Tuesday, February 26, 2019


Luke 18:24-30
(See also Matt. 19:16–30; Mark 10:17–31)

Luke 18:24-25 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Susie: The rich, young ruler became sad because he could not bring himself to give up his wealth in order to follow Jesus.

Susan: His disposition became melancholy at Jesus’s command that he sell all he owned and give the money to the poor and then follow the Lord.

Susie: Some commentators try to soften Jesus’s use of hyperbole (exaggeration to make a point) by saying the “eye of the needle” was a small gate designed just for people and not beasts of burden. However, most seem to agree that He meant an actual needle used for sewing. The picture Jesus is drawing is that of an absurd impossibility.

Susan: Jesus was saying it is almost impossible for a wealthy person to come to him because many rich people attach themselves to their status and their accumulation of things. They have a greater relationship with their stuff than they would dare to have with Jesus.

Susie: Jesus does not always demand that we literally sell everything we own to give to the poor. However, He does demand that we give Him first place in every aspect of our lives and have a willingness to let go of things in order to cling to Him.

Luke 18:26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?

Susie: The crowd is thinking if money is a hindrance to salvation, it may be impossible for anyone to come to Him. They point blank ask Him the question in their minds.

Luke 18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

Susan: Jesus replies that the things that are humanly impossible through self-effort are possible to God. Trusting Jesus, knowing and clinging to Jesus, makes it possible for anyone to come to salvation. Jesus works in and through imperfect people. It is the power of Jesus that draws people, saves people, and keeps them on His path.

Susie: The key is total trust in Jesus rather than depending on anything we have, we do, or we are. We must cling to Him.

Susan: We cannot depend on our wealth, our gifts, or our talents. We must depend upon the Lord who gave those things to us in order to have direction in this life and eternal life.

Luke 18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.

Susie: Peter pipes up and points out that the twelve have left everything to follow Jesus. The implication is that he wants to know what blessing they will receive for choosing Jesus over their stuff, their homes, and even their families.

Luke 18:29-30 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Susan: When we come to Jesus in reckless abandonment, He becomes our very own army of protection and provision.

Susie: Our needs are met while we travel this earth, plus He promises us a place in His Kingdom. Just before He was crucified when He was poised to return to the Father, He told the disciples that He was going to prepare a place in His Father’s house for them (John 14). What we give up here is inconsequential compared to all we will receive in eternal life with the Lord.

Ponder this and Apply it: Do you have anything that you are clinging to other than Jesus? Is there anyone or anything that you place above Him? Spend some time pondering these questions and ask the Lord to help you rely totally on Him and surrender all you have and all you are to His will.

Thursday, February 21, 2019


Luke 18:18-23
(See also Matt. 19:16–30; Mark 10:17–31)

Luke 18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Susie: The gospel of Matthew tells us the young man was young (Matthew 19:20) and Mark says he came running and knelt before Jesus (Mark 10:17).

Susan: The man address Jesus as “Master” which could be translated “Teacher” because it is from the Greek “didasko; an instructor.” He also called Him “good.”

Susie: “Good” is one of those words that has become watered down in modern usage. It would have meant intrinsically good, morally upright. However, the man’s calling Jesus “Good Teacher” does not imply that he understood and believed Jesus to be the Messiah.

Luke 18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.

Susan: Jesus questioned the young man’s use of “good” to describe Him. He pointed out that only God is intrinsically good. However, as fully God as well as fully man, Jesus was the only man who walked this earth as an intrinsically good man.

Susie: At this point, the young ruler could have acknowledged Jesus’s deity by saying He was good because He was the Messiah; but he did not. He most likely only meant the address as a reverent greeting for a well-known teacher. Note that Jesus did not wait for him to answer because Jesus already knew his heart.

Luke 18:20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.

Susie: In Matthew’s account, Jesus tells the young man he must keep the commandments; and he has the audacity to ask, “Which ones?” (Matthew 19:18). If I were Jesus (PTL I’m not), I might have rolled my eyes and said, “All of them, of course!”

Susan: However, Jesus replied by listing five of the six commandments that relate to one’s relationship with other people. He omitted the tenth commandment, “Thou shalt covet . . .” (Exodus 20:17). Perhaps since the man was rich, Jesus already knew that he had a “more, more, more” mentality.

Luke 18:21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.

Susie: The young man arrogantly claims to have kept all these commandments from the time of his bar mitzvah.

Susan: He felt like he had checked off all the boxes and was on the road to eternal life because of his law keeping. He had a head knowledge of God’s law, but it will become obvious that the head knowledge had not reached his heart. He obeyed out of obligation rather than dedication to God.

Luke 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Susie: Jesus tested his loyalty to God by telling him to sell everything, give it away to the poor, and leave all to follow Him.

Susan: Jesus exposed the rich, young ruler’s Achilles heal and revealed to him where his true loyalty lay.

Susie: His devotion was to his riches, his lifestyle, his stuff. Jesus promised him “treasure in heaven,” but the young man wanted to keep what he already had rather than give it up for eternal reward later.

Susan: The wealthy young man was clinging to his earthly riches rather than clinging to God and His promises. Jesus was offering him eternal life, but the revelation went right over his head because his eyes were fixated on the things of this world.

Luke 18:23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.

Susan: He went away sad because he could not see clearly to obey Jesus. He saw no way to do what Jesus said and maintain his wealth and status as a ruler.

Susie: Because of his refusal to put Jesus first above everything else, the man missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime!

Ponder this and Apply it: Jesus will not necessarily ask each of us to sell everything we own and give the proceeds to the poor. He calls each of us individually to the tasks He has for us to do. However, the point is that Jesus must be first in our lives above everything else. We must trust Jesus  completely and give Him priority every day in order to receive eternal life in the future and direction and spiritual success right now. 

Monday, February 18, 2019


Luke 18:15-17
(see also Matthew 18:1-6, Mark 10:13-16)

Luke 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

Susan: Infants could literally be “babes in arms” so these were very young children. Mark ends the passage with Jesus taking them up in His arms to bless them.

Susie: I picture them as toddlers. Their parents wanted Jesus to touch and bless them.

Susan: The parents a desired a prominent rabbi’s blessing for their children which was a common practice in Jewish culture.

Susie: The disciples, for some reason, thought this was an annoyance, taking up the Master’s time with children who could not understand His message yet.

Susan: When the disciples rebuked the children, Jesus let them know it was not within their place to decide. Only He determined whom He would spend time with and especially whom He would bless.

Luke 18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Susan: Jesus told the disciples to allow the little children to come to Him and not to hold them back. They were not to be prohibited from coming to Him.

Susie: I’ve been in churches where small children were completely discouraged from ever coming to “big church” or especially to the altar.

Susan: I gave my life to Jesus when I was still pre-kindergarten age, three or four years old. I am so glad that my Grandad carried me down the aisle to the front of the church instead of saying, “No, you’re too little, Baby.” I am also thankful that Brother T. D. Hall took my desire to know Jesus seriously. In the church of which I am now a member, children are encouraged to come to the altar and pray or talk to a minister. Before they go to Children’s Church, they are in the sanctuary for worship and a mini-sermon.

Susie: Jesus tells them, “For of such is the Kingdom of God.”  He does not mean that only children will be in His kingdom, but that His people will have childlike trust.

Susan: Childlike faith is complete trust, total abandonment and humility. It is coming to everything asking what Jesus would have me do, realizing He knows best.
Luke 18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.

Susie: What does it mean to receive the kingdom of God like a child?

Susan: A small child’s trust can be illustrated by their jumping off the bed or the side of the pool into Mom’s or Dad’s arms with complete abandon, total confidence that Mom or Dad will make the catch with no trouble at all. They fearlessly fling themselves into the air.

Susie: The child is, also, a picture of coming to Jesus in total humility. A child has nothing to offer, has not yet done anything of significance, but believes they are loved. We must surrender ourselves to Jesus, knowing we have nothing of value within ourselves, and trusting that He will hold us up in His everlasting arms.

Ponder this and Apply it: Have you given up the idea that you can somehow earn a place in God’s kingdom and flung yourself with reckless abandon into His arms, trusting in Him alone to save you? It may seem scary to ask the Lord to take control of your life, but the Heavenly Father truly “knows best.” Trust in Him today for the first time or as we need to remind ourselves, trust Him each new day no matter what happens. Click on the link to listen to Dennis Jernigan sing about trusting Jesus. The song “I Will Trust You” begins at 1:03 on the video:

Friday, February 15, 2019


Luke 18:9-14

Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Susie: Jesus addressed the following parable to those in the crowd who had a holier than thou attitude.

Susan: Most people have that attitude at one time or another. In your youth, you do not necessarily know better; and society tells you that you are better if you have certain things or know certain things. We predispose out children to have this attitude until God humbles them with a trial or two.

Susie: We may have grown up with the idea that all people on the street are criminals or somehow deserving of their homelessness instead of having compassion for their predicament. Or we may have been taught that people of a certain race have a greater propensity toward evil. WRONG!

Susan: Any time that we classify ourselves as superior to another person, we are forgetting that without Jesus we are nothing and can do nothing because of our sin problem. Without redemption we are all lost and without hope.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Susie: The people Jesus address were self-righteous, depending on their own good deeds to make them right with God rather than realizing the impossibility of that endeavor and seeing their need for the saving grace purchased by Jesus on the cross.

Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

Susan: Pharisees were the most legalistic sect within the Jewish religion. They were considered authorities and ruled on matters of Jewish law. Publicans collected taxes for the Roman government. They were despised because they often were double or triple dipping, charging the Roman tax plus extra to line their own pockets. Before Matthew (aka Levi) and Zacchaeus accepted the call to follow Jesus, they were both publicans.

Susie: A man from each of these groups went into the Temple to pray.

Luke 18:11-12 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

Susan: The Pharisee stood in such a way as to be noticed by all and prayed as The Voice puts it “in honor of himself”. It sounds like he has brain damage to me because as a religious authority, he should realize that pride is never pleasing to the God he is supposed to be serving.

Susie: The Pharisee thanks God that he has not committed a litany of sins, including that of being a tax collector; but he neglects to confess his sin of pride. He reminds God that he tithes but fails to bow in humility before the Creator of the universe, to offer Him the sacrifice of praise. Before we well up with our own pride, thinking we have never done this, we must ask ourselves if we have ever prayed ostentatiously, using the biggest words we can, rather than offering a simple petition to the Lord.

Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Susan: The publican sees no worth in and of himself. Being acutely aware that he is a sinner, he falls on the mercy of God.

Susie: He does not extol his own virtues to the Lord but beats his own chest in agonizing realization that he could never measure up to God’s righteousness.

Susan: The Pharisee was leaning on his own righteousness and good works which the Bible says are as filthy rags.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Susie: In contrast, the tax-collector humbles himself before the Lord in realization that he cannot measure up and must plead for mercy.

Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Susie: The publican asked for and received mercy. He went home cleansed from his sin. The Pharisee proudly proclaimed himself righteous and did not even seek forgiveness. Therefore, he was not made right with God.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Susan: The Pharisee was totally self-assured and confident, and he did not think he needed to ask God for mercy and forgiveness. In contrast, it seems that the publican knew that he had nothing to offer God, and the Lord was the only One who could give him what he so desperately desired and needed—a clean heart. He was aware that God would be justified and could squash him like a bug.

Susan: Everyone that builds himself up, promotes himself, will be brought down. Everyone who walks in humility will be promoted by God. We particularly liked the Amplified version:

Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went to his home justified [forgiven of the guilt of sin and placed in right standing with God] rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself [forsaking self-righteous pride] will be exalted.

Susie: James puts this concept into the form of a command:

James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Ponder this and apply it: In the first eight verses of this chapter, we learned to be persistent in prayer. In this passage, we are instructed to come to the Lord in humility. Are you thinking you can be good enough to get into heaven or have you knelt at the foot of the cross and thrown yourself on the grace a mercy of the Lord Jesus? If you have not surrendered your life to Him, pray now acknowledging that you are a sinner who can never be good enough to reach God and trust in the blood of Jesus shed on the cross to cleanse you and cover you with His righteousness. Humbly coming to God in faith, trusting in His mercy and grace, is the only way to have a right relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


Luke 18:1-8

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Susie: The New Testament writers, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, confirmed this teaching many times. Here are two examples:

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints . . .

Susan: Praying without ceasing is to be in intimate communication with our Father at all times. We are interacting with Him continuously—praising God, confessing our sin, thanking the Lord, and bringing our needs and the needs of others to Him (intercessory prayer).

Susie: Prayer is also listening to God by being still and contemplating His word, the Bible. Are we to be always physically on our knees?

Susan: No. Besides, I don’t have any knees. LOL. What is important is that our hearts being prepared for and motivated to prayer at any time.

Susie: We are told not to faint or in some translations “to lose heart”. The point Jesus makes with the following parable is that we are not to pray once and then give up thinking God will not answer. We are to continue lifting the request to Him until we have peace about that situation, until He has either granted our request, made it clear His answer is “no”, or given us peace that He will grant our request in the future.

Susan: When we pray, we need to thank God for the answer being on the way. We hold on to God as our steadfast anchor until we see the reality of the answer to our request. I thank God that I am one day closer to walking than I was yesterday. I may not walk until I am with Him in glory; but I am confident that whether He heals me here or when I get to Heaven, He WILL heal me. I do not give up on Him or cease to serve Him because my prayer seems unanswered at the moment. He has healed me in the most important way because I have trusted Him and have peace.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Luke 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

Susan: There was a dumb judge—I call him “dumb” because the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9, 10)—who did not know God, nor did he esteem humanity. Therefore, he had no concern for others.
Luke 18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

Susie: A widow who lived in the same city came before the judge seeking justice because someone had wronged her. We are not told in what way she was wronged, just that she considered someone her adversary. Some translations call him an oppressor or a man who is trying to ruin her.

Susan: We do not know whether the man was trying to ruin her financially or assassinate her character. She is having to plead with the judge alone because she no longer has a husband to advocate for her, and it may be supposed that she has no son to come to her aid, either.

Luke 18:4-5 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

Susan: At first the calloused judge completely ignored her pleas.

Susie: However, she persisted in pleading her cause, coming back day after day. In fact, the Complete Jewish Bible calls her a “nudnik” which didn’t sound like a very nice name, so we looked it up. It means that she was an annoying pest, similar to a relative who is constantly asking to borrow money.  

Luke 18:5 (CJB) but because this widow is such a nudnik, I will see to it that she gets justice — otherwise, she’ll keep coming and pestering me till she wears me out!’”

Full definition of the Yiddish word nudnik can be found here: https://www.thejc.com/judaism/jewish-words/nudnik-1.7671

Susan: The nuance of the phrase “weary me” was as if she were continually giving the judge a black eye, incessantly pounding him with her persistence.

MacArthur Study Bible note:

18:5 18:5 weary me. Lit. “hit under the eye.” What the judge would not do out of compassion for the widow or reverence for God, he would do out of sheer frustration with her incessant pleading.
Susie: The judge admits to himself that he is not finding in her favor out of a sense of justice or even pity but because she is driving him nuts! I think she gave him a migraine.

Susan: The judge had no compassion for the woman, but the woman obviously would never leave him alone. She was determined to persevere until she received justice and was released from whatever hold her adversary had on her.

Luke 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

Susie: In modern words, Jesus told them to pay attention to the point of the parable. It was her persistence that caused the judge to find in her favor even though he was a thorough evil man with no thought for God or man.

Luke 18:7-8 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Susan: Therefore, how much more will God who is a just and fair judge and our loving Father avenge those who trust and cling to Him? We cling to Him to provide everything that is good and right and just.

Susie: Even though God may seem to allow evil to prevail for a time, we can rest assured that judgement will fall swiftly on those who oppose us at God’s appointed time. Meanwhile, we are, as we said above, to persist in prayer.

Susan: We are not to seek revenge ourselves but trust the Lord to care for us (Romans 12:19). God knows the entire picture while we see only our point of view. He knows the thoughts and intentions of the heart and is the only who can truly judge based on what is true and right.

Susie: Sometimes, this side of glory, it seems that God waits a long time to bring justice to His people. Israel was in Egypt for 400 years and in Babylon for 70. However, eventually they were delivered.

Susan: Our father does answer our prayers, but the timing of those answers is totally up to Him. Waiting is not our best attribute even as believers. However, we are to not lose heart as we persist in prayer.

Susie: Will Jesus find persistent faith when He returns? The implied answer is negative. As persecution and trials increase, many will wane in faith. However, we are blessed if we remain steadfast in faith and persistent in prayer.

Susan: We must remember that even the Apostle Peter, when fear gripped him immediately after Jesus’s arrest, denied even knowing Him. However, the Lord knows our hearts even better than we do ourselves. There is restoration for those who repent and continue to trust in Him.

Ponder this and apply it: The injustice that immediately came to mind as we studied this passage was the murder of the unborn. Are we persisting in prayer that God would avenge them? Are there other injustices, particularly the persecution of the church worldwide, for which we need to persist in prayer?

Thursday, February 7, 2019


Luke 17:33-37

Luke 17:33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

Susie: This principle is reiterated many times in the Gospels (Luke 9:24, Matt. 10:39; 16:25; Mark 8:35; John 12:25). Therefore, we should pay close attention to it. To truly follow Jesus, is to surrender my right to myself and submit to His control—thus, to lose my life.

Susan: We give up our own agenda for Christ’s kingdom agenda. This leads to true life, including spiritual vitality as well as, ultimately, eternal life in the presence of our Lord.

Susie: The person who avoids identification with Jesus, who seeks everything in this life only is not only condemned to judgement when Jesus returns but misses out on abundant life here and now. That person loses their life completely now and forever.

Susan: That person chooses separation from Jesus, from all that is good. The end to that is ultimate destruction, being perpetually tormented with no comfort, compassion, or hope of relief—experiencing only evil forever.

Susie: Those who lose their lives by dying to self and trusting Jesus, walk in renewed, invigorated life while here on earth and ultimately experience perfect peace and joy with the Lord forever.

Susan: Some people approach life on automatic pilot, doing business as usual as in Noah’s day. However, to surrender one’s life to Jesus is to choose Christ control rather than cruise control.

Luke 17:34-36 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Susan: Note that there are examples here from daytime and nighttime. The point being that Jesus’s return could occur at any moment, any time of day.
Susie: In all three examples (some manuscripts omit verse 36), there are two people in close proximity to one another. One is “taken” and the other left.

Susan: There is disagreement between the commentators as to the destination of the one “taken”. Some see this as the rapture of the saints.

Susie: However, since Jesus is talking about His return in judgment, other commentators do not see this as the rapture of the saints. They view it as the one taken is being judged and the one left is being preserved.

Susan: We are not sure which way we lean on this; but either way, one is judged and the other saved.

Susie: Being close friends with a believer will not be able to save you from judgment. Each person must respond to Jesus personally.

Susan: Every individual must choose between Jesus and the world on their own. No one can ride a believer’s coattails to heaven.

Susie: Your parents’ faith cannot save you. Your grandmother’s trust in Jesus cannot preserve you. You must surrender your life, die to yourself, and trust Jesus on your own.

Luke 17:37 And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

Susie: Just as carrion birds circling above corpses can be seen from a great distance, the day of Jesus’s return in judgment will be apparent to all.

Susan: Judgment will fall wherever the spiritually dead, those who have never trusted in Jesus, are found. I don’t know how this is going to happen, but when Jesus returns, everyone still alive on this earth will know about it. It will be definite, fearsome, and awesome all at the same time.

Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Luke 17:24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.

Ponder this and apply it: Do you see the return of Jesus as a day to be celebrated or feared? If you live in fear and dread of judgment, you have been convicted of the fact that you are a sinner. This awareness is a part of the Holy Spirit drawing you. Surrender to that call by trusting in Jesus completely and turning over control of your life to Him. This is the only way to have both abundant life here and now and the security of Heaven eternally.

Sunday, February 3, 2019


Luke 17:26-32
(See also Matthew 24:37-42)

Luke 17:26-27 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

Susie: The point Jesus was making was that people carried on “business as usual” right up until Noah and his family boarded the ark with all the animals and God shut the door. People were unconcerned about the pending judgment even though Peter tells us Noah had preached to them. Also, it was obvious there was going to be a great amount of water since Noah was building a huge boat!

2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Susan: The people of Noah’s day took no warning from his preaching or the testimony of the ark God had him build. They were swept away not only because of their evil ways but because of their apathy toward God’s voice through His prophet, Noah. Pay attention! Belief and trust in the Lord, submission to Him, matters.

Susie: It is the difference between forgiveness which leads to eternal life with the Lord or judgment—eternal torment and separation from the Lord and all that is good.

Luke 17:28-29 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Susan: Jesus’s focal point is not on the excessive evil found in Sodom but on their apathy toward God’s mercy of warning them through Lot and their unwillingness to trust in God.

Susie: Even Lot’s sons-in-law would not heed the message Lot brought them from the angels.

Genesis 19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

Luke 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Susie: Think of the non-believers you know today. Are they concerned about the second coming of Jesus? Or are they scurrying about tending to business as usual and totally ignoring God?

Susan: Jesus has sent out invitations to join His forever family for centuries now through the prophets, the Apostles, pastors, evangelists, teachers, and even laymen (every believer is called to make disciples). However, to those who have never trusted in Jesus, His return will come swiftly and seemingly without warning.

Luke 17:31-32 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife.

Susan: When Jesus returns, there will be nothing in my house worth returning to. Even my house will be left behind. I need not take the things of this world into Heaven where all I need will be provided by the Lord Himself and all things will be brand new.

Susie: Nothing we have here is fit for Heaven. Our possessions here are always to be held loosely and dropped immediate if the Lord prompts us to abandon them. Only those who do not know our Savior would turn back when He appears in all His glory!

Susan: Lot’s wife was too attached to her life in Sodom and perhaps all her stuff because Lot was successful there. It’s sad that she did not understand that God had something better for her.

Susie: Lot’s wife was on the verge of deliverance but did not obey the angel’s warning. Therefore, she looked back and became pillar of salt or as one of my former pastor’s put it, “God turned her into a giant salt-lick.”

Ponder this and Apply it: As believers, we should live each day as if the Lord’s return is imminent. The hymn “I’ll Tell the World that I’m a Christian” expresses it well in the line, “We must live as if His coming could be tomorrow or today.” Jesus will return suddenly. Will you be found prepared for the kingdom of Heaven, or will you be too absorbed with business as usual on earth?