Summary: A teaching message on Luke 17:20-37.

Luke Series #77 August 25, 2002

Title: The Kingdom of God for Dummies Part 2



Introduction: Welcome to New Life in Christ. This morning we are in Chapter 17 of the Book of Luke in our verse-by-verse teaching series out of that book.

Read Luke 17:20-37

Opening Prayer

The title of today’s message is: The Kingdom of God for Dummies. A took the title from the popular line of dummies books, which take a complicated subject, and sticking to the basics, explain it in easy to understand terms. This is what I am trying to do regarding the Kingdom of God teachings found in these verses. Last week I covered verses 20-25. These verses convey two important things or characteristics concerning the Kingdom of God.

1. The Kingdom of God is present today. (Expound briefly.)

2. The full manifestation of the Kingdom of God will be obvious to everyone.

These verses deal with the return of Jesus the King, which is connected to the establishment of the Kingdom of God. The two events are simultaneous and closely connected.

Last week I also shared with you a simple definition of what the Kingdom of God is, which was: The Kingdom of God is the manifestation of God’s authority, power, and purposes, whether in a person or place.

Before I move on to teaching these other verses, I want you to understand that Jesus is not teaching the chronology or timing of events regarding the end times in this passage, rather he is teaching about the nature of the second coming and the Kingdom of God. With that said, let’s look at verses 26-30, which convey another important characteristic concerning the Kingdom of God.

Read Luke 17:26-30

3. The full manifestation of the Kingdom of God will be preceded by a terrible judgment, which comes suddenly and unexpectedly.

The Kingdom of God itself will be wonderful! Where God rules there will be no more suffering, sin, Satan, death, tears, etc… In essence, it will be a paradise, where Jesus himself rules, but before this happens, there’ll be a terrible judgment. Jesus doesn’t describe the details of that judgment in this passage, but you can read about in the Book of Revelation and other parts of the Bible. There’ll be death, war, disease, and "natural disasters" experienced on a scale that has been unknown to this day. This time period is not just fate, but it is the judgment of God upon the world, in the same way as he judged the world in Noah’s day and the city of Sodom and Lot’s day.

3. The full manifestation of the Kingdom of God will be preceded by a terrible judgment, which comes suddenly and unexpectedly.

Jesus emphasis in this passage is on the suddenness and unexpectedness of this judgment. He says it will be just like it was in the days of Noah and Lot where people were "eating, drinking, marrying, and being given in marriage" till the judgment suddenly came. In other words, life will go on as usual until suddenly and unexpectedly judgment comes.

Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2

This theme of sudden, unexpected judgment is important because people tend to expect some prior warnings, some gradual change indicating the end is near. The final judgment that precedes the full manifestation of the Kingdom of God will not happen like the warning light in your car which indicates low fuel. It will not be like the weather man telling us to expect a tropical storm or hurricane in the next 48 hours. The final judgment will come suddenly and unexpectedly like an earthquake.

Life will be going on as usual, when suddenly and unexpectedly the whole world will change! The passage does not indicate that this sudden judgment only last for day. It will be like the "days" (plural) of Noah and Lot, when judgment came violently and suddenly, but also lasted for some time. In my opinion, the Bible clearly says that there will be seven years of terrible judgment before the full manifestation of the Kingdom of God at Jesus Second Coming. This will be a time that could accurately be described as Hell on Earth.

3. The full manifestation of the Kingdom of God will be preceded by a terrible judgment, which comes suddenly and unexpectedly.

It could happen anytime. It may begin on the very day you get a raise or promotion. It may occur as you are shopping for groceries, watching a football game, or mowing the lawn. It may occur before this service is over!

People will foolishly mistake the continuance of life as normal before the judgment as indicative of no judgment to come. Some will disbelieve, others will ignore, and some will even laugh at the idea of a sudden, unexpected, and cataclysmic judgment. The Bible warns us about just such an attitude.

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