Saturday, December 10, 2011


Mark 13 Watching And Working

Mark 13 Watching And Working

24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;

25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

28 "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.

29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near --- at the doors!

30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.

31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

32 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.

34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.

35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming --- in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning ---

36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.

37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!"

A zealous college student was doing summer mission work where they don’t use the familiar religious terms we do. He went out to share his faith in a neighborhood and saw an old man sitting on his front porch. He walked up and said, “Excuse me, sir, but are you a Christian?” The man said, “No, we’re the Smiths. The Christians live two doors down the street.” The kid continued, “You don’t understand. I mean, are you lost?” The man said, “No, sonny, I’m not lost. I’ve been living right here for 25 years.” Getting a little frustrated, the student pressed on, “So let me ask you, are you ready for the Judgment Day?” The man asked, “When’s it going to be?” The kid said, “Well, it could be today, or it could be tomorrow.” The old man replied, “Well, don’t tell my wife; because she’ll want to go both days!” When it comes to end times and the judgment day, a lot of people are confused.

What is this world coming to? People both religious and secular sense the fact that our world is changing rapidly. Even the secularists have fearful expectations. People who have no allegiance to the Scripture realize the potential for the end of the world, as we know it. Potential nuclear war, a nuclear accident, energy crises, ecological disasters, killer viruses, earthquakes, droughts, the depleting ozone layer or even a cosmic collision are events we are being challenged with.

1. We Should WATCH!

Because The date is UNKNOWN

“No one knows about that day or hour…only the Father.” (Matthew 24:36) I should say it is unknown to US. Only the Father knows. And Noah didn’t know the day when the flood would come, only God knew the day.

Because The return will be UNANNOUNCED

Actually, it won’t be announced BEFORE it happens, but it will certainly be announced AFTER it happens. Newspapers have a certain large typeface reserved for only the most important headlines. Do you know what it’s called? Second Coming type. Even journalists realize the return of Jesus will be the biggest news event in history. But there will be no prior announcement. He will come like a thief in the night. The Bible says, “You know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night…But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4) In the New Testament, Christ's second coming is often likened to the coming of a thief (Luke 12:35-40; 1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10; Rev. 3:3; and 16:15). That's not because Christ is like a thief; it's because He will come suddenly and unexpectedly. And when a thief breaks into a home, he generally takes everything. That's what will happen when Christ returns. He will burn everything that cannot stand the test of judgment.

A good thief never announces when he’s coming. (“Good thief” is an oxymoron.) In fact the

M.O. of a thief is to slip in and slip out without being detected. Now when some people hear that Jesus will return like a thief in the night, they are confused, because they read passages where it says Jesus will come in great majesty and every eye will see Him. Which one is it? Yes. When Jesus comes to Rapture the church, it will be sudden and secretive, like a thief in the night. It will happen in the twinkling of an eye. But after the seven years of Tribulation, Jesus will return as the leader of a mighty army and every eye will see Him, so both of those pictures are correct.

The Lord is coming unexpectedly. He will come suddenly at a time when no one will be watching for Him. It's hard to imagine that because you would think that after the rapture, people would anticipate Christ's return. But sin blinds people. "The mystery of iniquity" (2 Thess. 2:7) will reach its apex in the end times. People will try to explain away the signs preceding Christ's coming. They will become very hostile toward God. Some people who initially said, "Christ will come soon" will eventually change their mind and say, "He isn't coming." It's possible that once the signs are over with, things will settle into some modicum of normality long enough for people to think nothing else will happen. And that's when Christ will come--when people least expect Him. However it happens, people won't be ready for the moment.

This is a true story; you can Google it. In the spring of 1980, the blue skies above Oregon were obscured by steam rising from Mt. Saint Helens. Geologists warned an eruption was imminent and residents living near the area were ordered to evacuate. State troopers and forest rangers entered the area with loudspeakers blaring, “Danger! Evacuate the area immediately.” Flashing road signs were erected that said, “Warning, Warning, Warning. Evacuate immediately.” An 83- year-old man named Harry Truman (no relation to the President) operated a lodge at Spirit Lake only five miles from Mt. St. Helens. He laughed at the warnings. Officials argued with him to leave, but when he stubbornly refused, he was granted permission to stay. He said, “Nobody knows more about this mountain than old Harry—and it wouldn’t dare blow up on me.”

On the morning of May 18, 1980 Harry woke, and probably followed his habit of feeding his 16 cats, then fixing breakfast for himself. At 8:13 a.m. Mt. St. Helens exploded with the force of a 23-megaton nuclear bomb. The top 1,500 feet of the mountain disappeared. The sound of the eruption was heard 600 miles away. The eruption heated the air to 600 degrees. Old Harry never heard a thing because a shock wave of energy traveling faster than the speed of sound slammed outward from the volcano. It was followed by a fifty-foot tall wave of mud and dirt that flattened everything within 150 square miles. It destroyed over half a million trees. The eruption was followed by a cloud of ash that covered everything to a depth of fifty feet. They never found a trace of Harry, his cats, or his cabin. I wonder what went through old Harry’s mind in that millisecond that he had gambled with his life and lost. He had heard the warnings, but he did not heed them.

All that remains from Harry’s life is a testimony to his refusal to heed the warnings. Fifty feet above the remaining molecules of Harry’s incinerated remains, there is a crooked path named Harry’s Trail. My advice to you: Don’t follow Harry’s trail. The Bible says at any moment, the Lord Jesus could return in a flash, in a twinkling of an eye. God has placed warning signs all along the road. Warning! Repent immediately. This message is just another warning. For those of us who have heeded His warning, and put our faith in Jesus, we will escape His judgment against sin. But some people like Old Harry, just laugh at the Bible and refuse to heed God’s Warning.

Because His Coming Will Be Unrivalled

24 "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;

25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

There have been plenty of rapture jokes lately. Unbelievers have been making fun of all this talk about the rapture. They say, “You Christians have been talking about the second coming of Jesus for thousands of years.” Well God even predicted that. Listen to these words from 2 Peter 3: “In the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this “coming” he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation’…But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:3-4, 8-9)

Richard Baxter: "My knowledge of that life is small, The eye of faith is dim, But it's enough that Christ knows all, And I shall be with Him."

There is an old legend of a swan and a crane. A beautiful swan alighted by the banks of the water in which a crane was wading about seeking snails. For a few moments the crane viewed the swan in stupid wonder and then inquired: "Where do you come from?" "I come from heaven!" replied the swan. "And where is heaven?" asked the crane. "Heaven!" said the swan, "Heaven! Have you never heard of heaven?" And the beautiful bird went on to describe the grandeur of the Eternal City. She told of streets of gold, and the gates and walls made of precious stones; of the river of life, pure as crystal, upon whose banks is the tree whose leaves shall be for the healing of the nations. In eloquent terms the swan sought to describe the hosts who live in the other world, but without arousing the slightest interest on the part of the crane. Finally the crane asked: "Are there any snails there?" "Snails!" repeated the swan; "No! Of course there are not." "Then," said the crane, as it continued its search along the slimy banks of the pool, "You can have your heaven. I want snails!"

Because The Result Will Be Unavoidable

For those who are caught up in the trivial things of this life, who refuse to surrender to Christ, their future is judgment.

26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

2. We Should WORK!

There is no question about whether or not Christ is going to come. The only remaining question is, “Will I be ready when Jesus returns?” And only you can answer that question. Jesus said, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:44)

Let me tell you two ways to make sure you’re prepared for the return of Jesus.

Decide today to trust Christ and invite Him into your heart!

Have you ever turned from your sins and placed your faith in Jesus? That’s the only way to know for certain you’ll be ready to meet Jesus. Becoming a Christian isn’t hard—it’s as easy as opening the door of your heart. Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

(Revelation 3:20) The door is the door of your heart. Jesus isn’t going to barge into your life.

He’s a gentleman. He is knocking and tenderly calling your name. It is God’s Will for you to be saved, but He won’t override your will. You have a choice in the matter.

Done that? Then live in a way so you can meet Him with confidence

We Should Work!

If you’re already trusted Jesus you may think you’re ready. But you may not be as ready and you need to be. There’s a powerful verse in 1 John 2:28 which talks about being ready for the return of Jesus. It says, “And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.” (1 John 2:28) Do you see there are two possibilities of how a Christian may meet the Lord? We may be ashamed or we may have confidence.


Because We Won’t Be ASHAMED

Is there anything you do or say or think that if the Lord Jesus Christ came back at that moment you might be ashamed? Imagine you’re in the process of uttering that profane word you sometimes say, and in that moment the Lord returns. Or imagine you’re involved in some activity you know is wrong. That might cause shame, don’t you think? What about some unfinished business for the Lord? God has led you to share your faith with a lost person, or He’s led you to serve in some ministry, but you’ve been putting it off. Suddenly you’re face to face with the Lord—and it’s too late. “I’m sorry Lord. I’m ashamed I didn’t follow through on what you led me to do.”

But you can face the Lord with confidence if you understand what John wrote. He said,

“Continue in Him.” In other words, daily surrender your life to the Lordship of Christ. Don’t fall away, don’t give up. Continue to walk daily with the Lord. Keep on praying, keep on serving, keep on feeding on His Word, keep on sharing your faith and you can meet Him with the kind of confidence John had that allowed him to say, “Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly!


Because We Won’t Be INCOMPLETE

Work – In verse 34, Jesus describes Himself as a house owner who leaves his business in the hands of his servants. This man assigns each of his servants a specific task and then he takes his journey. The servants do not know when their master will return, so they are encouraged work at their tasks diligently, so that they will not be found shirking their duties when their master comes back.

        When Jesus saved us, He saved us to go to work for Him, Eph. 2:10; James 2:18. When He saved us, He gave each of us a specific assignment, 1 Cor. 12:7, 11. In other words, Jesus gave you a job to do and He gave me a job to do too. Our duty to Him is to faithfully do those things He has called us to do until He comes for us.

        In light of that truth, there are a few questions we need to ask and answer for ourselves.

·         Do you know what the Lord wants you to do?

·         Are you doing what He wants you to do?

The church is made up of just two kinds o folk No matter how closely you view it

The ones who will talk about what should be done

And those who get in and who do it!

John Wesley was once asked how he would spend his last day if he knew he were to die that night; he replied “

I would spend it exactly as I will spend it today…I would preach in Gloucester toniht, get up early and preach in Tewkesbury then go to the Martins house in the evening a pray with them as they expect me to do, retire placing myself in the father’s care and wake up in heaven.”



30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. 32 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

This day is coming as assuredly as the Lord’s Word is true, as assuredly as the Lord is true. And the Lord wants you to live a life of certainty about that fact.  this is what we call the Christian Hope.

And the christian hope has an effect upon us.

1 John 3:3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13  waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14  who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Because the Lord Will Approve Your Work

And the Lord here in Luke chapter 12 is also concerned in warning people about His Second Coming. He says, "Let your loins be girded about and your lamps burning, and you yourselves like men that wait for their lord when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks you may open unto him immediately." I mean, be ready so that when he comes back, everything is as it ought to be. "Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He comes shall find watching. Verily I say unto you, you shall...that He shall gird himself and make them to sit down to eat and will come forth and serve them. vv. 35-37.

When the Lord comes back, if you've been faithful, He will sit you down to eat and serve you. The faithful Christian may not know when He's coming, but he's ready.

Here Christ gives a parable. The lord represents God, and the servant represents every man and woman in the world. We have all been given a great responsibility. It's as if the Lord said, "Manage everything I gave you in creating you in My image--your intellect, will, emotions, and talents-- and all the other good things I have given you. Use them all for serving Me." We are like the servant who is told to manage all the goods in a house and to dispense food to everyone at the right time and place.

Everything we have was granted to us by God. We are accountable for how we manage all those things. Hell will be populated not only by the devil and his angels, but also by those who wasted the privileges God gave them. And those who misuse what God has given them will be condemned, as was the man who embezzled the king's money in Matthew 18.

"Blessed is that servant, whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing."

When the Lord returns, He will bless the servants who are doing what He wanted them to do. Those who are obedient give evidence of being believers. Doing the will of God is always the mark of true salvation. True Christians will be found making the most of their stewardship.

"Verily I say unto you that he shall make him ruler over all his goods."

When the Lord returns, He will allow His faithful servants to manage over everything He possesses. Have you ever wondered what we will be doing in the millennial kingdom and in eternity? We will sit with Christ on His throne and rule over everything He possesses (Rev. 3:21). So what a person does during his short life on earth will determine whether he will rule in eternity with Christ or be dominated by the demons in hell. The person who is proven faithful to God will be rewarded.

Jesus will come for you in one of two ways. Either you’ll meet Him in death, or He will return before your death. So you need to be prepared. Your death may happen suddenly or slowly, you don’t know. But for sure, His return will be sudden and surprising.

"There is a fable which tells of three apprentice devils who were coming to this earth to finish their apprenticeship. They were talking to Satan, the chief of the devils, about their plans to tempt and ruin men. The first said, `I will tell them there is no God.' Satan said, `That will not delude many, for they know there is a God.' The second said, `I will tell men there is no hell.' Satan answered, `You will deceive no one that way; men know even now that there is a hell for sin.' The third said, `I will tell men there is no hurry.' `Go,' said Satan, `and you will ruin them by the thousand'" (Barclay, W. The Gospel of Matthew, vol. 2 [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], p. 317).

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