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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


14. Christ Sends Fire on Earth (Luke 12:49-59)

LUKE 12:49-50
49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!”

Christ has accepted you. Do you accept him too? Christ has borne the fire of God’s wrath on the cross as the Lamb of God. Because of his sufferings, he could send the fire of the Holy Spirit on the earth after his resurrection. Christ has done every thing for you. But what have you done for him? He forgave your sins, so how do you thank your Redeemer? The Holy Spirit is present and working in the world. He means to fill your heart, so when are you going to dedicate yourself to your Savior and faithful Intercessor? Today, the fire of the love of God is coming into the hearts of many people to overcome their selfish mind that they may serve Christ. When are you going to join the procession of the redeemed?

LUKE 12:51-53
51 “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

The acceptance of Christ sometimes causes quarrels in families, for the light of God struggles against darkness, love opposes hatred, and the truth is opposed to lying. Thus the peace of God must bring war where peace rather than war is desired, and Christ’s humility suffers from the pride of the world. When the Holy Spirit’s, heavenly light dwells in a man’s heart, this man becomes a stranger to this world, and worthy of the kingdom of God. He that is sanctified in Christ is not he who struggles against his neighbors. But the family hates the member who was born again of the Spirit of God, and mistreats him. Yet these sufferings for Christ’s sake will purify your faith, refine your love, and revive your hope, for the Lord himself stands by you, partakes of your suffering, and bears with you your contempt and afflictions. Having accepted you in the family of God, he cares for you. This faith does not signify abolition of the Ten Commandments, but we have to honor our father and our mother, love them, serve them more than before, and surround them with our prayers, as a faithful daughter said: “My father loves me because of my pure behavior. He hates me because of my Christian faith. But he curses my brother because of his corrupt behavior, and loves him because of his old faith. Therefore, I am very careful to continue in holiness of life lest my parents find a reason for complaining against me, so that the love of Christ in me may become the testimony of my faith.

LUKE 12:54-59
54 Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. 55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. 
56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time? 57 Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? 58 When you go with your adversary to the magistrate, make every effort along the way to settle with him, lest he drag you to the judge, the judge deliver you to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you shall not depart from there till you have paid the very last mite.”

The western wind brings rain to Palestine, whereas the wind of the south brings sandstorms and oppressive heat. Every peasant knows this fact from his earliest youth, and acts accordingly. Yet, when John came with his hot preaching of repentance, and Christ rained on the thirsty with the rain of the gospel, the multitudes did not understand the symbols of the time, and remained foolish and stony. Christ called them “hypocrites”, for they hastened to John and accepted baptism, but were not converted, and they did not live according to the Spirit of God.

Today, this storm blows against our nation, and many other nations of the world. The rain of grace will fall on him who allows the word of God to cultivate his heart that he may bear much fruit. But he who neglects the age of grace has to prepare to be accountable to God’s judgment. The signs of the time are clear. Do you discern them, dear brother? Today you live in the age of grace, but the hour of judgment is approaching. What are you going to do?

Christ is giving you the last opportunity before the coming of the Day of Judgment: Get rid of your offenses toward God while there is still time. Do you hate anyone, or have you sinned against anyone? Hurry to him and become reconciled with him. Bow down and ask forgiveness from God and men. Christ died on the cross, forgave your sins, and accomplished the salvation of the world. Accept his redemption, live faithfully in Christ, and rejoice prayerfully in your brokenness, for God is still bestowing favors upon you and upon all those who seek him.

But whenever you neglect the time of grace, condemnation comes upon you as death. The Lord’s ministers will bring you from your hiding place, and your faults will appear clearly before the throne of God. Nothing of your good deeds will remain before him but sins, for God is holy. Choose the absolute grace of Christ’s blood and Spirit, and you will receive God’s righteousness and become his own. If you continue in your neglect and obstinacy, you will bring upon yourself destruction, torment, and hell for refusing the grace offered, because of your hardheartedness and rejection of reconciliation. Repent. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus, thank you for your gospel, your reconciliation, and your holy love. We glorify you because you are the only Savior. Fill me with your Spirit that I may accept your grace completely. Open my eyes to the flow of your power that I may live in your name. Bless my neighbors and friends one by one that they may be saved with me and changed in their behavior by the purity of love and revealed truth. Amen.

QUESTION 89: What is the meaning of the fire sent from heaven, and the sword of Christ?


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