(Part 156)


November 13, 2015

Today’s gospel:  Luke 17:26-37

The end will come when people least expect it, as they are engaged in the usual activities of the world, such as “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (v.27a), “buying, selling, planting, building” (v.28b). In the days of Noah, “the flood came and destroyed them all” (v.26), and “on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.” (v.29).

Jesus says that so will it be in the day of the Son of Man (v.26b,30). What does this tell us?

One, we should always be prepared as we do not know when the end will come. But the end surely will come.

Two, given the above, we must be looking forward to this cosmic event and not regret or look longingly to the world we will be leaving behind. “On that day, a person who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise a person in the field must not return to what was left behind.” (v.31). We must know that God has something much better for us. “Remember the wife of Lot.” (v.32). Told not to look back, she did, and turned into a pillar of salt.

Three, given the above, we must be detached, and such detachment should be happening right now. “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it.” (v.33). We must not spend all or even the bulk of our time, energy and resources on the things of this world. That is not the best investment, as all of those will be lost in the end. On the other hand, if we turn our lives over to God, if we live totally for Christ, if we use our lives as instruments of the Holy Spirit, that is, losing all for God, then that is how we will experience the fullness of salvation as we enter heaven.

Not all will make it to heaven. “I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left. There will be two men in the field; one will be taken, the other left behind.” (v.34-36). Some of those closest to us–spouse, parent/child/sibling, friend/business associate/co-missionary–will be left behind. Truly unfortunate, but we make our own choices.

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