The Return Of Christ And What We Need To Know
Luke 17:20-37 ESV … Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”
And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.” And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”
When Will The Kingdom Come?
This is a question that the Pharisees asked Jesus, and many people have continued to ask ever since. I suppose it’s natural to want to know when the kingdom will arrive, but why do we really want to know? Why did the Pharisees want to know? Perhaps it’s natural for anyone who feels ill-prepared for anything to want to know when the big day is. Take for instance a big school exam, those who are not quite ready will inquire as to when the test will be, they want to know how much time they have to prepare so that they will be confident when the big day comes. On the other side, those who are totally prepared for their exams have no worries at all when the test will come at them as they are always ready.
I remember when I was a kid that there were times I would study while en-route to the school for a test I had that day. I even knew when the test was yet I had left it until the last minute, I guess I was having too much fun with other things to be bothered preparing for my test. If it’s that easy to fail in our preparation for tests that have a pre-determined day, how impossible will it be for the self-absorbed to be prepared for the coming of God’s kingdom? The answer, impossible.
Religious people have always wanted to know the day in which the kingdom will come in order that they may have their affairs in order. Jesus came when the Jews of that day least expected it even though they had the prophecies of old to point it out; in like manner Christ will return when we least expect it, and only those who are continually ready and prepared will be waiting for Him when He does.
Timothy 4:8 ESV “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
Even though Christ will return for a second time, and those of us who are prepared will be taken with Him, is this what He spoke about in reference to the Kingdom of God? No, Jesus was not speaking of a future event at all, but one that was already taking place, in fact He clearly said the Kingdom of God is in your midst. Notice how Jesus’ answered them and said, “It’s in your midst” and not, “You already have it”. The reason He said this was that although (He) who was the very light and life of the world was standing right in front of them, they themselves did not have part in the kingdom.
We do know that the kingdom of God was attainable at this point in time because earlier in Luke Jesus responded to the Pharisees and said that “Many people were forcing their way into the kingdom”, these were people who’s eyes had been opened to the truth and had grabbed hold of his garments, shouted out “Son of David” and had wept at His feet. These were tax collectors, prostitutes, thieves, blind and needy, shepherds and Eastern wise-men. Yet the very ones who you would have expected to see the truth stared blankly at Him and asked when the Kingdom would come. They had no clue He was already there.
We see it all the time, many people today spend so much time looking for, calculating, and trying to read the times for His return, so much so that they miss the passages in scripture which tell us that we will never know. Instead of frantically trying to learn when the second-coming will take place we should first of all be about our Fathers business of sharing the gospel in obedience to Christ’s command. Those who love God and continue in obedience will not care on which day He will return for they will be spending every day as though it was THAT day. They will be busy preaching the gospel, feeding the sheep, tending to the church and binding up the broken hearted. Their lives will be continually ready for the day in which Christ will return, and most of all they will recognize that the return of Christ is just a continuation of His Kingdom that they already posses within them. The moment we have turned from our sin and placed all our hope and trust in Jesus Christ is the day we have started to live in His kingdom.
The question is, will you be ready?
Are you ready? Are you living ready and prepared?
Have you walked through the door of repentance and entered into fellowship with the risen Christ?
Have you been washed by His blood and had your sins (past, present and future) dealt with?
Are you too busy having fun that you can’t be bothered to prepare?
Are you so self-absorbed that you can’t see your sin and your need of the Savior?
Have you gone to church your entire life, recited prayers and performed your Bible reading duties and still you are unfulfilled?
Jesus is the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God.
He is the treasure we ought to seek and the source of water for every thirst we have.
He is the food for all our appetites.
If you can honestly say “I am His and He is mine”, then you have no reason to seek His Kingdom because the kingdom has already sought and found you. You are God’s, safe and secure, and no power of hell can rip you from His grip. You are already a citizen and are literally awaiting your day of departure when you will go home for good. If you have any doubts whatsoever then you need to call out to Jesus who alone can save you. Call on Him while he is near and He will answer you with salvation, because ready or not Christ will one day return for His people. Be ready!
Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV … And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
Grace & Peace
Preparing The Way