The End of the Age

The End of the Age

Vengeance is mine!

Jerusalem was a walled city, fortified against attack. It had been a holy place since the time of Melchizedek, back to the time of Abraham. By Jesus’ time, it had been a holy place for about two thousand years.

When we hear “Vengeance is mine, says the LORD”, we probably think first of Romans, where Paul encourages the church to “if possible … live peaceably with all.” But Paul was quoting Deuteronomy 32 there, and if you examine that passage the meaning is quite different. In Deuteronomy, Moses is prophesying about what was going to happen to those who turn away from the LORD and worship false gods.

The vengeance of God fell on Jesus on the cross for all that believe. Those who reject Jesus and the cross have to face that vengeance themselves. We know that forty years elapsed from the time that Jesus foretold it to when the end came–long enough for anyone who was going to believe to do so. Instead, most of the people hardened their hearts, turned away from Scripture, and tried to make their own way. Josephus, a Roman historian, records that even his Roman general recognized that the complete and utter destruction of Jerusalem was an act of God.

For those who believed in the words of Christ though, there were signs to watch out for and a warning to get out of town. Just like today, deliverance was freely given to all who believe.

Thanks be to God for delivering us from the day of vengeance!

Here is today’s sermon text from Luke 21:

Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple
And while some were speaking of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”

Jesus Foretells Wars and Persecution
10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.

Jesus Foretells Destruction of Jerusalem
20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22 for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. 23 Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Coming of the Son of Man
25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

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