Summary: We should have no regrets or fears when Christ returns if we are living as faithful disciples.
Mark 13: 1 – 8 / Don’t Be Alarmed
Intro: A young lady busied herself getting ready for a blind date. Dinner at an exclusive restaurant with live music and dancing. She went out to have her hair done, did her makeup, put on her best dress and was ready for her date’s arrival. His expected arrival time came and went. After waiting an hour, she decided she was stood up. She took of her dress, let down her hair, put on her pajamas, gathered her favorite junk food and sat down to watch TV. About an hour later there was a knock at the door. It was her date. He looked at her with a surprised expression and said, “What? I gave you an extra two hours and you’re still not ready to go!”
I. The disciples said, “Do you see all these great building? --- Jesus answered, Not one stone here will be left on another, every one will be thrown down.
A. The temple was huge – The smallest stones weighed between 2 to 3 tons. Many stones weighed 50 tons. They were so immense that no mortar was used between the stones. Their weight would ensure the stability of the walls. Inside the walls was 45 acres that could hold 250,000 people at one time.
B. The destruction of something that massive seemed highly unlikely. Today, with a few well-placed charges of dynamite, it wouldn’t be difficult. But then, it was unthinkable that “every stone would be thrown down.”
C. The Jews thought something this huge and magnificent would last forever. We also take pride in what we have built and think it will last forever. --- Who would ever believe that two huge buildings could be knocked to the ground in minutes? Yet on 9/11 they were.
II. Verse 4 – “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to be fulfilled?”
A. Did the disciples want to know when so they could avoid the destruction, run and hide? Did they think knowing the “signs” would enable them time to get God to change His mind by bargaining with God?
B. “Fore-warned is fore-armed.” --- Is it, really? We have been told time and again that we are living in the end of times. Whether we are or not, one thing we know. TODAY WE ARE ONE DAY CLOSER THAN WE WERE YESTERDAY! But are we prepared? Though we expect the end to come and know it surely will, do we prepare?
C. Do you remember Y2K? No one knew what would happen to computers when the century mark turned from 19 to 20. --- There has never been a shortage of end-of-the-world scenarios! Global warming / nuclear winter / Nostradamus / the list goes on and on.
III. VSS. 7 & 8 – when we look at our world and the events taking place, we begin to wonder, are we living in the end times? Three Greek words are found in the Bible that refer to the return of Jesus.
A. Parousia – implies and actual physical presence. When Christ returns there will be no mistake or misunderstanding. He will be visibly and tangibly present in this world.
B. Epiphaneia – refers to the events surrounding the appearance of Christ. It will be a decisive and incisive intervention into history. It will be visibly splendid and glorious and it will shatter the world system as we know it and replace it with his kingdom of righteousness. It will not be quiet and unobtrusive.
C. Apokalypsis – to disclose or bring to the light. It will be the fulfillment of our faith, a wonderful unveiling of truth / disastrous for unbelievers. All the sins of the world will be disclosed and brought to light.
Conclu: For the movie Ben Hur, Charlton Heston had to learn to drive a chariot with four horses. After many weeks of lessons, Heston said, “I think I can drive the chariot all right; but, I’m not sure I can actually win the race. The director responded, “You just stay in the race and I’ll make sure you win.” -- That is exactly what Jesus expects us to do no matter what happens in our lifetime. VS. 7 – When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. . . As long as we are with Christ Jesus, we will win the race of life.