2020-06-14 – Mark 13.28-37 – Ready, Set, God! (part 3)
Bible Text: Mark 13:28-37 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: Mark | 2020-06-14 – Mark 13.28-37 – Ready, Set, God! (part 3)
Greetings everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today. [Prayer]
Today, we are going to hear the last part of a three-part message called Ready, Set, God! At this point in our scripture, Jesus was visiting the temple when He proclaimed that one day the temple was going to be destroyed. The disciples then asked Him when all that would take place, and Jesus gave them, and now us, an overview of the things yet to come. Question: How valuable would it be to you if you could know your future? Or how valuable would it be if you had an App called “THIS IS YOUR LIFE” or something like that. Would you even want to know?
Thinking back to my high-school years, It would have been wonderful to have my fortune laid out for me. Something like: Your going to go into the army, get married, have children and one day become the pastor of a church in Orion, IL. That would have been awesome to know for sure. But for the most part we have to figure it all out for ourselves, we have to live it to know it. But today, Jesus is going to give us a glimpse of the future, so it might be wise for us to pay attention. For unlike us, He exists both inside and outside of that thing we call time, and His words are faithful and true indeed.
Please turn in your Bibles to Mark 13.28 of God’s Inspired, Infallible and Living Word. But let us first start with Prayer.
Last week we talked about the things that will happen during the Great Tribulation. I also previously introduced this graphic about the different times between when Jesus gave us this prophesy until today, then going forward to His eventual return. The closing verses last week spoke of that return event. So I felt it prudent to recite again those final verses to frame up our message for today. Starting at verse 24 Jesus said, 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation: The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light; 25 the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 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”. Again, that is the final act that we Christians should look forward to, because it ushers in a new beginning. Heaven and Earth restored.
Jesus then finishes His “fortune telling” prophecy with our verses today. I am first going to read our verses in their entirety. Then we will go back and break it down a little. So please read with me now these wonderful words from our Savior and Messiah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Starting at verse 28 He gives The Parable of the Fig Tree:
28 “Learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 In the same way, when you see these things happening, recognize that he is near—at the door. 30 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
32 “Now concerning that day or hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven nor the Son —but only the Father. 33 “Watch! Be alert! For you don’t know when the time is coming.
34 “It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his servants, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert. 35 Therefore be alert, since you don’t know when the master of the house is coming—whether in the evening or at midnight or at the crowing of the rooster or early in the morning. 36 Otherwise, when he comes suddenly he might find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!”
I know most of you have been with us all through this three-part series, but for those who have not, you should know this message was given to us by our Lord Jesus about His second coming. There are many verses that infer this fact, for instance 2 Thessalonians 1 says Christ is coming back to judge the ungodly. Revelation 19 says the same thing; He is coming back in judgment – crushing, devastating judgment on all the ungodly. They will be slain by sword that comes out of His mouth; that is, His Word. He will literally speak their death, and then they will be thrown into the lake of fire for all eternity. Scripture also tells us that Jesus will establish His earthly kingdom to fulfill all the promises made both in the Old and the New Testament. And in that new kingdom, Heaven on earth, Paradise restored, there will be no more weeping or gnashing of teeth. I so look forward to that eternal future with Him, and I hope you do as well.
You might recall that just prior to Jesus telling the disciples this prophesy, they witnessed just the Monday before His triumphal “Palm Sunday” entrance into Jerusalem, where they hailed Him as their Savior Messiah. However on Tuesday, Jesus attacked the Jews and cleared out the temple marketplace. Then on Wednesday He told a parable about the fact that He is going to be killed. He told them that He would die, then He would rise, and that He will return again someday to establish His rightful kingdom.
He then describes in this chapter some of the high-level details of what was going to happen. He said there will be disasters brought about because nations will make war with nations, and there will be cataclysmic natural disasters that will destroy millions upon millions of lives. And there would be much religious persecution until the day the Lord finally returns. Then He described the seven year time of tribulation we talked about last week.
That leads us up to our text today in verse 28. Jesus gives us the final application of His truth, and it starts with a parable – 28 “Learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near”. When Jesus spoke this, it was during the Passover time in April – and we know that when the leaves appear on the trees then summer is near. I love watching the leaves appear in my back yard ravine. That transformation for me is filled with wonder and it causes me to praise our awesome Creator. Then verse 29 continues: “In the same way, when you see these things happening, recognize that he is near—at the door.” You might be asking yourself, who is the “when you” in this passage? They are that group of people who are alive when these tribulation things begin to happen.
And when Jesus says “these things” He is speaking of the events He just described would take place in the time of the tribulation. The ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, when the Temple is destroyed and then the Antichrist sets up his new and destructive world order – “when you” see these things happening, recognize Jesus is also near, in fact He is right at the door.
The Lord is going to come right after that time of tribulation. Then our verse 30, says, “Truly I tell you, this generation” – that is, the generation of people who see the signs, that generation – “will certainly not pass away until all these things take place.” Those that are alive at that time will see the return of Jesus Christ.
Then verse 31 says “Heaven and earth will pass away”. Wow! let’s just stop there for a minute and dwell on the fact that Jesus is saying that our beautiful planet Earth is going to die. I don’t know about you but I love our beautiful blue planet. Although we know how amazing our world is, we also are starting to realize that it is also very fragile. There are thousands of intricate dynamics that have to be in concert with each other for our world to even sustain life. I wish I could envision what it looked like before sin, death and destruction entered into the scene.
My family and I have been going through the book of Revelation together in our daily devotions. In the chapters of Revelation 6-19, it talks about the seal judgments – every time a seal is broken, something else happens, until you get to the seventh seal. And when the seventh seal is broken by our Lord, which is effectively the sealed title and deed to the earth – out of that seventh seal comes seven trumpets, and with each blast of the trumpet by an angel, it signals a massive judgment on the earth; a holocaust of epic and unparalleled proportion.
It says our earth will be devastated; the planets, the stars, the heavenly bodies completely disoriented; and everything that we know in this world that is stable will become shaken. Heaven and earth will surely pass away. He will not only destroy the world, but the heavens as well – but not by water but by fire.
Monty Python once said, ‘We come from nothing, we are going back to nothing-In the end what have we lost? Nothing!’ God can create it, and God can destroy it.
This all kind of sounds pretty bleak doesn’t it? Keeping in mind that this message is intended for that future generation that sees the signs. But in Luke 12:40, Jesus said for us to “Be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect”. And in Matthew 25:13 it says, “Be on the alert; you don’t know the day or the hour.” However we do know the season and signs of the tribulation. And we have seen the trigger according to scripture, being the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATIONS. So we should now realize that we are perhaps that generation that is going to see His eventual return – So we must be on the alert!
We shouldn’t take these warning lightly brothers and sisters. Jesus is exploring us to get ourselves right and prepare for His return. The question is, are you ready?
At the end of the book of Revelation the author John says, “Come, Lord Jesus; come.” He’s waiting for the Lord to come, to gather Him up. And the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 1 writes that he is, “eager for the Lord’s coming.”
Jesus’s half brother James in chapter 5, verses 7 and 8 wrote: “The coming of the Lord is near.” And finally in 1 Peter 4:7, Peter says, “7 The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert and sober-minded for prayer.” These are the champions of our faith, they were eagerly waiting and expecting Jesus’s second coming even though Jesus said in our verse 32, “Of that day, or hour, no one knows”.
However that understanding hasn’t stopped people from making false predictions ever since. For instance Joseph Smith of the Mormons predicted the Lord would come again in 1832, then later changed it to the year 1890. Then there’s Ellen G. White, of the Seventh Day Adventist, who said the Lord would come in 1850; then again in 1856. Then there are the Jehovah’s Witnesses who said the Lord would come in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, ‘41, ‘75, 1990, and they’re still making up dates. Please repeat with me, “nobody knows”. Our Bible says that the angels don’t even know, and they’re even hanging around God’s throne.
Well, since we’re not going to know the day or the hour, verse 33 says, “Watch! Be alert! For you don’t know when the time is coming.” But make no mistake, the day has already been set in the Father’s plan – Acts 1:7 says, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority”. So it is fixed date in the Father’s plan. It is on His Holy Calendar, so we had better take heed, be ready and be on the alert.
And then finally in our verses today Jesus gives us another analogy. He said,
“It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his servants, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert.” Jesus invites us to be His servants. Jesus invites us to be part of the solution that would lead others to His eternal saving grace. That is the Great Commission brother and sisters. Time is short and I would argue we have much work to do.
We have the privilege to be chosen to participate in an exciting and purposeful rescue operation. Again, I truly believe that Christians will be raptured before the Great Tribulation unfolds, so we will not going through that time of destruction. However Jesus wants to take as many people as He can with us to glory before it happens. Our actions or inactions have eternal consequences brother and sisters.
Digging deep into Bible prophesy in anticipation of what the future holds is intriguing to say the least. Although we may not yet have an App called “THIS IS YOUR LIFE”. But we do have God’s Holy Word, and that is truly all we really need.
God SO loves you, SO much that He sent His one and only son Jesus to die on the cross so that we might be saved. If you haven’t done that yeat, maybe today you can make that profession.
Let us pray.
Jason Parchert: He Grew The Tree…
“Sometimes it can be difficult to see God’s plan at work. We can rest assured that He is in control though, and He is working all things for good for those who love Him. This song is evidence of that perfect plan. Even when He was forming the tree that would become the cross on which His Son would die, He knew the tree’s purpose. He knew you and me and for us He made that sacrifice. He Grew The Tree…”