Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

The Course of this Age

As we continue our study of prophecy in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse in Luke 21 we must approach it with one of two preconceived assumptions.  It is either obscure and hidden truth or else it is obviously clear and plain.  One thing for certain is that it is revelation from God.  What is revelation?  It is revealed; not hidden obscure  truth.  That’s the purpose of the book of The Revelation.  It is revealing to us truths about the future.

 

Since what God says about the past is clear and plain and accurate, it is reasonable to expect that what He says about the future is also clear and plain and can be expected to be fulfilled.

 

Jesus is returning to this earth in power and great glory.

 

That is stated in Luke 21:27-28. God-fearing Israelites were certainly aware of Christ’s coming Kingdom.   God made a covenant with David which is recorded n II Samuel 7  and repeated  again in Psalm 89,  This covenant is God’s promise that someone from David’s line would one day reign over the earth forever.  This Kingdom is repeatedly mentioned throughout the Old Testament.  You can read about His Kingdom in Isaiah 9:6-7,  11:1-10, Jeremiah 23:5-6,  Ezekiel  36-39,  Daniel 2:44, and Zechariah 12-14.  

 

Jesus’ Disciples were certainly aware of Christ as the Messiah.  They had walked with Him and sat under His ministry for three years and were convinced He was the Messiah.  Peter, speaking for the rest of them, confessed Jesus as the Son of God.   They had witnessed Jesus’ miracles and listened to Him as He taught the people and confronted the Scribes and Pharisees with their hypocrisy.  They were ready and anxious for Him to establish His Kingdom and they looked forward to helping Him administrate it.

 

They had witnessed His glorious Triumphal entry into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey.  They had to be impressed with the adulation of the huge crowds that greeted Him with palm branches and with their robes thrown down in honor to Him.  They had watched Him cleanse His temple and drive out the money changers and sellers of animals and birds for sacrifice.   They could not help but be aware of the enmity of the priests and Pharisees as Christ exposed their evil hearts.

 

The Disciples were ready and anxious for Christ to establish His Kingdom and give them honor and responsibility in that Kingdom.    That concern prompted their question in Luke 21:7 as to when that Kingdom would be established.

 

The second part of their question concerned the signs that would indicate it was at hand?  So Jesus devotes most of His Discourse to answering the question of signs of His coming Kingdom. 

 

I. DECEPTION  21:8

 

We dealt with the first sign in the previous article.  That sign is the deception of many false prophets and false Messiahs.  That deception began in the first century and has increased over the past two millennia.

 

II. DISASTERS  21:9-11

 

World-wide wars, commotions, pestilence and natural disasters are all evidences of God’s hand on history, as we move closer to the Kingdom when Christ reigns from Jerusalem.   Romans 8:18-23 speaks of the curse on the entire creation brought on as a result of man’s sin.  That curse will not be removed until Jesus comes back to reign.  

 

As long as we have rebellious hearts that reject Christ as Saviour and King,  we can count on a disastrous life. When we receive Christ as Saviour, we immediately have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1

 

When we surrender to Christ as Lord of our lives,  we have the peace of God controlling our hearts, even though we lives in a world that groans under the curse of sin. See Colossians 3:15  and Philippians 4:4-7.  Rebellious Christians can count on unrest and disaster following them throughout their lives.

 

In the midst of disaster throughout this church age, we Christians can take comfort  that all these things are simply evidences of the truth of Christ’s words and assurance  that His Kingdom on earth will one day be a reality.

 

Though we can have His peace ruling in our hearts, we live in a troubled world groaning under the curse of sin.  Disasters, disturbances, pestilences, political unrest, wars, earthquakes, famines, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis have continued to fall upon this sin-cursed, world for these past two millennia. 

 

In each generation Christians have taken comfort that the persecution, wars and disasters are all to be expected and that they are signs of the  return of Christ to reign on this earth.

 

These disasters will intensify during the Tribulation beyond anything we have ever seen or heard.  Thank God, Christians will miss that by being raptured out of this world before the Anti-christ is revealed.

 

In Acts 2:1-13  the miraculous events of Pentecost occurred, including the supernatural gift of Christians to speak and share the Gospel of Christ in foreign languages they had never learned. Many were saved.  Then Peter, quoting Joel 2:28-32 began to speak in Acts 2:14-21 and he described the entire church age, beginning with Pentecost and ending with the Great Tribulation.

 

You may wonder why there was no mention of the Rapture of the Church. The answer to that question is that the Rapture was a secret mystery given to the Apostle Paul to reveal to the Church.  His major teaching on this is found in I Corinthians 15:51-58 and I Thessalonians 4:13-18.

 

In our next message in this series, we will deal with the promised persecution of the Church as Jesus taught it in Luke 21:12-18 and I will show you why we hold to a Pre-Millennial view of prophecy.

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June 12, 2009 - Posted by | Olivet Discourse

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