The Book of Luke, Jesus' Instruction to His Disciples-Lesson 219
I have Christ in My Heart!
"What though wars may come with marching feet and beat of the drum for I have Christ in my heart, what though nations rage as we approach the end of the age for I have Christ in my heart, God is still on the throne, Almighty God is He and He cares for his own through all eternity, so let come what may, whatever it is, I only say that I have Christ in my heart!"
Luke 21:5-28, And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, 6As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 7And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass? 8And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. 9But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
10Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: 11And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. 12But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my nameís sake. 13And it shall turn to you for a testimony. 14Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: 15For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. 16And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. 17And ye shall be hated of all men for my nameís sake. 18But there shall not an hair of your head perish. 19In your patience possess ye your souls.
20And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26Menís hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
This powerful utterance of the Lord Jesus Christ takes place during the last week of his life on earth before he is crucified.
It is easy to see that this instruction is given to his disciples for their benefit, for he is always concerned for them.
This is important instruction relative to their welfare for it even includes what direction they should go when they see Jerusalem compassed by armies.
As we study our Lordís instruction we are to know that two principle events are opened up to us in this passage.
The one event in which the disciples could expect to take part, is the destruction of Jerusalem, and the second event is the return of Christ in power, at His second coming, which according to this instruction will take place after a protracted period of time.
Another thing we are to note is that the two events, the destruction of Jerusalem and His second coming, are not separated chronologically and in fact seem to be intertwined.
As you read this passage the Lord speaks of one and then the other and back to the one etc.
We have a much better understanding being removed from this event by 2000 years than the disciples could understand the day of the instruction.
The disciples react to Jesus Christís pronouncement concerning the destruction of the temple by wanting to know the timing of its demise.
However the Lord is not interested in satisfying their curiosity but is instead interested in their conduct as disciples.
Jesus was not careful to tell us when he is coming, but he was careful to tell us to occupy till he comes.
He is interested in what we will do while He is away and not interested in us coming apart from the work in order to try to determine the time of His coming.
The disciples were enthralled with the glories of the temple but Jesus Christ brought them down to earth by telling them that: the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Boys, the work is to go on even though the temple is gone.
The Lord did not paint a rosy picture for the disciples.
This is nothing new, for Jesus Christ, on many occasions, had to bring reality into the picture and take away the discipleís rose colored glasses in order for them to see things the way God saw things.
This temple was not to be and there was nothing to be gained by glorying in its existence.
He had to bring reality into the picture for the disciples had conjured up their own picture which saw Jesus on the throne of a kingdom in Jerusalem governing this very temple.
Therefore this instruction that spans the ages, beginning with the destruction of the temple, was necessary to prepare them for the reality of ministry on earth without His presence.
The times of the Gentiles in Israel had been underway for many years, and during most of those years there had been a nation of Israel but times were to change and Israel, with the destruction of the temple, Jerusalem and the dispersion of the people, would be no more.
7And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
Jesus had been very specific about the destruction of the Temple, but very vague as to the time when it would take place.
The disciples wanted to know exactly when those things would take place, and the sign they are to look for which would reveal that the destruction is just about to occur.
In wanting to know this the hearts of the disciples are revealed to us, for they are concerned about the wrong things.
This information will be of no benefit to them, in fact information like this will be only harmful to them.
We do not know the "when" of Jesusí second coming for to know the "when" would be harmful to us.
Knowing the "when" and occupying till He comes are opposed.
But Jesus Christ is much more interested in their conduct than their curiosity, and so He does not answer their questions.
He instead teaches them what they do need to know ó how they should conduct themselves in the light of the destruction of Jerusalem, and His second coming.
You can discuss until the cows come home all the various ideas concerning the timing and the sequence of events in matters of prophecy, but Jesus Christ makes it very clear that his interest is in the discipleís conduct during the time between his comings.
As a matter of fact that concern is continued throughout the New Testament writings, where in most cases the conduct of the believer is most emphasized.
Jesus Christ tells the disciples not to be deceived.
He tells them their conduct should not be governed by being deceived by following false messiahís.
He tells them to not be frightened either by world events that are out of the ordinary such as wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilence or even signs from heaven.
He tells them to not even be frightened by persecution.
He tells them to not even put their trust in the protective walls of Jerusalem but instead to flee those walls when the armies come to compass the city.
Jesus Christ is describing disciples who are trusting, who are stable, who are so anchored in the Word of God that they are unwavering in their reliance upon God and Godís provision.
They are not tossed about with every wind of doctrine.