This sermon was based on Mark 13:1-31.
Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple
1And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
Signs of the End of the Age
3And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4″Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9″But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
The Abomination of Desolation
14″But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
The Coming of the Son of Man
24″But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
The Lesson of the Fig Tree
28″From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Be on Our Gaurd
- what do we need to be on our guard against? Well when we go through times of suffering it can be easy to begin to doubt God’s love for us and his goodness to us and his promises for us. It can be easy when we’re suffering to start to think maybe God isn’t really in control, Maybe he isn’t really good, loving and caring after all. And we can start to think that maybe we’re better off without him. We need to guard ourselves against these thoughts.
- ultimately, what the gospel is saying is that even when severe suffering hits, God is still good, that He is still in control, he still loves you, he still died for you, he’s still with you and he will still come again and bring you to a place where there will be no more crying or suffering or pain.
- The way that God shows us he loves us is through Jesus, by dying for us by forgiving us for our sins, by giving us eternal life. You want to know how God feels about you…then look at the cross, look at what he went through for you.
So, let’s not be deceived and let’s be on our guard and not believe the lies when we’re experiencing suffering.
Looking at the Big Picture
- C.S Lewis: If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.
- Jesus is going to return again. We don’t know when this will happen but we know it will happen one day. The first time Jesus came to earth was in very humble circumstances.
- The 2nd time won’t be though. He will come in all his glory and majesty and he will judge the world and gather his people to himself