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


10. The Sermon on the Mount of Olives About the Future Destruction (Luke 21:5-38)

LUKE 21:12-19
12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. 14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls.”

Jesus knew that all evil motives, greed, lust for gain or power come from fierce forces which seek to thwart the coming of God’s kingdom and to destroy the peace of the faithful. All evil in our world is transgression against the loving, merciful God. The evil one hates the Righteous One and his holy Son as well as all his followers. So do not be surprised if the evil one attacks you as long as you remain a faithful servant of Christ.

Jesus shows six waves of wicked attacks against you that you may be prepared and not surprised if your love is met with hatred and your testimony with a curse:

If your Christian life bore the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and you continued in grace in spite of the temptations of Satan, the devil’s supporters will try to imprison you so that you may be unable to spread the kingdom any further. You may ask, “How could God allow his servants to be sent to prison? Is their imprisonment not a sign that God is against them?” Not at all, for the apostle Paul arrested and sent many to prison, and in the silence of the prison wrote some of his epistles which changed the world. Christ himself, the Son of the living God, was arrested by Gentiles, and was imprisoned and tormented by them.

If you fled away, hid yourself, and held your peace about your testimony, Christ’s enemies would persecute you. So do not be deceived by the evil spirit, for he will seek you out wherever you go, and you will not be rescued from him unless the Lord takes you under his wing. He often sends them to you that your life and sufferings may become a testimony of love against his adversaries.

Christ may honor you to bear witness to him before the courts of your country, where laws against the Spirit of Christ are in force. And then they will condemn you in religious circles first, and deliver you to civil authorities, accusing you of weakening solidarity. Consequently you will be sent to prison.

Your sufferings will be increased when you find out that the authority did not know you anytime before or mean to harm you except after some unrighteous brothers of your own community betrayed you out of envy, spite, and retaliation for supposed insults. Even your own family members will deliver you to the authority and persecution, to wipe out their so-called shame, and to prosper in society. They will spread false rumors about you that they may be justified by your punishment. So do not be surprised, for this was exactly what Jesus and his apostles experienced.

If you died for the sake of Christ’s name, then remember that he already died for you, saved you, sanctified you, and recorded your name in the Book of Life. Your suffering of martyrdom does not raise you to a higher rank in heaven, but the forgiveness of sins is your righteousness, and the love of God sanctifies and qualifies you for service.

There will come a time when the unbelievers will hate and curse the Christians who bear the name of their Lord. Many clever people will employ their minds to be rid of the Name of Names, our Lord Jesus. But he who is secure in Christ laughs at these useless attempts of the servants of Satan, for Christ is the Victor. He calls us to follow him, the Lamb of God, with all lowliness, meekness, and love that we may participate in his triumph and realize it today.

If you stand fast in the Lord in the midst of those six waves of malice mentioned above, you will experience the following seven favors, privileges, and gifts in return:

You will know the true name of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who had mercy on you, forgave your sins, raised you from the dead, and delivered you from Satan that you might become a child of God forever.

You will bear witness to this name by the power of the Lord, express the unique truth of the Gospel, and save many by your testimonies.

You will be secure in the presence of God, and he will establish your heart in grace.

Do not worry about what you will speak before the court and judges, but pray, believe and thank God, for the Holy Spirit dwells in you, and leads you to truth in love, and to power in weakness, as the apostles experienced many times. Christ himself will fill your mouth with God’s wisdom, which surpasses all understanding, and wins through against all opposition. You will not be a prisoner of men, but a servant of the love of God who will speak through you even in chains.

Your enemies will feel God’s power in you, just as the Sanhedrin marveled at the courage and wisdom of Peter and John, though they were simple and uneducated men. Yet they did not live for their own sake, but glorified Jesus alone.

Not a hair will fall from your head without your heavenly Father’s will. As you endure for him in torment, he will suffer with you, with his eyes toward you, and his thoughts concentrated on you.

He will strengthen your heart with his patience, for long suffering is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, that you may guard your soul which Jesus purified and purchased with his precious blood. Hold fast to the Savior, the source of faith, love and hope, that you may be free, though in chains, and live in the midst of death.

PRAYER: O Lord, You went the way of the cross as the meek Lamb of God, and your messengers followed you without swords or human arguments. But their testimony changed the whole world, for they revealed to us your holy name. Fill our mouths with your name and the name of the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit that your name may be hallowed where we are.

QUESTION 126: How do those who bear the name of Christ suffer and become comforted at the same time?


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