Summary: This sermon looks at living in the light of the return of Jesus Christ. The Christian has recieved inside information what are you doing with it? Speculating or living in the light of it?
Mark:13:1-13. Living in the light of His return
I am sure we have all seen the Bond films where the hero of the hour James, that’s James Bond the hero who always saves the day. How? Well is’nt he always privy to inside information and is propley equipped
Well just like James Bond all Christians are privy to greatest inside information to fall on human ears the future destiny of this world and the people who live in it. And Oh boy has’nt he equipped us enough with the Holy Spirit Himself. So how do you spend your time as a result? Speculating or living in the light of it?
Earlier Jesus was always giving his information out to everyone, in regard to the good news, but here we have him giving out inside information only to his disciples about the future v3.
On reading this chapter we need to get the right perspective because it can be confusing. Firstly we must see that Jesus here predicts two judgements a near and a far.
• Binoculars: we need to adjust to get the right focus Near Judgement and a far off judgement.
a) The near future v1-2.
It was quite clear that the nation had rejected their Messiah and so Jesus explains the signs of the future rejection of the Messiah towards the nation of Israel and the whole world.
Firstly he predicts a series of future events firstly involving the nation of Israel and its temple. This was the third temple (Solomon, Ezra ) it was commission by Herod around 20BC, it was remodelled on the temple which had stood for nearly 500 years. It was a magnificent building (v1) and it wasn’t completely finished until 64 AD. But 40 years after Jesus spoke these prophetic words 70 AD this temple the disciples were admiring would be utterly destroyed by the Romans v2. A number of the disciples would live to see this prophecy come to fruition.
v1 here we see the importance of not putting our trust in buildings but in God alone v2 Not one stone, we must understand that true glory of God does not consist in buildings for public worship but in the faith and godliness of its members.
b) The far v 3-13 (Luke 21:55-11
The second prophetic word is to do with the distant future our present time and its in connection with his return, when he will come again to judge all the people. Here he shows us the birthing signs v8 Things that will be taking place before and at His return.
• These are the beginnings of Birthing pains and pregnancy v8
• Curiosity or concern :V9 Be on your guard (Persecution) v23 Be on your guard deceivers v33 Be on your guard (No one knows) We are to be ready living in the light of His return
Jesus warns his followers about the future events so that they could learn how to live in the light of them, not so that we can spend our time guessing when they might be fulfilled, but to help us to remain spiritually alert and prepared as we await His return.
V3 it’s interesting to note that the very Mount of Olives that Jesus is sat upon here is the very place where the prophet Zechariah 14:1-4 prophecies the Messiah’s very return.
1) In the light of His return we are called to be watchful V5
• Many people are watchful today but so often the wrong things? For instance all the soaps on TV like coronation street, The Bill, Emerdale, Eastenders.
Many Christians are under a delusion that things can get better that there are good times ahead, (if we only work together) the Lord never taught such things. We need to be realistic in our expectations. This world will never live in peace until the prince of Peace himself returns. These are sober words from our Lord because rather than expecting good times ahead, he calls us to expect tough times. V5-8. Read
• As the gaurd at Bukingham Palace is always on sentry duty a so we need to be because …..,.
a) V5. Deceivers will increase.
Throughout Church history the Church has witnessed people going of on tangents from the first century Gnostics and ascetics who infiltrated the early Church to the present day JWs. We must be always on our guard against deceivers who will want to mislead you. In the end times they will increase v21 – 23 read. Hence the confusion today upon truth
b) V7-8. Wars will increase.
It is a fact that wars are increasing today, we have always had wars but they are increasing. In fact in the 20th-21st century there has been more wars than all the centuries put together. There has been a Seismic shift between East – West relations : The rising war against so called terrorism- (Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, UK, USA, Spain, Pakistan, Turkey, Palestine) This is a religious war and it is taught in the Koran there goal is to make this world an Islamic world. And Jesus said such things as wars must happen.