Sermon #153                                                 Luke Sermons


     Title:          “Look Up

     Text:          Luke 21:28-32

     Subject:     Signs of the Times

     Date:         Sunday Evening —, 2005

     Tape #       Y-73b

     Readings:   Bob Duff and Merle Hart



I don’t know about you, but I would rather look up in hope than look down in despair. The title of my message tonight is “Look Up.” Turn with me to Luke 21:28-32.


(Luke 21:28-32)  "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (29) And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; (30) When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. (31) So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. (32) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled."


Proposition: Our Lord Jesus here declares that there are some things that must be looked upon as signs of his coming, things that are as obviously tokens of his glorious second advent as the budding of a tree is a token “that summer is nigh at hand.”


I make no pretense or claim of understanding the mysteries of prophecy. And I am fully convinced that there are no signs yet to be fulfilled in this world before Christ appears. Yet, there are signs of his coming that should be obvious to all to whom he has given spiritual knowledge and discernment.


As we observe these things, we should not be overly concerned about them and cast down because of them. If we are children of God, if we trust Christ, the things we see, which are clearly identified in Holy Scripture as signs of Christ’s coming, ought to cause us to lift up our heads, because they tell us that our redemption is near.


(Luke 21:28)  "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."


When you see these beginning to unfold before your eyes, be of good cheer, my brothers and sisters in Christ. — Your deliverance is at hand.!


(Romans 8:22-23)  "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (23) And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."


Notice, in Luke 21:28, our Lord first says, “Look up!” That means, “stoop no more, lift up your body.” Then he says, “lift up your heads.” Turn your head and your eyes, turn your head and your heart upward. do not merely stand with erect body, but turn your head and eyes upward. The posture of God’s saints in this world is often the posture of one bowed down  under the heavy burdens of an evil day and an evil world (Psa. 38:6; 14:7). Both body and head are bent towards the earth in grief.


(Psalms 38:6)  "I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long."


(Psalms 14:7)  "Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad."


Here, our Lord tells us not to be bowed down, but to look up and lift up our heads in anticipation of resurrection glory. Soon your prayers shall be answered.


(Titus 2:13-14)  "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; (14) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."


(Revelation 1:7)  "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."


Let me call your attention to some of those things spoken of by our Lord and his apostles as things that ought to cause us to look up and lift up our heads with joyful, confident hope that our “redemption draweth nigh.”




Apostasy abounds! Many antichrists have gone out into the world. These things tell us that our redemption draws near (2 Thess. 2).


When I speak of apostasy and antichrist, I am not merely talking about papacy, but about every form of godliness that denies the power of God, every form of religion that is set up in opposition to Christ and the gospel of God’s free grace in him. I am talking about all false Christianity, every form of religion that denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, by…

·       Denying the True Character of Christ.

·       Denying the Efficacy of His Finished Work.

·       Denying that Salvation is by Grace Alone.

·       Turning the Grace of our God into Lasciviousness.


(Luke 21:28)  "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."




Multitudes, both in the church and in the world, today are skeptics, who say, "My Lord delayeth his coming," and scoffers who cry, "Where is the promise of his coming?" Churches today, liberal and conservative, Arminian and Reformed, teach men and women to live in this world and for it, rather than in the hope of eternal life.

·       Political Religion

·       Family Religion

·       Health, Wealth, Prosperity Religion


(Luke 21:28)  "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."




Intellectualism is another sign of the times. The fruit of the tree of knowledge is still being eaten by man, and still infusing its poison. Love of knowledge is the professed starting-point. But in the pursuit of this, God is not acknowledged as the teacher, nor the Bible as the infallible textbook. Speculation abounds. The inspired writings are cast aside. Intellectual pride causes men to make their own reason the basis of faith and every novel idea a point of doctrine.


Men so adore their own minds and despise both the authoritative revelation of Holy Scripture the simplicity of faith in Christ that they are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Many who denounce as heresy (and rightly so) decisional regeneration have embraced a heresy just as evil — Doctrinal Regeneration.


God gives such men over to a reprobate mind, and sends them strong delusion that they should believe a lie. "They will not endure sound doctrine," but are "carried about with every wind of doctrine."


(Luke 21:28)  "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."




By comparison, in past ages wickedness appears to have slept. In these days last days it has awakened to full life and activity. It seizes every instrument, the press, the pulpit, and the political platform. It enlists every science and art, — music, sculpture, painting, poetry, and philosophy, making all subservient to its development. Satan, both as the prince of darkness and as an angel of light, has come down, having great wrath. The multiplication of crimes, contempt of laws, and blasphemies that fill our days are obvious (or should be) tokens that he knows his time is short.


(Ephesians 6:12)  "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."


(1 Timothy 4:1-6)  "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; (3) Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (4) For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: (5) For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (6) If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained."


(2 Timothy 3:1-9)  "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (9) But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was."


Because iniquity abounds, the love of many waxes cold (Matt. 24:12).


Because of the troubles, trials and persecutions from without, and the apostasies and false prophets from within the professed church, the love of many to Christ and his doctrine, and to one another, grows cold. Some openly deserting the faith (Mat. 24:10), others corrupting it (Mat. 24:11), and others growing indifferent about it (Mat. 24:12).


(Matthew 24:6-13)  "And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (8) All these are the beginning of sorrows. (9) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. (10) And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (11) And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (12) And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (13) But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."


(Luke 21:28)  "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."




Our Lord told us plainly that in these days we must expect to see constantly increasing wars and rumors of wars. Certainly, we cannot help seeing that his Word is being fulfilled every day.


(Luke 21:28)  "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."




With what restlessness these days are consumed. In the time of the end, Daniel wrote, “many shall run to and fro” (Dan. 12:4). Joel wrote…


(Joel 2:1-2)  "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; (2) A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations."


(Joel 2:9-11)  "They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. (10) The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: (11) And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?"


Multitudes run to and fro. The whole world is in perpetual motion, rushing here and there, unable to be still. Like the man possessed by a devil could not rest, so men in these last days, possessed by the devil, exhibit the very restlessness of hell, of him who is ever going to and fro in the earth, walking up and down in it.


(Luke 21:28)  "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."




But, right in the midst of all these evils, our Lord declares, in Matthew 24:14, — “And” (not but) — “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all the nations; and then cometh the end.” Our Lord will cause “the Spirit of life from God” to enter into his witnesses, and he shall again shake his hand over the nations of the earth by the preaching of the gospel, and gather his elect from the four corners of the earth.


If I understand what I read in this Book correctly, I have no doubt that we are experiencing in this very hour two great events that appear to be mutually exclusive.

·       The Greatest Apostasy the World has Ever Known,

·       And The Greatest Revival the World has Ever Known!


The gospel is being preached today more fully , more clearly, and more distinctly the world over than at any time in the history of the world.


(Luke 21:28)  "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."


The End


What are we to look for next? — “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all the nations; and then cometh the end” (Mat. 24:14). Turn with me to 1 Corinthians 15, and let me talk to you about that for just a few minutes.


(1 Corinthians 15:24-28)  "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (25) For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. (27) For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. (28) And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."


When everything has run its predestined course, when time shall be no more, when this earth is dissolved in a ball of fire, the resurrection is past, and the judgment is over, we read, “Then cometh THE END!”


Though creation has revolted against God and sin has marred his handiwork, though it appears that everything here in is utter chaos, though antichrist seems to reign among men without rival, though Babylon (the great whore of free-will, works religion) has made all the earth drunk with the wine of her fornications, there is a day coming called “the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21).


Though today all the world, all men, and all events appear to be set in direct opposition to Christ, there is a day coming called “the dispensation of the fulness of times,” in which the Lord God will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in him” (Eph. 1:10).


Though all men by nature despise his rule, there is a day appointed by God, in the which “at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:10-11).


Though all men by nature are the enemies of God, though Satan and all the demons of hell oppose his purpose, though men and devils unite as one, in thought, word, and deed, to rob the triune God of his glory, in the end, through the blood of his cross, by our Lord Jesus Christ, almighty God shall “reconcile all things unto himself, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven” (Col. 1:20).


Hear what the Lord God himself has to say about the way things shall be in the end and hearken unto the gracious counsel he gives.


(Isaiah 45:20-25)  "Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. (21) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. (22) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (23) I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. (24) Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. (25) In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory."


Listen to me, now. In the end, every creature in heaven, earth, and hell, every deed performed in God’s creation, by men, angels, devils, and Satan himself, (Every deed!) great and small, good and evil, and every event of providence shall magnify, honor, exalt, and praise our great and glorious God.


When the end comes, the Lord Jesus Christ shall deliver up the kingdom unto God the Father.


(1 Corinthians 15:24)  "Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power."


(1 Corinthians 15:28)  "And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all."


What do those two verses mean? First, let me tell you what they most certainly do not mean. When the Scriptures here declare that the Son shall deliver up the kingdom unto the Father, they do not teach, suggest, or in any way imply…


·       That Christ is not God (1 Tim. 3:15).

·       That the Son of God is in any way inferior to the Father (1 John 5:7).

·       That Christ will cease to be Prophet, Priest, and King over his Church and Kingdom.


(Hebrews 1:8)  "But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom."


What does Paul mean, when he tells us that Christ shall deliver up the kingdom unto God, even the Father, and shall be subject to him? I’ve got something here that will help you. Give me your attention. When the resurrection is over, when the great white throne judgment is done, and all things are created new, when all God’s elect are saved, there will be one final work to be done by our Lord Jesus Christ as Jehovah’s Servant, as the Surety and Mediator of the covenant.


·       The Shepherd will present his sheep.

·       The Savior will present his Church.

·       The Son will present his brethren.

·       The King will present his Kingdom to God, even the Father.


(John 10:16)  "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."


(Ephesians 5:25-27)  "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."


(Hebrews 2:13)  "And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me."


Augustus Toplady was exactly right when he wrote, “I take the kingdom to consist of that innumerable company whose names were written in heaven; and which, when their numerical fulness is completed, the Son of God, who graciously consented to become the Son of Man for their sakes, will present in one, entire, and glorified body to the Father.”


In that great day, in the end, Christ will stand before his Father and our Father, with all his elect by his side in the perfection of his holiness, and say, “Lo, I and the children which thou hast given me. All are here. Not one is lost!”


·       “All, my Father, you chose and gave to me, all you trusted me to redeem, here they are, just as I promised, holy, unblameable, unreproveable, washed in my blood, robed in my righteousness.”

·       “All that I redeemed, every blood bought soul is here.

·       “All those who have been regenerated, called, and sealed by the blessed Holy Spirit are here.”


He will, no doubt, go on to say. “Now, my Father, all the purpose of grace is fulfilled. All the counsel of peace is accomplished. All that we agreed upon in the covenant is done. In all things, our great purpose in predestination is now fully accomplished. Now grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life!”


This shall be the end of all things: — That God may be all in all!” God Almighty has from eternity ordained everything that comes to pass in time to make himself an everlasting and a glorious name (Isa. 63:12, 14), that in all things Christ might have the pre-eminence (Col. 1:18). And in the end, God, the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as he is revealed, known, loved, and worshipped in the Person and work of Christ, our God-man Mediator, shall be “ALL IN ALL.” There are three things in this last verse of our text which I want you to see.


1.    All the works and purpose of the triune God shall be perfectly accomplished (Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:3-14; 2:7).

2.    God in Christ shall be all in all.


·       All Meat, Clothing, and Shelter For Our Bodies.

·       All Life, Joy, Peace, Glory, and Satisfaction for Our Souls.

·       All Sun and Moon and Light Forever!

·       God shall be all in all things.

·       God shall be all in all his people.

·       God shall be all in all the praises of all saints and angels forever!


The delivering up of the kingdom to the Father will not put an end to it, but will eternally establish it in a new and more glorious form. Christ shall not cease to reign, though the mode of his administration will be different. As a Divine Person, he will always be one with the Father. Even as the incarnate God-man, he will continue forever. It is only in Christ the Word that we can see and know God. The effects of his mediatorial kingdom will abide forever. There will never be a time when the God-man will be cast aside, or hidden in the shadows. Our Lord Jesus Christ will never be less than he is now: — The Image of the Invisible God!


(Luke 21:28)  "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."


Look up,” my brother! “Lift up your head,” my sister, “for your redemption draweth nigh;” and all is well in Zion!


(1 Corinthians 15:51-58)  "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."