Luke 17:33

ESV Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.
NIV Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.
NASB Whoever strives to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will keep it.
CSB Whoever tries to make his life secure will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
NLT If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.
KJV Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

What does Luke 17:33 mean?

Jesus is warning His followers about the conditions of the world at His second coming and the judgment He will bring. People will be consumed with the mundane aspects of life on earth. They will build relationships, celebrate life, and accumulate wealth. While they are distracted with worldly pleasures, Jesus will return and destroy them before they know what's happening (Luke 17:22–30).

The only possible way to survive is to leave behind everything the world claims will save. Jesus' followers must not be like Lot's wife: she stopped to consider all she was leaving behind. The burning sulfur God rained on Sodom covered her, as well (Genesis 19:23–26). Those who trust Jesus for their salvation must flee immediately (Luke 17:31–32).

Even then, however, physical survival is not assured. Jesus talked about this earlier. His followers must be willing to sacrifice their physical life as an act of faith. To do so proves we understand that real life—eternal, full life (Romans 6:23)—comes only through Him. Even on the cusp of the millennial kingdom, when survivors who follow Jesus will live under His rule, His followers need to be willing to give up their lives rather than to deny Him in any way (Luke 9:23–25).

The difference between the one who trusts Jesus and the one who trusts things of the world is subtle (1 Samuel 16:7). It's an interior disposition not obvious to others. Family members, neighbors, and dear friends will find themselves separated by what they trust (Luke 17:34–35). Jesus knows His own, and His own will follow Him to paradise (Matthew 25:31–46).
What is the Gospel?
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