Eternal Life

Luke 18:18-27 (NASB)

A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” They who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”

Many people, when they hear or read the two words “eternal life” think that it’s a reference to heaven. It does mean that, but it also means so much more. Eternal life can begin now. It begins in the believer as soon as he is born-again. It’s the same life which we carry throughout eternity! Eternal life is not a thing of changes. The triumphant life of the Christian now is the triumphant life to be enjoyed hereafter. “The thief steals, kills, and destroys; I come that you might have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10). “This is life eternal; to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).

  1. opcje binarne bonus Eternal life comes as the reward for full and perfect obedience to God’s commands.
    This man asks “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responds by saying two separate things:
    1. A. “Why do you call Me good? Nobody is good except God alone.”
      Why did Jesus respond this way? “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God” (v. 27). You’ll never know what is possible with God till you know Jesus as God Himself.
    2. “You know the commands – ‘Do not commit adultery; do not murder; do not steal; etc…’”
      Again, why did Jesus respond this way, by reminding the rich young ruler of God’s commands? Immortality is the reward for obedience to God, but “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This is consistent with Paul’s teaching: “To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, God will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be Gods’ wrath and anger” (Romans 2:7-8).
  2. أربح المال على الإنترنت اليوم A self-righteous person will only look at external behaviors and ignore the heart.
    The construction of the book of Luke is not an accident. In the previous verses, Jesus gives a parable about the self-righteous (vs. 9-14) and then He discusses the importance of having a heart like a child. In this segment of Luke, a “rich, young ruler” says he’s “kept the commandments.” Jesus responds:

    “One thing you still lack” (v. 22).
    “Sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven” (v. 22).

    1. When you sell all you have and give to others, you are web trading gratis selfless in your goodness.
    2. When you sell ALL you have and give it away, you are binary options trading signal software sacrificial in your goodness.
    3. When you sell all you have and follow Jesus, you are opcje binarne depozyt sustained in your goodness.
      Who is good and keeps God’s law in all points, at all times, both outwardly and inwardly? Nobody. Except for lagligt beställa Viagra Jesus: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake, He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (II Corinthians 8:9).
  3. strategi för binära optioner The Gospel or the Good News is that Jesus has done for you what you can’t do yourself.
    When we speak of “asking Jesus into our hearts,” do we know what it is we are actually saying? It’s impossible for someone to appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ until we know what He has done. “We know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified” (Galatians 2:16).
    1. Coming to faith in Christ means God gives you eternal life as a gift (John 3:16; Romans 6:23).
    2. Coming to faith in Christ means God changes you from the inside out (Philippians 1:6).
    3. Coming to faith in Christ means God fully accepts you because of Christ (Philippians 3:7-11).
    4. Coming to faith in Christ means God empowers you to love as He loves you (John 13:34-35).

A Promise Above All Other Promises

Luke 18:28-30 (NASB)

Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.” And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”

Not all the promises you are given are the same. Some promises are more important than others. Some have deeper implications and are inviolable. In this text, Jesus gives a promise above all other promises. Remember the context: In Luke 18:18-27 a rich young ruler came to the Lord, fell on his knees, and worshiped Him saying, “Good Teacher, what can I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered, “Go, sell all you have, give it to the poor, then come follow Me.” This rich young ruler looked around and said, “No.” Three things will usually keep us from receiving the reign of Christ over us: religion, reputation, and riches.

  1. binäre optionen tagestrend Choosing Jesus’ Kingdom as the priority of my life means I must let go.
    “Behold, we have left our own and followed You” (v. 28). The word homes is added by the translators. Peter said, “We have left our own” (house, wife, family, job, etc.). Why? For the sake of Christ’s reign. What I own, I let go. He now owns. What I have is no longer mine. I am a steward of the true Owner. This “leaving” is not a lack of charity, it is state of priority. Christ comes before anyone and anything.
    1. binäre optionen zoomtrader demokonto This choice to let go always involves a loss – I transfer ownership. I might lose friends, fame, fortune or prestige, people, and possessions. It’s a loss because we leave. Someone asks you to go get drunk; you leave. You are at a gossip bashing party; you walk out. Someone invites you to participate in something you know is immoral, unethical or harmful; you say, “I’m sorry, but I must go.” How can you make a choice to let go?
    2. tastylia review This choice to let go involves following a boss – (“Take up your cross and follow Me”). For the sake of the kingdom of God – for the sake of the reign of Jesus in your life. I receive His reign in my life as a baby receives his mother – with trust, appreciation, affection, etc...
  2. binary options demo account usa Choosing Jesus’ Kingdom as the priority of my life means I receive a promise from the King.
    Jesus says that when I let go, I gain so much more. I let go of ownership, He gives me so much more.
    opcje binarne strategie dla początkujących The Promise: Jesus says, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life” (Luke 18:29-30).
    1. software opzioni This is an all-inclusive promise – “No one who has left … will not receive many times more.”
      No person who receives the reign of Christ is exempt from this promise. All receive it.
    2. forexpros aud hkd This is an immediate promise – “…who will not receive many times as much at this time…”
      My promise for those who give up what they hold dearest for Christ: there will be real, true happiness for them right now, and in the world to come unspeakable joy will be their portion. Jesus said, “I’ve come that you might have a life worth living; a life lived to its fullest (Jn. 10:10).
      1. For your eternal soul.
        Come, sell all that you have and buy the Pearl of Great Price, the Lord Jesus Christ. You will find everything your soul needs in Him; perfect righteousness and full acceptance.
      2. For your physical sustenance.
        “My God will supply everything you need according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19).
      3. For your current situation.
        With God working all things for your good (Romans 8:28), all that’s needed is perspective.
    3. säkra köp av Viagra This is an eternal promise – “and in the age to come, eternal (immortal) life” (vs. 30).
      Those who aren’t looking forward to immortal life have never experienced real joy in this life.

The One Time It’s Good to Act Like a Child

Luke 18:15-17 (NASB)

And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

The language of salvation is a foreign language to most. “Sir, are you saved?” Saved from what? Biblical language is a learned language as well. For example, Biblical writers often refer to the kingdom of God. “The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all” (Psalm 103:19). Daniel writes, “God’s kingdom is an eternal kingdom” (Daniel 4:3). But what is the kingdom of God? A kingdom is a reign or dominion. God’s kingdom is His reign. Those who defy Christ and His authority are not part of the kingdom of God. Those who acknowledge the Lordship of Christ are members of the kingdom of God.

  1. lavoro opzioni binarie The kingdom of God is received, not achieved.
    The church makes disciples—kingdom citizens—by preaching the gospel, baptizing believers and teaching them all that Christ commanded (Matthew 28:18–20). Nevertheless, the kingdom of God is not something that we make happen. It is fundamentally a gift, something that our Creator gives to His people because of His great love for the world (John 3:16). We do not walk into the kingdom; rather, the kingdom embraces us. Receiving the kingdom of God happens like a child receives.
  2. tipos de opções binárias Receiving the kingdom as a child means as a helpless infant.
    Jesus uses the example of a child to illustrate this point. We must receive the kingdom “like a child” (Luke 18:17). Here, the Greek word translated “child” refers to the youngest and most helpless of all. The word is παιδίον, or pedion, from which we get our English word pediatric (e.g. “of a little child”).
    Characteristics of receiving Christ’s dominion as a little child:
    1. With interest in Jesus – If the newborn hears a voice, he turns his head and eyes immediately.
    2. With nearness to Jesus – Dependency need is "the vital, originally infantile needs for mothering, love, affection, shelter, protection, security, food, and warmth”.
    3. With fixation on Jesus – This One Person I know, this One Person I believe, this One alone I desire.
    4. With appreciation for Jesus – Not in words, but in spirit and in attitude. A relaxed state.
    5. With nothing for Jesus – Nothing but who the infant is as a person. Nothing else.
    6. With trust in Jesus – There’s no ultimate trouble – just trust that’s what’s coming is good.
  3. Receiving the kingdom as a child means no mess in your life is too great for Him to clean up.
    Augustus Toplady’s hymn “Rock of Ages” includes this line: “Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.” These lyrics wonderfully encapsulate Jesus’ teaching in Luke 18:15-17. We come into the kingdom only by admitting that we have nothing to give, that all we can do is rely on Christ for grace and forgiveness. Once in the kingdom, we continue to admit the same things. We never lose our need to depend wholly on Jesus. This is why this text comes after Jesus teaches us to pray.
    Closing Application:
    1. Kingdom citizens are always in a position of trusting the goodness of the King.
    2. Kingdom citizens are always the strongest and most protected when dependence is on the King.
    3. Kingdom citizens want nothing more and nothing less than the King’s presence in their lives.

Be Careful What You Think of Yourself

Luke 18:9-14 (NASB)

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke gives us an inspired introduction to this parable in v. 9. — “And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt.”

  1. Every person by nature is self-righteous
    It is the family disease of all the sons and daughters of Adam. We will at times secretly imagine that we are not so bad as some, but “most people will proclaim their goodness.” Scriptures plain teaching is “In many things we offend all” (James 3:2) and “There is not a person on earth that does good and sins not” (Ecc. 7:20). “As it is written, there is no one who is righteous, not one” (Rom. 3:9-10). From the beginning man has wrapped himself in his apron of fig leaves and defended himself by blaming his troubles on God and then on other people that God has placed in our lives. We all do it.

  2. There is a serious danger inherent with self-righteousness
    Before we look at the dangers, notice that the Pharisee and the Publican were outwardly the same.   They both “went up into the temple to pray.” They both set their faces in the same way. Outwardly they both walked in the same path. They entered the same house. So far as we can see, there was no difference whatever in their outward religious behavior. The differences come from other areas.
    1. A difference in societal reputation. One was a Pharisee, the other a Publican (tax collector for the Romans). Everything Pharisees did was in order to be seen by men. They stood on the streets and made long prayers. A true believer freely admits others are much better than they (Phil 3:3). To the Jews, nothing was more offensive than a Publican. If you wished to insult someone you might say, “He’s a friend of Publicans and sinners” (Luke 7:34).
    2. A difference in self-recognition.“The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed” (v. 11). Notice the phrase “stood by himself” – I am not like…I fast…I tithe…I serve – I am deserving. Notice the tax collector “stood at a distance.” He had no confidence in himself before God.
    3. A difference in their requests. “God, have mercy on me, a sinner” – the request of the Publican. Notice that there is no request made by the Pharisee. Expectations kill relationships, and the worst expectations are the silent ones. Self-righteous people expect others to recognize them.
    4. A difference in their reward. “One man went home justified and the other did not” (v. 14). This is the danger. One is treated by God “just as if he never sinned” (the sinner) and the other was judged by God for his sin (the self-righteous). Do you see the problem with denying sin? Until there is a recognition and acknowledgment of your sin to God and others there is no mercy.
  3. Mercy from God is only found through faith in Jesus Christ
    The word translated “have mercy on me” is found only one other time in the Bible (Hebrews 2:17). “Therefore, Jesus had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”
    1. Self-righteousness is common among the profane of the world.
    2. Self-righteousness grows best in the soil of religion, as man declares himself good by his actions.
    3. Self-righteousness makes men and women harsh, hard and judgmental regarding others. He told this parable to some who trusted in themselves…and viewed others with contempt (v.9).
    4. Self-righteousness will not bow to the authority of the Word of God alone.
    5. Self-righteousness will never acknowledge and confess sin.
    6. Self-righteousness bars a sinner from God’s grace because it fights against faith in Christ alone.

Without the Powerful Juice for Life Called Prayer We Will All Crash

Luke 18:1-8 (NASB)

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge *said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

There is no record of Jesus ever teaching His disciples how to preach. Yet, the Scripture tells us many times that Christ taught His disciples how to pray. Not everyone is called to preach, but we are all called to pray.

  1. The stated purpose of this parable is an encouragement to always pray and never give up.
    “Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (v. 1). The best teachers are practitioners. The Air Force understands this. That is why those of you who are instructor pilots must first know how to fly. It is one thing to tell someone how to do something, but something altogether different to do it yourself. Jesus began “to do and to teach”.
    1. The fact that we pray is important to the Lord.
      If the Lord loves prayer and tells you parables to induce you to pray, then the devil hates prayer. “The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion, prayerless preaching, prayerless witnessing. He laughs at our toil. He mocks at our wisdom. But he trembles when we pray.” Samuel Chadwick.
    2. Our prayers vocalize our dependence upon the Lord.
      The simplest definition of prayer I can give: Prayer is my vocalization of dependence upon God. God is honored by those who trust Him. In the Old Testament, priests could not approach Him with sweat on their brow. Sweat is a stain of human effort, sufficiency and ultimately of pride. The first time “sweat” is mentioned is in association with the curse. “From the sweat of the brow.” Prayer is to be unceasing because our dependence on God is unceasing. Our perfunctory prayers in church prove prayer is misunderstood. We pray, but we think everything depends on others.
    3. Our persistency in prayer is a sign of our absolute dependence on the Lord.
      When we knock on the door of heaven it is with the belief we have no hope but from heaven.

  2. The strange persons of this parable illustrate the need for persistent, unceasing prayer.
    There are two persons Jesus mentions in this parable: 1. An unjust judge, and 2. A persistent widow.
    1. The unjust judge
      Alfred Edersheim says that this judge was a municipal judge, a judge that was appointed by the Romans. This judge had a character that was devoid of all good. The Bible says here in verse 4 that he said to himself, "I do not care what God thinks, and I do not regard the opinions of man."
    2. The persistent widow
      We do not know what happened to this widow. We do not know the wrong that was done to her. All we know is, she knew she was wronged and she needed something done, so she kept coming. Imagine the scene in the courtroom: “Who is that woman?” “What’s she wanting?” “Get her out of here!” “I’ve got more important matters.” “What?” “She’s back again?” “And Again?”

  3. The sure promise this parable contains for those who come before the Lord in persistent prayer.
    Jesus says in v. 7 "Shall not God avenge His own elect?" Edersheim himself tells us that this wording is the wording of contrast and comparison, so that you could literally translate it like this: "How much more shall God avenge His elect? How much more shall God answer the prayers of His people?”
    1. The unjust judge has no pity; the just Judge is full of compassion.
    2. The widow is a stranger to the judge; you are God’s elect, His family.
    3. The unjust judge was under no obligation; God has placed Himself under a covenant of aid.
      “How much more will the just Judge answer your continual prayers from which you never give up?”

He’s Coming! Get Ready!

Luke 17:22-37 (NASB)

And He said to the disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there! Look here!’ Do not go away, and do not run after them. For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, the one who is on the housetop and whose goods are in the house must not go down to take them out; and likewise the one who is in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other will be left. There will be two women grinding at the same place; one will be taken and the other will be left. [Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other will be left.”] And answering they *said to Him, “Where, Lord?” And He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered.”

This particular passage of scripture is very debatable and controversial. Some see these words as already being fulfilled when Christ came in judgment in A.D. 70 of the Jewish people. I will take the approach today that this particular passage is primarily referring to Christ’s second coming. Could this also have been fulfilled in A.D. 70? Yes. If so, I believe there can easily be a double fulfillment. So, that horrific day of destruction that occurred in A.D. 70 can be a shadow of the future judgment that is to come upon our world.

  1. The return of Christ should create a longing in our heart.

    The time is coming when you will long to see the day when the Son of Man returns… (Luke 17:22).

  2. Everyone will see, and everyone will know when Christ returns.

    People will tell you, ‘Look, there is the Son of Man,’ or ‘Here He is,’ but don’t go out and follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes (Luke 17:23-24).

  3. Jesus had to die in His first coming so we could truly live in His second coming.

    But first, the Son of Man must suffer terribly and be rejected by this generation (Luke 17:25).

  4. The enjoyment and demands of life will blind people to the return of Christ.

    When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat, and the flood came and destroyed them all. And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building—until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:26-30).

  5. We should loosen our grip on everything but Jesus.

    On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home. Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it (Luke 17:31-33).

  6. The return of Christ will be a devastating day of separation and destruction.

    That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.” “Where will this happen, Lord?” the disciples asked. Jesus replied, “Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near” (Luke 17:34-37).


The Transformation of Our Humiliation

Luke 17:11-21 (NASB)

While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

As we divided Luke 17, some felt we should begin with v. 11 and end with v. 19. The story of the 10 Lepers seemingly has nothing to do with vs. 20-21. But, after closer examination, you will see that the Kingdom of God has everything to do with Jesus healing of the 10 Lepers (only recorded in Luke). “Having been questioned” (v. 20 past tense) about the Kingdom, He says, “Behold, the Kingdom is in your midst” (v. 21).

  1. God’s Kingdom is all about Jesus meeting sinners (lepers) where they are.
    “Ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him…” (v.12).
    1. Leprosy is a very vivid picture of a life damaged by one’s poor choices.
      The term “leprosy” (including leper, lepers, leprosy, leprous) occurs 68 times in the Bible—55 times in the Old Testament (Hebrew = tsara’ath) and 13 times in the New Testament (Greek = lepros, lepra). In the Old Testament, the instances of leprosy most likely meant a variety of infectious skin diseases and even mold and mildew on clothing and walls. Leprosy was considered a curse of God and associated with sin. It did not kill, but neither did it seem to end. Instead, it lingered for years, causing the tissues to degenerate and deforming the body.
      1. The leprosy of sin brings isolation.
        The leper was barred (by law) from the assembly in the Temple and from the congregation.
      2. The leprosy of sin brings humiliation.
        The leper (by law) had to stand at a distance from people and shout “unclean, unclean.”
      3. The leprosy of sin brings degradation.
        The leprosy bacillus destroys nerve endings that carry pain signals; therefore, patients with advanced leprosy experience a total loss of physical pain. When these people cannot sense touch or pain, they injure themselves or can be unaware of injury caused by outside agents
    2. Jesus is interested in people whose lives have been damaged by their sin.
      “Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee (on His way to Jerusalem)” (v. 11). This is an uncommon route. Most people avoided at all costs the border with Samaria. Not Jesus. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of full acceptance, Christ came to save sinners” (I Tim. 4:9).
  2. God’s Kingdom is all about Jesus transforming sinners (lepers) into something new.
    The idea that God saves sinners but leaves sinners in their sin is contrary to the Scripture (Matt. 1:21).
    1. Transformation commences with recognition.
      “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (v. 13). You don’t need deliverance until you see danger.
    2. Transformation continues through faith.
      “And as they were going, they were cleansed” (v. 14). Going where? To the priests to “show themselves.” In the Law of the Hebrews, the leper went to the priest not to be healed, but for the priest to declare “You have been healed.” You will never experience the power of Jesus Christ till you live “believing Jesus will change you.”
    3. Transformation culminates with thanksgiving.
      Only one returned to give thanks to Jesus. Were the other nine delivered? Yes. However, one of the evidences of a total transformation of your life is an attitude of gratitude to the Savior.
  3. God’s Kingdom is all about Jesus challenging sinners (lepers) to see others transformed.
    “Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the Kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is in your midst” (vs. 20-21).

Forgiving Others Easily and Often Is No Big Deal

Luke 17:1-10 (NASB)

He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you. “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’? He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’”

The ten verses we will read this morning contain some of the strongest teachings of Jesus Christ. Were it not for the fact He is Creator of all and has all authority (Mt. 28:18), we might be tempted to dismiss it.

  1. Christ warns us that following Him is dangerous.
    It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come” (v. 1). We get our English scandal from the Greek word translated “stumbling block.” Greeks would often trap animals by setting up a “scandal” (trap). So too, we have enemies that “set traps.” The “rich man” treated his dogs better than Lazarus (Luke 16).
    1. Even hurtful scandals ultimately redound to God’s glory.
      “Even the wrath of man will praise You; the remnant of wrath You will restrain” (Psalm 76:10). “What will not turn to God’s praise, shall not be suffered to break out” Matthew Henry.
    2. God will properly punish those who seek to harm His people.
      But woe to him through whom they (the stumbling blocks) come” (v. 1). Jesus here refers to an ancient form of capital punishment reserved for only the most reprehensible criminals. He is saying that earthly capital punishment is better than facing God who will hold him accountable.
  2. Christ calls us to forgive those who miss the mark.
    Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him” (v. 2).
    1. Christians are to talk to, not about, sinners who miss the mark.
      The word rebuke does not mean, “ream out.” On the contrary, the root word speaks of esteem. If you don’t esteem a person enough to talk to him and with him, then the problem is in you.
    2. We speak with someone in humility and show them their error.
      The problem we have is that “We aren’t on our guard!” We think we’re better, so we scream.
    3. Brothers can’t seek forgiveness unless they are shown where they’ve missed the mark.
      Where shunning and separation among the saints occurs, it’s because of selfishness and shame.
  3. Christ calls us to forgive those who scandalize us.
    If he sins against you seven times…and returns… seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him” (vs. 4). If no verse existed in the NT but this one, then Christianity in all its grace and beauty would be seen.
    1. Sin doesn’t stop when you become a saint, shame does.
      “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me?” No. Christ says, “Sin against me once, twice, three, four, five, six, seven times … no shame on either of us.” Relational Rule #1.
    2. Grace calls us to say we are sinners and that Christ is our Savior.
      Notice the language of Jesus, “If he comes back to you ‘saying’ I repent, forgive him” (v. 4). Love believes all things. That’s love. When you don’t believe all things, then that’s not love.
    3. We forgive others precisely as Christ has forgiven us.
      The number seven in this text is most likely a Hebrew way of speaking of “infinity.” It’s a little like the number 1,000 in Hebrew as in “My father owns the cattle on 1,000 hills” (Psalm 50:10).
  4. Forgiving others easily and often is no big deal.
    With mouths wide open, and eyes big as saucers, the disciples respond to Jesus, “Increase our faith!” Beginning with v. 5 and going through v. 10 Jesus clears up some of the disciples’ misconceptions.
    1. It’s never the amount of faith that is important, it’s the object of your faith (v. 6).
    2. Christ is the Captain of our souls and we are His servants so we do what He says (vs. 7-8).
    3. Forgiving other people is no big deal, but it is the evidence you are really Christ’s (vs. 9-10).

I'd Rather Be Lazarus than the Rich Man

“Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is a warning to rich religious workers, not a description of hell. Parables are stories that parallel real life. In Luke 15-16 Jesus is confronting the Jewish religious leaders.

  1. Real life in the days of Jesus.
    Jerusalem is ruled by two religious leaders, two powerful Jewish priests named Annas and Caiaphas. These men are named in Luke 3:1-3. Annas served as high priest when Jesus was young (A.D. 6-15). The other man, Caiaphas, followed Annas and served as high priest over Israel from A.D. 18 to 36.
    1. Annas had five sons and one daughter. His daughter married Caiaphas. Interestingly, every one of Annas five sons– as well as his son-in-law Caiaphas– served as the high priest of Israel during Annas' lifetime. Though Caiaphas was the high priest during the time of Jesus, Luke names both Annas and Caiaphas because Annas was the power behind the high priest of Israel. It was said that "Annas ruled the religious world," even though his own children were the chief priests.
    2. Annas and Caiaphas hated everything to do with Christ. Caiaphas particularly was the chief antagonist of our Lord. Caiaphas lived in a palatial mansion inside the walls of Jerusalem. He served as President of the Sanhedrin. If you saw Caiaphas walking around the streets of Jerusalem, he would always have his servants and attendants around him, and he would be dressed in the finest purple and fine linen. He ate the most sumptuous meals, drank the finest wines, always traveled first class, and lived better than the 'common Jew.'
  2. Jesus condemned the religious leaders and ignored the political leaders.
    It is striking to discover that Jesus says very little about the corrupt Roman and Judean political leaders of His day. These leaders–men like Tiberius Caesar, Herod Antipas, and Pontius Pilate–were all evil men. Yet, Jesus says very little publicly about any of them. In fact, when questioned about the supreme political leader (Caesar), Jesus simply says "Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar." Instead of speaking against King Herod's abuses while on trial, Jesus is completely silent before him. It seems Jesus had little to say about politics but He roundly condemned religious leaders in His day.
  3. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Caiaphas and Annas sought to kill Lazarus.
    "The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He raised from the dead. But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus (John 12:9-11). Our text is directed at Caiaphas, the high priest.
  4. Religious leaders, above all people, should avoid seeking to become rich through ministry.
    Caiaphas, the High Priest of Israel, is the rich man in Jesus parable. Caiaphas is the man "who lifted his eyes in Hades.” The rich man wears the robes the color of the High Priest (purple and fine linen).
    • The rich man mistreats the poor man named Lazarus (just as Caiaphas sought to kill Lazarus).
    • The rich man asks a messenger to go to his 'father's house' (Annas' house).
    • The rich man had five brothers (Annas had five sons, Caiaphas was his son-in-law and considered his brothers-in-law to be his brothers).
    • The rich man desires a warning to be given to his five brothers about their behavior. All five of Caiaphas' brothers-in-law – the sons of Annas– followed Caiaphas as the 'chief priest' of Israel.
    • The rich man is told that they will not believe "even if someone rises from the dead" (just as Caiaphas and his five brothers refused to believe in Jesus after Lazarus had been resurrected).

We Are Family: An Overview and a Summary

We have spent 16 weeks studying God’s purpose on the earth from the Flood (2345 B.C.) to today. The reason this is such an important study is because if you believe God is intentional and purposeful in the establishment of nations on this earth, then you can know He is intentional in establishing His Kingdom over all the nations of the earth (see Psalm 21:1, Isaiah 60:15, Romans 8:17, Matthew 5:5, Daniel 2:44).

  1. The Kingdom of Christ among the nations means Christ’s people learn to live life to its fullest now.
    Josephus (A.D. 37-100), the Jewish historian, describes in his autobiography how he went to a rebel involved in revolutionary activity. Josephus told the brigand he needed to “quit pursuing his own way of bringing about revolution” and he needed to follow Josephus' way. However, in the Greek, the words were literally, "repent and believe in me," exactly as Jesus’ words in the gospels (Mark 1:15).
    1. Repentance and faith in Christ mean far more than going to heaven.
      To be sure, repentance and following Jesus includes going to heaven, but the words that Jesus used in the first century were heard in a different way than we hear it today. Most Americans think in individualistic terms when it comes to “believe in Jesus,” and we think mainly in reference to what happens after death. Jesus came “so that we live life to the fullest” now (John 10:10).
    2. The Jews in Jesus day thought the Kingdom would come by force.
      They assumed that a Messiah would bring the Kingdom through military means. Jesus had a different agenda, but the difference was not in postponing the individual's possession of the kingdom of heaven until after they died. Rather, He described a different kind of Kingdom now!
  2. The Kingdom of Christ among the nations can be illustrated through participation and anticipation.
    Imagine that I want to visit the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. I have found a really good travel agent who already has access to some very good deals on airline and hotel tickets. I make the reservations and buy the tickets now (2017). If I do this, those tickets can never be taken away from me. My ID will be required to redeem the tickets in 2020, but I can never lose them. I anticipate going to Tokyo.
    1. Most people think of the Kingdom of Heaven as a place of anticipation.
      We talk about heaven, we can’t wait for heaven, we think about heaven – ready to go soon!
    2. But Jesus taught that the Kingdom He brings to the world is participation.
      For sake of illustration, suppose instead of buying tickets you meet someone who is a sports agent and he negotiates for you to have a spot on the U.S. Olympic basketball team in 2020! With this invitation you get to live, train, work, play and generally spend your life as an Olympic basketball player. In short, your whole life and identity are shaped by being a member of the team. Sure, Tokyo 2020 is the ultimate destination, but everything you do now is Olympic work!
  3. The Kingdom of Christ among the nations is the resurrection of life through death (like the Flood).
    Shem, Ham, and Japheth came off the ark and represent the human race in harmony as family. So God crucifies the old man you used to be and restores within you life as it was meant to be lived. R. C. Sproul puts it like this: faith = salvation + works, as opposed to salvation = faith - works. Christ enables us to become the people He has called us to be, to live life the way it’s to be lived. So “This Present Kingdom” is the belief that God is moving among the world with the Good News.
    1. How does an understanding that the Kingdom of God is now change your view of life?
    2. What difference will “The Kingdom Now” make when it comes to sharing Christ with the lost?
    3. If God was at work among the nations of old (the Flood), in what way is He at work today?
    4. How has this study on Noah and His Three Sons changed your view of the Bible? The Gospel?
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