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November 17, 2020 3:00 am
Scripture is clear that none of us can know exactly when Jesus will return.
So how should we be preparing ourselves for this unknown second coming today on Truth for Life.
Alastair Begg offers for observations about how to maintain perspective until Jesus comes back in a message titled a wake-up call. We begin in Mark chapter 13. While these concluding glasses of Mark 13, we might justifiably refer to as a wake-up call for a wake-up call is certainly what is given here from the lips of Jesus to the four who are immediately listening to them.
The ones who have been involved in this discourse from the very beginning of the chapter and as we'll see in verse 37 through then to all of us know what we realize as we said last time that in Jesus the kingdom has come in the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom is coming and in the return of Jesus Christ. The kingdom will come in all of its fullness. There is going to be an end, and now as we come to these concluding verses I may make these for observations number one that is be absolutely clear that we are ignorant about the time of Christ's return. That's what Jesus says in verse 32 we are not to feel bad about that because we're in good company. Actually, we're wearing a large company to begin with because he says that no one knows I don't know that anybody is left out of that group. Do you know so that's quite a crowd wearing a big company and were in good company were in the company of the Angels in the company of angels. Calvin has a pithy statement he has so many of them does Nick listen to this. It would be proof of excessive pride and wicked covetousness to desire that we who creep on the earth should know more than is permitted to the angels in heaven, pride and wicked covetousness, and we creep up on the print books explaining that we know what the Angels know no print books and produce CDs and DVDs and dramatic videos to heighten the attention of everybody degrade major agitation with the speculative fancies of minds, versatile imaginations, despite the fact that Christ himself, and by the way, I don't know pretty well puts the acts of the root doesn't some people might try and do an end run around the Angels may try to exempt themselves from the large company. I know it says everyone, but I'm not really everyone we know you're not please be seated. But what you got what you want to do when is it when Jesus is and I don't know the first thing in a straightforward business how we are ignorant as to the time of Christ return. You will essentially says no. Nobody knows that day or that hour.
There's going to be actually a moment never really kind of vagueness about like what did you did you think Jesus just came back there.
I'm not sure. Let's just wait and see from nominative know it's not going to be like that it will not be like that. That's why they specify he specifies later on the watches of the night in the evening or midnight when the rooster crows, or in the morning the Jewish mind understood that I was when the clock went off, as it were.
Those were the times.
Second thing our ignorance as to timing provides no excuse for being unprepared. Rather, it is our very ignorance of the timing of the event upon which the stress is actually laid by Jesus as he concludes this discourse.
No one knows where it's a he says in verse 32 and then in verse 33.
You do not know when the time will come, and then in verse 35 again.
Stay awake for you do not know when the master of the house will come.
And in this little section.
Here you have almost that foreshadowing's or echoes depending on how you want to look at it echoes of the. The parables that surround this in Matthew and in Luke we turn with one to one with me just for a moment if you if your Bible is open. I hope it is you can turn just a few pages back to Matthew chapter 25 and there you have the story of the 10 virgins, the kingdom of heaven will be like 10 virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. This again is a very Jewish picture is not a picture of a Western wedding is a picture of a Middle Eastern wedding and then at midnight there was a cry. Here's the bridegroom that was the responsibility of an individual, often carrying a lamb he would come out of the darkness, bearing the lamp of into the darkness of the night and declare the fact that he was the forerunner to the bridegroom. Remember John the Baptist. I am not the one who is to come.
I'm just the one who comes before the one who comes I am not the bridegroom I'm the best man. I'm just swinging the lamp here. I'm just pointing the finger. I'm just making the cry and they all rose up and trimmed their lamps and the foolish said to the wise, give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out with a wife said since there won't be enough rise and for you to go rather to the dealers and by yourselves and while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast and the door was shut finality and afterwards the other virgins came also say Lord or Lord, open to us but he answered, truly I say to you I do not know you, the 500 to you unawares is no excuse Friday that I came unexpectedly is no excuse why when these people give us some of theirs with the answer is they couldn't then nobody would have any lumps then we would all be in total darkness is not my point this morning that I make it and move on and let me just say something to somebody was here and your spouse as a Christian and you are not let me speak to that to the young person who is in a home and has been raised in a Christian home and you are Buoyant as it were, on the faith of the structure of your family but you have never trusted in Christ.
Let me tell you something you can borrow faith from anyone else. You can borrow faith from your mom, you can borrow faith from your husband. You can borrow faith from your wife. It's going to have to be your own faith is going to have to be your land filled by God your life invaded by God. The point that Jesus is making in the telling of that parable is absolutely unmistakable. Therefore, he says at the end of the parable you need to recognize that you must watch for you don't know either the day or the hour so we are all ignorant and then of the date and the timing is number one. Secondly, our ignorance as to the timing provides no excuse for being unprepared and thirdly ignorance, far from being an excuse is to be an incentive you see how that comes out particularly in verse 34 you don't know the daily time but is like a man going on a journey when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge interest in the second coming of Jesus may become the occasion of all kinds of things. For some it's just it just turns the individuals into like A Hot Tin Roof Becomes the Occasion of Agitation, Augustine Says He Loves the Coming of the Lord Is Not He Who Says It Is Really near or Healer Says It Is Really Far, but He Who Where Is near or Far Away and Sit with All of His Heart.
No Preoccupation with These Things, You May Become Agitated, You May Become Isolated Isolated from the Events of Life, You've Met These People As Well. While There's No Point Really Caring about the World.
There's No Point Care about Politics and the Point Caring about the Election and Applying Caring about Whether Were Born in All the Forest on We Don't Have To Worry about That Jesus Is Coming Back When You Get That from Not the Part about Him Coming Back to the Partner. You Don't Have To Do Anything.
Did You See the 34 First He's like a Man Going on a Journey When He Leaves so He Puts His Servants in Charge, in Charge of What in Charge of What He Left behind. You Have To Be a Genius to Work out What Jesus Is Saying This Is a Picture of Jesus Returning to Heaven, Leaving His Disciples on the and They Have a Responsibility to Do What He Wants Them to Do. If You Look at Luke Chapter 19 See the Sunshine Chapter 19 after the Wonderful Story of Zacchaeus Today Salvation Has Come to This House for the Son Of Man Is the Messiah Came to Seek and Save the Lost and As They Hear These Things, He Proceeded to Tell a Parable and Then Luke Tells Us Why He Proceeded to Tell the Parable. He Proceeded to Tell a Parable Because He Was near to Jerusalem and Because They Suppose That the Kingdom of God Was Going to Appear Immediately, so He Told Him a Parable about a Nobleman Who Went into a Far Country. He Was Gone for a Long Time so I'll Wait a Minute I Thought It Was Imminent or Was Unexpected.
I Thought It Could Happen Anytime and Now It Says over Here. They Went Away for a Long Time Where My Supposed to Do These Things Supposed to Believe Them Both Supposed to Live Every Day As If Life May Go on Forever, and to Live Every Day As If Today Maybe Your Last Day. So As If I Think That Jesus Is Coming Tonight Have To Worry about Getting My Socks and Shoes Ready for Tomorrow Morning. I Just Sit around.
I Just Be Born Idle. I Don't Ever Need to Finish My Meals Do Do and That's All I Just Go Sit on a Hill Somewhere There Are People Just like That All of the Prophetic Stuff If You Remember the Things That Have Marked the Last 13 Years of Life in America. All of the Visit All of the Bizarre Stuff Is Been Directly Related to Somebody with a Big Mouth and a Fathead Holding Control over People and Telling Them That This Is Exactly What Is Going to Happen. And If That Doesn't Happen, Then the Other Thing That May Happen Is Just Stagnation Rep. You Assume I Really Need to Do and All That. The Fact That This Is Going to Happen. It Is a Call to Passivity and so on.
You Can Work This out for Yourselves.
But in Actual Fact You See from There in Verse 34 That the Reverse Is the Case That It Is Because Jesus Has Gone and Will Return That His Servants Are to Be Engaged Actively and Responsibly and Individually.
He Puts His Servants, Each with His Work, We See That There Is a Work for Jesus Number You Can Do Your Words Probably Not My Work. My Work Is Not Your Work and He Commands the Doorkeeper to Stay Away Than the Parable in Matthew 24. Are They Not in the Parable, but in the End of the Matthew Account, He Says, Who Then Is the Faithful and Wise Servant, Whom His Master Is Said over His Household, to Give Them Their Food at the Proper Time.
He Says Blessed Is That Servant, Whom His Master Will Find so Doing When He Comes Who Is Who Is the Servant the Servant Is Found Doing When He Comes Does Not Call to Passivity Is a Called Activity so Were in Their End of the Day. Ignorance Is No Excuse for Being Unprepared and Fight in Ignorance Is an Incentive and the Stress Is Laid on That by Jesus Here. And Finally, Fourthly, Although We Are Ignorant of the Proximity of the Event. We Are Not Ignorant concerning the Certainty of the Event. That's Why Verse 37 Is an Apt Summary Is What I Say to You I Say to All Stay Away. That's Not Simply a Summary of Verses 32 and Following Is a Summary of All That He Said in the Discourse Beginning Back in Verse Five.
So What Then Is the Bottom Line or What Is the Take Away or What Is There to Do What Is the Challenge.
What Are the Implications Because This Is Clearly Not a Call to Contemplation. There Is a Moral Dimension to It Isn't. It's a Call Not to Contemplation but a Call to Action Is How He Began Verse Nine. Be on Your Guard, Keep Awake Verse 33. Stay Away Verse 35 You Have To Be Very Clever to Say Hi. Thank You Is to Stay Awake. I Am Not All the Details Here but I Gather, I Got a Big Thing You're Not Supposed to Fall Asleep on the Job You Get a Part Is Not Really That Hard to Read the Bible, so the Expectation Is Given. You Will Notice Not Just of the Four with Whom He Speaking or to the 12 Who Are His Disciple Band or to the Church of Rome Which Is the Church of Mark's Readership, but to the Whole Church.
Throughout These Last Days, and What I Say to You I Say to All and We Could Say, Parenthetically, and That Includes Parkside Charge 21st-Century. I Said I Say to All of You Stay Awake Is a Striking and a Clear Call. There Is a Warning That Is Inherent in It. There Is an Encouragement That Is Inherent in the Warning That Is Contained in Staying Awake Is First of All, a Warning As to the Matter of Our Salvation. That's the Significance of the Story of the 10 Virgins Okay That There Is a Day Coming When It Will Be Truly It's It's Not Possible to Exercise Their Dramatic Solemn Elements That Come at the End of Each of These Sections. Let Me Just Point Them out to You in Case I Run Out Of Time.
Look at the End of the Parable of the 10 Virgins in Verse 11, after the Other Version Came Say, Lord, Lord, Open to Us, but the Answer Truly I Say to You I Do Not Know You. I Don't Know You so Let's Let's on the Strength of What Jesus Says Is Unpalatable As It Is in Our Pluralistic Syncretistic Culture.
Let's Be Absolutely Clear That Nobody's Going to Be over. Show up on That Day, When the Door Closes and Plead the Fact That They Were a Religious Person That They Were a Church Attender That They Were Devoutly Involved in a Variety of Religious Preoccupations That They Were Very, Very Spiritual. Frankly, the Door Will Close in Jesus Say I'm Sorry I on the Clue You Are in a Part of My Family and Ours Will Be a Time When It's Too Late. That's What Scares Me When I Preach to You Sunday by Sunday and I Know That Many of You Are Still outside of Christ, You Walk Away Sunday after Sunday with a Knowledge of Things I Had Knowledge of Things Sometimes Are Stored by It Move. I Have Changed by Annoyed by It, but You Aren't Still outside of Christ. I Need to Say to You Again. You're Not Going in on the Well-Being of Your Spouse or Your Loved One, or Your Friend or Your Pastor.
There Is Only One Who Can Speak on Your Behalf, and That Is Christ There Is Only One Mediator between God and Man. And That Is the Man Christ Jesus As Calvin's Is All That Jesus Has Done for Us Is of No Value to Us.
So Long As We Remain outside of Christ. If You Are outside of Christ Today, You're Playing with Your Eternity. I'll Get Another Chance Doing Once I Get Rid of This Once I Finish That Once This That the Next Thing the Devil Loves That Stuff. His Favorite Word Is Tomorrow. The Bible Always Says Today Is the Day of Salvation. That Is the Warning about Personal Salvation in Terms of the Five Wise Five Foolish Virgins. Then the Warning Comes in the Parable of the Talents about Wasting Our Life's for Anything Other Than the Gospel.
I Doesn't Mean Becoming Pastors or Missionaries.
It Means Being Concerned with and Consumed with the Longing and the Desire to See Unbelieving People Become the Committed Followers of Jesus Christ, so That the Quality of Our Work the Endeavor of Our Labors. We May Not Be the Most Skilled Person in the LaBarre Entry. We May Not Be the Brightest. Actually in Their Consulting Firm, but We in Christ Have the Most Significant of Motivations Because the Christian Is No Longer Motivated Now by Self-Aggrandizement or Even by Remuneration, or Even by Academic Status. All of These Things Are Not without Significance, but They Don't Make It for the Christ.
That's What He Saying in the Parable of the Talents and Then Finally in the Warning of the Judgment That Is to Come. He Says the Same Thing You're Going to Understand That You Minister to Me. The Lord Jesus, When You Encounter Me in the Least of Your Brothers and Your Sisters Far from These Affairs Not Mattering. He Says These Apparently Inconsequential Affairs. Matter a Great Deal When You See Someone Hungry and Feed Them When You See Someone Thirsty and You Give Them a Drink When You See Someone Sick or in Prison and You Visit Them.
So What Is That about and He Said Truly I Say to You As You Did It to One of the Least of These My Brothers and Sisters.
To Me, so All of Our Days and All of Our Deeds in Christ Good for Someone Good for Something.
If We're Going to Pay Attention to This.
If We're Going to Step Back from the Big Picture and Look at It and Say to Ourselves, Okay, We've Got It Clear Now That the Next Thing in the Calendar Is the Return of Jesus Christ.
Whether It Is Long-Delayed. Whether It Is Tomorrow.
I Am Going to Live in the Expectation of His Return. When Christ Returns to Court Town and in the Song. There Will Be First Cry of Anguish. Why Will There Be a Cry of Anguish for the Same Reason That the Five Foolish Virgins Cried out They Were Unprepared. Why Will There Be a Cry of Anguish for the Person Who Thought That He Was Investing His Life. She Was Investing Her Life in the Cause That Was Significant, but It Had Nothing to Do with the Gospel. Why Will There Be a Cry of Anguish Because We Failed to See in the Least of Our Brethren That We Were Involved in a Ministry to Christ Himself, but the Same Event That Brought Anguish to the Foolish Brought Joy to the Wise, the Foolish Man Built His House upon the Sand and the Rain Came Tumbling down and His House Fell Flat in the Wisemen Built His House upon the Rock and the Rain Came Tumbling down and the House on the Rock Stood Firm.
Let Me Ask You If Christ Were to Return before We Conclude This Song What Will Your Crime Be Anguish Suddenly Realizing That Every Pleading, Every Urging to Be Reconciled to God. You've Met Perhaps Kindly but Firmly with a No or Will It Be a Cry of Delight That Here Is the One Who Paid My Debt He Was the One Who Stayed Away in the Ignominy of Calvary.
He's the One Who's Asking Me to Stay Away Is Another Whole Sermon. If You Think about If Christ Had Not Stayed Awake If He Had Not Refused the Potion of Wine Mingled with Gall If He Had Succumbed to the Anesthesiology Cross. He Would Then Never Been Able to Turn to the Thief Who Said, Lord, Will You Remember Me When You Come into Your Kingdom. He Stayed Awake in Order That He Might Answer Today You Will Be with Me in Paradise for All of the Suffering in All of His Unmitigated Pain, Fullness State. If You like Awake to the Very End, and Always Asking for Us. Stay Awake so That When the Bridegroom Comes, It Won't Be the Drums along Be the Symbols It Won't Be All That It Will Be His Voice, It Will Be His Face. It Will Be the Fact That He Is No Longer the Carpenter in Nazareth. He's No Longer the Baby in Bethlehem. He Is the Returning King and All of His Power Staying Awake for Jesus Are Returning King Inspiring Conclusion to Our Series and the Gospel According to Mark on Truth for Life with Alister Bag.
If You've Enjoyed Listening to This Study in Mark's Gospel, You Should Know You Can Own Alister's Teaching through This Entire Book of the Bible on a Single USB Drive.
The Gospel According to Mark Is a Comprehensive Study 87 Messages You'll Experience a Close-Up Encounter with Jesus As You Correct Verse by Verse through Mark's Account of Jesus Life, Death and Resurrection. Order Your Copy of the firstname.lastname@example.org, or by tapping on the image you see in the mobile app it's available at our cost of just five dollars and the shipping is free. There's another resource would like to recommend today. It's a book that will walk you through the first two chapters of Luke's gospel during the Advent season. This is a devotional by author and pastor Christopher Ash.
It's titled repeat the sounding joy. This is a book filled with brief daily readings that take us into the Christmas story where we discover new details and we recall some familiar truths will also experience the joy of Christmas through the eyes of first-hand witnesses like Mary Elizabeth the shepherds and Simeon if you're looking for a way to refresh your soul in anticipation of Christmas, repeat the sounding joy is the perfect devotional resource. We invite you to request your copy comes to you with our thanks and it's available when you make a generous one time gift today. Simply tap the image on the mobile app or visit Truth for Life.org if you prefer you can call us at 888-588-7884 by Bob Lapine can join us again tomorrow as we begin a new series titled my times are in your hands will examine why God allows suffering the Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living