The Gospel of Mark – Part 44
The End of The Age – Mark 13
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – July 26th, 2020
- This morning we are going to look at the teaching of Jesus about the end of the age. From His teaching we will be equipped by knowing what to expect and what we are to do. This chapter is an important road map for the future of humanity, and the wise person will take note and take these things to heart. In doing so, you will have perspective, peace and productivity in the work of the Kingdom.
- Jesus finished His day of ministry at the temple, and Jesus and His disciples were heading out of the city. As they were leaving the temple Jesus, warned them of its destruction.
The destruction of the temple
Mark 13:1-2 ESV
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
- The temple was a magnificent sight. It was an architectural wonder of their age. This was the second temple built by Zerubbabel and restored by Herod the Great. It had foundation stones as big as boxcars and it towered 250 feet above the Kidron Valley. The temple itself had massive gates of bronze and the building was gold plated. When the sun hit the building, it had a reflection that looked like fire. There were precious stones and silver on it as well. The temple courts had been expanded to 400 – 500 yards and there were platforms, porticoes and colonnades. The temple covered approximately one-sixth of the area of the city of Jerusalem. It was a sight to behold – especially in the ancient world! It was the pride of Israel and the pinnacle of the people.
- When the disciples pointed out the wonder of the temple to Jesus, Jesus responded that “there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” This must had been mind blowing for the disciples. In order for this to happen, there indeed would have to be a great national tragedy. How could this even happen? What would that mean for the people of Israel and the people of God?
- About 35 years later (about 70 AD), those who heard this first-hand saw it happen. The Jews rebelled against Rome so under the leadership of Emperor Titus Roman legions destroyed the city. They were told to leave the temple alone, however a soldier set the temple on fire. The gold melted away, so they took they entire temple apart to reclaim the gold that had melted, and there was not one stone left upon another. The fact that this did indeed happen just the way that Jesus foretold, tells us that everything else that He told would happen, would indeed come to pass. This is often done in prophecy and is an early sign that a later predicted event would happen as well.
- Jesus and the disciples walked over to the Mount of Olives and the disciples asked Him when would this happen and how will they know when it was about to happen.
The close of the age
Mark 13:3-8 ESV
And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
- They could see the temple and most of the city of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives (which was 150 feet above Jerusalem). And with this view in their eyes, they asked Jesus to tell them more about when this was going to happen. (At this point they did not debate about it happening, but they asked Him “when” and “how would they know.”) Jesus responded with these things:
- See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray.
- When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet.
- Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
- There will be earthquakes in various places.
- There will be famines.
- These are but the beginning of birth pains. (birth pains get greater as the time grows shorter)
- The end will not come through these things, but they are signs that the end is coming.
Mark 13:9-13 ESV
“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
- Be on your guard. You will be turned over to religious councils. You will be beaten by them. You will be turned over to governmental authorities – to bear witness before them.
- The gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. Matthew states in this way, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matt 24:14-15 ESV). In order to usher in the coming of the end of the old creation and the beginning of the new creation, we must proclaim the gospel to the whole world.
- When you are brought to trial, don’t be anxious about what you will say because the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say.
- Family will betray family to death for the sake of the gospel. Brother vs. brother, father vs. child, children vs. parents.
- You will be hated by all for His name sake – for the name of Jesus – not “God.”
- Make sure you endure to the end – you will be saved in the end.
The abomination of desolation
Mark 13:14-23 ESV
“But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19 For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
- The “abomination of desolation” was first named in the book of Daniel (9:27, 11:31, 12:11). It is an abomination (a vile, shameful, detestable thing) that causes desolation (destruction, death, misery, despair) standing where it should not be (the temple in Jerusalem) . . . (let the reader understand). What the reader is to understand is that this has multiple fulfillments, one for each temple (with each getting worse). First temple – Maccabean period – Antiochus IV (167 BC), Second Temple – Titus and the Roman Army (70AD), and the logic follows that there will be a Third Temple built and then the third and final “abomination of desolation” will “stand where he ought not to be” which is believed to be the anti-christ.
- This will be a time of intense tribulation – there has not been a time this difficult or as horrible, nor will there be a time as horrible after it. (This event it yet to come.) There will be believers on the earth (for the sake of the elect – He will shorten the days).
- We are warned again to “be on guard” and not to believe that this is the Christ, because this person is a false christ and a false prophet (and there will be many), and they will even perform signs and wonders with the purpose of leading people astray. So again, be on guard! He has told us what will happen before it does – so be on the lookout and do not be surprised!
- After this happens, the “Son of Man” will arrive (the second coming). Matthew states it this way: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days” (Matt 24:29 ESV), which means that right after this happens, the Son of Man will come – He will not return before this occurs. And with His true coming again, there will be unmistakable, cataclysmic cosmic events that take place that no man can do, and no man will miss.
The coming of the Son of Man
Mark 13:24-27 ESV
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
- These things were prophesied over and over in the Old Testament and they were also described in the New Testament (Isa. 13:9-13; 24:21-23; 34:4; Ezek. 32:7-8; Joel 2:10-11; 30-31; 3:15; Amos 8:9, 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 6:12)
2 Peter 3:10 ESV
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
- No one will miss it and no one will mistake it. These things have to happen before the return of Christ! So don’t be mistaken and don’t be misled (like so many have done). Then the “Son of Man” (Dan. 7:13-14) will come in the clouds in great power and glory. And He will send out the angels to gather His elect from the “four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.”
The lesson of the fig tree
Mark 13:28-31 ESV
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
- The lesson of the fig tree is this: just like a fig tree, when the branch becomes tender, and it puts out its leaves, summer is near. There are things that will happen before Jesus comes back. The more you see, the closer it is. We can know the season if we pay attention to what the Bible says and what we see in the world.
- “This generation” – this is the generation that is living between the first and second coming of Jesus. This was not just those living at the time, because “all these things” have not happened yet.
- The creation itself will “pass away” both heaven and earth will be made new. All the things that we see as unmovable and unchanging . . . the only thing that will indeed not pass way is the word of Jesus, because Jesus and His word are eternal and unchanging. What He has declared will be, and nothing and no one will change that.
The day and hour
Mark 13:32-36 ESV
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
- We can know the season, but we will not know the day nor the hour. No one knows this, not even the angels, not even the Son Himself. Only the Father knows. Don’t fall for someone saying that know the day and the hour, because they don’t.
- Be on guard, keep awake. Be on guard that you will be decided and keep awake . . . that is keep on doing what you are called to do. Don’t “fall asleep on the job” thinking that He will not be coming back in my lifetime, so therefore I will take it easy. Each one of us has his work, therefore stay awake. The truth is that your life may be required from you at any time, your time may be up today. So, keep working. Keep being vigilant. Keep doing the work of the kingdom that God has given for you to do!
- Know that Jesus’s words are true, and these things will happen just as He said they will.
- See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in His name saying that they are the Christ. Do not believe it.
- Be on your guard – knowing that you will be turned over to religious and governmental authorities because of the name of Jesus. Family members will turn on family members. You will be turned over and beaten to bear witness to them.
- Do not be anxious – about what you will say to them- the Holy Spirit will give you the words.
- Endure to the end – do not give up or give in – endure – in doing so you will be saved.
- Proclaim the gospel – to all nations to the ends of the world. Focus your energies, efforts and resources on this mission and ministry goal. Either going or sending. This should be a focal point of all Christians and churches.
- Be on guard – that the anti-christ will set himself up in the temple. That he and others will perform signs and wonders to lead people astray.