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Ready or Not Here It Comes

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Gospel of Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  46:03
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Introduction: Did you ever play hide and seek as a child? After the countdown the person would say, “Ready or not, here I come.” I remember one particularly intense game as a child. We lived in the country and underneath our deck we had a dog house. I was very skinny, very short and somewhat flexible in those days. I remember crawling inside that dog house convinced I would never be found.
When you play Hide and Seek you know know someone is coming to look for you. They give you warning and you know if your hiding spot isn’t good enough you will eventually be found.
Sermon Introduction: Jesus wanted to prepare his disciples for what He knew was coming against them. He knew they were going to face trouble and temptation and he wanted them to be ready. He wanted them to know, “Ready or Not, Here it Comes.”
Notice Luke 22:31-34

Here Comes Targeting

Explanation (vv. 31, 33-34)
Here Comes Targeting (vv. 31, 33-34)
Jesus has now finished the Last Supper with His disciples and He is continuing to try to prepare them for what is to come. In this passage of Scripture before us He singles out Peter and makes Peter aware of the fact that the enemy has targeted him in particular for a full fledged attack. It is Satan’s desire to “sift him as wheat.”
It is important to note that Satan isn’t just targeting Peter. The “you” in verse 31 is plural, so it’s probably a reference to all of the disciples. However, Peter is going to be the key to their restoration after failure (Teach the Text).
The idea of “sifting like wheat” is a metaphor that points to intense testing. It is very similar to what we find in the OT Book of
Amos 9:9 NCV
“I am giving the command to scatter the nation of Israel among all nations. It will be like someone shaking grain through a strainer, but not even a tiny stone falls through.
Peter and the disciples are being targeted by Satan himself, and he is going to shake them and rock them to their core! Jesus is seeking to prepare them for this event.
Peter chimes in and says in verse 33, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” I believe, in Peter’s spirit, he really meant this. I believe he had every intention of doing whatever it took to follow Jesus anywhere and everywhere this night may lead. But as we will find out later, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is so very weak!”
Jesus then reveals a shocking prophecy in verse 34: “Peter, before the rooster crows the next morning you will deny three times that you even know me.” How could this be? How could Peter, the one who left his family’s fishing business, the one who was privileged to go to the Mount of Transfiguration, the one who was in Jesus’ inner circle . . . how could he of all people deny that he even knows Jesus?
It is because he was being set up and targeted by the enemy. Peter had gained some self-confidence and maybe had become a little prideful. The enemy was developing a plan and a scheme, not only to try to take out the Son of God, but to take out His followers as well.
I hope that YOU know YOU are not exempt from the enemy’s schemes.
Illustration
reminds us:
1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
A few years ago I heard the story about a very tiny Christian school basketball team from Arkansas that went to a national tournament. They had won their state tournament against overwhelming odds and no one expected them to even get past the first round of the national tournament.
When they arrived their head coach began to scout the competition. He would very intently and very closely watch the other games and look for weaknesses among the other teams. There was one team at the tournament that stood head and shoulders above everyone else. Everyone expected them to win it all. This tiny team from Arkansas didn’t have a chance . . . or did they?
It was a David vs. Goliath scenario. The team from Arkansas began to win games, against all odds and they made it, believe it or not to the championship game. They had to play the favorite, they had to play “Goliath” and no one gave them any chance. However, the coach who had been scouting this team noticed a weakness. Their star play had quite a temper. The coach of the small team from Arkansas knew that if they could get into this players head, and get him kicked out of the game they would have a chance to win.
The coach decided to put his best defender on their star play and face guard him and deny him the ball the entire game. The strategy worked, the star player got frustrated and lost his temper and was benched by his coach. The little school from Arkansas went on to win the tournament.
Application
You do realize there is more at stake here than just a basketball game? The “other team” has a coach and assistants that have been watching you from day one. They have been studying you and examining you and they know your strengths and they know your weaknesses. They know they things that they can pull out of their bag of tricks and out of their arsenal to keep you sidelined, to keep you from fulfilling your potential, to encourage you to bring shame and disgrace upon the name of Christ.
You, dear friend, are being targeted and set up by the enemy. You and I must take very seriously Paul’s command in 1 Peter to be “sober-minded” and to “be watchful.” The idea of being “sober-minded” is the idea of being “self-controlled” or the idea of “sobering up” to reality. We can’t live in “La-La” land and not take seriously the fact that we are in an all out spiritual war for not only our future, but the future of our loved ones and children!
He also commands us to “be watchful.” Again the idea is to “be alert, to be awake.” If you knew a rapist was on the loose in your neighborhood it’s very unlikely you would set out milk and cookies and leave your door unlocked. You would deadbolt the door, you would protect your family, you would take measures to ensure everyone’s safety.
But I’m afraid when it comes to the ENEMY of our soul, instead of protecting our mind, where most battles are won and lost, we engage in things and watch things and listen to things that are swinging the door wide open to the enemy’s crafty schemes to destroy and damage us.

Here Comes Trouble

Explanation (vv. 35-38, 47-53)
Verses 35-38 have been somewhat confusing for commentators and those who have studied this Scripture. Suffice it to say Jesus is trying to get the disciples to understand things are about to change. Previously when He sent them out He would tell them not to take a sword and not to take provisions, but now they are going to need both. Some do not believe He is speaking of a literal sword because when they show Him they have two swords He says, “It is enough” . . . not in the sense of, “yes that’s enough swords” but in the sense of “enough of that.” Regardless, of one’s interpretation of exactly what Jesus meant, one thing is certain: THERE ARE SOME CHANGES THAT ARE GETTING READY TO TAKE PLACE AND TROUBLE IS ON THE HORIZON.
Verse 47 gives us the first signs of this trouble when Judas shows up at the Garden and gives Jesus the kiss of betrayal. As they proceed to arrest Jesus, Peter takes one of the swords that had been revealed earlier in the chapter and cuts off the ear of the servant of the High Priest (v. 51) . . . I’ve got a feeling he wasn’t aiming for his ear. Jesus rebukes Peter, heals the mans ear and reveals that the hour of darkness has come. Although they could have tried to publically arrest Him, they chose to wait until the middle of the night in seclusion. What they do not know is this is all a part of God’s plan. The “prince of darkness” has indwelt Judas and has inspired these empty religious leaders to come against the King of kings and Lord of Lords.
Illustration
This trouble should not have taken the disciples by surprise, although it did. Jesus had warned them time and time again that He was going to be arrested, tried, put to death and rise again. Maybe they thought He was speaking in parables, maybe they just couldn’t conceive of this taking place. Irregardless, as we will see they were not prepared for the trouble that was to come.
Application
We are like the disciples in a lot of ways. God’s Word warns us over and over again that trouble lies ahead for each one of us too. Job reminds us in
Job 14:1 ESV
“Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.
1 Peter 4:12–14 ESV
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
James 1:2–4 ESV
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Trouble is going to come into this broken, messed up world in which we live. It is inevitable. The real question is, “How are we going to respond?” Are we going to throw up our hands in despair, are we going to run, are we going to lash out or will we, like Job, fall to our knees and worship our Creator God who has promised to set all things right one day?

Here Comes Temptation

Explanation (vv. 39-46, 54-62)
As they arrive in the Mount of Olives, Jesus gives one last instruction to His disciples before He finds a place to pray. Notice what He says in
Luke 22:40 ESV
And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
The word used for temptation can either mean “testing” in the positive sense or “temptation” in the negative sense. God uses tests to strengthen us, the enemy uses temptations to destroy us. Since Jesus is instructing the disciples to “pray so they will not enter into temptation” this is obviously being used in the negative sense.
Then Jesus leaves the group and begins to pray (vv. 41-44). His prayer is simply that God would take away the “cup” that He is about to drink. Not only is Jesus about to suffer throughout the night with mock trials, false accusations, beatings, being whipped with a “cat of 9 tails”, crucifixion and death; but He also realizes that within this cup that He is about to drink is all of the wrath of God that has been stored up for the sins of all mankind (past, present and future) that He is going to suffer through for those 6 hours on the cross. The pain, the anguish, the reality of the judgement of God on all of mankind is going to be His to suffer alone and He asks if there is some other way . . . but there was no other way. Jesus paid it all . . . and all to Him I owe!
This prayer time became so overwhelming that the Bible says He sweat as if it were “great drops of blood.” There is a medical condition that can cause the capillaries on one’s sweat glands to burst and blood can leak through the skin. Regardless of the type of sweat Jesus had pouring off of His body the intensity of the pressure He was under was quite overwhelming.
As He returns to where He left His disciples He finds them asleep and once again admonishes them to “pray” because temptation is coming (v. 46)!
An example of the temptation Jesus warned them about is found in (). As Jesus is arrested and is led away the Bible says that Peter followed the group “far off.” While Jesus is being tried Peter is recognized and is accused of being a part of Jesus’ group of disciples . . . and now the pressure is on, and the very man who had said, quite sincerely, he would follow Jesus to death, ends up denying Jesus three different times . . . Just as Jesus warned would happen. He gave into the temptation. After the third denial, the Gospels indicate Jesus and Peter locked eyes, Peter realized what he had done and he went out and wept bitterly.
Illustration: Peter gave into the temptation to deny Jesus with his lips, but how often do we deny the Lord with our lives? When our actions and attitudes do not reflect the Lord Jesus Christ, do we realize that we are denying Him? Does our lifestyle reflect that we know Him or does our lifestyle reflect something completely different? Isn’t that part of temptation? The enemy is constantly looking for ways to damage our testimony and bring reproach upon the name of Jesus.
Application: You need to understand, “TEMPTATION is coming.” In some form or fashion, in some way . . . temptation is coming your way. It may go into hibernation for a while, but it will be back!
Therefore we must be prepared!
The question is:
Personal Applications:

How Can We Be Prepared to Fight Back?

We Must Learn to Tell Ourselves the Truth—God is For Us!

Luke 22:32 ESV
but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Jesus, being God, knew exactly what Peter was up against and knew exactly what Peter was going to do. But think about what Jesus told Peter in this verse . . . “Peter I have prayed for you.”
Isn’t it awesome to KNOW that Jesus is praying for us? You say, “Wait a minute, Jesus was talking to Peter—what does that have to do with me?”
In the year 1663 Thomas Watson reminded believers of his day that Jesus was praying for them. We have a glimpse of this from Jesus’ high priestly prayer in
Note:
He is praying for you to be kept from sin. We live in a world that is a “pest house”; Christ prays that his saints will not be infested with the evil of the times . . . Note
John 17:15 ESV
I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.
Second, He is praying for His people’s progress in holiness. Note
John 17:17 ESV
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
God is going to use His Word to help you to be set apart. Holy lives are not produced by neglecting His holy book. He is praying for you to grow closer and closer to God through His Word!
Third, He is praying for your glorification. He wants you safely in His arms . . .
John 17:24 ESV
Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne said: “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.
James 4:7 ESV
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Ephesians 6:11–12 ESV
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
We must constantly be telling ourselves the TRUTH about the fact that Christ is FOR us, He is praying FOR us and He is available to HELP us in our time of need!

In Response to Trouble

We are all going to have trouble in some form or fashion in our lives! How do we respond? How do we handle the trouble when it comes our way. One of my favorite Scriptures that I remind myself of often is:
Proverbs 3:5–6 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
, ,
I also like to remind myself of the words of Jesus in:
John 16:33 ESV
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
,
2 Corinthians 1:4 ESV
who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
In response to trouble we need to TRUST God! He knows what He is doing and nothing comes our way that is not first filtered through His loving hands. We don’t always understand it, like it, agree with it, but in the midst of it all we can trust Him (not understand Him) with ALL of our heart!
Regardless of how dark and bleak the situation may seem to be we can remember that in the midst of the storm we can have PEACE because HE has overcome the world!

In Response to Temptation

Jesus knew Peter and the rest of the disciples were getting ready to face temptation and tribulation unlike anything they had ever seen before. I want us to back up and be reminded what He told them to do in response to what He knew was coming:
Luke 22:40 ESV
And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
,
Luke 22:46 ESV
and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
Luke 22:46
Twice in six verses He told them to PRAY! To us this may seem like a simplistic answer. But we really need to get a hold of the prayer thing. Prayer is not about reading from a prayer book or quoting someone else’s prayer . . . Prayer is about the child of God, coming to their Heavenly Father, who is powerful enough to create and sustain the universe and ask Him to intervene in our lives and lead us not into temptation but to deliver us from evil. I have found it very difficult in my life to sin and sincerely talk to God at the same time. E. M. Bounds, known for his fabulous writings on prayer said:
“All of my failures, are prayer failures.” E.M. Bounds
Jesus’ answer to facing temptation was to PRAY—and pray we must!
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
I want to leave you with this challenge before you go home today:
Write down some Scriptures that will remind you of the TRUTH so that when you face targeting, trouble and temptation you will be able to combat and confront the enemy’s deceitful lies!
Use the troubles you have been through to help others who are going through the same.
R
2 Corinthians 1:4 ESV
who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Learn to faithfully communicate with your loving Heavenly Father!
Luke 18:1 ESV
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
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