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The Coming Kingdom

The Coming Kingdom

Words of Faith 11-9-18

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Luke 17:20-25 

     Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, [21] nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

    [22] Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. [23] Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. [24] For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. [25] But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

 

        Jesus had been asked by some of the Pharisees about the Kingdom of God.  They wanted to know when the Kingdom would come but Jesus replied that the most important issue is the Kingdom within and among them.  This was not some new age "spark of the divine" concept.  Jesus was simply clarifying that we should first look to see if the rule of God is in our own lives. "End times" talk will be meaningless if we have not discovered this first fundamental truth.

        Some feel that the force of the Greek expression here is that the Kingdom of God is "within your possession or within your reach.”  Jesus' point was that He was standing right in their midst. All they needed to do was acknowledge that He is indeed the Messiah who could bring in the kingdom-- and then the kingdom would come.  The rule of God was available right then, in their midst.

         But Jesus then spoke of "the coming of the Son of Man.”  There is a coming Kingdom that is yet to arrive.  He laid out several truths.  Indeed, a time is coming when disciples will long for the days of the Son of Man but will not see Him. Apparently, Jesus was talking about something different from His suffering that was very near or the persecution of Rome or the destruction of the Temple.  These followers would see those events.  But the coming of the Son of Man was in a more distant future when they "will not see one of the days.”

        Jesus identified a part of our Christian heart which longs for the coming of Jesus. As believers, we long for a day of justice, completion, an end to suffering, and a final victory.  The Spirit of God within us longs for the coming of Jesus and all that this will mean.  We long for the day when all that is wrong will be made right.  It is far more likely that we, as 21st century believers, will see that day.  

        Because of this longing, there is a deep and growing human interest in the End Times.  If you want to draw a crowd, just announce a study of the end times. With world events what they are, we are sure to see an increase in people making claims about the End Times.  The longing is real, but it also opens the door to deception.

        Jesus was clear on this as well.  Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them.  The coming of the Son of Man will be evident to all.  Everyone will know when the Kingdom comes (23-24). It will not be a hidden.  It will not be only an inner or spiritual kingdom. It will be a kingdom that the whole world will know. His appearing will be like the lightning (Matt. 24:27, 30).

        We often ask the question, Are you ready for Jesus?  But a better question might be, Have you found Him today?  Have you discovered the Kingdom of God through surrender to the Master here and now?  Are you longing for the completion of all things at His return? 

 

         Father God, I marvel at the wonder of Your plan.  I rejoice in the Kingdom of God that here right now in the midst of us.  I celebrate the rule of God in my life as I surrender more and more each day to You.  I long for the coming of Jesus.  In His Name.