Luke 17:21-25

Luke 17:21 (KJB)
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Then they will not claim that the Kingdom of God is in different places around the region or world, especially the nation of Israel, which is where they believed that the physical Kingdom of God would come in and the Romans would be ejected from that area. Now since it is not going to be a visible, political kingdom, Jesus states that the Kingdom of God is within you. Those who have become saved have been transferred from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God. (Col 1:13 KJV) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: The book of Colossians was written between 60-64 A.D. when the above verse was penned. At that time there was still no visible Kingdom of God which means it is a spiritual Kingdom and not a visible political Kingdom. This also includes the mythical thousand year reign of Christ teaching.

Luke 17:22 (KJB)
And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.

Then Jesus says to the disciples that the days will come when they will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man but they will not. This is speaking of the fact that they too were looking for a physical kingdom and they will desire to be in that kingdom because they will be facing much persecution for their beliefs and their evangelizing. If they were safe in that kingdom, then there would be no persecution but until the last one is saved on the last day, the Christian will face all kinds of persecution for their beliefs. So they are not to pursue the search for a physical kingdom of God because that will not happen until the New Earth and New Heavens.

Luke 17:23 (KJB)
And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.

If there is one thing in this verse which sticks out it is “diversion.” False Christs and prophets will be of the earth and they will find places to set up their camps. Then once they are entrenched, they will send forth their followers to tell others that the Christ is now here and follow them into a desert place or some secret hiding place. If Satan can get the Christians to start following men, then he will be successful in pulling them out of doing their part of the Great Commission. In 2011, a man named Harold Camping convinced hundreds of his followers that the Lord was going to return May 21, 2011 and as a result, these people followed Camping and were diverted from the Great Commission for over 10 years. Quite a number are still obsessed with date setting and are coming up with 2015, 2017, etc. When the Lord returns, it will take place on the last day and every eye will see Him. There will be no secret place on earth Christ will visit. (Rev 1:7 KJV) 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.

Luke 17:24 (KJB)
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.

So many people think the Lord is going to return in the eastern sky because of the illustration that He gives. The reality is that this verse is not teaching a specific direction but is teaching suddenness in His return. Lightning moves very rapidly whether one is watching cloud to ground, or cloud to cloud. The essence of the Lord’s return is going to be very swift. (1 Cor 15:52 KJV) 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. The twinkling of an eye is 11/100 of a second which is pretty fast. For the Christian, one moment you could be standing there doing your laundry and the next second, you are in glory with the Lord. The speed of lightning has been observed as anywhere between 112,000 miles per hour (180,242 kilometers per hour) to 1.5 million miles per hour (2,413,950 kilometers per hour), which is much slower than the speed of light but still very fast.

Luke 17:25 (KJB)
But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

The suffering and rejection of the Messiah was not yet understood by these disciples although it was mentioned to them many times before. Even after the resurrection of Jesus some doubted. (Mat 28:17 KJV) And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. Before any kingdom could come fully, including the spiritual kingdom where people will enter in, He must suffer and pay for the sins of all those He came to save. After that, people will be able to enter into that spiritual kingdom but there would still not be a physical kingdom until after Judgment Day. He had to be rejected by the generation of His contemporaries so He could be crucified and make that final sacrifice for sin on behalf of His Elect.