11/27/20

Luke 22:21-30

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21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this. 24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. ~ Luke 22:21-30

We come back to the events leading up to the death of the Lord Jesus. The death of the Lord Jesus was a must because sin is in every molecule of this created universe. God has long been known to overcome the evil that stands in the way of His purposes. He does not need a perfect world to achieve His ends. He will achieve His ends in an absolutely imperfect world. He will achieve His ends even though His enemies are in the way. It is the sins of all that endeavor to obstruct Him, even those sins of those who are believers. None succeed. The forgiven and the unforgiven both stand in the way, but God always achieves His purpose.

In v.21-23 we read, "21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this."  

The Lord Jesus uses this last Passover to institute the Lord's Supper. The disciples were aware of the Jewish religious leaders hatred for the Lord Jesus, but they were not aware that one of them would betray Him. And so, when the Lord Jesus says, “But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table,” it doesn't move Judas at all. It does have an effect on the others, but not on Judas. The others were too shocked to be outraged, and they were not at all suspicious of Judas.

Faith accepts, because it acknowledges that we don't have all the information, but we trust God. Reason rejects because human understanding is finite. This is why some wrestle with the fact that Judas' betrayal was predicted. Some have a hard time squaring up God's sovereignty and man's responsibility, but the words of the Lord Jesus at the end of v.22 clearly shows Judas was responsible for betraying the Lord Jesus.

In Matthew's Gospel we are given the responses of the Twelve. Peter spoke for the others when he said, "Lord, is it I who will betray you?" Judas responded with, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" Judas didn't think the Lord Jesus knew who would be the one to betray Him but He did. And, Judas was unmoved. That's how hard his heart had become. The heart of the Lord Jesus had not become his. It was at this point that the Lord Jesus sent Judas out of the Upper Room.

The others knew their hearts were sinful and capable of such. Even though we belong to the Lord, we know we are capable of anything. And, in a display of honesty, they struggled with their own doubting, vacillating hearts. They were moved because they had gained His heart.

Then, in v.24 we read, "A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.When we are interested in promoting self, it doesn’t take much to start an argument. It became so intense, they turned on one another. Not a fruit of the Spirit. Instead of being captivated by the Savior’s plight, they want to argue about which of them is going to be the greatest when he sets up His kingdom.

In v.25-27 we read, "25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves."

The eleven are left wondering. They don't suspect Judas, even though he is gone by this time. Before they could enjoy His kingdom, there had to be His suffering and His dying. The world operates on dominance, but that is not the Lord's way. The Lord's way is a paradox. To be the greatest, we seek to be the least.

The Lord Jesus was and is God. He lacks nothing. Since He is defined by the Father and He lacks nothing, He is not insecure and self-centered. He does not think of self. This is His way.

Then in v.28-30 we read, "28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." 

The eleven endured because they belonged to the Lord Jesus. Think of that. We endure because we are His. We are not our own. And, in the end, when all history is done, these men will rule in the kingdom over the 12 tribes of Israel because the Lord Jesus made them worthy to be honored.

Instead of berating them, the Lord Jesus gave His struggling disciples a lesson on humility. And, He was and would be the prime example. His genius shows through once again as He picks a very teachable moment to show them one of the greatest principles in leadership ever. The amazing thing is that He has chosen the weak things of this world to bring about His purposes in this world. We must continue to trust Him and make ourselves responsible to Him as He brings about those purposes til He comes.

11/26/20

Luke 22:14-20

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14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. ~ Luke 22:14-20

In Luke 22-24 we are given the story of the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The paradox of all paradoxes. On that cross we see Him suffering yet exalted, punished yet innocent, hated yet loving, subjected yet sovereign.

The Lord Jesus willingly embraced His cross to die as God’s sacrificial lamb, the innocent substitute dying for His rebellious creation, bearing the full wrath of God for all of our rebellion. He came to earth as a baby and grew to be a man, in order “to give His life a ransom for many.”

Our text happened on Thursday night of the Lord Jesus' final week on earth. It was the day God had long ordained on the fourteenth of Nisan, the day of Passover, during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This was the time when everything He had ever anticipated was unfolding according to the perfect plan of His Father. But before He died, He met with His apostles, fulfilling the Passover and beginning the New Covenant.

In v.14-16 we read, "When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table15 And he said to them, 'I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.'"

On that evening the Lord Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant and inaugurated the New. He took all who would ever believe, from the Passover to the Lord’s Table. He ended a millennia of the sacrificing of countless lambs for the forgiveness of sin. And, in order for those trapped in sin to be delivered from judgment, the requirement of death was met through His perfect sacrifice. 

The message of the Passover is: God delivers the sinful  through the death of the innocent substitute. But, no person has ever been delivered from divine judgment by the death of any animal. The repeated sacrifice of animals was simply a continual reminder that God does deliver by the death of an innocent substitute. And some of the people waited for that perfect sacrifice that would be satisfactory to God. This was the point of all those Old Testament sacrifices. 

At the perfect time the long awaited day came when God offered His Son as the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. The Lord Jesus is that perfect substitute for all sinners who would invite Him to be our Savior. He became God's satisfying sacrifice when God poured out His wrath on Him on our behalf.

In v.17-18 we read, "17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

The cup, throughout the scriptures, was representative of the wrath of God. And, now, it is the reminder of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus on the behalf of each believer. The wine has long been the symbol of God's blessing, reflecting His goodness to His people in delivering us from the penalty of sin through His Son. 

In v.19-20 we read, "19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."

The death of the Lord Jesus brought to the end the legal requirements of all the ceremonial law including all of the dietary laws and all of the Sabbath laws. In fact, immediately after the Lord's resurrection, the church started to meet on the first day of the week. His substitution brought to the end the Old Testament ceremonies, and rituals.

Now, the moral law has not changed because God doesn’t change. Of course, the moral law is sanctification teaching, not justification teaching. Obeying the moral law does not get us into heaven, it gets heaven into us, now. Following God's moral law garners for us His wisdom, and the more we walk in His wisdom, the more we will experience His sanctification.

The Lord Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it. This bread was long a reminder of the affliction of Israel in Egypt, but now it is to commemorate the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on the cross for our sin.

Sin can only be forgiven when just payment is made, and the payment is death. The only acceptable death could only be made by a sinless and blameless substitute. The Lord Jesus Christ is that substitute. 

The Lord's Supper is simply a remembrance of what He accomplished for us on His cross. He’s not in the bread or in the wine, physically or spiritually. The bread and the wine are object lessons of His body and His blood which were given for us. The two elements are meant to enable us to understand what He did for us on His cross.

Only when justice has been satisfied can we be delivered from the judgment of our sin. When the Lord Jesus died the death that we could not, He accomplished all that satisfies the righteous requirements of the God of the Bible. God made Him sin who never committed one sin so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

11/25/20

Luke 22:7-13

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7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” 9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. 10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.” 13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.  ~ Luke 22:7-13

As we return to the narrative of God redeeming sinful man, we find ourselves entering back in to Thursday, and preparations are being made for the Passover meal that evening. The next day, Friday, the Lord Jesus will be crucified for the sin of mankind.

The death of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary's cross was no accident. It was not a bad ending to a noble effort by a good man. His death on the cross was not the end of His life, it was the beginning of ours because His death brought an end to sin and death. It was at His cross that He dealt a death blow to the penalty, power and eventually the presence of sin. And, when we receive His free gift of salvation, God sees us through the lens of His Son. The goal of His life was to bridge the gap between us and God, something we could not do for ourselves. 

Now, on Friday afternoon, between three and six at sunset, thousands of Passover lambs were to be slaughtered. It was during that period of time that the Lord Jesus had to die. He died in perfect accord with the Passover sacrifice because He is, as the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “Our Passover Lamb.” Since the Fall of man in the Garden of Eden, all of history had long been building to this crescendo event when God would bring down death once and for all for all who would believe.

The way the Lord Jesus arranged for the Passover feast indicates that He knew there were plots to thwart God's plan. This is why He set up the Passover meal at an unknown place that no one knew. No names were given, and the unnamed man who carried the pitcher of water gave the disciples the guest room. And that’s where they had the Passover. It happened this way so that the Lord Jesus could celebrate the Passover to fulfill ALL righteousness. 

Then, after celebrating the Passover, the Lord Jesus instituted the New Covenant which would be for the redeemed for all time to come. He could not be arrested until the events of that evening had unfolded where the Passover was celebrated and the Lord’s table was instituted. This is why He did not want anybody to know where they were going to celebrate the Passover.

After John and Peter went out there is no indication that they ever came back. They went out early on Thursday and they acquired everything they needed, and they went to the place they were told to go and they evidently spent the entire day preparing for the meal. And the rest arrived and nobody knew where they were until they got there. And once they got there, obviously Judas had to stay.

As is always the case, the Lord had a plan and afterwards, He was betrayed and arrested in accordance with His schedule. After He finally finished everything during the last supper, the Lord Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives. It was there that He was arrested and He was led away to be executed that same day before the sun set. Only in that little window could He be arrested, tried, and executed, but not before He fulfilled all righteousness. Then He would die at the very hour all Passover lambs were slaughtered since Israel's time in Egypt. Isn't it is stunning to see all of these details come together under His control?

In v.7 we read, "Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed." The Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread were blended together. It was the fourteenth of Nisan, and in order to fulfill all righteousness, they had to celebrate the Passover.

In 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 we read, "7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

According to Exodus 12, they were required to observe the Passover every single year on the fourteenth of Nisan. This was the last legitimate Passover because the Lord Jesus transformed it into the Lord’s Supper. In fact, now, God desires for us to remember the Passover by remembering His deliverance at Calvary. 

Many find the cross to be foolish, but it reveals the wisdom of God. While it reveals the ugliness of sin, it reveals the beauty of God’s love. It punishes sin and offers forgiveness at the same time for all who are humble enough to admit we need help. Justice and grace were wed at His cross.

11/24/20

Luke 22:1-6

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1 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. ~ Luke 22:1-6

God is sovereign and everything happens within His divine framework. Everything in life is controlled by our Father who is in heaven. Everything the Lord Jesus did was what God wanted Him to do. The Apostle Paul tells us that in the fullness of time, the Lord Jesus Christ came into the world to be the propitiation or satisfying sacrifice for all of mankind. And, His death was planned by God before the foundation of the world. It was the divine plan of God that He would die for the sin of the world.

In v.1 we read, "Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching." 

It was the Passover and the Lord Jesus was handed over to the Jews to be crucified as the lamb of God. This was prophesied countless times in the Old Testament, and it was during the Passover that He was slain in Jerusalem. Before time began, God determined that the Lamb, the One foreshadowed in the Old Testament, would be slain for you and me at that time and at that place. In fact, most biblical scholars believe the Lord Jesus was crucified where Abraham put his son, Isaac, on the altar.

As we scurry back into the narrative in Luke 22, we quickly realize that it is the Passover. Of course, the Passover goes all the way back to Egypt when the enslaved Jews experienced the forgiveness of God as the death angel passed over their homes which had the blood stains of the sacrificed lamb over the door frame.

This merely underscores the fact that God had long planned for the Lord Jesus to be THE Passover lamb. It was the will of God for the Lord Jesus to be crucified on that particular Friday, even though the Jews wanted to wait til after the Passover to do it. Christ died to satisfy the justice of God on our behalf.

In v.2 we read, “and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people.” 

For years the Jewish religious leaders wanted the Lord Jesus dead. Their fear of what the Jews might do put a check on them carrying out their evil intentions. Unwittingly, they played right into the design of God who did it this way to communicate His goodness and sovereignty to mankind.

In v.3-4 we read, "3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus." 

It is quite shocking that someone could follow the Lord Jesus and hear His teaching and witness His miracles and then betray Him. But, this is what Judas did. When he decided the Lord Jesus was no longer worthy for him to follow, he went to the Jewish religious leaders to betray the Lord Jesus. And, he was motivated by money. 

We are told that when Judas made this decision, it was on the heels of Satan entering him. Satan or any of his cohorts can not enter a person unless they are given permission. In fact, there are certain things that we can do that will open ourselves up demon activity. We must be careful to stay away from those thing that we know are of the evil one.

Judas Iscariot fulfilled the prophecy of Psalm 41:9 which reads, “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.” 

Satan can not do one thing unless it is within the will of God. In Zechariah 11:12-13 we learn of a betrayer who was going to sell the Messiah for 30 pieces of silver. It is in Exodus 21:32 that we learn that the price for a slave was thirty pieces of silver. This thirty pieces of silver, to Judas, was about four months of wages.

In v.5-6 we read, "5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present."

People have asked me from time to time, "Why did God make Judas betray the Lord Jesus?" To which I respond, "God didn't make Judas betray the Lord Jesus, but He knew that Judas would make that choice." God makes no one sin, otherwise He would be guilty of sin. No, God knew in advance what Judas would do and He told us in advance of the deed that would be done. 

As a side note, even after he betrayed the Lord Jesus, Judas had a chance to turn to God in his brokenness. I am not sure if he did or he didn't, it appears that he didn't. However, the goodness of God is still seen in Judas' opportunity to turn to God in the last moments of his life.

This underscores the fact that we can trust God. He is really in control and he loves us dearly. The death of His Son was no surprise to Him. And, we can rest in that design. In fact, I have discovered there is far more design in this world than coincidence. 

Amid the many unbelievable things He has done in my life, I have learned that researchers have discovered that rats’ teeth are always sharp because their teeth design consists of a hard surface on one side and a soft surface on the other. As they are used, the soft part wears down much faster, keeping the teeth continuously sharp. 

This finding was applied in developing a saw blade that sharpens itself. This blade is constructed from tungsten carbide powder that is mixed, pressed, and heated. When cutting metal, it lasts up to six times longer than the next best blade in common use today.

The God of the Bible is the God of design. Even when all around us seems to be out of control, we can rest assured that He is truly in control. And, we can trust Him with everything that concerns us this day.


11/23/20

Luke 21:34-38

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34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” 37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple. ~ Luke 21:34-38

Every generation lives with the reality that the Rapture of the Church could happen in the twinkling of an eye. When it does happen, Christians all over the world will disappear. Then the seven year Tribulation will begin, ending with the Lord’s Second Coming and His judgement upon all the unbelievers who refused the free gift of salvation. 

After these things, He will establish His earthly kingdom for a thousand years and He will reign over a kingdom of peace and righteousness. And, even after man has known a society that all claim to desire and hope to provide, many will yet reject the Lord Jesus. Then, the very end will come and Satan and his followers will be cast into Hell for eternity. Pride, that condition that inaugurated all sin, will be defeated.

In v.34 of today's text reads, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.”

Even though we do not know when the Lord Jesus will come, He will come. And so, we live in perpetual vigilance. Since this is the case, the Lord Jesus warns us to watch our hearts, to keep a careful watch over our hearts. Our hearts are like a musical instrument. We get them tuned and they lose tune. Then we have to get them tuned again. And this is a seemingly never ending process. But, this cycle will end when we are with the Lord forever.

Keeping our hearts in tune with the Lord is the key to keeping them from being weighed down with the cares of this world. We are told to guard our hearts in the scripture. To guard our hearts literally means “to set a watchman over it” but not just any ole watchman. 

We best guard our hearts by filtering our wills, emotions and thoughts through His Word on a daily basis. He is the watchman that protects our souls. And His primary means of defending our hearts is the sword of His word. We must be diligent to keep ourselves in His Word, and then He keeps our hearts.

In Jude 21 we read, "Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life." In Psalm 18:30 we read, "This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him." In Psalm 119:9 we read, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word." And, in Proverbs 2:7-8 we read, "He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones."

In today's text the Lord Jesus is speaking to all who belong to Him. He reminds us to live with such anticipation of His coming that our hearts are not burdened down with sin. The result of this will be that when He comes we won't be trapped out of walking with Him and doing His will on this earth. The imagery here is not of us sinning because we will sin, it is of us literally being under a pile of sin. 

In Romans 13:11-14, we read, "11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh." 

The salvation the Apostle speaks of here in Romans 13:11 is our ultimate salvation. This is our ultimate deliverance from the power and presence of sin. In the meantime, the believer is to be focused on the things of the Lord because this salvation is not just for us, it is for those who will believe through God's work in our lives. The Bible calls this our sanctification.

When we live in the light of His Coming, it gives us vigilance and vigilance turns us from sin. It’s a call to living with Him at the center of our lives. This is a tall order and we will fail at it. But, we learn that even the failure becomes a part of this process whereby He changes us from the inside out. His goal is not a changed us, His goal is that we learn of His tremendous heart for us which is not earned.

Now, when we are trapped under the burden of sin, we will not be about the Father's business which is the salvation of the lost. In fact, the Lord will not come to set up His Kingdom until the gospel has been preached to the ends of the earth. Universal judgment should lead us to this understanding and should cause us to demonstrate compassion toward those who are lost and perishing. 

In v.35 of our text we read, "For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth." Due to the fact that the wrath of God will come upon all who do not believe, we must be involved in sharing our story that we have with Him with them, hoping they will see Him the way we are learning to see Him.

In v.36 we read, "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." 

The only people who will stand before the Son of Man and escape the wrath of God are those who are recipients of His compassion. We only become recipients of His grace after we have admitted that we are ruined by sin and we turn to Him for help. There has never been a cry that He has ignored. 

Those who resist His grace are going to fall before Him. To stand before the Son of Man means to come into His presence and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” The Lord Jesus will declare the broken not guilty, perfectly righteous, because we trusted in His righteousness. And, the effect of that experience is that we will desire to be a part of seeing the lost come to Him as well.

Our text today ends with, "37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple." 

These two verses describe a day in the ministry of the Lord Jesus fueled by a night of prayer. Here we are brought to the transition point between Jesus’ teaching on the end times, and their preparation for the Last Supper. This is how we are to do ministry. In the Gospels, the Lord Jesus withdrew to pray. It is clear in v.37-38, if we try to do ministry without bathing our efforts in prayer, we become unfocused, and unduly stressed. 

In addition, in the very next chapter of Luke the Lord Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper. This teaches us that we must be careful to keep the gospel at the center of any ministry that we pursue. The crucifixion of the Lord Jesus has a continuing significance to all who follow Him. Through the remembrance of His death meeting we continue to participate in his death and in the new covenant because we subsequently participate in His life because His death introduced true life.

In 1 Corinthians 11:28 Paul wrote, “Everyone should take a careful look at themselves before they eat the bread and drink from the cup.” Every time we participate in the Lord's Supper, we are reminded of our sinfulness and only He can take our sin away.

So the Lord’s Supper helps us look to Christ, and be mindful that true life can only be in and with Him. When we are aware the Lord Jesus lives in us, we are reminded that we are humanly unable to cleanse our sins. The Lord’s Supper plays a major role in the process of being reminded that He loves us and He alone is our Savior. He commanded us to seek HIS righteousness, not ours. Let's teach the lost about this wonderful teaching before it is too late for them.

11/20/20

Luke 21:29-33

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29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. ~ Luke 21:29-33

In the context of telling the disciples the signs of His Second Coming, the Lord Jesus uses a parable designed to help His disciples understand. Here, the Lord Jesus uses a fig tree and other trees to help His disciples. When the fig tree puts forth its leaves, the tree then swells with sap in the trunk and the branches in the Spring, and it begins to push out its leaves. That is when we know that it is Springtime.

In v.31 we are given the point of this parable: the Kingdom of God is near. When the people on the earth see these things happen, they will know that the coming of the Kingdom is near, just like when we see the leaves we know that Summer is near. 

"These things" are those happening during the Tribulation. The signs in the sun, the moon, the stars, on the earth, the roaring of the sea and the waves, the powers of the heavens shaken, people in dismay, perplexed, dying from fear and expectation of what is coming. When you see those things, you then jump all the way to those people who are believers in Christ, who belong to Christ, who are Christ’s people living in the time when those signs will take place.

Now, in v.32 we read, “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” This generation is referring to the generation that will be on the earth when these things happen. When Jerusalem is next surrounded, and there are devastating changes in the universe, the Lord Jesus is soon to return.

Now, the Rapture of the Church is described in 1 Corinthians 15, John 14, and 1 Thessalonians 4. And in each case it is the Church taken out of the world, and taken to heaven. There is no mention of judgment in these passages. Christ does not come to earth, He comes in the clouds and then He takes us to heaven. This is not descriptive of the Second Coming mentioned.

If we are to be raptured at the end of the tribulation, then the scene would include: the coming of Christ, He destroys all the wicked; they’re all dead; none of them are alive on the earth. All of them are destroyed; the day of the Lord, no one survives. And if all believers are raptured, what does that mean? You receive a glorified body and you’re transformed. Then we have a big problem. Who populates the earthly Kingdom during the Millennium?  We’ve got no unbelievers and we've got no living believers. Who populates the Kingdom? Who has babies? Where do the sinners come from that Christ rules with a rod of iron? Where do the sinners come from who rebel at the end of the Millennium? Godly people have to survive the Tribulation. That's the point, and the Church will not be there.

In Revelation 3:10 we read, “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” There is an hour of testing coming, an hour of tribulation. Yes, all Christians have trials, but there is an hour that is a specific time from which we will be kept. This is a promise of deliverance that is consistent with 1 Corinthians 15, John 14, 1 Thessalonians 4.

In v.33 we read, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." We were saved by the living and abiding word. Whatever God says is absolutely the way it is. The message of the Bible is summed up three phrases: God’s demand: “be perfect.” God’s diagnosis: “no one is perfect.” God’s deliverance: “Jesus was perfect for you.” And, of course, the opposite is true.

11/19/20

Luke 21:25-28

Click here for the Luke 21:25-28 PODCAST

25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” ~ Luke 21:25-28

We come back to the tail end of the Lord Jesus' answer to the disciples question about when will we know that we are at the end of time. The Lord Jesus' answer describes what Jeremiah describes as a “time of Jacob’s trouble” in Jeremiah 30:7. Jacob is Israel in unbelief. That is the point of the Seventy Sevens of Daniel 9:24-27: that Israel will come to faith in the Lord Jesus. 

As the Seventieth Seven of Daniel 9:27 or the Tribulation as some call it, comes to its end, abnormal occurances in the sun, moon and stars will occur. They come in a flurry just before Christ returns. This will happen after evil has finished its course on the earth.

The coming of the Son of Man in a cloud with power and great glory will be very different than the first time He came in a manger in humility, condescension and lowliness. This will not be the case the next time. 

In Matthew 24:29 we learn that at the end the sun and moon will be darkened and the stars will fall. Then the Lord Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:30 the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven. According to Revelation 1:7 every eye will see Him. According to Zechariah 12:10-14 the nation of Israel will at last recognize their Messiah, repent, believe, and be saved.

In Acts 1:9 we read, "After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight." The disciples were on the Mount of Olives with the Lord Jesus after His resurrection, all of a sudden the Lord Jesus ascends, physically, literally, bodily He goes up into a cloud and He's gone. And they're gazing intently stunned, two angels appear and say this, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?” The angels ask this question because the disciples were doing more than just looking, they were losing the One most important to them and their look was a serious intent look.

Then they heard these words from the angels, This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Christ went up, He will come down. He went up in a cloud, He will come down in a cloud. He went up from the Mount of Olives, He will come down to the Mount of Olives.

In Daniel 7:13-14 we read, "13 In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." Christ’s appearing will be sudden, awesome, and with great power. 

In 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 we read, "5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you." 

Christ will come in flaming fire, accompanied by His mighty angelsChrist will return to deal out judgment on those who resisted His grace. But He also comes to be glorified in His followers. And, according to 1 Thessalonians 1:10, "We wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath."

Clearly the Lord Jesus will return in the same way that He departed the earth after His resurrection. There are at least 300 plus Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the first coming of the Lord Jesus. In Revelation 6:12-14 we read, "12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place." 

In the seven year Tribulation, judgments come out of seven seals, seven seals that stretch across the seven years. When we get toward the end and we come to the sixth and seventh seal, the judgments intensify. The sun will go out. The whole moon will become like blood which hardens into blackness. The stars of the sky will fall to the earth as a fig tree casts its ripened figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky will split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up. The sky will roll up like a scroll. Every mountain and island will be moved out of their places. This describes the awful end.

The sad part of this is that there will be people who lived through the Tribulation, who heard the gospel preached all over the world. These will have seen Israel repent, Gentiles from every tongue and tribe and people and nation repent, and come to faith in the Lord Jesus. They had been warned again and again that the Lord Jesus was coming in judgment. And even when it comes down to the end, they are still blaspheming the God of heaven. If you think that somehow you can just kind of wait around until all that starts and come to Christ at the end, you may end up with them. Today is the day of salvation. Cry out to Him now if you haven't already.

Luke 22:21-30

Click here for the Luke 22:21-30 PODCAST 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will ...