Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part LVIII: The Credibility Of Christ Evidenced In His Offer Of A Tangible Messianic Kingdom
(Luke 17:20-37)
  1. Introduction
    1. For decades, Liberal theology has taken a statement made in Luke 17:20-21 of the King James Version to mean that Jesus never meant His kingdom was to be a tangible one. Rather, Jesus is assumed to have taught only a spiritual attitude in man's heart to be God's "kingdom" as that "kingdom" is "within you."
    2. Well, if we adopt this view, we are left doubting the Bible's many literal kingdom prophecies and thus doubting the Bible's veracity as a whole. If we doubt the Bible's truthfulnes s, we are left in agnosticism.
    3. However, examining the Greek text and the context of Christ's words in Luke 17:20-21 reveals that Luke was showing the credibility of the Christian faith via Christ's claim to a real, tangible kingdom:
  2. The Credibility Of Christ Evidenced In His Offer Of A Tangible Messianic Kingdom, Luke 17:20-37.
    1. Luke's Gospel was penned to give certification to Theophilus, its reader of the Christian faith, Luke 1:3-4.
    2. In so doing, Luke recorded Jesus' claim for a coming, tangible Messianic reign as follows, Luke 17:20-37:
      1. One day the unbelieving Pharisees demanded of Jesus when the kingdom of God He claimed to represent would ever come, Luke 15:20a.
      2. Jesus responded that the kingdom of God was not arriving with an observable coup you could pick out as an uprising in any location, 15:20b-21a. Rather, the kingdom of God "is within you," Luke 15:21b.
      3. Now, by this phrase "within you," Jesus must not have meant that God's reign was then within the hearts of the Pharisees, for Jesus Himself taught these Pharisees were sons of Satan in John 8:44-48a!
      4. G. Campbell Morgan notes that the word "within" is from the Greek word, entos. It appears with the plural object humon, rendered "you", and since with the plural object it always means "among," Jesus said the Kingdom was then right among these Pharisees as personified in Himself (Morgan, Luke, p. 200). All they had to do was believe in Him and they would belong to God's Kingdom! (John 5:24).
      5. Later with His disciples, Jesus continued to expound on the tangible coming of His future Kingdom:
        1. Christ revealed the days were coming when they would want to see Him and His tangible kingdom, but would not be able to do so since He would be tangibly absent, Luke 17:22. This statement truly counters the Liberal Theology view that God's kingdom is merely a state of mind, for His true disciples with hearts aflame of faith in Christ here would not see their Lord's tangible kingdom!
        2. However, during the Great Tribulation Period, there would be impostors trying to get followers to believe in a specific location for the arrival of the Kingdom of God, Luke 17:23.
        3. Opposite this, the return of Christ to set up His kingdom would be a tangible invasion from space that the earth, revolving on its axis, would reveal as lightening from the east to the west, Luke 17:24.
        4. However, before His tangible Second Coming, Jesus just as tangibly needed to die on the cross, and He predicted it in Luke 17:25.
        5. Then, when He tangibly returns to set up the Messianic Kingdom, the world will be as caught off guard as were the people of Noah's day and Lot's day when God's tangible judgments fell, 17:26-36.
        6. Finally, Jesus revealed that His coming would be marked by a judgment in which people would be slain in judgment, their tangible carcasses being eaten by tangible birds of prey, Luke 17:37. We know from Revelation 19:17-19, this referred to the battle of Armageddon in which Christ will enter and destroy the antichrist's kingdom in the world's final tangible world war!
Lesson: Jesus' words in the KJV that the "kingdom of God is within you" do not mean there is no tangible world reign of Christ. Everything in the context of that statement shows Jesus meant the Kingdom of God was TANGIBLE: (a) it was present in HI MSELF as He showed Himself to Israel while living among the Jews and (b) He is going to set up a TANGIBLE reign in His Second Coming!

Application: Jesus predicted a literal and hence tangible Messianic Kingdom that was available by those who BELIEVE in Him in His FIRST, TANGIBLE appearing in Israel in their tangible MIDST. Thus, Liberal Theology is in error, and we are t o understand Scripture's prophecies at face value!