Luke 17:20-37 — A sudden but certain judgment

After addressing the Pharisees on God’s kingdom, Jesus turns to his disciples with a word of warning.

He told them that there would be times of trouble when they would long for his coming, and because of that, it would be easy to go after any rumor that may arise.  But Jesus makes several things clear about his second coming.

First, there will be no mistaking it.  When he comes, everyone will know.  Jesus said,

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.  (24)

Second, it will come with a suddenness that no one expects.  That day will start like any ordinary day.  People will be eating, drinking, getting married, buying, selling, planting, and building.  And then Jesus will appear and judgment will come.

Third, the righteous will be spared that judgment that ends in death.  Jesus said,

But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.  It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.  (29-30)

Note that it says after Lot left Sodom, judgment fell.  Jesus said the same would be true on the day of his return.  The righteous will be taken out from among the unrighteous, and then judgment will fall.

Next, it doesn’t matter who you are associated with, judgment will fall on you if you are not right with God when Jesus comes.  Jesus warned,

I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.  (34-35)

Finally, judgment is certain.  Jesus closed by saying,

Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.  (37)

Just as the vultures will fall upon dead corpses, so judgment will fall upon those who are spiritually dead.

So ultimately, the question is, are you ready?  Where is your heart?  Are you in love with the things of this world, or with God?  For the day of judgment will show what’s truly in your heart.  When Jesus comes, those who truly love him will gladly go out to meet him in the air.  But those who are instead in love with the things of earth, will instead be dreading the loss of what they have.

So Jesus warned his disciples,

Remember Lot’s wife!  Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.  (32-33)

Lot’s wife, when judgment fell on the city, looked back with sadness on the life she was forced to leave, and as a result, judgment fell on her.  The same will happen to you if your heart belongs to this world when Jesus comes.

What’s in your heart today?


About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください:
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