Summary: Christ Jesus commands us to live on the watch expecting the day of his return and our ultimate judgment.
Mark 13: 1 – 8 Judgment Day Is Coming
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 sad 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. We know that every year the hurricane season will come. We know that we live in an area that has suffered devastation because of a hurricane. But, how many of us actually prepare before there is a storm barreling down upon us? --- We often take the same attitude about the second coming of Christ.
III. In the remainder of the 13th chapter, Mark lays out in Jesus’ words what will take place. Reading from verse 5 through 37 has caused many people to live in fear and speculation about those events.
A. Hal Lindsey, “Late Great Planet Earth,” Rev. Jim Jones in 1978, David Koresh in 1993, Heaven’s Gate cult in 1997. All looked for the coming of the Kingdom.
B. Fussing about “the last things” should never take the place of the first things of Jesus: Loving God and Loving neighbor. That is what living prepared is all about.
C. As a teacher I would tell my students to expect an oral quiz at any time. Their response was often, “you wouldn’t do that.” My response was always, “Wait, watch and be prepared.”
Conclu: Verse 5 – “Watch out that no one deceives you.” Scripture tells us the day of judgment is coming. We know neither the day nor the time. Do not be deceived. In the final verse of chapter 13 Jesus says to his disciples and to us, “What I say to you, I say to everyone: watch.”