Summary: This is an exposition of Luke chapter 17 verses 20-30, in reference to the Lord speaking about His return.
Luke 17:20-30 (KJV)
As It Was in the Days of Noah
In the environment of today, a lot of people are wondering about the end times. And that leads us to words that Christ spoke to the Pharisees concerning similar things. So, without further discussion, let's get into an exposition of this passge of Scripture.
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
This morning’s passage begins with the Pharisees demanding to know when the kingdom of God would arrive. The Lord’s response demonstrated that they were blind to at least one thing: The kingdom of God cannot be observed. In their fleshly minds, minds that minded earthly things, they could not see the spiritual. They were seeking an earthly kingdom to be free from the oppression of the Romans.
The Lord was telling them that the kingdom of God is not found in a place. You cannot see it. It is perceived. He was telling them not to look for it. But that it was something present in part and in whole (just as the church is both local and universal) within each child of God.
Jesus went on to say …
21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Thus, there is no reason to go looking for it. Animated illusions of peaceful environments, false joy, or far away places that offer relief form the cares of this world are not it! We see a lot of cartoons and modern movies depicting what some might perceive as paradise. But, there can be no real peace, no real joy, no relief from the corruption of this life without Christ.
The world, Hollywood, and others try to remove Christ from the equation and seem to think we can be better off without Him. But without the Lord, there is no lasting peace, no lasting joy, no real goodness, no fairness, no real love, ... which is why His return is the only way we’re going to truly enjoy life. Did He not once say He came to give life, and that more abundantly? Only Christ can give what we seek.
Now, the Lord moves on to His disciples; those people following Him. And He speaks to the same to us today from His written word.
22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see [it].
In some way, at some point in the heart of a believer, there is a longing for Christ’s return. The Bible tells us that creation groans for the Lord’s return. We read also that we groan within ourselves waiting for the redemption that comes in Christ.
The corruption of this world, our sins, the iniquity of others, and the evil world system ought to be unsettling to believers walking closely with Christ. That's going to be natural for a healthy believer. So, the Lord says, the days shall come when ye shall desire to see the Lord rule the earth with truth, righteousness, and justice.
23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after [them], nor follow [them].
So, Jesus says to keep the faith. Don’t be deceived and go chasing after these imitations because the kingdom of God is not temporal; not physical. But because we long to be with the Lord, we might be tempted to grasp at anything that seems real. And the Lord tells us, “go not after them.” Do not fall for those lovely scenes in movies, for those possibilities in books, or the false teaching of humanism.
24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one [part] under heaven, shineth unto the other [part] under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
You won’t need to be told where and when. You won’t miss it. For it will be evident to the whole world when Christ returns. Just as lightning flashes from one end of the sky to another, the world will know without question Christ is back. The world will know when Jesus Christ rules this fallen, corrupt, sin-filled world with truth and righteousness with a scepter of iron.
There will be no mistake about it. Why? Because it will be something so radical. The world will have never known the justice, righteousness, rightness, truth, fairness, and peace, that Christ will rule with.
Right now, all we know is corrupt leaders, self-serving politicians, stealing, lying, cheating, bias news, covert operations, propaganda, and much more evil than we can grasp in the world; everybody doing what is best for themselves instead of what's best for the people they lead and or represent. Christ’s rule will be so refreshing that we won’t be able to stop rejoicing I think.