Mark Series- Session 11: Responding to the Second Coming

Mark Series Header

Mark 13:24-37

Discussion Question– What summer plans or events are you most anticipating?

Every believer can respond to the reality of the second coming by recognizing four components to Jesus’s teaching about His return.

Component #1- Chaos (v.1-25, 24-25)
Mar 13:24-25
(24) But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
• “in those days”-
o Jesus started this teaching in response to the disciples
 1. Mentioning of the temple in verses 1-3 and
 2. Asking when that destruction of the temple would be.
o He uses this term in verses 17, 19 and 24 to speak about the times he is describing, sometime in the future.
o Some of the qualities he says about this time in verses 1-23
 False teaching (v.5-6)
 False Christ’s (v.5-6, 22)
 Wars (v.7-8)
 Earthquakes (v.8)
 Persecution (v.9)
 Gospel proclamation expanded (v.10)
 Betrayal (V.12-13)
 Abomination of Desolation spoken of in Daniel (v.14)
 Unprecedented affliction (v.19)
 False prophets (v.22)
(25) And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
 Sun moon and stars will be darkened (v. 24-25)
• It will be a time of unprecedented chaos.
• And in the midst of this chaos the world will see hope and wrath all in one moment…

Component #2- Coming (v.26-27)

Mar 13:26-27
(26) And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
(27) And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
• Against the backdrop of chaos, war, spiritual wickedness and confusion we see Christ coming and conquering.
• It’s the story all others stories are pointing to. The hero comes to save the day. Why does this resonate with us? Because we long for all that is wrong to be made right. We long for justice. We long for resolution, and yet we realize that we are part of the dissonance.
• And Christ who was sacrificed, dead, is risen…and here He comes again!
• From the song, “In the Night”

And I can see the Son of Man descending
And the sword he swings is brighter than the dawn
And the gates of hell will never stand against him
And in the night, in the night, in the night my hope lives on!

• Here is some good news- We come with him. V. 27 says we’ll be gathered with him in His coming- those who have been redeemed. If you know Christ as Savior you will be on the right and winning side.
• Believers will be drawn from all over the world and in heaven.

Now let’s recognize the 3rd component of the teaching on Jesus’ return…

Component #3- Confirmation (v.28-31)

Mar 13:28-31
(28) Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
• The fig tree was the plant in that area of the world with the most visible evidence to the season of the year.
• This was an agrarian culture, and so they would have been a lot more familiar with plant life and working than we are.
• But even we understand that leaves come to full fruition, and fruit is being born out during the summer. Winter is death, Spring is new life, Summer brings growth, and fall becomes the time for harvest.
(29) So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
• When you see all that is described in verses 1-25, know that verse 26-27 are soon to come.
• How soon?
(30) Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
• How long is a generation? One lifetime? 60-70, 100 years?
• In the grand scheme of history and eternity, it’s not long.
• And then he gives this assurance…
(31) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
• Essentially, this prophecy is more long lasting and sure than the very earth that you are standing on.
• You can take my words to the bank.

This leads us to recognize the 4th component of the teaching on Jesus’ return…Our response…

Component #4- Commands (v.32-37)

Mar 13:32-37
(32) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
• The exact time is known only by the Father.
• Some believe that this is still true. Some believe it was true at the time that Jesus stated it.
• Now that Jesus has returned bodily to heaven does he know the exact time? Absolutely.
• The point is, for sure, we don’t know.
• There have been many who have tried to predict when Christ would come.
• Radio evangelist Harold Camping was so certain that the Rapture would occur on May 21, 2011 that he staked his entire reputation on it. His company, Family Radio, spent more than $5,000,000 on 5,000 billboards announcing the date and a media frenzy followed.
• A group I really enjoy wrote a song about the guy who did this… called “The 21st of May”

It’s time to bid this whole world goodbye
Oh, glory, time to fly away
We’ll meet our savior in the sky
Hallelujah, the 21st of May
Well, I’ve never been so sure
And I’ve never led no one astray
‘Cept in the fall of ’94
But Hallelujah, the 21st of May

• Unfortunately people trying to predict have made the return of Christ a mockery.
• But be sure…
(33) Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
• Just because you don’t know when He’s coming back doesn’t mean that he’s not coming back.
• Then an illustration…
• What are the 2 commands?
o Watch
o Pray…
• Illustration…
(34) For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
(35) Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
(36) Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
(37) And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
• Watch!
• Pray!

Discussion Questions:
1. As the chaos in the world “in those days” is described by Jesus, do you see any relation to that time and our time today? Explain.
2. What kind of response does Jesus return bring to the following people?
• An unbeliever?
• An immature believer?
• A spiritually mature believer?
3. 2 Commands were explicitly stated – watch and pray. What does each of these commands look like in your life this week?
4. Prayer Requests

Family Devotions and Discussions

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5 Excuses for Not Answering God’s Call (Session 1 – Exodus 3:4-14; 4:13-16)

God could have rescued the Israelites from Egypt without Moses’ help. But He chose to do it through Moses. Appearing to Moses at the burning bush, the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my p…

Source: 5 Excuses for Not Answering God’s Call (Session 1 – Exodus 3:4-14; 4:13-16)

The Joy of a Promise Kept- Genesis 21

genesis_01

The Joy of a Promise Fulfilled (Grace)

Genesis 21:1-21, Galatians 4:21-31

Connection:

  • Have you ever been promised something and it didn’t come to pass?
  • If you can’t think of a circumstance where that has happened in your life I’ll just give you one word and then you’ll know it has- Politicians!
  • As parents, sometimes our kids take things as promises and you have to be careful because they don’t understand time the way we do.
    • Melana and Cinderella’s castle.  “Dear God, Please let daddy take me to Cinderella’s castle tomorrow.  In Jesus Name, Amen”.  Every day for a week… 🙂

Tension:

  • We all hate when a promise is made and it isn’t fulfilled.
  • In Genesis 21 we see Abraham and Sarah experiencing the fulfilled promise of God.

Truth:

Now to review, let’s look at the promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-4:

1Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:2and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:3and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.4So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. (Genesis 12:1-4)

Now, check out when the promise was fulfilled:

Genesis 21:1-7
1And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.2For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.3And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.  4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.5And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

  • Now, to get a sense of the background of this text you have to understand a couple of things.
  • 1.  This was the fulfillment of God’s Promise.
  • 2.  This was the fulfillment of God’s Promise to Abraham 25 years ago.
    • Imagine believing that you’re about to have a son since 1990.
    • Now imagine living in a culture where you not only have to deal with the emotional pain of not being able to have kids, but the social stigma of being a women in an eastern, ancient culture who has to deal with the shame of not having  a child.
    • Now imagine having told people for 25 years that you’re going to have a child.
    • Also, think about the fact that when you first receive this promise your husband is 75.
    • Born in 1915. Promised in 1990.  Promise fulfilled in 2015.
  • Now, inbetween when the promise was made (1990) and when the promise was fulfilled (2015) Abraham and Sarah got a little impatient.
  • So they tried to help God out- (Hagar and Ishmael).

8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned.9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is.18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.20And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt. (Genesis 21:1-21)

  • Ok- interesting story, Ben- but what does this have to do with my life right now.
  • Check this out:

Now:  Look at Galatians 4:21-31

21Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

  • Background of Galatians- Jesus + Law= Grace
  • Jesus + Circumcision etc.etc.
  • So Paul is about to give an illustration, but it’s more than an illustration.  God actually ordained circumstances so that he could later use it to teach us about the law and the promise.

22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.23But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.24Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.27 For it is written,
Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not;
Break forth and cry, thou that travailest not:
For the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.29But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. (Galatians 4:1-31)

 

Law Promise (Grace)
Hagar (Bondwoman) Sarah (Free-woman)
Old Covenant New Covenant
Mount Sinai Jerusalem
Ishmael- After the Flesh Isaac- Miracle of God
Persecutor Persecuted

Now- Go back to Genesis 21 and let’s look at what the scripture says:
Genesis 21:6

6And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

  • Just like Sarah experienced the joy of a son and God keeping his promise, we experience the joy of the Lord through the grace of God in His keeping His salvation promise to us.

Application:

  1. There are two ways people try to get to heaven:  By works or by Grace.  The only way you’re going to make it is by the grace of God.
  2. Those of us who know God’s grace through salvation through Jesus Christ should experience the joy of being in Christ.
  3. We should desire for other people to experience God’s grace through Jesus Christ.

Devotional: Dealing With Your Past

Devotion for January 17, 2014

Dealing-with-your-past-headWhat’s your favorite memory? Maybe it was when your kids were born. Maybe it was when you got married? There are some memories in a really good to remember!

Have you ever known someone that lives completely in the past? Maybe you’ve met the 50-year-old high school quarterback who talks about the glory days when they won the championship. We’ve all talked to the person who has becoming bitter because of what happened years ago. Some people live in the past by playing the “what if game” and trying to make it different than what it is.

  • What if I took that job…
  • What if I never would’ve gone on that date…
  • What if we had had more kids…. Or less kids….

This even happens to us our spiritual lives. For some people their best times spiritually are in the rearview mirror and not in front of them..

How does this happen? And what we do about it?

The Bible addresses this topic in such a relevant way and here is why you need to know what it says about dealing with your past:

  1. There is a lot of time that can be wasted by dwelling on the past.
  2. Often we can sacrifice our present and our future because of our focus on the past.

Here Paul gives us the key to making the most of our lives in by dealing with our past.

Philippians 3:4-14

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Here Paul presents his resume before Christ and apart from Christ. Before Paul was saved he really believed that he had something to offer God. If Judaism and keeping the law wsa the way to get right with God, Paul would’ve been the man.

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

The word “gain” here speaks of the things that I value and hold up to God as something to be held on to and identified by.

What are some things you value? Money, relationships, technology, hobbies.

Paul says he counts, or accounts, those things as loss- things that should be able to be given up for something better.
● What does Paul say he is willing to give up the things he values?

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

The most valuable thing that you and I have is the opportunity to know and be known by Jesus Christ.

The word count here has this idea of reckoning or accounting or setting a value in one’s heart and mind. Paul says, I have decided to see the difference between the value of the things that I valued outside of Christ and knowing Christ himself.

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The reason we live in the past is because we have begun to value something other than knowing and being known by Christ.

The problem is when we think we have arrived. We think that we have somehow finished the race. But if you’re alive you still have something to do somewhere to go in a relationship with Jesus.

Application:
At the last house I lived at we had a canal in the back behind our yard.. Usually to see the water you have to go all the way to the edge. Last summer we got so much rain I could stand in my house and see the water. After the water began to recede you could go out to the back of my house see a high watermark-a place where the water got to but no longer is.

I use that as an illustration to say this:

When it comes to your relationship with Jesus, Are you at a high watermark in your intimacy and relationship with Jesus Christ?

If you are not, what are you valuing more than that?

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: