Faithlife
Faithlife

Living in the Light of the Second Coming of Jesus 2

Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts

Setting

Connected to passage from Last Sunday
Directed to Disciples in context of question from Pharisees
Prompted Jesus to speak of his coming - Kingdom/Judgment
Kingdom = Already but Not Yet
We await the Not Yet … But We live in the Now
Passage today - About His Disciples Posture … Attitude as they await His coming
This Passage is about their prayer … and their hope
Disciples going to face enourmous challenges
His upcoming death … crucifixion
Throughout their ministries they will face tribulation, persecution, oppression, and marginalization
They will be tempted to lose HOPE and wallow in despair

Pray - Lord your disciples faced many dangers, toils and snares … They may have been tempted to utter despair and hopelessness. Today there may be some here who feel the same.

They have believed the gospel, they trust the bible … but all the lights have gone out and the hope feels like it hase been extinguished

Thank you for preserving this text for our darkness today … Amen

The Message of the Story (18:1)

It is possible for believers who have walked with the Lord to be in a situation where they lose hope
They feel despairing
Even to the point of testing their very faith in Christ
These words … about HIs Kingdom, His Coming, His Judgment and bringing Justice are intended to empower them as they face trials and injustice
This Story is linked with the Previous Story 17:20-37 - Coming of Christ - 18:8
The Message of this paragraph is stated clearly in
Luke 18:1 ESV
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
Keep Praying … Don’t Lose Heart (NIV - Not Give Up) - Idea here of growing weary or tired to the point of giving up. Desperation in View!!!
Keep praying and dont give up
Some of you are at that point today .... Jesus doesn't waste words … some of you pray and it feels like your prayers barely get to the ceiling
You can barely get the words out of your mouth … this text is for you today
This text is for the two couples today who dedicated themselves and their children to the lord … as beautiful as they are … they may cause you to lose hope … so what do you do?
You Pray and Dont Give up
Andre Bradley Ballantyne - Born May 24, 2017 - Parents Dave and Anne - Dave and Anne … Pray and Dont Give up
Naomi Ann Kokkouza - Born June 4, 2017 - Parents Elissa and Kenneth Koukouza … Pray and Don’t Give up
Sermons from John Piper (1980–1989) Always Pray and Do Not Lose Heart

Faith is the furnace of our lives. Its fuel is the grace of God. And the divinely appointed shovel for feeding the burner is prayer. If you lose heart and lay down the shovel, the fire will go out, you will grow cold and hard, and when the lightning flashes from sky to sky and the Son of man appears in glory, he will spew you out of his mouth (Revelation 3:16)

NOW JESUS brings home the message in an interesting way … He tells another story … thats not unusual … but the story takes you back a bit.
There is a widow … destitute … no resourses … no recourse … she is facing some kind of injustice … Wouldnt have been uncommon
Luke 18:3 ESV
And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’
Widows were marginalized, had no influence, no resources … desititute and desperate
Her problem … maybe creditors; maybe scam artists; we don’t know
Widows were among the most defenseless in Hebrew society. The Old Testament refers to their being oppressed (cf. ) and taken advantage of (cf. ). They were often legal victims (cf. , ), and this was the case for this poor woman. Likely she was one of those later described in Luke as victims of men who “devour widows’ houses” (20:47). The poor woman did not want vengeance—just restorative justice.
The possibilities were limitless
Hughes, R. K. (1998). Luke: that you may know the truth (p. 185). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.The possibilities were limitless
To top it off she goes to the hanging judge … this guy has no Fear of God … and no respect for people
Luke 18:2 ESV
He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.
Talk about going to the wrong judge … any day was His bad day
She will not leave this guy alone … Look at verse 4-5 - The Judge speaks:
Luke 18:4 ESV
For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man,
Luke 18:4–5 ESV
For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’ ”
The word - Bother in verse 5 = To Beat … to bring distress
The second descriptive word in verse 5 translated “beat me down” literally means to blacken the eye or punch in the face
Maybe the judge exaggerated … but this lady was desperate
She wont leave this guy alone … and he finally breaks.
QUESTION - How is this story going to help me keep praying and not give up
Verses 6-8 gives us the answer:
Luke 18:6–8 ESV
And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Do you feel hopeless or despairing … His word is to you today
Encouragement number 1

Your God is Not LIKE this unjust Judge

Say that again … but personalize it … MY GOD is not like that Unjust Judge
This Judge … doesnt fear God or Respect People
God, on the other hand … Is Just AND Loving
Here is the problem … when you feel hopeless thats what you think of Him
Look at he contrast … if that scoundrel will finally give in and give that lady justice for his own selfish reasons …
What makes you think your loving heavenly Father wont hear your prayer and give you justice.
Hear this … Your God is more willing to hear your prayers than you are to pray them.
Your God is more ready to answer your prayers than you are to ask them.
This judge doesn't give a rip about this poor widow
Your God is not like that
Sometimes when he delays to answer our cries:
* This is not for lack of concern or lack of power
* God’s delays are always for our good, even if reasons are hidden from us
He is not distant … on a throne up there … unconcerned … He has not overlooked you … he has not forgotten you
Luke 12:7 ESV
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
He is more willing to hear your desperate prayers than you are to pray them
If you are hopeless … or despairing … hear this …
Your heavenly Father is waiting to be gracious … more willing to hear your prayers than you are to even get them out of your mouth.
He doesn't stop there … Second Encouragement … Good news

Your situation IS NOT like this Widow

*

It is good news that your God isnt like this judge
It is also good news that your situation is not like this widow
IN your persistent praying … be like the widow
But in your situation … you are not like this widow
When you are despairing you believe that there is no hope … no resources …
But that is not true
Luke 18:7 ESV
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
Believer … you are one of God’s chosen people … His elect
Do you realize who you are as a Christian?
Not a widow with no resources …
You are the beloved of God … He set His love on you before the foundation of the world … Before you existed He loved you
He loved you so much He sent His son to die in your place.
He not only forgave y our sins … He also adopted you into His forever family and made you a joint heir with Jesus Christ
God does not love you less than He loves Jesus. Your his child … His Chosen
Some times when I am laying in the dark with all the lights out I reflect … God loved me before I even existed … He chose to set that Love on me
Thats what the doctrine of Election is all about
Good News despairing believer … you dont have an unjust judge for your God
Good news ready to give up believer you are not in the same position as that widow
You are a Child of the King … Praying to the King and asking that King Who loves you and has placed you in his family for help
Even though you may not feel hope right now … remember this … embrace this … you are His Beloved Child
He is more willing to hear your prayers than you are to pray them

He is coming to set EVERYTHING right

Luke 18:7 ESV
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
Luke 18:7–8 ESV
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Look at the language of these verses …
“Will not God Give Justice” … Well when will it happen???
“Will he delay long over them?” - Over their prayers, over their trials, over their injustice?
Luke, Volumes 1 & 2 Praying for Justice

Sometimes we ourselves are in need of God’s speedy justice. We are suffering because of our commitment to Christ, perhaps, or we are being treated unfairly in some other way—in which case we need to keep appealing to God for the justice that only he can bring. But we have other brothers and sisters who are suffering much more severely than we are, and we need to keep them in our prayers. According to some estimates, more than two hundred million Christians face intimidation, discrimination, and imprisonment every year. House churches in China are under government observation. Christians in Sudan face genocidal violence from militant Muslims. Citizens in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to convert to faith in Jesus Christ. Pastors in Vietnam meet in secret to receive their theological training. Militant Buddhists in Sri Lanka close down churches and threaten believers with physical violence. Christians in Eritrea are jailed in record numbers. Hindus in India deny low-caste Christians (the Dalits and other “untouchables”) basic human rights. These are only some of the ways and some of the places that Christians suffer injustice.

In countries that are hostile to the gospel, thousands of Christians are even put to death. In fact, on the day I am writing this, news has come from Iran that the pastor of a house church and father of four has been killed in cold blood. The man was kidnapped by local police and then stabbed to death, with his bleeding body thrown on the street in front of his family’s home. There was also a chilling warning for other Christian leaders: “The government knows what you are doing, and we will come for you soon.” When we hear such horrific news, our cry goes up to God with the prayer of the martyrs: “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” (Rev. 6:10).

“I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.” - Word for speedily is word we get Tachometer from (Tachometer measures rotation speed of engine - RPM’s)
Point = Once it starts … it will happen swiftly
Jesus is equating the full answer of his people’s cries for justice in the midst of their despair to His Coming
Jesus “I am coming and my justice is coming with me.”
The purpose of His coming is to set everything right
We’ve been waiting 2000 years … same issue was raised in first century
The Apostle Peter had to address the same concern in
2 Peter 3:8–10 NIV
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Jesus is saying in that “The Lord has heard your prayers and MY coming is the answer to those prayers.”
His coming will bring the justice you are looking for.
When Jesus came the first time He bore our injustice so that we dont get what we deserve
When He comes the second time he Brings justice to give us the blessing we dont deserve
There are some things in life that just wont be set right in this life
Jesus knows that
But for those who trust Him everything will one day be set right
Old Black Preacher was quoted “The Lord may not come when you want Him, but He’s always on time.”
We have our timetable … He Has His
There will be no ultimate hopeless for God’s Elect … however hard situation is now … He is coming to set everything right.

This encouragement is for those who TRUST in the Lord Jesus Christ

Luke 18:8 ESV
I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
The encouragement in this passage is for those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ
Expository Thoughts on Luke, Vol. 2 Luke 18:1–8: Parable of the Importunate Widow

Do we ever feel a secret inclination to hurry our prayers, or shorten our prayers, or become careless about our prayers, or omit our prayers altogether? Let us be sure, when we do, that it is a direct temptation from the devil. He is trying to sap and undermine the very citadel of our souls, and to cast us down to hell. Let us resist the temptation, and cast it behind our backs. Let us resolve to pray on steadily, patiently, perseveringly, and let us never doubt that it does us good. However long the answer may be in coming, still let us pray on. Whatever sacrifice and self-denial it may cost us, still let us pray on, “pray always,”—“pray without ceasing,”—and “continue in prayer.” (1 Thess. 5:17. Coloss. 4:2.)

Hear this … Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are the only ones who have no right to be hopeless even though we still struggle with hopelessness
This is not because of us but because of Him
Thats the way to live in the light of His coming … Trust Him
In His Book “Reaching God’s Ear” Sam Storms calls prayer the Language of DEPENDANCE
Faith directs us away from ourselves and we find our Hope in Christ
Away from ourselves to God’s Word
Away from Me to God’s Son
I can give you a thousand reasons to despair and want to give up on your faith and despair in your struggles
But if you are a believer in Christ … have turned from your sin and embraced HIM as your only hope … Only Hope
This is the engine that fuels and gives power to your hope … to keep on praying and NOT GIVE UP
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