Summary: The movie 2012 is already causing a stir worldwide. Is 2012 the end of the world as the Mayan calendar supposedly predicts? What does God’s Word say?
2012: Don’t Be Led Astray ~ Mark 13:1-8
One of the most anticipated movies of the year opened this weekend. It’s a movie about the end of the world based on the Mayan calendar, which supposedly ends at exactly 5:11 a.m. for those of us in central time, December 21st, 2012.
I). In our Scripture lesson this morning, Jesus’ disciples were marveling about the size o the Temple and surrounding buildings.
A). Using a list of Old Testament images, Jesus begins to prophesy about coming events ~ two are actually mentioned here:
• The “Little Apocalypse” – or coming war with Rome in which the Temple and all those large impressive buildings were going to be destroyed, and,
• The “Great Apocalypse” or the end of days.
B). In both references Jesus tells His followers what to expect in the future.
II). Let’s look first at the “Little Apocalypse.”
A). In 609 B.C. the prophet Jeremiah, standing in the Temple, gives a prophecy that foretells the destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.
• Jeremiah 26:6 states, “…then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.”
• Around 1050 B.C. the Philistines destroyed the city of Shiloh (which was located about 18 miles north of Jerusalem) and captured the Ark of the Covenant.
B). Later, in Micah 3:12, Micah proclaims to the leaders in Jerusalem, “because of you, Zion shall be plowed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins.”
C). Now here in Mark 13, Jesus tells His disciples that the day is coming when “not one stone will be left on another.”
• We know today that during the Roman-Jewish war in 70 A.D. the Temple, and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed. Confirming the prophecy of the “Little Apocalypse.”
III). Now let’s look at the “Great Apocalypse”:
A). As I said earlier, Jesus is foretelling two events here.
• Biblical prophecy tends to have multiple meanings ~ one for the hearers at the time, and one for the readers in the future.
• This is true here.
B). In verse 3, Jesus and the disciples have retreated to the Mount of Olives for the evening.
• Peter, James, John and Andrew come to Jesus privately and ask Him when the destruction He had told them about earlier was going to happen.
• In verse 5 Jesus begins His answer with a very important warning: “Beware that no one leads you astray.”
IV). So what do we really watch for?
A). While the Mayan calendar is mysterious, and the movies like 2012 and those that will be coming along after it are entertaining, we need to be sure that we’re ready to separate Biblical prophecy from Hollywood fiction.
• Unfortunately, that’s not happening.
• There were reports on the news yesterday that people are already making “plans” for the date to arrive…one person wrote online that they were prepared to kill themselves rather than experience the events depicted in the movie.
B). Jesus tells Peter, James, John and Andrew that certain things must take place before He was going to return to the earth:
• False messiahs were going to rise up and deceive people.
• Wars and rumors of wars; nation against nation & kingdom against kingdom.
• Earthquakes in various places (KJV: not divers, di-verse)
C). But, Jesus says, these are just the beginning of what He calls, the “birth pains.”
V). What else do we know?
A). Jesus goes on in Mark 13 to tell us that other events must take place as well:
• The church will undergo great persecution.
• Christians will be hated “by all” Jesus says in verse 13 because of Him.
• The Temple is, once again, going to be desecrated by a false messiah.
• After that suffering, the sun will be darkened, as a result the moon also will not shine, and the stars will be falling from the sky.
B). The book of Revelation gives us more events:
• Plagues, earthquakes, hailstorms, fire, meteors (sounds like the movie), famine, drought & more!
• So why shouldn’t we be scared! Why shouldn’t we be worried?
V). Because the Bible also has the final word.
A). We have the promise of Jesus in Mark 13:13 (read)
B). We have the assurance of salvation in Mark 13:26 & 27 (read)
C). We have knowledge that no one knows the day or time in Mark 13:32 (read)
I’ll probably watch the movie 2012, most likely when it comes out on DVD. I think it looks entertaining…and a lot of fun with its’ big explosions and narrow escapes.
But as far as worrying about it ~ I’m going to put my trust in GOD rather than Hollywood. Remember the words of Jesus: “Beware that no one leads you astray.”