Summary: Part 1 of a 2 part Expository Sermon on Luke 12:49-13:9 concerning the Judgement of God and repentance. Message #62 from Luke series.

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Luke Series # 62 April 14,2002

Introduction: Welcome to New Life in Christ. We are currently going through the Gospel of Luke verse by verse. As I mentioned last week, one advantage of this approach is that we are unable to avoid unpleasant, unpopular or difficult passages and topics of Scripture. After all, we desperately need to listen to everything God says to us. Today’s Scripture passage in Luke Chapter 12 and 13 is one of those passages we would sometimes rather avoid. In this section of the Bible, Jesus has some very strong words and warnings for us. These words and their message may not "tickle your ears" but they can change your heart. I’ve entitled this message "The Message Nobody Wants To Hear." While very few people may want to hear this message that does not mean it is a message no one needs to hear.

Read Luke 12:49-13:9

Opening Prayer

At first glance these passages can seem rather cryptic and unrelated to each other, but a closer look reveals that they all have one common theme: Judgment. The reference to "fire on earth" in verse 49 is a clear reference to judgment. The parable involving the adversary and magistrate revolves around getting things straight before the judgment of God comes and the reference to the tragedies in Chapter 13 along with the final parable in which there’s a threat to "cut down" the fig tree are also fairly clear references to God’s judgment.

Now "judgment" refers to God’s punishment of sinners for wrongdoing (lying, cheating on taxes, unfaithfulness to your spouse, embezzlement, sexual impurity, etc.) Most people would rather not hear about judgment. They would rather hear about God’s love, forgiveness, etc. The popular conception of Jesus and God is not one that entails punishment. Nevertheless the Judgment of God is clearly taught in the Bible and people need to hear warnings about God’s Judgment today just as much as they did 2,000 years ago. To quote William Barclay, "However much we may wish to eliminate the element of judgment from the message of Jesus it remains stubbornly and unalterably there” (The Gospel of Luke {Westminster Press}, p.169).

While some may look at these passages on judgment negatively, I see these Bible passages positively because they are the result of God’s loving warnings. God warns us or tells us of judgment so that we can avoid it!

Illustration: In our society hurricane warnings, warnings from the Surgeon General, or safety warnings on medicines are not considered negative but positive because of their purpose, which is to prevent tragedy. In the same sense, God’s warnings should be seen as positive because their purpose is to prevent spiritual tragedies.

In this passage Jesus tells us primarily two things about judgment.

I. You need to recognize that judgment is coming. Vs. 12:49-56

II. You need to repent because judgment is coming. Vs. 12:57-13:9

The first thing Jesus speaks of is the reality of judgment. The day when God will punish every wicked evil thing is not going to be avoided. It is a reality that we need to fully accept and recognize if we are to be prepared. It is like with the hurricane warnings here in Florida; people do not usually pay attention or prepare until they realize the severity of the storm and accept the reality that it will hit the coast. In the same way people often ignore warnings about God’s Judgment until they recognize the reality and the severity of it.

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