“For on my holy mountain … declares the Lord GOD, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land. There I will accept them … And I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations.” [v.40,41]
We set these words alongside – and in contrast to – the words of warning in today’s ch. 17 in Luke’s gospel. First, Jesus warns that his return will be clearly evident – so don’t follow those who say, “Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.” [v.23,24]
Then Jesus makes a blunt point we may be familiar with, but let’s not make our familiarity with it dull its impact on our minds! “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” [v.26,27]
Jesus also makes a point about “the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—” Then he adds “so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” [v.28-30] There are an abundance of places to go out to – to eat and drink – compared to when we were young – 60 years ago.
Our thoughts then went to the final chapters of the Old Testament, Malachi! There will be a “day … says the LORD of hosts, … when I make up my treasured possession … Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not …” [3 v.17,18]
We do not know how close that awesome “day” is! But that should not make any difference – let us try ever harder to so live that we are part of God’s “treasured possession” and then “on his day” we will receive, to quote the words of the Apostle Paul, “the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award … on that Day.” [2 Tim. 4 v.8]