Summary: The closeness of Christ’s coming should cause us to walk closely with Him today.
Play Video: If Jesus Returned Today.
If Jesus came back today, would He find us faithful or faithless? The question is not when Jesus will return but what will we do before He gets here? A focus on the future will fortify our faith today.
We come to Mark 13, which contains the longest sermon of Jesus recorded in the Gospel of Mark. In this passage Jesus preaches about the end times. This makes me smile because two weeks ago we learned about the widow’s mite and established that Jesus celebrates the sacrifice of the giver, not the size of the gift. If we had advertised that money message, our attendance would probably have gone down that weekend. This week we announced on Facebook that this sermon is about the end times and I wonder if some of you came because of the topic.
I could be wrong about this because you are such a giving congregation. We haven’t even officially launched our capital campaign for our facility project and people are already asking if they can begin giving towards it. The answer is absolutely! Simply put “Building Fund” on your check or select the “Building Fund” category if you prefer to give digitally through our app or website.
This week Pastor Ed and Pastor Kyle were seen standing by the side of the road. They each held up signs that read, “The End is Near! Turn around before it’s too late!” The first driver yelled out as he sped by, “You guys are religious nut cases. Leave us alone!” From around the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splash. Ed turned to Kyle and said, “Do you think we should just put up a sign that says, ‘Bridge Out’ instead?”
There are two extremes we must avoid about the end times.
• Sensationalizing. For some the tendency is to obsess about biblical prophecy by trying to fit every news headline into a prophetic timeline. Paul cautions Christians against this in 2 Thessalonians 2:2: “Not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.” Some believers in Thessalonica had stopped working and were just waiting for the return of Christ.
• Trivializing. Others don’t think about the return of Christ at all and even roll their eyes at this important doctrine. 2 Peter 3:3-4: “Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’”
Here are some additional points before we dive in.
1. I feel a bit intimidated preaching on prophecy from this pulpit (table). Pastor Brown, Edgewood’s previous senior pastor, is well known throughout the QCA for his excellent teaching on this topic and knows a lot more about it than I do.
2. I will not be giving a full explanation of all the Bible teaches on this key doctrine. We’ll simply be walking through Mark 13, which is the next stop in our series through this glorious gospel. I encourage you to read Daniel 9-12 for an Old Testament perspective, dive into 1 Thessalonians 4 for information about the Rapture and for details about the Tribulation and the glorious return of Christ, I commend the entire Book of Revelation to you.