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November 9, 2008 PM

MK 13:14-31

INTRO: Jesus doubtless stunned his disciples with His prophecy concerning the destruction of the temple. When four of the apostles came to Him with questions about the things He had said, He began answering their questions ... which they probably thought were really only one question. Their questions came out of their Jewish background and ideas of the Messianic reign. However, the answers Jesus gave went beyond the contemporary ideas. As we have progressed through this chapter, we now come to the real "sign" signaling the beginning of Jerusalem's end. While our lesson this evening will cover a fairly lengthy passage, the entire passage signals the end of the Jerusalem, the temple and the Mosaic system.

    1. The abomination of desolation - 13:14
      1. here was a definite, visible "sign" which needed no interpretation
      2. a reference is made to the book of Daniel - Dan 9:27, 11:31, 12:11
      3. there, a reference to Antiochus who desecrated the temple years later
      4. Hb expression "abomination of desolation" lit. - "profanation that appals"
      5. "abomination" refers to the disgusting, especially to idolatry, idols
      6. so, what, or who, is intended by this reference?
      7. Lk 21:20 - clearly, Jesus refers to the Roman army - a pagan power
      8. some refer to the eagles on Roman ensigns and standards as "idols" - and when Jerusalem fell, the temple was desecrated
    2. Then would be the time to flee Jerusalem
      1. Pella was a city to the east of the Jordan River
      2. 13:15-18 - these verses speak of the haste to be taken in fleeing
      3. from history we learn that many Christians did indeed flee to Pella
      4. history also indicates thousands fled to Jerusalem as Romans advanced
      5. 13:19 - Jesus speaks of the enormity of the catastrophe - 1100000 died, nearly 100000 taken captive, disease, starvation on massive scale
      6. 13:20 - no Jewish flesh could survive but for the intervention of God!
      7. "the elect's sake" would doubtless refer to Jewish Christians - Romans would make no distinction - a Jew was a Jew ... but God made a distinction
      8.           fleeing to Pella was really the only safe course for Christians
    3. Another warning about "false Christs"- 13:21-23
      1. at vv. 5,6 Jesus had made a general statement of such warning
      2. now, He gives the time context of such activity of false Christs
      3. He had spoken of His return - such events as He is now prophesying would lend themselves to spurious claims of pretenders
      4. but He has warned of the coming of these false prophets!
    1. The apocalyptic picture - 13:24,25
      1. these verses are often cited to refer to His second coming
      2. they are, in fact, apocalyptic language describing the fall of people/nations
      3. we must keep in mind that Jesus is using language familiar to them
      4. so, Isa 13:10, Isa 33,4,5, Ezek 32:7,8 had language very similar to that of the Lord to describe great national disasters (Babylon, Edom, Egypt)
      5. now this language describes the fall of Jerusalem and Judaism
    2. The Son of Man coming in the clouds - 13:26
      1. this text, too, is often cited as speaking of His return
      2. however, the apocalyptic picture is continuing
      3. Isa 19:1 - simply describes power, majesty coming in judgment
      4. Rev 1:7 - another obvious reference to judgment
      5. this is now judgment on Jerusalem and all it represented
    3. The final end of Mosaic system was good news for Messianic age
      1. true, the Messianic age began much earlier (Pentecost?)
      2. that this passage is not of His second coming the "time text" assures
      3. what, though, is this? the time when the temple and all it represented is gone ... the new covenant stands alone for all humanity
      4. Heb 8:12,13 & 12:26-28
      5. reference to "angels" here may just as certainly refer to "messengers"
    4. This things of which Jesus spoke belonged to that generation - 13:28-31

CLOSE: According to Matthew's gospel, one last question remained to be answered. What of the end of time? But what Jesus has prophesied to this point speaks only of God's judgment upon Jerusalem and the temple.

Cecil A. Hutson

09 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) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

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)