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                                     WELCOME to the                  CORNERSTONE                   INDEPENDENT                          CHURCH             A Non-denominational,                     Bible Based,                   Online Ministry

                   The Gospels in Harmony                                        Luke 17:20-24                  Sermon #338  Posted 4/5/21

Luke 17:20-24

The Gospels in Harmony  Sermon #338-4/4/21

 

20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 
21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 
22  And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 
23  And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 
24  For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
Luke 17:20-24

 

    Where is the Kingdom of God to you?
Now there is a question that will draw a multitude of answers, descriptions and philosophies. However, the Bible is clear. When you are saved the Kingdom of God is in you! But is this what Jesus was telling the Pharisees?

  Jesus was talking to the Pharisees and everyone knows they were not believers in Christ Jesus, therefore they were not saved or children of God."
Here is the problem with not understanding the definitions of words in the Bible. We often make things say what we want by our modern definitions, however the word within can also and should be translated (in the midst of). It certainly can be understood that the kingdom of God is within the believer but once again the Pharisees were anything but believers.
He was talking about believers to the Pharisees not about the Pharisees themselves. He was saying the Kingdom should be visible to them spiritually.
They should be able to see that He Himself was ushering in the presence of the Kingdom of God. They should know the presence of God in and through Him if they actually knew God by faith and obedience. But they were far too religious to know the presence of the Kingdom of God.

Here is the proof of what they could not understand.
Let's begin;
20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come,-----Demanded  Did that word jump out at you as we read this portion of our text? Demanded; as in having the authority to test Jesus' answers to be true or false. Demanded as if to say "If you are who you say you are, tell us when the Kingdom of God will come to take over."
    You see the Pharisees believed the Kingdom of God would come and save them from the tyrannical rule of Roman Empire. They were looking for a physical takeover. They were looking for someone other than a carpenter’s son to usher in the time of Gods Kingdom on earth. 
They did not ask Jesus, they demanded that He tell them. To ask would have placed them in a lesser position; a lower position of religious knowledge and authority. But to demand made them the authority that Jesus needed to answer to. 
------he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luke 17:20
    Not with observation--- The ESV says in plain English  "Not coming in ways that can be observed."
Now that means for everyone. Certainly non believers would not notice because they refused to see with their hearts instead of their eyes. 
But what about the Pharisees. They were well aware of the miracles Jesus was performing and still refused to believe the Kingdom of God was already present. They were not looking for spiritual salvation; they were already as religious as could possibly be. Why would they need that! No they were so blinded by pride and arrogance they could not see the Lord Himself standing before them. 
     Believers were able to see the presence of God in and through Jesus. But because of what they had been taught by the religious leaders, they also believed the Kingdom of God was going to come in some big display of power and remove them from the bondage and weight of Roman rule.
They also were looking for a physical savior who would become king over the land and rule in all righteousness and holiness. 
     Well they were correct in a way. But as the Pharisees they also were looking with their eyes. They knew Jesus was sent from God. They knew He was the Christ but they still were looking for this huge physical change in their living conditions. Jesus was telling the Pharisees they never would see the kingdom because their faith was in themselves. Their faith was in what they had decided was correct by the scriptures. They didn't want a messiah, a savior for themselves personally. Why would they? They were already so holy they couldn't be challenged by even Jesus! 
   Look at religions today. How sad it is after all this time we still have groups of people who believe they are more holy, more righteous and more deserving because of the way the practice their religion. Or because of the variation of the interpretation of the Word of God they choose to follow. 
Their faith is in the name of the organization they choose to follow, not the Word of God. 
     Salvation is Christ in you!
It is not that religion here or that denomination there. It is the living Word of God in you, for you and through you. It is the Holy Spirit given to you when you give yourself to Christ Jesus in total faith and obedience. The Kingdom of God is here and only those who commit their lives to Christ above the name of the church they attend will know its presence!
21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:21
     One of my favorite verses is from John 14.
23  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 14:23
    Jesus and the Father will live with you. The Kingdom of God is here in you when the Word of God rules your life. 
24  Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 
25  And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
1 John 2:24-25
    Now let's continue with this thought of defining the word within as also meaning (in the midst of). The Holy Spirit is among us as well as in us when we have given our lives to Christ Jesus. God is in this world with us at all times. His Spirit walks with us and guides us and speaks to us as He increases us to come closer and become more Christ like every day. 
But He is also among us as a body of believers. 
20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Matthew 18:20 
    This has the meaning of with and in them. It is a combined meaning for the believer in this day. Just as it was for all believers after the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
But Jesus has not been crucified yet so what exactly is He saying to the Pharisees? 
Jesus is telling them the kingdom of God is among them. Not in them but already present for them to know. It is not a place they can go or a king with a physical army they can petition to protect them from Roman rule. No it is only by faith in Jesus they can see the power and the presence of God in their midst. 
    Well folks, nothing has changed about that. It is only by faith in Christ Jesus that the eyes of your heart will be opened to the presence of God. It is only by faith that you will know you are a citizen of the Kingdom. It is only by faith you will live free from the burden of sin.
21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:21     
    Then Jesus turned to His disciples and began to speak to them of things to come for believers.
22  And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.
Luke 17:22
    There would be a time when He would not be with them. He would not be anywhere they could reach Him physically. He was telling the Pharisees the Kingdom of God was Not to be seen as a physical Kingdom and now He is telling His disciples although He would soon be away from them He would still be present with them. His warning to them was not to follow after the words of men. Do not seek what they know cannot be. Though they would long to be with Him again they were not to go chasing every report of His being. His return would be obvious to all. It would not be here or there where believers would have to journey to see Him again. 
24  For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
Luke 17:24
   When Jesus returns it will be seen by everyone; saved and lost alike. It's not a secret folks! It's not going to be a gathering in one place that you need to travel to! When Christ returns his light will shine for everyone to see.
The world belongs to God. It is His creation and everything in it is His.
There is no getting away from the fact that God will return by His Word and gather in all that is His. The rest will be burned.
     Do not look for Jesus here or there. Do not believe reports of His appearing in one place or another. Do not believe or follow those who would speak such things. 
When Jesus spoke to His disciples it was for all of His disciples. Because Christ is the Word of God that never ends so His word to His disciples never ends. 
    If you are a child of God; a blood bought, born again, Spirit filled, disciple of Christ Jesus, His words of warning and encouragement are for you.
The Kingdom of God was presented to all believers through Jesus. Until the return of our Lord and Savior the Kingdom of God will not be seen or known by the world, but it is already here because ----
the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:21
     Only true believers know the presence of God in and among them!
AMEN!

Pastor Steven Freede
Cornerstone Independent Church Ministry
4/4/21

     

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