Summary: The Coming of the Kingdom - Luke chapter 17 verses 20-37 – sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
• Signpost #1: God is in Your Midst (vs 20b-21)
• Signpost #2: God's Plan is Unfolding (vs 22-24)
• Signpost #3: God's Time Clock Is Ticking (vs 26-30)
• Signpost #4: God Takes No Pleasure in Our Clinging (vs 31-33)
• Signpost #5: God's Judgments are Individual Judgments (vs 34-37).
• The author Lewis Carroll led a double life.
• Lewis Carroll was a pseudonym; his real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.
• To the readers of his nonsense fiction he was Lewis Carroll,
• Author of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'
• (but commonly shortened to ‘Alice in Wonderland’).
• But to the world of mathematics;
• He was known as (Reverend) Charles Lutwidge Dodgson,
• Who was a mathematician at Christ Church, Oxford.
• There is a famous anecdote about Carroll and Queen Victoria.
• (Like most good anecdotes, it isn’t true as Carroll himself refuted it)
• But it's a good story that goes like this.
• Queen Victoria enjoyed Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland so much,
• That she requested a first edition of Carroll’s next book.
• Carroll duly sent her a copy of the next book he published;
• A mathematical work with the exciting title 'An Elementary Treatise on Determinants'!
• Now many people suffer from a problem;
• That we read about in the book ‘Alice in Wonderland’ - Quote:
• Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
• “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the cat.
• “I don’t much care where,” said Alice.
• “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the cat.
• “So long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an afterthought.
• “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the cat, “if only you walk long enough.”
• TRANSITION: Many people in life do not know where they are going,
• Both in this life, but also in the life to come!
• Life is not about “getting somewhere”;
• It is about getting to the desired destination.
• That is, knowing God in this life and being with God in the next!
• TRANSITION: From Jesus’ discussions with the Pharisees,
• And then with his disciples,
• We can learn and identify five signposts;
• These five signposts will help us know we’re on the right road.
Signpost #1: God is in Your Midst (vs 20b-21).
“Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, “Here it is,” or “There it is,” because the kingdom of God is in your midst.’”
• When little Johnny saw his brand-new baby brother for the first time,
• The little baby was screaming continuously.
• During a rare quiet moment;
• The little boy asked his mom, “Where did we get him from?”
• His mother replied, “Your little brother came from heaven.”
• Johnny paused for a moment and said,
• “Yes, I understand now why they threw him out!”
• TRANSITION: Jesus was not thrown out of heaven,
• But rather chose to leave heaven and enter our world.
• We celebrate this event at Christmas time,
• And the theological word for that event is incarnation, meaning "in the flesh."
• In the person of Jesus Christ;
• God became a human being and lived among us.
• He tabernacled (or dwelt), he ‘pitched his tent’ he became flesh & blood.
• The religious leaders (Pharisees) ask a question:
• "When is the kingdom of God coming?"
• Jesus replied:
• “…the kingdom of God is in your midst.’”
• You might be surprised to know, that simple statement;
• "The kingdom of God is within you";
• Has challenged Bible teachers and interpreters for centuries,
Let me read it again:
• This time from two different English translations;
• Because they reflect what I think are the two main interpretations:
"The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation; nor will people say, 'Here it is' or, 'There it is', because the kingdom of God is with in you”.
"The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst”.
(1). IT MAY MEAN, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU.
• The Greek word translated as ‘Kingdom’;
• Sometimes means ‘Kingship’ (‘rule, reign, sovereignty’)
• Many English translations of the Bible translate it this way;
• “The kingdom of God is within”.
• If that is the case here;