Is your life in crisis? Are you having a difficult time and about ready to give up on prayer, to give up on God? God will come to deliver you. The question is, will he still find faith in your heart when he comes?

ROBERT >> Is your life in crisis this morning? Are you having a difficult time and about ready to give up on prayer, to give up on God? God will come to deliver you. The question is, will he still find faith in your heart when he comes?

SINGING>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth,
speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.

ROBERT >> To encourage us to keep on praying to God and to trust him for our deliverance in every situation in life, Jesus gives us the parable of the unjust judge. It’s recorded for us in Luke chapter 18:1-8. It’s another parable of contrast, teaching a lesson on prayer that may be compared to the parable of the friend at midnight that we studied last week here on The Truth In Love.

Let’s read the parable from Luke 18, and let’s see how Jesus applies that to our lives today. Here’s what it says: “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, Get justice for me from my adversary. And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. Then the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall not God avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

I want you to think for just a moment about the background of this parable. Jesus had taught his disciples in Luke chapter 17 that his coming would be delayed, and that during that time of waiting there would be periods of great difficulty and trial that would come upon them.

If you look back in Luke chapter 17 beginning in verse 22, He said to His disciples, “The days will come when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.”

In other words, there’s going to be some difficult times, and you’re going to wish that I would come and deliver you at that moment; but you may not see that happen. There’s going to be a delay. There’s going to be a waiting period.

There’s going to be some time before I come again. And he goes on in Luke chapter 17, and he talks about the fact in verse 24, “As the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day.”

The point is that he is going to come, and he’s going to come quickly, he’s going to come speedily, at just the right moment, at just the right time to bring about our deliverance from this world and its evil. He mentions in this teaching as you go on in Luke 17 the days of Noah, when they were waiting and preparing the ark, until finally the flood came and took those that were evil all away. He also mentions in this teaching the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was some time, and God was very patient, but finally he brought his punishment down upon that city. And he also mentions, you’ll notice here, about the eagles gathering together around the carcass in verse 37 at the end of Luke 17, a reference to God’s coming in judgment upon the spiritually dead nation of Israel at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. All of those events of history teach us the fact that God is longsuffering, that God is patient, that God is waiting for everyone to get right with him.

As Peter says in 2 Peter 3:9, “he’s longsuffering, not wishing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance,” but that he will come, as Peter goes on to say in verse 10.

He will come, and this old world will be destroyed. He will come to deliver his people and to take them home with him. And so we’re encouraged to keep faith in our God, not to give up in the midst of difficulty and trial, but to know that God will come to rescue us someday. Now let’s take a look at the parable, and let’s see first of all just exactly why Jesus spoke the parable of the unjust judge.

You see it here in Luke 18:1. “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”

Yes, Jesus was teaching his disciples that men always ought to pray. That’s present tense. To keep on praying. And not lose heart. Don’t despair. In spite of the trial. In spite of the difficulty, in spite of the delay, know that God will come and that he will deliver you and that he hears and that he answers.

Romans 12:12, Paul said, “Continue steadfastly in prayer.”

Remain steadfast in your prayers. Don’t quit praying.

As he said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”
v Don’t ever give up on prayer. Now let’s go to the parable, and let’s notice how Jesus emphasizes this great lesson.

Did you see what kind of judge Jesus mentioned in the parable?

He was an unjust judge, one who had neither fear of God, nor regard for man.

Look at it in verse 2. “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.”

In fact, in verse 4 it says, “He would not for a while answer the woman that had come to him, but afterward he said within himself, though I do not fear God nor regard man.”

And then in verse 6, “The Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said.”

So here was one who was unjust, who was unfair. He didn’t care about God. He didn’t care about man. The tense indicates that this was his habitual attitude. He was a hard-boiled judge, as one commentator put it. It’s but a natural consequence to disregard man when one has no fear of God. If he had no fear of God, he’s not going to care about man.

Do you remember Psalm 14:1, where he speaks of those who refuse to fear God, to believe in God, to acknowledge and have any regard for God? “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God.”

They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good. This idea of failing to acknowledge God affects our entire heart, our entire life.

I want you to see how the apostle Paul describes such a one in Romans the 3rd chapter. “Their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their ways, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

That was the character of the judge before whom the woman in the parable came.

But now what does Jesus tell us about the woman in the parable?

Go back to Luke chapter 18, and we see that she was a widow, and she had an adversary. And she was coming before the judge, troubling him continually, wanting justice.

You’ll see in verse 3 of Luke 18, “Now there was a widow in that city. And she came to him, saying, Get justice for me from my adversary.”

And in verse 5 it says, “Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

Here was a woman that was being persecuted by an adversary, but the judge would not defend her cause.

Why did the judge however eventually avenge this woman?

It’s because, as we just read in verse 5, she was wearing him out. The Greek literally means to strike under the eye. And it may suggest that she might resort to violence, though the idea could simply be that of continual aggravation, because the widow was very persistent.

What did Jesus tell his disciples to hear in this parable?

He told them to hear what the unjust judge said. Look at verse 6. “Then the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said.”

He told them to listen because they could make application. And he helped them to do that by asking them a question.

Look at the question that Jesus asked his disciples right here in verse 7. “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?”

You see, God is going to avenge his elect. The elect are Christians. The elect are those who are chosen in Christ by obedience to the gospel.

Let’s notice something about this in Ephesians 1:4. When the apostle Paul speaks of the great spiritual blessings that we as Christians have, those of us who are in Christ, he mentions this in Ephesians 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him, in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

It was God’s plan for us to be saved in Jesus Christ. We understand how that takes place.

In Galatians, going back a few pages to Galatians chapter 3, look what the Bible says in verse 26 and 27. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus; for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

So you see, God had planned from before the foundation of the world to choose those who put their faith in Jesus Christ, who were obedient to the gospel, giving themselves to him in baptism, to be his very own, to be his children, his sons and his daughters spiritually. The main point of the parable then is obvious. Look at the contrast. If an unjust judge, one who had no regard for God or man, would bend to the persistence of a brow-beating widow, then surely a just God, a fair God, a God who loves us, he’s going to hear the cries of his patient, enduring children.

Yes, the Lord delays executing vengeance upon the adversaries; but he only does that because he’s longsuffering, because he is patient.

As we mentioned from 2 Peter 3:9, long suffering, “not wishing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance.”

Now I want you to look and see how Jesus would answer his own question about whether or not God would avenge his people.

And look at his answer in verse 8 of Luke 18. “I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.”

He will avenge them speedily, Jesus said. Oh, justice may appear to be delayed from our standpoint, from a Christian’s limited viewpoint, and yet we can be confident that when that awesome moment comes, that as one commentator put it, he acts swiftly as in the deluge, the great flood, and the destruction of Sodom, both of those events to which Jesus had just referred in Luke chapter 17.

Yes, just as he came upon that evil world of Noah’s day, just as he came upon the evil ones there in the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah, so God will come in deliverance for his people.

What is it that Jesus asked his disciples right here at the end of verse 8?

Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes will He really find faith on the earth? That’s an important question. And I think here’s where we find the real conviction of this parable. When he speaks of faith, there’s the definite article there in the Greek before it. In other words, the faith.

It’s not just faith per se, but it’s a special kind of faith. It’s the quality of faith that persists in prayer. Even though bearing the persecution of adversaries, never giving up, never quitting, that enduring faith that comes by hearing the word of God, Romans 10:17. Will he find that faith on the earth?

Will he find that faith in your heart, in your life?

So yes, we as Christians, we have adversaries, we have our enemies, we have our persecutions and trials and difficulties. It’ll help us to be aware of that and to realize that and accept that.

In fact, I want to read to you from Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount in Matthew chapter 5, beginning in verse 10. Notice what Jesus says. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Jesus tells us not only that we are going to be persecuted, that men are going to mistreat us because of our faith, because of our love and our service to the Lord, but he also tells us there’s a blessing in persecution. There’s a blessing not only for this time, but for all of eternity. Our reward is eternal life. In suffering for the cause of Christ, we share in the suffering of Christ. Just as the world hated him, the world will hate us. But remaining faithful to him as he was raised that third day to ascend into heaven, one day he will come again so that we can be raised and join him there in his glory.

I love this passage from 2 Timothy 3:12, and yet to me it’s quite challenging. Here’s what the apostle Paul wrote to the young preacher Timothy. He says, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”

We might ask ourselves if we are being persecuted, if there are any who may be against us because we’re standing with Jesus Christ. It could be that some of us are too compromising, that some of us have given up on the faith. But it’s a sure sign that if we’re receiving persecution, that we are standing with the Lord Jesus Christ. And it may appear at times that justice is not prevailing in our life. We look around, and we see so much unfairness. But let’s note that one day, Jesus will come and right all the wrongs. And sometimes it’s even in this life that God straightens things out.

I want to remind you of this passage in Revelation 6:10, where we read of those who are under the altar in the vision of John, and they were crying out to God. It was the spirits of those who had been faithful to Christ but who had been tortured and even put to death for the cause of Christ. And now on the other side of death, we hear them crying. And they cried out with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? It may appear that it’s not right; but God will come to avenge his own. The Father will avenge the wrongs done upon his children. And we need to leave that vengeance to the Lord.

In Romans the 12th chapter, in verse 19, look what the apostle Paul writes here that I think will help us in those difficult times when we feel as though we are being treated unjustly.

Here he says, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

You see, it’s better for us, instead of trying to right all the wrongs and trying to take our own personal vengeance against others, to leave that to the Lord, to turn it over to him, because remember, he’s going to do a much better job of righting the wrongs than we. He knows everything, and he is able and powerful to do whatever needs to be done; and so we as God’s people need to trust him with those things, trust him in everything, with everyone.

Yes, God wants us to know that he does love us, that he does care for us, that he does see us in every circumstance, in every situation in life and is there with us to help us and to deliver us. Our responsibility is to look to him for that deliverance, to keep trusting him for that deliverance, to always pray and not to faint. Don’t despair. Jesus Christ is coming.

Are you ready for that day?

Do you have faith in your heart?

Do you have faith in Jesus Christ?

Or have you put your faith in someone or something else? Have you been obedient to the gospel of Christ, turning from your sins and confessing him as Lord and savior, giving yourself to him in the waters of baptism, that you might become one of his children and that you might know that he is with you and that you have eternal life reserved for you in heaven with God?

SINGING>> Unto the hills around do I lift up my longing eyes.
Oh, whence for me shall my salvation come, from whence arise?
From God the Lord doth come my certain aid,
from God the Lord, whom heaven and earth hath made.
From every evil shall he keep thy soul,
from every sin.
Jehovah shall preserve thy going out,
thy coming in.
Above thee watching,
he whom we adore shall keep thee henceforth,
yea forevermore.

SINGING>> In heavenly armor we’ll enter the land.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
No weapon that’s fashioned against us will stand.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
When the power of darkness comes in like a flood,
the battle belongs to the Lord.
He’s raised up a standard,
the power of his blood.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, hono
power and strength to the Lord.
When your enemy presses in hard, do not fear.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
Take courage, my friend,
your redemption is near.
The battle belongs to the Lord.
And we sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.
We sing glory, honor,
power and strength to the Lord.

ROBERT >> Thank you so much for watching our program today. If you have any questions, comments, or requests, if you would like a personal home Bible study or special prayers, if you’d like more information about the lesson today, or if you’d like to order today’s lesson or any other lesson on CD, DVD, or in manuscript form, let me encourage you to write The Truth In Love at P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053.

You may e-mail us at requests@ttil.tv.

Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966.

And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. Remember that all of our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So please let us know how we can help you, and join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.

SINGING>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace.
From the toils that bind me it will bring release.
Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so,
showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.
Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low
till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go.
When my heart is weary, when the day is long,
sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song.
Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream
of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam.
Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall,
sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.

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