Thu, Apr 06, 2017

Luke12

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LUKE

            Please turn in your Bibles this evening to Luke chapter 12 as we continue our study through the Word of God. This chapter can be broken down as follows: Fearing God – Luke 12:1-12. Trusting God – Luke 12:13-34, and Serving God – Luke 12:35-59. And we will look at those points more closely as we go through those verses.

            Also, as we move into Luke chapter 12 this evening, keep in mind that what transpires here flows from what we read last time in Luke chapter 11.

            As we closed last time we saw that Jesus just finished a heated debate with the Pharisees and the lawyers of the law, the Scribes. At this point in the debate these religious leaders were very animated, very colorful and very loud. 

            You see, Jesus blasted them for their hypocrisy and keeping people from the Kingdom of God and they didn’t like that. Thus, they come at Jesus to bring Him down.

            In fact, in Luke 11:53-54 we are told, And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross‑examine Him about many things, lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him. 

            So the chapter closed with these Jewish religious leaders angry at Jesus and that is where we will pick up our study this evening, in Luke chapter 12 starting in verse 1, and let’s see what the Lord has for us this evening as we study His Word.

 

LUKE 12

VERSES 1-3

            Now as we go through these verses, Luke 12:1-12, the focus is going to be on Fearing God! How did I come up with that? Think about the power, the control that the Jewish religious leaders had on the people, and, as we will see, Jesus wants the people, His disciples not to fear the Pharisees, but to Fear God!

            Look at what is going on here. Crowds of people gathered to see this fight that has broken out between these religious leaders and Jesus. And make no mistake about it, we are not different today. If an argument breaks out, a fight, crowds gather and smart phones are taken out and people begin videoing what is happening so they can post it on Facebook!

            These Jewish religious leaders are out of control, they want to bring Jesus down and the crowds have gathered to watch what is going to happen! What is interesting is that Jesus does not try to placate or pacify the Jewish religious leaders, but He is exposing their hypocrisy!

            And notice that Jesus is not talking to the Jewish religious leaders, but to the disciples and I am sure to the crowds of people that had gathered around Him and He is warning them to, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. The religious leaders were not interested in hearing what Jesus had to say, so Jesus turns from them.

            Now the Greek word for hypocrisy literally speaks of wearing a mask, making yourself into someone or something you are not. These religious people put on the mask of holiness, of righteousness, of godly living when the reality was, they lived the exact opposite!

            And like leaven, hypocrisy may start out small, insignificant but before long, like leaven, it puffs you up and before you know it your sin will be revealed in your life! 

            The thing we as Christians need to remember is God see’s right through our hypocrisy. You can’t fool Him. Paul said in Hebrews 4:13, And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.  And if you don’t deal with this issue, God will expose you. 

            We are told in Numbers 32:23, . . . you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out. One commentator put it like this in regards to hypocrisy,

            As he began, Jesus was most direct: “Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (v. 1c). Hypocrisy means playing a part, engaging in pretense. It demands conscious insincerity. It is a character sin, a moral deficiency. And it comes naturally to every one of us. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame used to playfully tell a bogus tale about how he sent a telegram to each of twelve friends, all men of great virtue, reputation, and considerable position in society. The message simply read: “Fly at once, all is discovered.” Within twenty-four hours, Doyle says, all twelve had left the country! This is playful but penetrating humor, as some uneasy smiles may attest.

- R. Kent Hughes, Luke Volume 2, p. 38

 

            As we read on listen to what Jesus tells those around Him, not the Jewish religious leaders, but His disciples and now to you and me!

 

VERSES 4-5

            Why would Jesus say these words at this point? Because His men saw the anger of these religious people towards Jesus and that same anger was going to be placed upon His men once He was gone.

            In fact, all of the apostles died martyr’s deaths except for John who died of old age. And He is encouraging them and giving them a correct perspective of the situation.

            You see, the enemy can destroy this physical body, but if we are in Christ, we will be with Him in death. On the other hand, if they reject Christ there is coming a worse judgment than the death of these physical bodies, an eternity in the Lake of Fire apart from Christ! Having a correct perspective helps us to live and walk as we should, in faith!

            The Greek word that is translated hell here in verse 5 is Gehenna and it speaks of a location in Jerusalem called the Valley of Hinnom. This was located on the south and west sides of Jerusalem and in the Old Testament it was the place where they offered their children as a sacrifice to the god Molech, (II Chronicles 28:3; Jeremiah 7:30-31, 19:1-6, 32:25).

            It was King Josiah that stopped these abominations that took place, the sacrifice of their children to this god and it became a garbage dump. And, as you can imagine, the smell was horrible and there were continual smoldering fires. And Jesus is associating the Lake of Fire to what they could see so they could have a mental picture of what Hell was like!

            And this gives to us the focus of the first point, don’t fear those who can kill the body but fear God! One writer put it like this, “Fear God and you will have no one else to fear!” I like that. And really, that is what Jesus is saying here!

            We are told in Proverbs 29:25, The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.

            That just makes sense and yet how many people have gone to Hell because they let the fear of what others might think of them coming to Jesus keep them from Him! Not only that but the fear of man keeps us from serving God!

            You see, we are afraid of what others might think, what others might say and we are letting that fear stop us from serving the Lord, and we will look more at that in our last point things evening.

            Now you might be thinking, because of situations you find yourself in, “Why shouldn’t I be afraid of man?” Jesus is going to answer that and it is important that we treasure these thoughts in our hearts because there will be times when fear is upon us but let God’s Word dispel that fear of man!

 

VERSES 6-7

            Jesus told his men not to fear and then He tells them why they shouldn’t fear, because God cares more about them then they will ever know. And He gives them some examples of how much He loves them.

            First of all He tells them that God loves them more than He loves the sparrows and He knows when each one is sold! Matthew 10:29 tells us that you can buy two sparrows for a copper coin, Luke tells us you can get five sparrows for two copper coins.

            Why the difference? I guess you can buy four and you get the fifth one for free! And the point is simple. Sparrows are basically worthless and yet God cares for them and how much the more He cares for you!

            Then Jesus tells us that God numbers the hairs on your head. To put that in perspective, if you are a redhead you have about 90,000 hairs on your head, a dark-haired person has about 120,000 hairs on his head and a blonde has about 145,000!

            What is the point? It is simple. We don’t think the number of hairs on our head is that important, we don’t count them unless we start losing a lot of them. But God knows the numbers of hair on each of our heads, He does those recalculations often and as insignificant as that is, He is aware.

            Thus, don’t you think God cares much more for you than the number of hairs on your head? Of course He does! And when you have that perspective it will dispel any fears you might have as you can clearly see He is in control and He loves you so! Jesus assured every believer that their life was precious and remembered before God.

            John put it like this in I John 4:14-18, And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

            So we can say that the fear of man grieves the Father who cares for us! May we Fear God and show Him that we do love Him and trust Him!

 

VERSES 8-9

            Does the fear of man cause you to deny Jesus? For some this is true. Make no mistake about it, each person must make a choice. To either accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior or to reject Him, and by staying neutral, you are rejecting Him. That public confession is just an expression of what is in our heart - JESUS!

            So we can say that the fear of man grieves the Son who died for us! May we Fear God and show Him that we do love Him and trust Him!

 

VERSES 10-12

            First of all, let’s deal with this issue regarding the forgiveness of sin. Jesus said that every sin will be forgiven except one - the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Now many are troubled by this because they don’t understand it, they are unsure what it means, they are even afraid that they have committed this!

            Keep in mind that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is as follows, And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.  John 16:8. 

            And His focus will be, He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. John 16:14. 

            In other words, the Holy Spirit shows us we are sinners separated from God and points us to Jesus, our Savior. Thus, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is rejecting the work of the Holy Spirit in your life, rejecting Jesus, and you will be judged for that.

            Make no mistake about it, there is no salvation outside of Jesus! It is as Peter said in Acts 4:12, Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

            And please understand that the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven because it is a sin too big for God to forgive. The problem is the attitude of the individual who does not want to receive the forgiveness of God that is found in Christ Jesus!

            So to blasphemy the Holy Spirit is to reject Jesus and thus, if you don’t want to blasphemy the Holy Spirit receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life today. Repent of your sin and receive Jesus into your life by faith! The Holy Spirit is calling out to you, may you be listening if you have not come to Jesus!

            And then Jesus talks about persecution and when they arrest you and you go before the authorities, you don’t have to fear, you don’t have to worry about what you are going to say because the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say!

            A great example of this is seen in the life of Stephen when he was arrested for his faith in Jesus and placed on trial before the religious leaders. In Acts chapter 7 we read of a powerful testimony of his faith in Jesus and the history of the Jews that was inspired by the Holy Spirit. I would encourage you to read Acts chapter 7 on your own and you will see what I mean about how powerful this message is!

            Another example that is given to us in history is that of Alice Driver and we are told, “Alice Driver, martyr, at her examination, put all the doctors to silence, so that they had not a word to say, but looked upon another. Then she said, ‘Have ye no more to say? God be honored; you be not able to resist the Spirit of God in me, a poor woman.’ . . . So the chancellor condemned her, and she returned to the prison as joyful as the bird of the day.” (Trapp) She was burned at the stake two weeks before the end of Queen Mary’s reign (Bloody Mary).

            Also, in Luke 12:11 when Jesus said, . . . do not worry about how or what you should answer . . . He uses the Greek word apologeomai and it means to make a defense or give an adequate answer. We get our modern term, “apologetics” from this word. The Holy Spirit will give us the words to say to defend our faith.

            But please understand, if you don’t know the Word of God, if you don’t read the Word of God, if you don’t study the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is not going to give you something you don’t know. He will open your eyes to what you do know and the defense you give for your faith will silence the critics!

            So we can say that the fear of man grieves the Holy Spirit who is drawing us to Jesus and once we come to that saving faith He will teach us and speak through us the words we need to say! May we Fear God and show Him that we do love Him and trust Him!

            As we read on in Luke 12:13-34 we will be moving into a section dealing with Trusting God. I guess you can say before you Trust Him you must Fear Him! Let’s read on and see what this section of trusting in the Lord is all about, the lessons the Lord has for us.

 

VERSES 13-15

            Keep in mind that Jesus is teaching the disciples and in the midst of His teaching we see this man speak up and say, Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.

            Now think about that for a minute. Jesus is teaching on living for God, confessing your faith, not to be a hypocrite, and all of a sudden, this man yells out to Jesus to settle this inheritance issue between him and his brother and he wanted Jesus to side with him.

            You see, instead of listening to the Lord, he was more interested in what he deserved, he wasn’t listening! 

            Now the response by Jesus almost seems uncaring, but it is not. You see, the sin of covetousness will do him more harm than the good if he would receive this inheritance. And the message that Jesus gave to this man and to us is to, beware of covetousness which carries with it the idea of protecting ourselves from being attacked by these things, and we can see that today as we turn on the television and we are bombarded with all kinds of material things. Be careful, life is more important than material things. And keep this in mind, a man is measured by what he is, not by what he has!

            And don’t think you are not a covetous person, we all are! The idea here is that we are ALL under attack from covetousness and we must protect ourselves from it – BEWARE!

            Let me show you how ugly covetousness can be. We are told,

            A story that my college English professor related to the freshman English class sounded like it had been scripted by Tennessee Williams, but it was her own real-life drama. She and her five sisters had grown up in a small Midwestern town during the Depression where her father, despite the difficulties of the time, rose to become a successful banker. She had gone off to a university, but her sisters stayed close to home, married, and settled down. She likewise married and taught on the West Coast.

            When her aging father died, she and her husband hurried home for the funeral. As they comforted her poor mother, they noticed in mute amazement that everything in the house had been tagged by the other sisters with their names – Judy’s, Margaret’s, Annie’s. She and her husband were appalled but said nothing.

            The table was set, and dinner was served amidst mounting tension and awkward conversation. There were long periods of acrimonious [bitter] silence. Then her husband stood, stepped behind their mother’s chair, and said, “Everyone’s tagged what they want. We’re placing our tag on what we want.” And he placed his hands on their poor mother’s shoulders.

            Greed is always ugly. Covetousness can turn a family’s mutual mourning into an orgy of hatred.

- R. Kent Hughes, Luke Volume 2, p. 45

 

            So here in Luke we see that this man was more concerned about the money than hearing the Word of God. He was more concerned about his problems than his salvation. Thus, if Jesus would have solved this problem for this man then he would still be in his lost condition because, “the heart of every problem is the problem in the heart.”

            And, like I have said, the focus of Luke 12:13-34 is Trusting God and that is an important lesson for us when we are taken advantage, when we see what others have and we don’t have. You see, can we trust that Almighty God, the One who cares for each sparrow and numbers the hairs of your head will take care of you?

            And look at our nation, we do not trust God but, as the following story goes. Many years ago, in the Sunday Pictorial in London, there was this assessment of America and this is what it said, “You shock us by your belief that the almighty dollar and armed might alone can save the world.” And look at where we are at today, the dollar over the Deliver, our might instead of Almighty God!

            And think about what Jesus said in Luke 12:15, . . . ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’ Does that not contradict the philosophy of this world? You bet it does!

            Now Jesus will illustrate this point in this Parable of the Rich Fool. Let’s read on and see what Jesus has to say.

 

VERSES 16-21

            As we were reading through this parable, did you notice what was missing? GOD! You see, this man had an “I” problem. In verses 16 through 19, just four verses, we see the word I used six times and the word my used five times!

            Now please don’t come to the conclusion that we are not to plan for the future, that is not the point. This man went to the extreme and he left God completely out of the picture. You see, his wealth became his god and in the end, he lost everything.

            Paul put it like this in Colossians 3:5-7, Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

            Don’t let these things control your life, Trust God and see the wonderful things He has for your life. It may not necessarily be what you think you want but if you truly surrender your life to Him, then His will is going to become your will as well!

            I think Paul gives us the proper perspective to have in life when he said in I Timothy 6:6-8, Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

            Now in the world’s eyes, this man did great. He is prospering and he is moving ahead, planning for the future, without God of course and notice what Jesus says to him, You fool! Why would He say that?

            Because a man whose plans end at the grave, as we see with this man, is a fool! He put his life into material things instead of preparing to meet his God, dealing with eternal and spiritual issues. And in the end, he lost everything!

            As a believer, are you more concerned about possessions than people dying not knowing the Lord? You see, we can lay up treasures in heaven now as we give back to the Lord our resources that can be used for the building up of the kingdom of God! Jesus is going to say in this chapter, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34. In other words, TRUST GOD!

 

VERSES 22-24

            “What do you mean don’t worry? How can I not worry? Look at what is going on in my life! Look at what is going on at my job! Look at what is happening in this nation! Look at what is happening in this world!”

            All those are legitimate points but the bottom line is this, TRUST GOD! You see, you need to have a correct perspective of the situation. What about my health, what I am going to eat, my body, what I am going to wear! TRUST GOD!

            And Jesus wants them to get refocused by looking at creation, looking at nature itself and see how God takes care of them and, . . . how much more value are you than the birds? Luke 12:24.

            It is as Paul said in Philippians 4:19, And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

            And when you really think about it, worry does not help us but it does affect us physically, mentally, emotionally. It causes problems with our immune system and we tend to be sicker when worry consumes our lives! The key? Set your heart fully upon God, TRUST GOD! Or as Jesus put it in Matthew 6:33-34, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (We also see this same thought spoken of in Luke 12:31)

 

VERSES 25-26

            As I have said, worry leads to anxiety which leads to all kinds of health problems. Once again Jesus is trying to give us a correct perspective of the situation. He is saying that by worrying can you add any height to your stature? If that were true I would be about 9 feet tall, and you can see I miss that by just a few feet! Of course you can’t! 

            Also, this verse is saying that by worrying can you add any years to your life? Of course not, but you surely can make your life a lot shorter by worrying! 

            Corrie Ten Boom said this in regards to worry, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” How true that is. Worry is not productive it is counterproductive! It takes away life, don’t let it. TRUST GOD!

 

VERSES 27-28

            Again, Jesus gives us a correct perspective. As they looked out over the land they could see the beautiful lilies or anemones blooming. And Jesus is saying that if God does that for the flowers, which are here today and gone tomorrow, He surely will care for you!

            Again, perspective is everything and learning to TRUST GOD in all things that are before us. Spurgeon summed it up like this, “‘Little faith’ is not a little fault; for it greatly wrongs the Lord, and sadly grieves the fretful mind. To think the Lord who clothes the lilies will leave his own children naked is shameful. O little faith, learn better manners!”

 

VERSES 29-31

            In Luke 12:31, the words anxious mind translates the ancient Greek word meteorizesthe, with the root word meteor. Trapp thought the sense was, “Hang not in suspense, as meteors do in the air, not certain whether to hang or fall to the ground.”

            How true that is. We don’t know if we are up or down as we allow worry to cause us to be anxious about situations. And here Jesus is going to give to us a comparison between the unsaved and the focus of their life and then the saved and the focus of their life!

            For the unsaved they worry about things. And, I hate to say it, but we do the same thing many times as Christians and that should not be. 

            Jesus wants us to have a child-like faith that trusts in Him completely. Think of your children, do they worry about food being put on the table, bills being paid, a job continuing, or do they just trust their parents to provide for them? They trust their parents and that is what the Lord wants us to do, trust that He will provide for us.

            It is as Paul said of Abraham in Romans 4:20-21, He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

            So the world focuses on worrying about obtaining things but we are to seek after, look towards, hope in, the Kingdom of God. Why? Because, as we do we can rest and not worry, we can relax instead of being uptight. 

            I will tell you this, if you do the opposite and try to fill your life with things you will never be satisfied. There is always something newer, prettier, better, improved and-so-on. But, if you seek God’s Kingdom first, He will supply your needs and you will find true satisfaction!

            Again, Spurgeon sheds light on this as he says, “You say again that you cannot help being anxious. Then, my dear friend, I must very solemnly ask you what is the difference between you and the man of the world?” That is a tough one to swallow but it is true! TRUST GOD!

 

VERSES 32-34

            This is not a suggestion or a possibility, it is a fact! If you are set on material things, if that is where your treasure is, then your heart is there also, focused on earthly things instead of eternal.

            Jesus wants us to set our mind on the things above and that is where your heart will be, on the things of God. And we are going to see that next in regards to the Lord’s return, for if your treasure is in the things of this world, then you will not be looking or wanting the Lord to come back! One commentator said, “If a person’s primary interests are earthbound, that is where his or her commitment will be.” (Pate)

            How true that is today, as we see many in the church so focused on earthly things that they don’t care about the Lord coming. In fact, many want Him to wait! For others, they don’t see this as important! How foolish!

            Why do I say that is foolish to negate the importance of the Second Coming of Jesus? Think about this for a minute. There are 260 chapters in the New Testament. In those chapters the Second Coming of Jesus is mentioned no less than 318 times! That means one verse in twenty-five mentions the Lord’s return! In fact, the only books that don’t speak of the Second Coming of Jesus are Galatians, which was focused on refuting the Judaizes, as well as II John and III John.

            It is as Paul said, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13. And think about it, what peace that brings to our lives as we see that the Lord is coming back and one day righteousness will fill this land!

            Keep in mind that the words of Jesus were born out of the riches and greed of the man who interrupted Jesus’ sermon because he wanted Jesus to settle a dispute he had with his brother. And how does Jesus end this? By saying, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34.

            So we have looked at Fearing God in Luke 12:1-12. Then we looked at Trusting God in Luke 12:13-34. And we will finish up by looking at Serving God in Luke 12:35-59.

 

VERSES 35-40

            Let me show you how leaders are moving away from teaching on prophecy, on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This is related to what Calvary Chapel’s leader, Brian Brodersen said regarding this issue, and please understand, we are not listening or following Brian, we follow the Lord! We are told, Recently Brodersen raised even more alarms during Calvary’s Northwest Pastor’s Conference. In a panel discussion, Brodersen insulted Smith and cast a vision for a new paradigm shift in the way Brodersen wants to do things from here on out. Telling pastors to “tone down” their Old Testament rhetoric, and stop “beating the drum” on biblical prophecy and end times, Brodersen warned they were chasing all the young people away from church. . . .

            Meanwhile the Emergent Watch blog published Brodersen’s comments, which has gone viral:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             In this video, Brian can be heard instructing other pastors in how to teach the Bible. His ideas radically depart from the biblical foundation laid out by CC founder Pastor Chuck Smith. Featuring clips from the 2016 CC Northwest Pastor’s Conference. Brian Brodersen herein teaches CC pastors to avoid the Old Testament, Bible prophecy, end-times and the Pre-trib rapture. – Emergent Watch

 On stopping Calvary’s practice of chapter-by-chapter, verse-by-verse Bible teaching:

            “My goal is that people will know the important kind of key points of each book. Because I started thinking about– I really started think about the new person that comes in to church, whose never been through the Bible and I started thinking about, man, going like literally reading every word of every book of the Bible, that could be pretty brutal, especially for some.

            And that’s in a sense where you could call it idolatry. Where you have to read every word. I mean I felt that way for a long, long time.”

 On leaving the Old Testament out of Sunday preaching:

            What I really think is, Sunday morning is obviously for most everybody, it’s the largest gathering so you have the most people there Sunday morning. So to me that’s our real opportunity to impart truth to the congregation on Sunday morning. So I feel really strongly that we should be teaching the New Testament on Sunday morning. We’re either teaching the Epistles which is how to live the Christian life or teaching through the gospels which is reminding everybody who Jesus is and what He did. So again, if God spoke to me and said teach Ezekiel on Sunday morning, obviously I would do that but I haven’t sensed that, you know. I really feel a strong conviction about teaching the New Testament on Sunday mornings. And doing it sermonically.

            Here’s my point. I think you can preach the whole counsel of God without teaching all 66 books of the Bible  I don’t think that’s what Paul meant. When he said he preached, I know Chuck meant that. Haha. That’s what Chuck did.

 On undoing Chuck Smith’s Bible prophecy teaching model to attract youth:

            You know the last 10 years of pastor Chuck’s life in ministry, um, probably almost every sermon on a Sunday was seriously a doom and a gloom message and it was basically the world’s going to hell but the Lord’s coming so just you know buckle your seat belt, hold on and we’re all gonna be out of here. And so once a month I would preach and I would literally get up and try to counter what was happening for the other 3 weeks because I could just look at the congregation and you know, month by month by month, the heads got whiter and whiter and whiter. We just were losing the younger generation to where when we came to the end, I mean it was hard to find a dark haired person in the congregation.

            And what had happened is you know Chuck was so convinced about the rapture in his time and he was so frustrated with the direction of the world that he just couldn’t see any other solution. There’s we gotta be out of here but the younger generations sat there and they were like well what does that mean for us and I had a number of kids that would say to me thank you for your message today because it gave me hope that there’s actually something that I could do for god. Cause what they were getting every week is you can’t do anything for god because the world’s going to hell and the rapture’s coming and we did it all for god already so don’t worry about it. Just hold on and we’re all gonna get out of here and this drove the kids out of the church, seriously.

- http://bereanresearch.org/calvary-chapels-brian-brodersen-instructs-pastors-tone-youth/

 

            Folk’s, just because I am waiting for the Lord’s return doesn’t mean I am sitting around doing nothing! We are to occupy or continue working until He comes!

            And what Jesus is telling us here is that as we wait for the blessed coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are to gird ourselves.  

            What does that mean? Remember back in those days’ men wore long robes that were difficult to run in or move freely in, kind of like wearing a dress. So when they needed to move more freely they would gird their loins or tuck in their robes into their belt.

            For us, this speaks of the mission we are on, don’t let things hamper our walk. Secondly, our lamps are to be burning or we are to have a testimony to shine brightly. Too often Christians are ready to go but their light or testimony is out, or they have their lights burning but they let things entangle them so they are hampered to go forth with the mission. Be ready is the call, continue on in the work, what God has called you to do.

            And verse 37 is an amazing statement for it speaks of Jesus serving us! When? It seems to indicate at the marriage supper of the Lamb, possibly when He returns in His Second Coming and sets up His Kingdom we will sit down and have this feast with Him.

            You can read of this in Revelation 19:7-9, which says, ‘Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’ And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, Write: “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.’

            And yet, it truly is sad that some Christians are so lackadaisical about the Lord’s return.  We are to be watching and we are to be ready! Remember what we read in Titus 2:13, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. I like the way Kelly comments on this portion of Scripture. He says:

            They should be free from all earthly encumbrances, so that the moment the Lord knocks, according to the figure, they may open to Him immediately - without distraction or having to get ready. Their hearts are waiting for Him, for their Lord; they love Him, they are waiting for Him. He knocks and they open to Him immediately.

- William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary, p. 1420

 

            Amen to that! And I guess we could sum up this section of Scripture this way, a Christian either leaves his wealth or he is going to it! Which one are you?

            Yes, we don’t know the day of the Lord’s return for His Bride, the Church, but we should be ready! And until He comes, we should be SERVING GOD!

 

VERSES 41-48

            This is a tough section. First of all, Peter asks Jesus who He is speaking to and Jesus tells Peter that He is speaking to all those who are faithful stewards for they will be blessed, they will be rewarded when Jesus comes. In a sense, Jesus said “I speak this parable to all who will live their life in readiness, even as a faithful and wise steward.” Again, the idea here is SERVING GOD!

            We also see that Jesus is talking to those who put on a religious show but their hearts are far from God. They speak of God but they deny His coming. This is especially true of pastors who lead people away from God by their teaching. They have the truth and yet deny the truth and they are accountable for their actions. On the other hand, those that know less, they are still accountable before God and will be judged, but less severe than those who knew better!

            Poole put it like this, “Ignorance of the Divine shall not wholly excuse the sinner, he shall be beaten, but his stripes shall be few, his damnation shall be gentle compared with a minister’s, that knows his Master’s will but does it not; teaches it to others, but does it not himself . . . God looks upon wicked, loose, and scandalous and mischievous ministers as the greatest transgressors, and he will deal with them as such.”

            It is a tough section but you need to Fear God, come to that saving faith. You need to Trust God! And thus, you need to Serve God!

 

VERSES 49-53

            This is difficult for many. First of all, it seems this fire is the Holy Spirit that would come to purify our lives, but that could not take place until the death and resurrection of Jesus, that is the baptism He spoke of. He was distressed because of what He saw before Him, the destructive power of sin, but soon there would be the victory as He paid in full the penalty for our sins.

            Are the purifying fires of the Holy Spirit purging out the dross or the garbage from your life? He should be, the only thing stopping Him for working is you! The sanctification process is a lifelong process where God is molding and shaping us into the men and women He wants us to be.

            Now verse 51 is also a troubling verse for many as Jesus said, Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. That seems out of character for Jesus. How can the Prince of Peace talk about divisions?

            Think about it. When you came to Christ did your family embrace your decision or did they come against what you believe? For a family who does not know Christ, they were probably not happy and thus, the war begins!

            They can’t understand why you don’t drink alcohol. In fact, for many marriages this is a huge problem because the Christian couple does not want to have any alcohol on the premises and yet, many families are demanding it. For me, if you can’t spend 3 or 4 hours with family and friends and not drink, you have a problem!

            But make no mistake about it, there is a war with God and they can’t fight against God so they will take it out on you! The key here is don’t compromise your faith, SERVE GOD!

 

VERSES 54-56

            Jesus is rebuking the people because they could discern changes in the weather by looking at the sky or which way the wind was blowing, and yet, when it came to spiritual matters, they neglected to know what time it was, what day it was. 

            In Luke chapter 19, as Jesus is making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem as the Messiah, we read starting in verse 41, Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.’ Luke 19:41-44.

            Now some may argue that there was no way they could know what day it was! But they should have known and Jesus held them accountable for not knowing it. How?

            You see, in Daniel chapter 9 we are told that from the time the command goes forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the Messiah will be 173,880 days. According to Nehemiah chapter 2 that command went out on March 14, 445 B. C.

            Thus, if you counted off 173,880 days from that time, including leap years, you would come to April 6, 32 A. D., we call it Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem as the Messiah, the only time He did! They should have known the time of His coming and we should know the season of His Second Coming, and I believe it is very close.

            Paul put it this way in I Thessalonians 5:1-11, But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. Be watching! Be ready! SERVE GOD!

 

VERSES 57-59

            Here Jesus is telling them and us that it is much better to settle our differences out of court than in a court. Why is that? Because in court you don’t know how the judgment will go, especially if the system is corrupt. Avoid the court system if you can, is the warning.

            But I think there is a further thought here, that if you know what time it is, then you need to get right with God, don’t wait until you stand before Him because it will be too late! 

            And the way we can settle out of court is by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, for our debt was paid in full by Him. Think of it like this, all of us would do whatever we could to stay out of prison, right? Of course we would. But how many people will apply that to their spiritual lives to stay out of Hell? The choice is yours!

            Let me leave you this evening with these words from James, Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! James 5:7-9. People get ready, Jesus is coming! Don’t be caught off guard!

            FEAR GOD! TRUST GOD! SERVE GOD! FOR HE IS COMING BACK SOON! And as John said, . . . Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20.

 

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