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November 16, 2020 3:00 am
Think for a minute about items that are stamped with an expiration date is like milk or eggs today on Truth for Life. Alister big explains that the heavens and the earth. Even you and I have a shelf life as well were beginning a study in Mark's gospel in chapter 13 were continuing a message titled the coming of the Son of Man, the patience of God is not infinite. It is finite and there will be an end to his patients and on that day when his patients ends then these things that are portending this drama will be seen in all of their fullness without the restraining kind of common grace we couldn't manage to for a nanosecond in contemporary America. For it is the restraining hand of grace which prevents it from absolutely decaying to the point of extinction with Tia the creator has so constituted humankind that sin progressively makes people less human and therefore less humane sin makes people less human and therefore less humane the process, however, is not allowed to run as logical course in the logical way or else the race would've perished as soon as sin entered into the world, the Lord remains sovereign operating his own rules directing restraining prompting by the time will come the day of the Lord when in a climactic way. Sin will take the stage of the total destroyer and it always is and sinful human beings who for so long, have determined their own destiny without God will be left and indeed direct it to do so. Then he says, then the Son of Man will be from will be seen coming in the clouds with great power and glory using the people in Jesus day live with this prospect of this Son of Man Son of Man is use as a description just of humanity in general sentence in the Old Testament, but it is used specifically, peculiarly in relationship to the one as described here in Daniel chapter 7 of you think about it. You've already got part of the picture on this because you will remember that when we began to study Mark hundred years ago and we got to chapter 2 and the man can bring in the paralyzed man in the drop them down through the roof.
Jesus had already announced what the kingdom of the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is near.
Repent and believe the good news. What was he saying that he was saying that all the things of the Old Testament has been preferable be in prophesying there all fulfilled in me there fulfilled now. There's nothing really that is going to take place in the second coming that hasn't been actualized in his first. That's why we are able to say that the end has come is coming will come. Is this Son of Man that is prophesied in Daniel that is expressed in the Gospels that is now the one who will come in clouds with power and great glory know some of my best friends once to see in this the ascension that they say to Daniel 714 fits far better.
The giving of the kingdom to Jesus in terms of now he has ascended. He has led captivity captive, and so on and so now from his position as the ascended Lord.
He pours out his gifts upon the church and his messengers go around the world and that is verse 27. According to that view. The messengers go around the world and collect his elect from the four corners of the earth. I'm not convinced of that you might be. I'm not. I think that even if there is that foreshadowing all that in the notion of the ascension or the typifying audit if you like that we still have to see in this at the return of Jesus Christ, even to the phraseology Rick coming in the clouds with great glory. I know it fits.
Daniel seven, but it also fits why are you folks standing looking up into heaven. Don't you realize that he will recon in the same way that he was taken from you up into heaven, and what are they just witnessed they had witnessed the fire that he was caught up into the clouds and now he returns by then how how do the Angels gather his elect from the four winds, and from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven, you're just look about us and that's why I chose him. I cannot tell how he will win the nations how how he will gain his earthly heritage. I mean if if you could tell, then you'd be what you couldn't tell, but this is a promise will be no empty seats and have none, whom he has purchased will be missing no one will business owner civil where the rest of people to fill up the seats. How is he going to do this. Listen to Calvin.
Whenever we perceive the church scattered by the wiles of Satan or torn in pieces by the cruelty of the ungodly, or disturbed by false doctrines are tossed about by storms is learned to turn our eyes to this gathering of the elect and if it appears to is a thing difficult to be believed. Let us call to remembrance the power of the angels which Christ holds out to us for the express purpose of raising our views about human means about human means are you going to bring all the people that died in there in the Titanic to send his angels for the church be now tormented by the malice of man, or even broken by the violence of the billows and miserably torn in pieces so as to have no stability in the world yet we ought always to cherish. Confident hope because it will not be by human means, but by heavenly power, which will be far superior to every obstacle that the Lord will gather his church. This is this is lift your eyes and look up for your redemption draws nigh. This is not get get all freaked out by dramatic signs in the heavens are trying to tie the signs and heaven to contemporary events know the purpose remains always moral. It remains always evangelistic. If you like these things are to teach you and brings us to the lesson straightforward. Verse 28 from the fig tree learn its lesson just as leaves appearing on the fig tree or a sign of the approach of summer. So these things are signs of the approach of Christ and you will know he says when these things take place, you will know that he is near. He's at the very gates at the very gates it's a picture. Gates are no gates metaphor to try and help us you know it is like to be against the watchmen is on the gates going to finish the chapter by saying watch his array is tell the stories of the five whys in the five foolish virgins. Both of the same information but only five ready for what was about to take place when you see these things he says.
Then you will know that he is near. He's at the very gates is a let's find a look at verse 30 truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. You know that I verse I singularly been used by Morse put more people than I can count to say you see the Bible as a bunch of bunk is clearly that couldn't possibly take place and so they say look at this, Jesus was clearly wrong. How can you say that the generation wouldn't wouldn't pass away until he came back while headhunting is what Jesus is saying is I don't think that's what he said no.
For those of you like a fiddle around with that with verse 30. Let me give you a few things to fiddle with in the in the week to come. First of all, you can fiddle around with this with the silly idea. The untenable notion that Jesus got it wrong. Jesus cannot get it wrong. Secondly, you can explain this generation as the Jewish people as some commentators do thoroughly unconvincing perspective. From where I'm sitting or that this generation is not a reference to a particular group of people in the timeframe of these events, but this generation is being used since say these commentators to describe the objectionable mentality that was part of the generation that resisted Christ. So for example, and you go through and look for becomes our clearest and look this is a stiffnecked generation so the commentators are saying that that stiffnecked generation is not limited to the immediate historical moment and so the stiffnecked objectionable people will still be around when finally Jesus comes little doubt about that because are a few of us here this morning to fit the category very nicely objectionable people and stiffnecked book. All right, but it seemed like special pleading to me.
I hope you feel you really are seagoing now know if I get that.
I don't know if I buy that I will that's good because I don't either.
So what you do with it. I think I have the answer but I only think verse 23 verse 29 and verse 30.
IT is referring to the same thing in every instance solo in verse 23 be on guard. I have told you all things beforehand so you have all things verse 29. When you see these things and in verse 30, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. So what what what are what are the signs all I told you all these things back up in verse 23. He's already told him hasn't he began by saying don't let anybody lead you astray you hear of wars and rumors of wars, the end isn't yet nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and earthquakes in various places famines thereby the beginning of the birth pains. He goes on to expand on that as he goes through even now we have these these dramatic cosmic pictures. But what are they all describing. These are all signs leading to the second coming there not signs of the second coming. If he is near. He can be here right that's what he said when you see any signs you will know that he is near that he is at the gate insane when you see the signs. You know that is present so these signs are signs of what is yet to come in the generation that saw these signs lived to see all the signs and live to see Christ return. And I think that is what Jesus is pointing out your sensible people figure out. Finally, a word to be trusted there in verse 31. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Once again echoes of the Old Testament and the Old Testament prophets.
Here's Isaiah 51 six lift up your eyes to the heavens and look at the earth beneath everything that represents stability to his right eyes up to the heavens. The movement of the of the planets this the spheres look at the earth beneath on this solid firmament and then the provinces for their for the heavens vanish like smoke and the earth will wear out like a garment and they who dwell in it will die in like manner, but my salvation will be forever in my righteousness will never be dismayed.
Surely Jesus has us in mind that we will have to check later on, but I have probably knew the Old Testament off by heart. So many says heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Perhaps he had Isaiah 51 in mind to see what is being said here is what draws to a close. How unbelievably durable the heavens look the other obsolete and obsolete.
The earth will succumb to his own transients unless that's not the final statement on the Christian involved in ecology and whether you're putting all your plastic boxes in one bag in your other ones in another bag and another one another bag interview will be a good citizen you have to do is going to do, but I'm not putting all that stuff whatever needs to go because I'm desperately concerned that if I don't, you know, some are not. The earth is just going to freak out and get out of control may not know what's going to happen to his next two afterward earthworks for our food for the earth store for the Earth Day for the Arthur Arthur Arthur Arthur no air will vanish will be observed into his own transients.
The earth will crumble. There will be a new heaven and a new earth in which dwells righteousness.
We are going to some airy fairy planet up who knows where to play. Play harps for him for an interminable Sunday afternoon we are going to live on the new heaven and on the new earth of the present heaven and the present Arthur going to pass away. That's the point, heaven and earth will pass away, and he says you will pass away. You have a shelf life. You have a shelf life. The watch on your wrist tells you you're passing away.
So in all of the disruption of the cosmos in those days after the tribulation and all of the madness of our times. In all of the chaos of a life without God.
How in the world are we going to figure things out if this is true. If this is true that all the explorations of science are significant and wonderful as they have been all about ability to get to the moon. All of the penetration of Mars and everything else is going on is wonderful and the significant is that this is not the issue because those heavens will be dissolved and to consume myself with saving the air, but here's the question I understand why people are doing is he one of something worth living for something worth living for the be something worth living for.
When I was in Glasgow in June.
A lady stopped me in the street.
A young girl, a nice gorgeous girl and she had a clipboard nine-year-old brother here we go. I have to buy something or whatever else it is, I can go into all the details now, but she wanted me to know and she was earnestly committed to shortening the that the elephants were running out of space. They know that the elephants were in outer space that they were running out of space and she needed my help to make sure you know that that didn't have a sister you know I like to give you money right now because I admire your I admire your commitment. I admire your courage I admire the fighter you stand out in the middle of the Cannon Street on an afternoon like this because of this concern, but I can do. I want do is I've only got so much money and I actually think it's more important that I give money to prevent the unmitigated slaughter of babies in their mother's womb that I give money to make sure that the elephants have enough space to run around. She didn't like my answer. I didn't treat her unkindly. But that's a Christian perspective is why she doing as you want something to live for. You probably want something to live the King's in the 60s wanted something to live for. They asked the question didn't eat what what I'm I living for two room apartment on the second floor and then the refrain. Remember, we are living on dead-end street were living on dead-end street were living on dead-end street. It fades out that refrain where living on dead-end street, and eventually they just they just take the volume down on the recording. And that's the last thing you hear were living on dead-end street. I got news for you this morning without Jesus Christ, you are living on dead-end street. I don't care how tenaciously this is a dead-end street that is the significant aspect of what is going on here because what this passage is telling us is what we try to say last week, namely, that the gospel will outlast every brilliant human project. The gospel will outlast every brilliant human project as not to denigrate brilliant human project is just to say the best of them will finally be outlasted by the gospel, and it is the gospel which is able to answer the basic human predicament. They see it is the gospel that is this strange story about Jesus Christ who bears sin on the cross in order that God who is perfect in his holiness may look on man without displeasure and man whose horrible rack of a mask, a link on God without fear. How can I then live the creator God who made me and whom I have disregarded and just being indifferent to, and have no concern for all. I'm more concerned about his creation that I am about his existence.
How could I ever look on him without fear and how would it ever be that he could look on me without displeasure and the answer is in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ because they're the execution of divine justice has entered into tying in a moment, and heavens. Love heavens justice meet at the cross. No heavens and the earth and we with them endure just for a moment before the Lord endures forever when the Son of Man returns all that's wrong will be made. What a great promise to look forward to. As we study Mark's gospel with Alister big on Truth for Life. Alister will be back in just a minute to close with prayer so please keep listening. The promise that all will be made right. That's the hope. We want to share with people through this daily program. It's a message that all people need to hear every age, every nation, Alister's teaching brings the gospel to men and women around the world.
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Our address is PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, OH 44139. Now here's Alister to close in prayer.
See how easy it is for us to be distracted from the main thing by all kinds of theoretical preoccupations that do is no service whatsoever, or Lord Jesus Christ. Help us to hear your voice. Help us to see us get this picture to learn this lesson to believe you were there when you said I am come that you might have life that we might come to you and discover life that when you said come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest that you promised that to all who come that when you said that you would go and prepare a place and come back for us that you meant exactly what you said and you will or Lord Jesus Christ. Help us now to believe you help us to know that if we end up separated from you from all of eternity. It is because we fight to step all over your offer of mercy to an end run around your cross turn our backs on the love that drew the plan of salvation remind us of how frail we are, how brief life is teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. We pray in Jesus name Bob Lapine remind you if you have been enjoying our study together in the gospel according to Mark. You can own Alister's entire series on the gospel according to Mark. It's available on a USB drive.
It's a comprehensive study that includes 87 messages and it's a perfect way to draw nearer to Jesus in the months ahead as you listen at your own pace. Maybe even as a part of your daily commute. You can order your gospel according to Mark USB driver Truth for Life.org or The image you see on your mobile app, USB is just five dollars and the shipping is free tomorrow will conclude our series in Mark's gospel with a message titled a wake-up call will be looking at what Scripture says about preparing for Jesus return the Bible teaching of Alister big is furnished by Truth for Life for the Learning is for Living