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Mark 13

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Verses 1-13

  1. Intro:
    1. Title: Thy Kingdom Coming
    2. Imagine the story of Cinderella ending after the Act where she enjoyed the night at the Ball
      1. It would have been a wonderful dance…but no marriage; A great night on the town…but no hope for a groom; A thrill for the present but no future.
    3. Imagine the story of God ending after the Act where we have “the birth, life, death, resurrection & ascension of Jesus, but then no talk about a future, no Return of Jesus?
      1. But we are told about the next chapter...the next Act.
      2. It’s the one page left to be turned. The one story left to be told.
    4. If we leave off His 2nd comingwe’ve had a wonderful dancebut no marriage; A great night on the townbut no hope for our groom; A thrill for the presentbut no future.
    5. God has placed w/in us an interest in the future, an awareness that life as we know it is not going to continue indefinitely. Jerry Vines, Mark, pg.249.
      1. I don’t claim to know how to unravel everything in the end times. As Chesterton said, “It is only the fool who tries to get the heavens inside his head, & not unnaturally his head bursts. The wise man is content to get his head inside the heavens.”
    1. How do we study End Times? How do we balance our theology.
    2. Some rules:
      1. We will take it literally (not allegorically).
        1. When the literal makes sense, seek no other sense. When it doesn’t (i.e. a symbol) we will use proper rules of grammar & interpretation.
        2. We will interpret it with “normal, grammatical, historical, ordinary literal sense” w/in the normal context that it is written.
      2. We will not make it a test of orthodoxy or spirituality.
      3. We will take it in the light of the rest of scripture.
      4. We will look for the practical application. It wasn’t written to satisfy curiosity.
        1. ​​​​​​​4 x’s: Take heed, watch out, take heed, watch.
      5. We will better understand present & future events.
      6. We will not hold a narcissistic & self-centered eschatology. i.e. anything that happens to America, “it must be the end”.
      7. We will not set dates.
      8. We will not be obsessed by it nor ignore it.
      9. We will note the Jewish atmosphere of the discourse. [Israel/church]
        1. We have 4 Jewish men, asked a Jewish Rabbi, about a Jewish Temple. He warned them of: false Messiah’s, referred to Jewish courts & trials, & talked about fleeing Judea. And remember this tribulation to come was called the time of Jacob’s trouble Jer.30:7.
    3. The chapter overview: The Beginning of the Tribulation (5-13); The Middle of the Tribulation (14-23); The End of the Tribulation (24-27) [See vs.8,14(Dan.12:11),24]
      1. Note: Rapture not discussed until vs.32-37.
      2. We will just take the 1st section this morning.
    5. The Stones – Some were 40’ long, 12’ high, & 18’ wide. Reckoned to be 660 tons.
    6. The Buildings – The building covered approximately 1/6th of the city.
      1. John 2:20 says Herod’s temple was already been under construction 46 years.
        1. Completed in 64ad.
      2. It was considered one of the great wonders of the Roman World.
      3. Josephus quote, “The exterior of the building wanted nothing that could astound either mind or eye. For, being covered on all sides with massive plates of gold, the sun was no sooner up than it radiated so fiery a flash that persons straining to look at it were compelled to avert their eyes, as from the solar rays. To approaching strangers it appeared from a distance like a snow-clad mountain; for all that was not overlaid with gold was of purest white.” Josephus, War, V.5.6.
    8. (2) The destruction prophesied.
      1. Jesus already gave his assessment of the temple. Jewish leaders had defiled it. Jesus departed from it & left it desolate (the ultimate failure of the know God in a personal way).
      2. The Romans destroyed it in 70 ad led by General Titus.
        1. According to the Historian Josephus, over a million people were killed, mostly through starvation; nearly 100,000 were taken captive.
    9. (3) Here we get the title of the Olivet discourse. [Note inner circle + 1]
    10. (4) Actually 3 questions we see in Mt. 24:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
      1. The questions weren’t really being asked the right way, because they still had many political overtones in their questions.
        1. e.g. in Acts 1:6 (post Res.) they were still asking, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
        2. It is like the boy asking his father, “Daddy, why does the sun shine in the daytime when we don’t need it, & not at night when we do?”
        3. That kind of question is difficult to answer, not because the answer is hard, but because the question is so wrong.
    1. ​​​​​​​Jesus’ aim wasn’t to satisfy their curiosity about the future (or ours) but to encourage their faith & help them face the challenges that lie ahead. ***
      1. ​​​​​​​A photographer has the ability to make two objects, 1 in the foreground, one in the background both come into focus.
        1. That’s what Jesus does here: w/an event in ad 70 & an event to come...The Tribulation.
    2. Take heed – Watch, keep your eyes open, evaluate, test, try the spirits, bring everything to the test.
      1. The predominate note of the age will be one of deceit & confusion.
    3. Signs of the beginning of the Tribulation (8)
      1. Don’t get these mixed up w/signs of His Coming. These are only the beg of sorrows.
    4. The signs are: Spiritual Deception; International Disruption; Physical Destruction; & Religious Discrimination.
      1. Though these have always been with us, obviously they will accelerate.
      2. So under our banner of Spiritual Deception we’re warned against False Christ’s.
    6. Pages of history are filled w/tragic stories of False Messiah’s, False Prophets, & their enthusiastic disciples.
      1. How easy it is for people to follow popular leaders w/their simple but erroneous solutions for the problems of life.
      2. 1 Jn.2:18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
      3. These anti-Christ’s are not someone who is against Christ, but who appears instead of Christ.
        1. These include the false Jesus of the cults; the false Jesus of the gurus of eastern religion; the false Jesus of liberal theologians.
        2. Their basic message is anti-Christian in that they reject the true Christ.
        3. Don’t be deceived because they use the same terms or names. Their Christ is an impostor.
    1. ​​​​​​​The Roman Empire had enjoyed a measure of peace for many years…but it wouldn’t last.
      1. They are about to move from (peace) Pax Romana to getting the ax Romana.
    2. Nation against nation...kingdom against kingdom - speaks of not a specific war or wars, but instead a general course of the age. Continual turmoil among nations. Totally sounds like our day.
    3. As the American writer, historian, philosopher Will Durant wrote, “In the last 3,421 years of recorded history only 268 have seen no war.”
    1. ​​​​​​​EARTHQUAKES
    2. You want to get away from earthquakes? The best continent to live on would be…Antarctica.
      1. Although they do have small icequakes (ice sheets shift, not land mass).
    3. To stay in America? Then try Florida & North Dakota.
    4. There have always been earthquakes but in various places means “from place to place, everywhere, here & there” (LKGNT).
      1. According to the US Geological Survey there are approximately 1,000,000 earthquakes around the world every year. Of these approximately 1/10 are large enough to be felt by humans. So on any day there will be on average 275 earthquakes around the world that can be felt.
      2. Each year in So Calif we get about 10,000 earthquakes.
    5. FAMINE
    6. Famine is an extreme scarcity of food. 1 in 8 in our world live in chronic undernourishment.
      1. Famine is often left behind in a wars wake.
      2. Famine is also caused by man’s abuse of the environment.
      3. Famine is also can be sent by God as a judgment.
    7. Famine Redefined (from Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger) quote pg.8.
    8. Does the world produce enough food to feed everyone?
      1. The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. [show mud cookies from Hinch market]
    9. BEGINNING OF SORROWS (sorrows = Lit. birth pangs)
    10. Birth pangs of course come suddenly, build gradually, & then lead to terrible sorrow.
      1. 1 Thes.5:3,4 Peace and safety! then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.
    11. So, political & geological disruption will give false prophets & false Christ’s great opportunity to deceive people.
    1. ​​​​​​​Not only were the believers to take heed & avoid deceivers…but were also to take heed to themselves.
      1. Why? Because they would face increasing opposition & persecution from 2 main sources: Official & Personal.
    2. OFFICIAL (9-11)
    3. Persecution would begin in the local Jewish courts & synagogues.
    4. But then they would move to the higher courts.
      1. Note: this happened in the book of Acts. Persecution started in the local courts: Sanhedrin & High Priest (Acts ch’s.4,5,7); Herod (12); Magistrates in Philippi (16); Felix (23); Festus (24); King Agrippa (25); all the way up to Caesar.
    5. They were to use these at opportunities to witness...for a testimony to them (9b).
      1. Persecution would only result in Proclamation.
        1. ​​​​​​​Pastor Saeed in Evan Prison in Iran, I heard has led over 30 in prison to Christ.
        2. Our friend Dan Jones in Alamos Mexico thrown into prison for 9 months? Led men to Christ & now is the only pastor allowed to go in & evangelize.
        3. Whether Paul before Agrippa; Peter & John before the Sanhedrin, or Martin Niemoller before Hitler...Persecution results in Proclamation.
      2. Tertullian to his persecutors, “We multiply whenever we are mown down by you. The blood of Christians is seed.”
    6. Of course this last century saw more Christian persecution & martyr’s then in all prior centuries…put together.
    7. (10) Gospel preached to all nations –
      1. Does this destroy the teaching of the imminent return of Christ? (i.e. He can’t return until…)
      2. If this is spoken in the midst of the beginning of the tribulation, then by the end of the tribulation I believe there will be salvations from every Tribe, Tongue & Nation.
        1. Isn’t necessary before the Rapture. See Rev.7:9,14; 14:6,7
        2. Though I don’t think that taking the gospel to all nations is a condition for our Lords return; but it is certainly Christ’s commission to His people. Will you participate?
    8. ​​​​​​​PERSONAL (12,13)
    9. Why would family members rise up against each other?
      1. We see this even today in Honor Killings.
      2. News: A man was beheaded and his girlfriend beaten to death in an "honour killing" in northern India after they eloped, police said last Thursday.
      3. Tuesday this week: A New York man has been charged with conspiring to commit the 'honor killings' of a family in Pakistan, the D.O.J. announced today.
      4. Yesterday: Indian police searched through the burnt remains of a daughter publicly burnt to death by her mother & father for having an affair.
    10. In the 1st century, to the Jew the Christian faith was looked upon as heresy; and so it will be again in the tribulation.
      1. They will be torn between their loyalty to their ancient faith & their nation, & to their family members. [Note: for My name’s sake (13)]
    11. (13) He who endures to the end shall be saved
      1. Not as a condition for salvation, for it applies to witnesses during the tribulation.
      2. During the tribulation true believers will prove their faith by their faithfulness.
    12. Someone once said, If the shoe fitswear it.
      1. We can be like Cinderella, if the gospel fitswear it; own it, live it, give it, share it.

Verses 14-37

  1. Intro:
    1. Title: Watch
    2. Remember on Thanksgiving day 2003, President Bush flew to Iraq under the cover of darkness to dine with U.S. forces at a Baghdad International Airport mess hall. Bush's surprise trip delighted troops & stunned the nation.
      1. Sometimes our Commander & Chief shares his schedule with us…other times it is Top Secret.
      2. Sometimes our Heavenly Commander & Chief shares his schedule with us…other times it is Top Secret, classified, confidential, hush-hush.
        1. When we study the End Times we notice with Israel He shares His schedule; regarding The Church it’s Classified, confidential, hush-hush.
    3. Jesus winds down the Olivet discourse with 2 parables.
      1. The 1st (28-31) emphasize knowing that His coming is near.
        1. The 2nd parable emphasizes not knowing the time of his return.
      2. The 1st seems to wrap up speaking to the tribulation folks.
        1. The 2nd to all believers of every age.
    1. The Fig Tree has special association with Israel. Mark 11:12-14
      1. The people living during the tribulation will be able to watch these things occur & will know that His coming is near.
      2. This assurance will help them endure till the end. vs.13
    2. Summer is near - and the harsh winter of the Tribulation is past.
      1. When you see signs of Spring, you know Summer is near. Here in our Valley…
      2. When you see the Strawberry stands start opening…you know summer is near. When you see Calif wild Poppy’s pop up along our 15 frwy…you know summer is near. When you see flip flops emerge out of their closets…you know summer is near.
    3. (31) My words – Wow. We’ve heard Is.40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. Hear Jesus puts His words on equal footing w/the OT Scriptures.
      1. ​​​​​​​We as believers do not depend on signs, we depend on His unchanging Word, “we have the prophetic word confirmed.”
      2. ​​​​​​​Everything wrong, everything evil will pass away, & we have the hope of a new Heaven & Earth. Where peace, justice, hope, joy, & love will have no end.
    1. ​​​​​​​Slide#11 Now we deal with the Rapture of the church.
      1. Where will you be after the rapture?
      2. See real web site for your pets to be cared for after the rapture.
    2. No one knows – So far everything has been calc’d out down to the day in dealing w/Israel.
      1. i.e. Daniel 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be 1290 days. (3 ½ yrs)
      2. Now in dealing with the church time is deliberately unspecific.
    3. Many people have speculated about the date of Christ’s return & they all have one thing in common…they have all been wrong.
      1. So we are not to look for signs but to look for Him.
      2. Remember, we are on the welcoming committee not on the planning committee.
      3. We must learn to live in the tension between...readiness for Jesus return & planning for generations to come.
    4. Please don’t use, nor fall for, the ol’ the word rapture is not in the bible.
      1. ​​​​​​​Neither is the word grandfather (KJV), yet there are grandfathers in the bible
      2. Actually it is in the Jerome’s Latin Vulgate back in 405ad.
    5. We distinguish: Christ coming for His church, & Christ coming with His saints.
      1. 1 Thes.4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (αρπαζο/arpazo) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
      2. Jude quoting Enoch said, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints. Jude14
        1. At Rapture Jesus comes for His saints. At 2nd Coming Jesus comes w/His saints
        2. At Rapture we meet Christ in the air. At 2nd Coming we return with Christ.
        3. At Rapture saints are changed. At 2nd Coming no change to saints.
        4. The Rapture is imminent. 2nd Coming proceeded by definite signs & is calculated to the day.
        5. At Rapture deals with the saved. At 2nd Coming deals with the saved & unsaved
        6. At Rapture Satan is not bound. At 2nd Coming Satan is bound.
        7. At Rapture the world is not changed. At 2nd Coming the world is radically changed
        8. The Rapture no one sees Jesus. The 2nd Coming all will see Him.
    6. TAKE HEED [Watch; Pray; Work]
    7. Take heed to yourselves – Be on your guard. Don’t get lazy. Don’t give up. Don’t cave in.
      1. But can you give me a few things Jesus that You’d warning us against?
        1. Ok, in Luke 21 Jesus gave us on your guard. Don’t let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it’s going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. Lk.21:34-36 Msg
    8. WATCH
    9. The Pony Express. This historically famous mail service between St. Joseph, Missouri, and California depended on constant movement and readiness. Relay stations were established every 10-15 miles. A rider would shout aloud as he approached a station, giving the station master very short notice that he needed to be outside waiting with a fresh mount. Even when a rider came to the station where he was to spend the night, another rider was already mounted and waiting, ready to grab the first rider’s bundle of packages and continue the trip. The completion of the transcontinental telegraph system rendered the Pony Express obsolete after just 18 months. But we have this service’s intriguing example of what it means to be ever watchful. (Today in the Word, December, 1997, p. 17)
    10. Watch – Main practical thought for this chapter is that of watchfulness (33,34,35,37)
      1. 1st watch is diff from the other 3. ἀγρυπνέω (agripneo) be sleepless.
      2. (other 3) The English name Gregory comes from this word γρηγορέω grēgoreō meaning be awake; be alert; be alive.
      3. Why must we be alert? – The Christian is to be ready for Christ’s unpredictable return all the time.
      4. In Greek mythology there is a monster named Argus who had a 100 eyes, & only 2 of which were said to sleep at once. [Argus-eyed = Extremely observant; vigilant]
        1. Argus Panoptes was a giant with 100 eyes. He was thus a very effective watchman, as only a few of the eyes would sleep at a time; there were always eyes still awake. Argus was Hera’s servant. To free Io[ee-oh], Zeus had Argus slain by Hermes. Hermes, disguised as a shepherd, first put all of Argus's eyes asleep with boring stories. To commemorate her faithful watchman, Hera had the hundred eyes of Argus preserved forever, in a peacock's tail.
      5. He will come suddenly, unexpectedly, but unmistakably.
      6. Note: He said, keep watch not keep predicting. [please don’t predict, because then He can’t come on that day]
      7. Even Jesus didn’t predict his return while on earth.
        1. Explain Jewish wedding
    11. Dr. Horatius Bonar (Scottish hymn writer,1800’s, served the Lord for 60 yrs.) when he’d draw the curtains at night, would say, “Perhaps Tonight Lord!” Also, in the morning he’d draw open the shades & see the new day & say, “Perhaps Today Lord!”
    12. When Kelly was away at college in S.D. for a semester when we were dating, oh how I anticipated her return. Wives waiting for their husbands to return from Afghanistan [Emily/Colin].
    13. PRAY
    14. This word for prayer is the attitude of the soul in worship, not nec asking for something.
      1. It’s prostration of soul in the presence of God.
      2. It’s the yearning of the desiring soul forward toward God.
      3. It’s the Psalmist cry, my soul followeth hard after Thee. Ps.63:8 [or my soul follows close behind You; or my soul clings to You]
      4. Watching is the sleepless vigil of the God-desiring soul. G. Campbell Morgan
    15. WORK
    16. This parable warns all of us today. (see vs.37 note the word all)
      1. Like the householder, before our Lord went from us back to heaven, He gave each of us work to do.
      2. As a parent how do you feel when you left things for your kids to do before you got home…you arrive home & they aren’t done?
      3. He expects us to be faithful while He is gone & to be working when He returns.
      4. The teachings on the return of Christ is not to excite our imagination, but to challenge the way we live here & now.
        1. It should spur us to live holy lives & to be actively involved in service & evangelism.’
        2. And as James Gray said, Who can mind the journey when the road leads home?
    17. End: Back to that Secret Mission Thanksgiving dinner - With the president standing out of sight, L. Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. civilian administrator, told the soldiers it was time to read the president's Thanksgiving proclamation and that it was a task for the most senior official present. Then asked, "Is there anybody back there more senior than us?"
      1. ​​​​​​​That was the cue for Bush, who promptly stepped forward from behind a curtain, setting off pandemonium among the troops. The Commander in Chief, President Bushes 1st words at the mic were, "I was just looking for a warm meal somewhere," Then said, "I can't think of finer folks to have Thanksgiving dinner with than you all."
        1. Oh what a Thanksgiving dinner Our Heavenly Commander in Chief Jesus has prepared for us, at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
        2. He might even say “I can't think of finer folks to have Thanksgiving dinner with than you all”. How will your heart react if it’s today?
    18. When you see signs of end times you know His Coming is near.
      1. Watch everything & watching it, see God, & know that the Kingdom is ever near. (G.Campbell Morgan)
        1. His kingdom is already; His kingdom is not yet; His kingdom is always advancing.
        2. We ARE a day closer to His soon!
    19. There’s a minnow-like fish called Four eyes(anableps), which makes his home in Central and South America. What’s unusual about him is his large, bulging eyes. They are so situated on his head that he can spend his time cruising along the water with only the upper half of each eye above the surface. The top half has an air lens and the bottom half has a water lens, which amounts to a set of bifocals, giving him the ability to see in both the upper and under world. Slide#30blank
    20. Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Mark 13". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.