Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
November 2, 2008 PM
A TIME FOR FAITHFULNESS
INTRO: In our last lesson from Mk 13 we heard Jesus prophesy the fall of Jerusalem and the temple. His disciples simply could not imagine a world without the great temple. They did not, however, question the accuracy of His prophesy. Still, they wanted to know when these things would take place. Reason? Well, one reason is probably that they could only think of the temple's destruction in conjunction with the end of the Messianic age ... which they equated with the end of the world. So, four of the apostles came to Jesus privately and inquired about these things. And Jesus gave them answers which were really more than that for which they had asked. But their "when" question to Him had to be answered in view of truth and fact ... not just Jewish thought. So, we continue this evening.
- JESUS FIRST SPOKE OF MISLEADING SIGNS OF JERUSALEM'S FALL
THEN HE SPOKE OF THE SITUATION OF THE DISCIPLES
There would arise a great persecution of Christians - Mk 13:9,11
- reading through the book of Acts, we see the development of this
- as the leaders (apostles) were hauled into courts, the Holy Spirit would give them the words to speak "for a testimony against them"
- this persecution developed throughout the Roman world
Families would be terribly divided by the faith in Christ - Mk 13:12
- Jesus had spoken of such possibilities at Mt 10:32-37
- "a man's foes shall be they of his own household" - tragic picture
- and such is still the situation within families ... but Jesus spoke of a betrayal which would lead to a Christian family member's being killed! (there is historical evidence that during Nero's persecution Christians betrayed Christians)
Christians would become a "hated sect" - Mk 13:13a
- interestingly, the church had begun with favor of the people (Acts 2:27)
- but Acts 28:22 - "concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against"
- Acts 24:5 - here is how Paul and Christians were viewed!
Jesus, however, sprinkled all of this awfulness with words of hope
- Mk 13:13b - "the same shall be saved"
there are at least two possibilities in this statement
- steadfast faithfulness assuredly leads to ultimate salvation
- but it is probable that Jesus was referring to the end of Jerusalem and the fact that Christians would survive that horror (Lk 21:18,19)
- we think, and reasonably so, of the larger picture of eternal salvation
Too, there is Mk 13:10 to consider
- while all of these things would be happening, the gospel was preached
- before Jerusalem could fall and Judaism come to its final end, the gospel had to be proclaimed "among all nations"
- Col 1:23 - it was not long after these words that the siege of Jerusalem began ... and the temple was destroyed
THE REAL SIGNS OF THE END?
"But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation..." - Mk 13:14
- this language is taken from Dan 9:27, 11:31, 12:11
- in Hebrew the expression lit. means "the profanation that appals"
- Lk 21:20 identifies this as "armies" - doubtless, the Roman army representing everything pagan!
- pagan Romans with their ensigns and effigies stood where they ought not!
This would be the time for Christians to "flee to the mountains"
- vv. 15-18 give us the urgency, haste of the flight from Jerusalem
- history tells us that many Judean Christians did flee to Pella
- v. 19 is far from exaggeration ... history speaks of over a million people who died in the Roman siege of Jerusalem ... the siege lasted 3½ years
- v. 20 clearly indicates the providence of God with reference to the length of the siege ... and it was "for the elect's sake" that this shortening of "those days" was done
- "But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation..." - Mk 13:14
CLOSE: Once again, there is the assurance of hope. Jerusalem and the temple would fall. But the church would survive! That word "chosen" becomes an important New Testament word! So, 2 Thes 2:13,14. Have you responded to His call through the gospel?
Cecil A. Hutson
02 November 2008
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)