Mark 13:9-13 "The Olivet Discourse: The Tribulation"

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The Olivet Discourse: Jesus' teaching on the end times.

Good Morning Calvary Chapel Lake City!
For all of you just coming off the Prophecy Conference…
This is a Prophecy packed weekend for you because we are continuing today in The Olivet Discourse.
Let’s open our Bibles to Mark 13. Mark 13:9-13 today.
We find ourselves in Wednesday of the Passover week… just 2 days prior to Jesus’ crucifixion…
The day commonly known as “Good Friday”…
Which just happens to be this upcoming Friday in our calendar year of 2024.
The day prior… Jesus had a number of confrontations with various religious and civil leaders of Israel…
Which set up some amazing teachings to a multitude of Jews gathered for Passover…
After this… Jesus and His disciples departed the temple and the disciples pointed out the large stones and adornments of the Temple…
To which Jesus responded, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Which was prophetically fulfilled in 70 A.D.
Then they walked over the the Mount of Olives… a 30 minutes walk…
And, you can imagine how their minds were racing… pondering Jesus’ statements.
Then Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately… “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Questions designed to attempt to understand when Jesus would usher in the Kingdom Age…
The promised time when Messiah would set up His kingdom on earth… and bring peace for Israel… and freedom from oppression.
Jews longed for this glorious promise… but misunderstood God’s timing.
So, from the Mount of Olives, Jesus answers in a teaching known as “The Olivet Discourse.”
This is Jesus’ 2nd longest teaching… and His longest teaching in response to a direct question.
Soon Jesus would be going away… and for a long time…
And, if you knew you were leaving your family behind… what would you share with them? What final instructions?…
This is the Olivet Discourse. Where Jesus looks out to the End Times… and instructs Israel on what’s to come… and to be ready for His return.
If you missed last week, check out the sermon on our app to get caught up…
We discussed our position of regarding eschatology… pre-trib, pre-mill, futurist, dispensational…
And, a general overview about prophecy… which encompasses about 1/3 of Scripture.
Which really is intended to comfort us, to bless us, and prepare us for things to come…
And, whiles Christians vary on their interpretation of End Times and The Olivet Discourse…
Fear not… today we are only teaching the correct interpretation…
Of course, if you see it different… that’s ok… we can still be friends…
Where most Christians agree in eschatology is Jesus is coming back… and time is short
Thus, our lives should reflect this belief…
End Times should reinforce… How we live… what we say… what we don’t say…
And, we should feel a sense of urgency to share the Gospel… because time is short.
Today, we pick up in V9… continuing to look at General signs about the Tribulation…
Our message today is titled, “The Olivet Discourse: The Tribulation.”
Let’s Pray!
In reverence for God’s word, please stand as I read our passage.
Mark 13:9-13 “But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Praise God for His word! Please be seated.
Last week we read vv 5-8 which Jesus called “The Beginnings of Sorrows”… which lit. translates as “Birth Pangs”…
And, just as contractions prior to child birth increase in intensity and frequency… God’s wrath with the seals, trumpets, and bowl judgments will do the same.
Also… of significance… in V5 Jesus warned “Take heed that no one deceives you.”
Which sets the tone for the 7-year Tribulation… it will be a time of great deception… and it starts with the unveiling of Antichrist…
I want to take a moment to understand this figure of the Anti-Christ… and how powerful deception is… and the difference between antichrists… plural and THE Antichrist.
Understanding this character is important to understand key elements of the Tribulation…
Like deception… and the persecution of the saints… the abomination of desolation… and so forth…
Today… We live in an age of deception… and much of that deception comes from whom the Bible calls “antichrists.”
John in 1 Jn 2:18 wrote, “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming [Big “A” Antichrist], even now many antichrists [Little “a”] have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.”
Throughout the Church Age (the time in which we live… which began at Acts 2/ Pentecost… and ends at the rapture)...
there have been many antichrists…
Which by def. simply means… “one who opposes Christ”… that’s an antichrist..
The last days of the Church Age will be marked by many false teachers and opponents of Christ…
1 Jn 2:22 defines antichrist this way… “Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.”
An antichrist is a liar because they deny Jesus is Messiah.
Therefore they also deny the Father because Jesus and He are One.
I think about the Father’s words at Jesus’ baptism, “This is My beloved Son, in who I am well pleased.”
The Father spoke audibly from heaven… and the Pharisees would still deny Christ.
And, it’s in part because of deception…
1 Jn 4:3 states… “...every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
Antichrists… plural… speaking about false teachers in John’s context… walk among us…
And, they are crafty… wolves in sheep's clothing… some are even mega Pastors and are deceiving many…
This past September, one mega-Pastor said, “Christians need to “unhitch” from the mores of the Old Testament...”
To distance himself from Biblical standards dealing with homosexuality… because he Pastors an LGBTQ affirming church.
From one side of his mouth he affirms people living in open defiance of God’s word… and from the other side of his mouth he has said “we are not condoning sin.”
And, man is he popular amongst Christians… mega church… over 23,000 people attend… and his global reach stretches far wider.
Anyone know who I’m talking about…? Andy Stanley.
People love him… and his smooth words… which are deceptive.
And, that’s the thing about deception… it tastes smooth going down.
Paul exhorted in 2 Tim 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
This scripture is fulfilled in our day.
In Oct 2023, Andy Stanley preached, “… people are leaving Christianity unnecessarily. … people resist the Christian faith because they can’t find Jesus in the midst of all the theology and all the other complexity that gets blobbed on to the message.”
And, while many won’t endure sound doctrine… and have itching ears…
… that doesn’t justify throwing theology out the window…
“People aren’t responding to the OT… so let’s get ride of it…”
“People don’t like the Rom 1, so let’s get rid of it…”
“People don’t like messages about sin, hell, and being accountable… so lets redefine biblical truth.”
Unhitching from the OT… and denying the inerrancy of scripture is literally the oldest trick in the book…
“Did God really say...” (Gen 3:1)
Listen to me… if a teacher today is in harmony with the mindset of Satan… they’re an antichrist.
They’re a false teacher. And, if you allow them your head space, you’re in danger of being deceived.
James said there is a “stricter judgment” for teachers.
Teaching the Word of Truth should not be taken lightly…
We don’t compromise the Word… by adding to or taking away… just because of popular vote.
Antichrists are many in our day…
Now… I don’t think they have business cards with that title…
I think many of them feel justified in their position… I imagine Andy Stanley feels he is doing Christianity a favor.
I think most antichrists probably aren’t even aware that they carry that title.
And yet they act in the spirit of antichrist… they deceive… and they oppose… and in God’s mind… they’re an antichrist.
A little “a” antichrist… not to be confused with THE Antichrist… a far greater deceiver.
Still yet future… beginning in the End Times.... there will be ONE… the “Big A” Antichrist… one who will be empowered by Satan himself… who will usher in the Tribulation…
One who holds the office of Antichrist.
Unveiled as the white horse rider of the first seal judgment in Rev 6
He will deceive by working miracles… just imagine how many will line up to worship him.
2 Thes 2:9 states “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders…”
And, when he is revealed, he will sign a peace treaty with Israel… a covenant…
Dan 9:27 “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.”
It will not be a lasting covenant, for Antichrist will break the treaty at the mid-point of the tribulation… commit the “abomination of desolation” in V14… and will turn hostile toward Israel.
Antichrist will become the worldwide ruler.
Go back and Read Rev chapter 13. It’s eye opening.
Rev 13:7 states, “… authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
All unbelievers will worship him.
And, those who won’t take his mark or worship the image of the beast… he will lead into captivity or kill.
It’s crazy, but Jews today are waiting for the man who will bring peace in the Middle East… that’s their anticipated messiah.
And, Antichrist will bring the peace covenant and deceive them.
In part because he will be a charismatic orator… he will win many over with his speeches.
Rev 13:5 says “… he was given a mouth speaking great things...”
Israel has the Scriptures… they have Daniel… so how is it that they will not believe? How is it that Israel will be deceived and the world will accept Antichrist?
2 Thes 2:10-11 gives this reason, “...because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie...”
The context is the Antichrist and his lying wonders and unrighteous deception…
And, because unbelievers refuse to accept the truth of Jesus Christ and His free gift of salvation…
Because they shut God out… and want to believe the lie… God gives them what they want… and sends them a strong delusion to believe the lie they want to believe.
They will miss the rapture, and many of them will take the mark of the beast.
Hopefully, the Tribulation will wake some of them up… to repent and turn to God.
The deception of antichrists in general today… and the massive deception of the still yet future Antichrist… will lead many astray.
Many people today… and much of the world in the future… will be duped… Don’t be one of them.
Know the word of God…
Deceivers smoothly whisper “Did God really say?”
Know the truth, so you don’t fall for the lie.
Now that we have a better picture of this key player in the Tribulation… the antichrist… Let’s now re-focus on vv 9-13…
As we look at these verses don’t get confused and read the lives of the apostles or the present church age into these verses…
These verses are predictive to the future time of Daniel’s 70th Week… the Tribulation…
Jesus is addressing His disciples in these verses, but speaking forth to the Nation of Israel.
Dr. J.B. Hixson put it this way, “Historically speaking… as Jesus was giving this message, Jesus was speaking corporately to the nation of Israel, and specifically to the disciples as members of the believing remnant.”
And, what Jesus does here is consistent with prophets of old.
Prophets often spoke to a current generation as representative of a future generation.
The prophetic “near and far.”
Jesus tells them in V9… “watch out for yourselves...” Why?
“… for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues.”
During the Tribulation… persecution against the Jews will increase… especially during the final 3.5 years when Antichrist persecutes the Jews.
Councils is the same word for “Sanhedrin”… and there was the Great Sanhedrin… the Supreme Court for the Jews, but also this could simply represent local governing assemblies.
The faithful during the tribulation will be on trial… not for civil criminal activities, but persecution for their connection to the Christ.
And, wrongfully they will be beaten in synagogues… an unmistakably Jewish setting…
“Beaten” or “flogged” in some translations is the Gk word is derō which means “to skin, to thrash, to flay” by implication “to scourge.”
The Roman scourge was a flail with a rope that had metal balls, bones, and metal spikes on the end.
And, it’s difficult to imagine this practice re-surging in the Tribulation in Israel.
After Israel was refounded as a nation in 1948… just two years later in 1950 they abolished the practice of flogging.
And, perhaps you’re thinking, “That’s crazy… I can’t believe that practice was still legal in 1950 in Israel. How barbaric!”
Well… In the United States the last recording floggings were carried out in 1952… in the state of Delaware.
And, Delaware didn’t even abolish the practice until 1972!
Since 1847, Delaware’s state motto has been “Liberty and Independence.”
I bet some of those being whipped in 1952 weren’t feeling that liberty…
In about 33 countries today… flogging still exists… mostly Asian, African, and Middle Eastern countries…
I spared you the images, but you can Google Search “public floggings”… and many of the pictures are blurred out…
Stating “This image may contain explicit content. SafeSearch blurring is on.”
Because it’s a barbaric practice… and Jesus warns that in the years leading up to His return…
Faithful Jews… and I imagine tribulation saints… the one’s who get saved during the tribulation (not the church who is raptured), but “martyred saints” will experience this level of brutality.
Rev 7 described two distinct groups of faithful believers during the tribulation…
First 144,000 Jews… clearly from the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Clearly NOT Jehovah’s Witnesses…
And, the second group is a Gentile group… more then 144,000…
Rev 7:9 describes them as “a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes...”
Rev 6:9 stated they “… had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.”
In another heavenly vision in Rev 20:4 John wrote, “Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
During the Tribulation there will a massive number of people who come to Christ…
I imagine some who were those left behind after the rapture… who had been witnessed to, but never believed.
Some by way of the witness of the 144,000 Jews…
I imagine some will get saved simply by reading the word of God… and see how the Tribulation lines up with Scripture… they’ll be able to make sense of the times… and read the good news of Jesus Christ.
My Uncle got saved by reading the Bible. He actually got saved out of Mormonism by reading his Bible… and then in 1998 led me to the Lord.
The Bible is a powerful tool.
On top of all that… Rev 14:6 declares there will be an “… angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people… ”
That angel commands reverence and worship to God.
Can you imagine? Seeing and hearing an angel flying around the world preaching the Gospel?
No more will people question God’s justice because of tribal people who haven’t heard the Gospel.
All the various languages in the world… and everyone will understand.
Don’t think that just because the church is gone… God’s plan of salvation will end…
God will extend every final chance to the people of earth to hear the Gospel and get saved…
And with all of the people who are saved during the Tribulation… but especially to the faithful Jews… Mark 13:9-10 continues, “You will be brought before rulers [or Governors] and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.”
God has used His people to stand before and witness to civil authorities… and He will continue to use His people as a witness in the Tribulation.
For the purpose of preaching the gospel to all the nations as V10 explains.
Nations… in Gk. is ethnos… which speaks of the distinct races of Gentiles separate from Israel.
This is not implying the gospel must be preached to all nations prior to the rapture… or to bring Jesus back… the Bible doesn’t support this thought… Christ could come at anytime…
And, I hope the whole world has the gospel at that time… through the work of faithful missionaries…
Or however God sees fit to proclaim the Gospel…
But, during the tribulation, God will ensure the whole world without a doubt will hear the Gospel before He returns…
And, He will do this through a variety of ways… the witness of one person to another and the angel who flies around the earth proclaiming the Gospel.
In the OT and in Jesus’ day, the Jews were always supposed to be a light in the world to the Gentiles, and they failed miserably…
But, during the tribulation… after the church is raptured… those 144,000 Jews I mentioned earlier from Rev 7… they will have the opportunity to be the light of the world to the Gentiles…
And this time the Jews will get it right.
After the Tribulation… during the millenium we read this in Zech 8:23 ‘In those days [contextually from the passage… the millenium… the 1000 years after the Tribulation where Jesus returns and visibly rules on earth… In those days…] ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ’ ”
God is not done with Israel. In that passage… the nations… Heb. “goy” the word Jews still use for Gentiles today…
Gentiles will cling to Jews in the Millennium… to go to Jerusalem in worship of God.
What a beautiful picture!
My prayer is the Lord would do that again in our day. I’m looking forward to a little R or R.
NOT R & R… rest & relaxation.
But R or R… rapture or revival.
Jesus is coming back… my hope is for one more great revival before rapture, but I’d take either one.
This picture… in V9… of God using His people to stand before civil leader as a testimony of Him… this should not appear foreign to you…
We have several powerful moments in the Book of Acts where Peter and Paul stood before either the Jewish council… or Roman Leaders like Herod Agrippa… and testified of Jesus Christ before them.
Jesus Himself said of Paul, “… he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.” (Acts 9:15)
And, again… here in Mark… speaking of the Tribulation… it’s clear God will continue to work through the faithful remnant… to be a bold witness… “as a testimony to them.”
The word “testimony” derives from the Gk. word “martus”… where we get our English word “martyr” from.
And, indeed that would be many of their ends.
Notice in V9 how Jesus also says “for My sake”… They will not stand before the civil authorities for their own cause, but for the sake of Jesus Christ and His glory.
These words “for My sake” should remind you of the Beatitudes in Matt 5:11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”
In the present Church Age… and in the End Times during the Tribulation…
There will be those who stand before the civil authorities to testify of the name of Jesus… to be a witness for Him… and while they may face persecution… or even a physical end of martyrdom…
They are promised blessing… theirs is the kingdom of heaven… and they will be rewarded at the Bema Seat of Christ.
Matt 5:12 promises “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven...”
In V11, Jesus provides comfort for the faithful remnant during the Tribulation… V11 again reads, “But when they arrest you and deliver you up [or as some translations read “brought to trial”] , do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”
Now what V11 is NOT… is a justification for ministers to wing it when preaching.
“I don’t have to study and prepare a sermon… the Holy Spirit will give me what to speak.”
That’s not spiritual… that’s laziness.
The context and promise of this verse is for martyrs, not ministers.
Jesus said very similar words to His disciples to prepare them for persecution…
We read in Luke 12:11-12 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
That passage in Luke was fulfilled in the Book of Acts. Just read Acts 4 and you will see Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit addressing the entirety of the Jewish Sanhedrin.
What’s fascinating about what Jesus says in Mark 13:11 is there will be a similar experience for the Tribulation Saints… again I imagine saved believers… Jews and Gentiles, saved after the rapture, alike will stand before civil authorities and testify of Jesus Christ.
And the fascinating part about that is Jesus mentions the presence of the Holy Spirit during the Tribulation.
Now… an astute Bible Scholar’s mind will go to 2 Thes 2:7-8 which speaks about the restrainer (the Holy Spirit) who works in this present age holding back the coming of the Antichrist…
2 Thes 2:7-8 reads, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains [the Holy Spirit] will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one [the Antichrist] will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”
The Holy Spirit is the only Person with the supernatural power to restrain.
And He dwells within believers… so when the church is raptured… the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way… and enter Antichrist… Rev 6… an imposter to the Christ… coming on a White Horse, but with the wrong crown.
So, the question… How will the Holy Spirit depart with the church at the rapture… and yet still be present during the Tribulation?
We just read in Mark 13:11 that the Holy Spirit will be present to guide Tribulation Saints… so it is undeniable that during the tribulation the Holy Spirit will be present.
Those of you who love eschatology are probably on the edge of your seat right now… the rest of you… pardon us for a moment as we geek out on this detail.
The regularly scheduled program will return in a moment.
Scripture states the Holy Spirit will "taken out of the way” at the rapture… and yet present during the tribulation.
There is a tendency amongst Christians to put God in a box, but God is Omnipresent… there is NO WHERE where God is not present…
The Psalmist wrote, “If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.” (Ps 139:8)
The restraining of the coming of the Anti-Christ will cease at the rapture… and then the lawless one will be revealed, but the Holy Spirit will still be present on earth during the Tribulation. He will not be absent.
His very nature of omnipresence testifies of this.
We know that Jews and Gentiles alike… from every nation, tribe, people and tongue… will be saved during the tribulation…
And to be born again… the Spirit must work in one’s heart.
When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus, He said, “… unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”
So, the Spirit’s presence is necessary for salvation during the Tribulation.
In order to be a witness to Jesus in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the end of the earth… in Act 1:8, Jesus said the Holy Spirit would come upon the disciples.
It is the same Holy Spirit needed for the Tribulation saints to testify as witnesses in Mark 13:11.
It will be the same Holy Spirit who will guide the tribulation saints… giving them the very words to speak when they stand on trial for their faith.
The Holy Spirit will indeed be present during the Tribulation…
His work will change in that He will not restrain evil like He does today.
But, He will still be present… still guiding people to Jesus…
There will still be witnesses empowered by the Holy Spirit in the Tribulation…
And, if they weren’t empowered by Him… they wouldn’t be able to stand as witnesses.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t just check out at this time for a 7 year vaca in Heaven.
He will still be working and moving amongst those who become saved during the tribulation… and man are they going to need the Holy Spirit at that time.
Because look at what Jesus says next in vv 12-13… “Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. [there’s that phrase again] But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Mark 13:9-13 is almost word for word to Matt 10:17-22.
I encourage you to compare these passages. Matt 10:17-22 and Mark 13:9-13.
In Matt 10, Jesus was sending His Twelve Apostles out on their first missionary journey which was specific only to Israel… and not to the Gentiles.
And, Jesus warned them that their ministry would result in persecution… they would stand before Roman governors and Herodian kings…
He says all the same things that we see in our passage here in Mark 13.
And, in some ways… it would seem their persecution foreshadowed what would come during the Tribulation.
Things will become so bad that the bond of blood relations becomes meaningless.
Believer who identify with Christ during the Tribulation will be betrayed by their own siblings… or their own father… or their own children.
And, this isn’t betrayal like… “I don’t want to speak to you.”
Or, and argument because of different religious beliefs.
Family members will be turning in their own immediate family who then will be put to death because they have accepted Jesus as Savior.
This happened in the first century through persecution against Christians by Jews like Saul… who delivered to Rome where they faced a number of terrible deaths… like the gladiatorial games… or being eaten by beasts… or the cross.
Death still happens today in persecuted countries… like Muslim countries… where a zealous family member turns in their own family to terrorist zealots.
And, Jesus confirms… it will be this bad still in the Tribulation.
There has been and always will be hatred for those who identify with Jesus Christ.
“You will be hated for My name’s sake.”
Remember the promise of the Beatitudes…
Blessed are you…
Theirs is the kingdom of heaven…
They shall inherit the earth..
Great is your reward in heaven…
We have been so blessed to live in a country and to live in a time where physical persecution is not a reality for us.
And, because of this… many Christians have become complacent and lost a sense of urgency to share Jesus with the world around them.
Please don’t allow your freedoms… and the ease of Christian living that we have… to lead you to complacency.
I would pray you put feet to your faith… that you would be doers of the word… that you would speak truth in love… and be an empowered witnesses for Jesus Christ…
Because time IS short. There are people who so desperately want love and acceptance… and truth… they want to be saved from their circumstance…
And even if something deceptive comes along… that seems to offer this… or affirms them in the error of their ways…
They say yes to darkness… when they need light.
And, that’s the light you carry… You are the light of the world.
And, I hope you feel that responsibility… and feel burdened for the lost… even to the point that putting yourself out there may cause you some grief… may cause you some trials or persecutions.
It’s so worth it. To see a person find truth and come out of the lie…
To find hope when they were hopeless…
To find healing when they were broken…
And, to play a part in it… that’s a reward in this lifetime… and then in the age to come to be crowned a reward by the KING of King’s.
Who cares if someone speaks poorly about you on Facebook?
Or gossips and slanders your name?
If you’re hated by the world for His name’s sake… Good… that just means you’re having impact.
We need the mind of the Apostles, who after they were on trial and beaten for preaching Jesus… when they were released they rejoiced “that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Acts 5:41
You keep pressing into kingdom work… because time is short.
Jesus wraps up this general description of the entire seven year Tribulation time frame saying at the end of V13 “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Dr. J.B. Hixson with Not By Works Ministries advises when you see the word “saved” in the Bible to ask yourself, “Saved from what?”
Because “saved” is not always referring to salvation in the eternal sense.
This is solid advice. Ask “Saved from what?”
Look at the context of the passage to determine what kind of salvation is the passage referring to.
The word “saved” in Gk is sōzō and it means “to save”… which can mean to deliver, to protect, to rescue… all depending on the context.
The first mention of “save” in the NT is Matt 1:21 “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Saved from what? Sin.
That verse is clearly speaking about eternal salvation… saving people from their sins.
The second time “save” is mentioned in the NT is Matt 8.
This was when the disciples were crossing the Sea of Galilee and a great storm arose and covered the boat with waves… in fear for their lives they cried out, “Lord, save us!”
Imagine how they would have responded if Jesus started to preach the Gospel to them in that moment.
They wanted to be saved… Saved from what?
To be rescued from physically perishing in the storm.
So, Jesus saved them… He calmed the storm.
One more example, when Jesus was crucified… people who passed by blasphemed Him and said, “… save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”
Saved from what? From physically dying on the cross.
Certainly, Jesus Himself did not need eternal salvation… He died so we can live eternally.
Context is king… and so in our passage… during the Tribulation, “… he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Saved from what? From physical death during the tribulation.
Look at V20, Jesus will say, “And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh [flesh… physical deliverance] would be saved...”
We’ll talk more about that next week, but He is NOT saying unless the days are less then 24 hours…
How would there be 3.5 years if that were the case?
He’s just saying there is a limit to God’s wrath… it’s not unending… the Tribulation is a set time frame of 7 years.
And if it continued… people would not physically survive.
Those who physically survive the Tribulation are not automatically ensured entrance into the millennium though.
Starting in Matt 25:31… Jesus preaches about the Sheep / Goat Judgement…
The Sheep are saved believers. They are titled “righteous” in that passage, and there is an evidence of their faith…
Goats are unbelievers… and will be hard hearted toward God and fellow man… that passage concludes with “… these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
God’s economy is really simple… you’re either a saved or unsaved.
You’re either a believer because of your faith in Jesus Christ or you’ve rejected the free gift of God and are destined eternity separated from God…
It’s either heaven or hell and it comes down to a choice.
Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins… and can you place your faith in Him as your Lord and Savior?
Let’s wrap up there today. Worship team please come.
Some take aways from today…
Know your Bible so you are not deceived.
Watch out for false teachers… antichrists asking “Did God really say?”
Know the truth, so you don’t fall for the lie.
And , Put feet to your faith… time is short… don’t be complacent.
End Times studies remind us that Jesus is coming back… so we should live with an urgency to reach the world around us.
And, blessed are you if you so impact the world that persecution comes your way.
Let’s pray… and then while we are worshipping God with this final song… our Elder’s and prayer team will be up here if you need prayer. Elders and pray team please come…
Pray with me now.
We’re going to start having people up here to pray at the end of service every week.
Because maybe you bring a friend to church, and they want to say yes to Jesus…
Today, we looked at some serious topics on what’s to come… and it’s not good…
Jesus offers a better way… you just have to pray and say yes to Him. So, make your way to the front… find someone to pray with if that’s you today.
Maybe you’re saved already, but you want to pray for a lost family member… or you want Jesus to save you from a physical burden…
Or you just want to be lifted up in prayer because you’re entering the week ahead… and being surrounded in prayer is the best way to walk in life.
Come and pray… don’t be shy… we all need prayer.
God bless your week ahead…
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