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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 21:20-24
20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

Jesus had warned his disciples about deception and persecution by revealing the intents of wicked authorities, and called them to spiritual opposition even to death. Then he gave them an exact answer to their question mentioned in (21:5) about when and how Jerusalem would be destroyed.

Jesus saw with his prophetic eye how the enemies’ armies grew more and more intent to take revenge against the people’s revolution. He called the armies’ approach and siege of Jerusalem a clear symbol of the end, and a mark of the abomination of desolation which preceded the spiritual decay of the people because of their hard-heartedness toward the Anointed of God and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus commanded his followers to flee as soon as these events take place, that they might not suffer and die. He also cautioned his disciples in this day of vengeance, to flee to mountain caves, and hide themselves in valleys and shelters. He who is in the city must depart immediately and escape, for the days of wrath are near. The Christians of Jewish origin understood this command and observed it. Before Jerusalem was encompassed, they left their homes and fled to “Pella,” a city on the mountain on the east of the Jordan. Thus they were saved from the severe calamities of Jerusalem.

God’s patience reached its limits. He had sacrificed his Son, and poured out his Spirit on the believers in Jerusalem; but the multitudes remained deaf, blind, and wicked; except some thousands who had committed their hearts to Christ. God’s just vengeance fell on those who opposed his grace. Every sin will be forgiven men, except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. He who refuses the drawing and call of this Spirit will be destroyed, and counted as a loser in the life to come. This destruction of Jerusalem, an important and significant event, did not happen all of a sudden, for Moses and all the prophets had foretold God’s just judgment. His day of vengeance is a fulfillment of his warnings hundreds of years ago.

Do we hear today the warning of the Holy Spirit? We are threatened by God’s wrath. For about two thousand years, the patient Holy One has been offering the grace of his Son’s atonement freely to all peoples; but the unheeding multitude does not care for his voice. Such negligence signifies disrespect for God, and brings about severe judgment and great distress to the world.

Jesus foretold two kinds of distresses: First, that death would devour many by deadly weapons. Second, that thereafter the rest would be led away captive. In fact, no less than one million Jews were killed with the Roman sword in the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD, while the rest, amounting to one hundred thousand Jews, were led away captive among other nations. In the last one thousand nine hundred years, Jews wandered cautiously and secretly from one country to another. The Jews’ flight from one captivity to another in European countries is but an evidence of the presence and wrath of God. It is also a proof to those who hear.

Since that time Jerusalem remained subjected to the Gentiles, and its Temple was as good as finished. However, Christ fixed an end to the divine discontent, and flood of his wrath on the people. His love is greater than his judgment, and his mercy is endless. The sin of man does not abolish grace and the covenant; as otherwise we believers would have no hope. Christ said that if the gospel of salvation reached all nations and those who are called of the nations were joined together into a holy true church, the multitudes of the world would become ripe for God’s judgment; and then comes the last chance for the Jews to repent. We do not know the time, when and where; but Jesus testified to the limits of this wrath. He who denies this prophecy and keeps silence while he is aware of it makes a grave mistake.

The history of the Jews will be repeated in the nations. Because of their disobedience, God will give them up to the lusts of their hearts, that they may destroy one another. The sun, moon and stars will become dark through the dirt, smoke, explosions, and descending dust which will surround the earth. Then men will become lost, drunk, and lose hope because of the increasing destruction of the basic elements of life like water and food, as a result of their new idol of modern technology. The fear of atom bombs and their effects will spread everywhere, and men will feel as if thousands of evil spirits are attacking them. Thus people will become disturbed. They will flare up, cry out, and feel that something terrible and unknown, is coming on them. Then they will be helpless, blind, and afraid. The plants and stars will also quake and shake, and the unclean spirits will be active.

When the earth quakes and the stars fall down, the reason for all these movements will appear: it is the coming of the Son of God with glory, surrounded with a cloud of light, brighter than the sun. He will uncover our sins with one inescapable stroke. His great power will overcome the devil and paralyze his hosts. Death will not be able to seize the elect of God, and they will rise from their tombs and be snatched up to the Prince of Life, praising God and giving thanks to him.

The believers who remain alive on earth will be comforted through the guarantee of the Holy Spirit to them, for this Spirit will show them in the midst of God’s anger and judgment, the form of a divine man. Christ will come not as a strange god, or a consuming ghost, but as a true man. He calls himself the Son of Man out of humility, prerogative and love. He encourages you to lift up your head and come to him, for he has forgiven your sins. Moreover, he commands you today, “Do not be afraid when the earth is perturbed! Do not be terrified by the great distress! But get up and follow the example of those who await and trust their Lord. Then you will arise to him with joy and welcome, for he will come again to redeem his church, and to clothe his weak followers with robes of glory.

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus, Son of God, be merciful to us. O Son of Man, we worship you, for you are near to us. O Lamb of God, we wait for you, and expect your coming. Sprinkle us with your blood, justify us with your Spirit, and sanctify us completely that we may be worthy to receive you.

QUESTION 127: How do we prepare ourselves against the day of God’s revenge?


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