The Beginning of the End

The Suffering Servant   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

So last week we ended with the first to verses of chapter 13. As they were leaving the temple, one of the disciples said:
Mark 13:1 (NIV84)
As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!
Jesus understood the disciples infatuation with the magnificence of the temple. Yet, He replied:
Mark 13:2 NIV84
“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

When Will It All Happen?

So Jesus and His disciples went across the Kidron Valley, and headed up the Mount of Olives. Let’s pick up our reading with verse 3.
Mark 13:3–4 NIV84
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”
Peter and Andrew are brothers, and James and John are brothers—together they come and ask Jesus when all of the things Jesus has said will happen. Jesus does not give them a short answer.

Jesus’ Answer

Mark 13:5–6 NIV84
Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.
First “Watch out. . .”
The disciples will need to be guarded so that they are not deceived. And there’s a reason! “Many will come . . .claiming, ‘I am he.’
Many will come claiming to be the “Messiah.”
Many will be deceived.
Mark 13:7–8 NIV84
When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.
Hear of Wars
Hear of rumors of wars
Nation against nation
Kingdom against kingdom
Earthquakes
Famines
The news this week reported on:
The War in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine may be the “Beginning of WW III
The was a 7.4 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Japan
Because of the War, Africa may be at risk of famine.
These are just the BEGINNING!
Mark 13:9 NIV84
“You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.
The Second—“be on your guard. . .” (v. 9).
You’ll be handed over to local councils—local legal officials.
Flogged in the synagogues.
All because of Jesus
Stand before: governors, and kings as a witness of Jesus.
KEY!
Mark 13:10 NIV84
And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.
God’s desire is that the good news of Jesus be preached to ALL nations! But that could entail Jesus’ followers being persecuted. Look at verse 11.
Mark 13:11 NIV84
Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
Whenever you are arrested or brought to trial. . . This sounds like there is a good chance that this will happen.
The Holy Spirit will give us the words to say!
Things will get worse! Jesus continues,
Mark 13:12–13 NIV84
“Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
Families will turn on each other!
And followers of Jesus will be hated because of Jesus!

The Abomination that Causes Desolation

Mark 13:14 NIV84
“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
What is the abomination that leads to desolation?
Daniel 9:27 NIV84
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
At some point in time—after the offering of sacrifice has ended—the “anti-Christ” will set up an idol in the Holy-of-holies to be worshiped
Let the reader understand. This is a phrase that calls for those who are hearing this to pay attention.
Mark 13:15–19 NIV84
Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that this will not take place in winter, because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again.
When this happens—Get out of Dodge! Don’t go back to the house.
Don’t go back to get your cloak—coat.
It will be dreadful for those who are pregnant or nursing mothers.
This distress will be worse than anything ever seen before—so bad that God has to intervene, look at the next verse.
Mark 13:20 NIV84
If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.
The Lord cut the suffering short!
In verse 21 we have a connective time marker:
Mark 13:21–22 NIV84
At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—if that were possible.
At that time—when all these things are happening:
Don’t fall for people announcing the appearance of the Messiah.
Because false Messiahs and false prophets will appear:
preform signs
Do miracles
And deceive those chosen by God.
Mark 13:23 NIV84
So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
The third time Jesus tells us to be on our guard! Yet, Jesus says He is telling them everything ahead of time. Now Jesus quotes from two passages in Isaiah. Isaiah 13:10, and Isaiah 34:4.
Mark 13:24–25 NIV84
“But in those days, following that distress, “ ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’
There are going to be catastrophic within creation itself:
The sun will be darkened.
The moon will not give light.
Stars will fall from the sky.
The heavenly bodies will be shaken!
When we see these things happening, we will see something amazing!
Mark 13:26–27 NIV84
“At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
Jesus—the Son of Man—will come in the clouds!
—He comes with great power!
—He comes with great glory!
—He sends His angels to gather His chosen from all over the earth!
Now Jesus gives, yet another parable—or story.
Mark 13:28–31 NIV84
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The Lesson of the Fig Tree.
When the fig tree’s twigs become tender and when the leaves come out on the tree.
You know summer is right around the corner.
Likewise, when you see these things happening you will know the end is near!
Jesus tells us “this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things happen—This phrase is an indium that denotes an imminent event. There are two meanings for this phrase:
It can refer to one’s contemporaries—this generation.
It can refer to descending from a common ancestor.
Both of these can apply!
The Jews living in Jesus’ day say the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the temple.
Jews living in the “Great Tribulation” a the end times will see these things.
Finally, Jesus tells us that both heaven and earth will pass away—they will ultimately be destroyed.
But God’s Word will NEVER pass away.
Jesus wraps up their discussion, by telling them that He doesn’t even know.
Mark 13:32 NIV84
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
Jesus laid His Godly powers aside. That the whole meaning of Philippians 2:6-7.
What He can tell His disciples is that they need to be on guard—so for the fourth time Jesus says just that. Look at verse 33.
Mark 13:33 NIV84
Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.
Be on Guard—watch out!
Be alert—stay alert, or stand guard.
Because no on knows the exact time of Jesus’ return!
To explain His point, Jesus gives returns to parables:
Mark 13:34 NIV84
It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
A man goes on a trip.
Leaves his servants to take care of his house.
He tells the gate keeper to keep watch!
Now Jesus applies the parable to the disciples.
Mark 13:35–36 NIV84
“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.
Now there’s a fifth warning to keep watch.
The owner of the house (Jesus) might come back at any time!
Maybe in the evening.
Maybe at midnight.
Maybe when the rooster crows.
Maybe at dawn.
What would happen if the owner would suddenly return and find you sleeping.
Mark 13:37 NIV84
What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ”
And Jesus gives us His final watch!—stay alert!

SO WHAT

Jesus tells us six times to Be on our Guard; To be Alert; to Keep Watch; to Watch Out.
Today we need to be alert to current events—we need to read the news paper with our Bible in hand.
We need to know what the Bible really says about the end times.
We need to be watching for Jesus to come again—because He could come back at ANY MOMENT!
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