The Coming of the Kingdom of God

A young psychology student serving in the Army decided to test a theory. Drawing kitchen duty, he was given the job of passing out apricots at the end of the chow line. He asked the first few soldiers that came by, “You don’t want any apricots, do you?” Ninety per … More

Expectation

The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would appear (v. 20). Their question was legitimate but it was also tragic. Jesus had been ministering among them for three years and these men were still in spiritual darkness. They did not understand who Jesus was or what He was seeking to do.

Jesus says, “the kingdom of God is within you.” One thing for certain is that He was not telling those unbelieving Pharisees that the kingdom of God is in their hearts (v.21). It seems that He was saying,"Don’t look for the kingdom unless the King is first in your heart.” The Pharisees were so  preoccupied with the great events of the future that they were ignoring the opportunities of the present. Still today we must resist looking to institutions or programs for evidence of the progress of God’s kingdom. Instead we should look for what God is doing in peoples hearts.

Having spoken to the Pharisees of His messianic kingdom, Christ now turns to the disciples to explain how men shall one day desire to see the kingdom, but will not be able to(v. 22). He compares the days of Noah and Lot to the time when He will return in judgment with power and glory. Both Noah and Lot lived in days of religious compromise and moral decline (vv. 23-37). In those days men went about without any thought of God. It will be the same when Christ comes back to set up His kingdom. In fact, the discerning believer can see on every hand how the days of compromise and moral decline are increasing, as it was in the days of Noah and Lot.

Application

Am I really looking, with great expectation, for our Lord’s return? Do I really want to see Him come or do I have things I want to do first?

Luke 17:20-37 (English Standard Version)

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, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you." 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. And they will say to you, 'Look, there!' or 'Look, here!' Do not go out or follow them. 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. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 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. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot--they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all-- so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 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. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left." And they said to him, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather."

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