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Thursday, October 28, 2010

10/29/10 Luke 17:20-37 Remember Lot's Wife

20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is in your midst." 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 People 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.  26 "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.  28 "It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.  30 "It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot's wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35-36 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left."  37 "Where, Lord?" they asked.  He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather."

("Lot's Wife" Rock Formation by Dead Sea)

Thoughts: How sudden is the incoming of God?  Jesus was right there, but many around him did not recognize him at his first coming.  The kingdom comes inside of us.  The temple of God is ourselves (Col 3:16; 1 Cor. 3:16) and the presence of God is inside of us.  Jesus comes into our hearts.  In that sense the kingdom cannot be observed.  Yet when the kingdom of God comes in fullness and power- when Jesus comes back again- it will happen suddenly like in the days of Noah and Lot- when there was much wickedness and worldliness.  Destruction came at those times suddenly.  Lot's wife is a symbol of someone dismayed at the suddenness and desiring to go back to the world.  Lot's wife is a symbol of our time.  Many Christians do not want Jesus to come back because they are so content with our world.  I have heard Christians say things like- I don't want the Lord to come back before I get my promotion; or before I move into my new beach house; or before I get married; or before I see my first grandchildren.  God wants us to enjoy life, but He also does not want us to love this life more than loving Him and putting faith that His reward in heaven is greater than our blessings here.  So Jesus says, "Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it." 

Prayer: Come into my heart fully, O Lord, that I may love you more than all this world has to offer.  Help me to say along with the saints of old, "Come Lord Jesus!"

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