Luke 17:20-25 ESV  Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can 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.

You may be seated.

  • What we have here is again Jesus talking to two groups of people, the disciples and the pharisees.
    • And just as a friendly reminder, the Pharisees were a group of very religiose people who acted like they followed God, they had a holier than thou kind of attitude, but in their heart they truly didn’t believe, in their heart they truly didn’t obey, in their heart they truly didn’t follow.
    • On the other hand was the disciples. The disciples followed, obeyed and trusted Jesus with everything inside of them. Both inwardly and outwardly, they were true Christians.
      • So we have these two groups of people that Jesus is addressing, the true and the false believers.
  • The conversation starts out with the false believers asking Jesus when the Kingdom of God would come…
    • Now we know that these pharisees had some hope of the coming of the Kingdom…
      • But they wanted the kingdom to come visibly and mightily.
      • They wanted governments overthrown, kings and armies slaughtered… fire and brimstone raining down from heaven to consume their enemies… But they didn’t want to change anything about themselves…
      • So, to them, Jesus talked about the current Kingdom of God, how it was already in there midsts and how they were missing out on it.
    • On the otherhand, the Disciples were ecstatic, they believed Jesus was the Christ. They saw Him walk on water, raise the Dead, heal leprosy… They saw the power and the miracles. And, most importantly, they had the inward change that Jesus was telling the pharisees about.
      • So to the disciples Jesus talked about the coming kingdom, one that would come later, one that the pharisees desired now, but the disciples would patiently await and one day be a part of.
      • This is the kingdom established when Jesus comes back to earth for a second time.
  • So, again, Jesus talks to two groups of people, the pharisees and the disciples… and he describes the Kingdom of God in two different ways.

Bring Up Title Slide

  • Todays sermon is part one of three about the Kingdom of God.
    • I decided to make this at least a three parter because there is so much going on here that needs to be talked about, so this week we will talk about verses 20 through 25 and next week we will go through verses 26-31. Finally we will finish things off with verses 32-37.
    • Sound good, allright, let’s pray!

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray

Point One – The Kingdom is already here!

Luke 17:20-21 ESV  Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can 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.”

  • Being asked “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus responds with “The Kingdom is already here!”
    • It’s in the midst of you…
  • Again, point one, the Kingdom is already here!
  • You see the Pharisees knew the scriptures… and the Old Testament, the books of the Bible that had been written up to that point, the Old Testament was clear that the Kingdom of God would come to earth…
    • But what they failed to miss, or chose to miss, is that the Bible describe TWO comings of the Kingdom of God.
    • The Old Testament that they studied shows TWO comings of Kingdoms. One that would be ushered in by a Messiah but would NOT be the end of pain and suffering.
    • And one that would be ushered in by that SAME Messiah, but WOULD put an end to all pain and suffering and wars.
    • Still today, Jews ignore that there are prophecies of a coming messiah that would not end all wars… yet… They only focus on what we call the Second coming.
  • All of that to say, the Pharisees wanted the Kingdom of God to come… but not the way Jesus was bringing it.
    • They didn’t want heart change…
    • They didn’t want righteousness…
    • They didn’t want inward peace…
    • They wanted physical blessings
    • They wanted exaltation
    • They wanted physical peace brought on by force.
  • Church, there are many pharisees in our midst today, in 2020, that are exactly the same.
    • They come to Jesus not wanting the inward blessings, but wanting the outward blessings.
      • The money, the things, the stuff…
        • They come to Christ thinking He will bring them financial, physical blessings of abundance, they don’t care about inward abundance, they want physical abundance from Christ’s Kingdom.
      • The honor, the titles, the glory…
        • They don’t come because the want to honor Christ, they come because they want to be honored.
          • They want the titles… wouldn’t it be great if I was a deacon… or an elder… or even a PASTOR? Then people would look up to me! Then people would respect me! (News flash, if people don’t respect you, it’s not because of your lack of Title, Amen?!)
      • The Peace Brought on By The Destruction of Their Enemies…
        • They want to be safe while their enemies suffer.
      • Can I be controversial for a minute… can I tell it like it is?
        • I wonder how many of these so called Christians… these pharisees coming for the wrong kingdom…
        • I wonder how many of these false Christians were rioting and looting in Minneapolis…?
      • We can all agree that what happened to George Floyd was horrendous.
        • Personally, unless some crazy evidence comes out that we don’t know about…
        • I think the officer needs to be charged with murder and lose his life for what he did… I think the 3 other officers need to be charged with Accessory to murder… and I think they should spend a lot of time in prison.
        • The Bible teaches that if you murder a human being that you should lose your life for that, and I agree.
      • So we can all agree this was horrendous… and I think there is a good chance it was racially motivated as well…
      • But what ought to be the TRUE Christian response to such evil?
    • You see the false Christians… they want vengeance now… just like the world does.
      • It is not enough to wait on God to have His vengeance… they want it now!
      • They want peace through force! Destroy the police station, burn down the business… SHOW THEM WE WONT SIT BY AND LET THIS HAPPEN.
      • And during the riots there was so much looting happening… I mean it makes sense, doesn’t it… The store is trashed… might as well grab some things… George Floyd lost his life so why not let target lose some things too!
      • They want respect, holding banners up with hashtags and slogans, spraying graffiti all over the place showing who they are and what they want.
    • Here in these riots we see the very same thing we see in the pharisees hearts… a desire for stuff, a desire for respect, and a desire for peace by force! That’s the Knigdom of God they want…
    • And that kingdom will come…
      • There will be a day when Jesus raids down and overthrows the evil in the world… riding on a horse from the clouds with a sword in His hands and fire in His eyes… Jesus will bring peace through force…
      • And we will have respect, scripture says we will even judge the angles…
      • And we will have physical blessings with streets made of Gold and a mansion with a room just for us in it.
    • But don’t be so focused on that Kingdom that you miss the Kingdom here and now.

Romans 14:17 ESV  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

  • What would I say to those any so called Christian who rioted in Minneapolis?
    • First I would say “Your anger is justified”

Psalms 97:10 ESV  O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

  • HATE EVIL! It’s ok to be angry about this… in fact, we SHOULD be angry about this!
    • So I would say your anger is justified, but your sin is not…

Ephesians 4:26 ESV  Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,

  • I would say love your enemy… it’s ok to say this murderer and his three companions are enemies… but it is required of Christ that we love them.
    • And not just love them… pray for them… pray for these men who clearly do not know Christ…

Matthew 5:44 ESV  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

  • Hate evil, be angry, but sin not. Love and pray for your enemies. This is the Christian response. This is the True Christian Response…
    • Hate evil, be angry, but sin not. Love and pray for your enemies!
  • The pharisees wanted control, they wanted to do it their way… so they too would riot… and the result of their riot would be the death of our Savior.
  • Please church… don’t be so focused on the coming kingdom that you miss the current kingdom…
    • A kingdom of love, forgiveness, grace, peace, righteousness, and joy. These are things that Christ offers us NOW!
    • Love, forgiveness, grace, peace, righteousness, and joy! This is our kingdom, you don’t have to wait… give it all to Jesus and He will give you all this and more! We will talk more about that in the conclusion… but for now let’s talk about the coming Kingdom…

Point Two – The Kingdom is coming!

Luke 17:22-24 ESV  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.

  • Point one was: The Kingdom is Here! And now point two is “The Kingdom is coming”… now wait a minute… how can it be here and at the same time coming? I think the answer to that is best summed up in the second line of Jesus’ instructions on how to pray. What we commonly call The Lords Prayer.

Matthew 6:9-10 ESV  Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.  (10)  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

  • Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…
    • Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven…
    • Yes, you see, God’s Kingdom has come, but not as it is in heaven.
    • In heaven there is no corner where there is no Kingdom of God.
    • In heaven EVERYONE belongs to the Kingdom
    • In heaven there is no sin, or evil, or wickedness.
    • In heaven there is no white or black or Jew or Greek, there is one people, one race, God’s holy people that we became a part of when we were born again.
    • In heaven there is no pain or suffering… That’s the Kingdom of God in heaven…
  • On earth there are people a part of that Kingdom… people who have peace, who have repented from Evil, who know how to be content in all circumstances…
    • But there is still evil on earth.
    • There is still people who don’t belong to God’s kingdom
    • There is still sin, and evil, and wickedness…
    • Racism is still a thing in earth.
    • There is still pain and suffering in earth.
    • While there are SOME people on earth who belong to God’s kingdom… it is God’s will that not SOME would belong, but that ALL would belong!
  • So what does this mean for us believers? Does it mean there are no physical blessings here on earth? Of course not!

Matthew 6:31-33 ESV  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  (32)  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  (33)  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

  • But what it does mean is this… when we see evil in this world. Pure evil…
    • Evil like what happened to George Floyd.
    • Evil like what is happening to believers in China.
    • Evil like what the Fulani Herdsman are doing to Christians in Nigeria…
    • Evil like what goes on in human trafficking…
    • Evil like what is peddled to us through television and computers screens…
  • When we see evil in the world like this… because we know there is a time when the FULL kingdom of God will come… we can cry out MARANATHA.
  • Maranatha is a Greek Word which means LORD COME QUICKLY!
    • When we read about racism… MARANATHA.
    • When we hear about genocide… MARANATHA.
    • When we see Christians persecuted… MARANATHA.
    • When we experience these things first hand… MARANATHA.
  • MARANATHA! Say it with me! MARANATHA!
  • Lord come quickly!

Titus 2:11-14 ESV  For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,  (12)  training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,  (13)  waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,  (14)  who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

  • Waiting for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ!!!!!!!

Conclusion

Let me conclude with this… do you have that blessed hope? Do you know Jesus as Savior, Lord, and God? If not, today is the day of salvation!

Gospel Call.

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