In Luke chapter 12, Jesus had just finished teaching the parable of the servants who are tested. He describes Himself as the Master who has left us here on earth to teach His Gospel to every creature. He said that when He comes again suddenly, if He finds his servants eagerly watching for His return, He will make them rulers over all that He has.
Jesus is talking to the generation of people who will be alive just before He returns to remove His church from the earth. If He finds us busy about His business and seeking to live for Him and tell people what He has done, these persons will be placed in charge over the kingdom He will establish on the earth for 1,000 years.
Then Jesus speaks the verse of scripture that is the title of this article: “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled.” ~Luke 12:49
In Jesus’ first arrival on earth as the Suffering Servant of God, He will lay down His life for us at the cross. This will begin a time of Grace in which whosoever will, may come to Jesus, repent of their sins, and be saved.
This time of Grace will come to an end, and then, Jesus will return a second time to judge the world that has rejected Him. During the seven year Tribulation period, the world will undergo a trial by fire. There will be three sets of seven judgments that will gradually increase in severity until two-thirds of the people on earth have perished.
Those who receive Jesus during the seven year Tribulation will lose their lives. The antichrist will not tolerate the worship of Jesus and He will require that every person worship him. Those who disobey the beast, will be beheaded.
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image. ~Revelation 20:4
At the end of the seven year Tribulation, Jesus will return with His church who have been with Him in heaven during the last seven years. He will establish a kingdom of righteousness on earth for a thousand years. There will be peace over the whole earth as Jesus rules with absolute power.
At the end of the thousand years, John writes that Jesus will destroy the heavens and the earth and create a new heavens and earth. This event will be a massive heat death, as described by Peter:
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. ~Revelation 21:1
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. ~2 Peter 3:10-13
When Jesus said that He came to send fire on the earth, He was describing the time when He returns to bring the fire of His judgement to the earth.
People often think of the merciful and kind Savior whom we see in Jesus during His brief three years on earth during His public ministry. It is a surprise to many that Jesus will come a second time as a Lion who will put down all rebellion against God’s kingdom and His sovereign right as God to rule over the earth.
Today, we all have the opportunity to bow our knees to Jesus and submit to Him as Lord of our life. A time is coming when all the earth will submit by force and there will be no ability to withstand Him. Jesus is Lord over the Universe. He created it and it is sustained by Him (Colossians 1:16-17). The book of Philippians describes the time when Jesus came to earth as a servant, to die for us. It finishes with the warning that “every knee will bow to Him and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.”
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~Philippians 2:5-11
Paul wrote to the Hebrew Christians at Jerusalem that “our God is a consuming fire.” We might resist Jesus today and refuse to acknowledge Him as Lord. We might deny the reliability of the Bible or scoff at whether Jesus was a real person from history. In the end, the author of all that we can see in this magnificent universe and here on earth, will remove all doubts about His power.
He will burn up this world and all that is in it and create a new earth where righteousness dwells.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. ~Hebrews 12:28-29
If we are living for ourselves or for the riches and pleasures of this world, we will find that we have wasted our life and given our time and heart to things which have robbed us of the good life God intended for us.
The time to live for Jesus is now. The moment for salvation is today. This is the time when God is offering us a chance to direct our own eternal destiny. We can be saved immediately by turning from our sins, to Jesus Christ and living for Him for the rest of our lives.
Categories: Believers Removed before Tribulation, Living For Jesus, Robert Clifton Robinson, The Condition of the Heart, The First Arrival of the Messiah, The Second Arrival of the Messiah, The Tribulation Period, Thousand Year Kingdom, True Repentance