Are you ready for Jesus to return? That’s the question that we are asking ourselves as we study Mark 13. It addresses the very issue that is on the mind of our Lord.
The first way to prepare for the return of Jesus Christ is to repent of your sins and find forgiveness through the cross. In fact, this is part of faithful evangelism to let people know that is appointed man once to die and then comes judgment.
That Jesus Christ will one day return and when he does he will judge the living and the dead of the deeds done in the body and there’s no do-overs in that moment. There are no second changes. There are no extensions.
And when you are judged it will be in the most perfect, exacting judgment that can properly weigh and assess every motive. The Proverbs say that all the ways of a man seem right to him, but the Lord assesses the motives.
In that judgment no one who is standing to give an account will stand. Anyone who is not united to Christ by faith will be tried and condemned.
The wages or the payment for sin is death. Eternal death in Hell.
Likewise, those who belong to Jesus will stand. It won’t be because our sins weren’t as bad or as numerous, but because of the righteousness of Jesus. The credit for his perfect life becomes ours.
The first way to get ready for the return of Jesus is to put your trust in him now.
The second way to get ready for the return of Jesus is to look for it and expect it and desire it. Throughout the New Testament we find that those who long for the appearing of Jesus live pure lives, and sanctified lives, and are eternally minded.
And yet in the midst of these lofty truths there are difficult days. And that’s what brings us to our passage this morning. Jesus wants to set expectations for us while we wait for him.
It’s helpful to have expectations.
Early on in marriage, Saturday was the day of the week most likely to be met with disappointment. This was because my wife and I had different views on Saturdays. We had different upbringings, different personalities and different views of the best way to spend time on a Saturday.
And so there was a process of getting on the same page. First, we had to understand one another, and then we had to be willing to serve each other. Thankfully, we were able to get that worked out.
But one of the very helpful practices was learning to have proper expectations.
Jesus is setting proper expectations right now. As a loving leader, he is preparing his disciples for his departure. And so he is going to begin teaching them today what to expect while he’s gone.
These words are both challenging and comforting.
We’ve spent the past two weeks attempting to set this thing up. First, we examined the stunning prediction made by Jesus about the temple’s forthcoming destruction. It’s Tuesday the week that he’s going to the cross.
He’s now completed his public ministry and preaching. The four disciples who were the first to follow Jesus (Peter, Andrew, James and John) have Jesus all to themselves on the Mt. of Olives just outside of the city.
And in that intimate setting they ask him for further explanation concerning future matters. According to Matthew’s account, this is a three-part question:
When will these things happen? That’s when will the temple be destroyed.
What will be the sign of your coming? What’s the relationship to you coming back?
What is the sign of the end of the age? When is this age going to be completed?
Now today, we get to the response by our Lord to these men who had become so dear to him. Again, this is the longest answer Jesus ever gave to a question. It is the longest teaching recorded by Mark.
The focus is on the future.
Jesus is coming back, but not for a while. In fact, there will be many things that will be cause for speculation, and he wants to prepare his disciples to think rightly about these matters, so they aren’t taken by surprise.
When we outline, the goal is to uncover the structure of the language itself and let that form the outline. So, vv. 5-13 are one connected unit of thought. And within that one connected thought, there are three specific commands given, these commands serve as guidelines for weathering the difficult days that are coming.
So, in this passage, Jesus gives:
3 Guidelines for Enduring Difficult Days While Waiting for Jesus
Don’t be conned by imposters (5-6)
Don’t be troubled by calamities (7-8)
Don’t be surprised by persecution (9-13)
1 As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”
3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?” 5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 6 “Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many. 7 “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. 8 “For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
9 “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. 10 “The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11 “When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. 12 “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 13 “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
With that established, let’s look at this first guideline:
Don’t be conned by imposters (5-6)
The point here is that as a Christian you can expect people to come claiming to be true teachers, true disciples of Jesus Christ who aren’t and Jesus doesn’t want you to be duped.
Don’t be conned by imposters.
(5) And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.
Warning concerning the possibility of being deceived. Another way of saying this would be: you look out for yourself that you are never led astray by anyone.
Watch out is a gracious warning to avoid harm. Jesus loves his men and he loves you and me, and he wants us to be prepared for the difficult days while he is physically absent from earth. He is coming back, but in the meantime, we remain in a difficult situation.
Danger signs are posted near high voltage electrical wires, and beaches with riptide currents, and anywhere else that there is the immanent reality of pain or calamity. Anywhere that there is the upcoming possibly of harm and an urging to avoid.
Here is protection for an area of vulnerability.
What is this warning in relationship to? Foremost, the issue is the timing of events and the return of Jesus, but more broadly, interception in general.
Several implications of this warning:
You can be led astray…
Being misled pictures being on the right path and getting off track at some point along the way as you start following wrong leader or teaching. Consider the many believers who start out well and finish in a different spot.
It can come from anywhere. He says anyone in the original.
That means people who seem like obvious threats and people who don’t. The threat can come from anyone, anywhere.
Just consider the overwhelming data of the New Testament.
Do not be deceived (1 Corinthians 6:9 about ungodly people not inheriting the kingdom of heaven)
Do not be deceived (Colossians 2:8 by philosophy and human traditions)
Don’t believe every spirit (1 John 4:1 but test the spirits)
Don’t be deceived (Galatians 6:7 and think that you can live however you like without consequences vs. sowing and reaping)
Don’t be deceived (Ephesians 5:6 by empty words)
Don’t deceive yourselves (James 1:22 by hearing God’s word and being a professional listener who doesn’t apply it)
Watch out (2 Timothy 3:5 for those who have a form of godliness, they have it in name, but they deny it’s power, it isn’t authentic godliness from the heart, it’s just an outward show of behavior, but the inner life is corrupt).
So, there’s a vulnerability to being deceived, and to go down the wrong path as it pertains to truth, and then Jesus gives more detail on the threat for which you must be on guard.
Look at the pervasive nature of the threat…
(6) “Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.
This is not a small problem at all. This isn’t an isolated issue. Many phonies will come. And the result is that many will be deceived. We are talking about lots and lots of people here folks.
The reason we are on guard is because there are lots of spiritual imposters. The result of their false teaching is that many will be led astray.
In misleading you picture a person with malintent luring a child into their vehicle using candy. So, these false teachers lure many who are weak and blind into their snare.
What is their strategy?
They come incognito. Look at the text.
They will come in My name Jesus says. That’s why we aren’t calling them opposers, but imposters. They are going to use the Bible. They are going to invoke the name of Jesus. They are going to attempt to sound close to correct biblical teaching in many ways.
An imposter is a pretender who disguises their true identity, so they can infiltrate and deceive. But in a spiritual sense most false teachers are deceived themselves (deceiving and being deceived, 2 Timothy 3:13).
This incognito mode is the secret to the effectiveness of false teachers.
It’s a brilliant strategy concocted by Satan who is an angel of light (that means he appears to be bringing truth). Here is one of many tools in Satan’s toolbox. It is to originate and promote false views about God under the banner of naming the name of Jesus Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 11 Paul referred to them as deceitful workers, disguising themselves as those who have been sent of Christ, as apostles, as servants of righteousness.
This is so practical.
These are people who are saying Gospel-centered. They are talking about the grace of God. They quote the Scriptures in their teaching. Oftentimes they have book deals and popularity.
So, what gives them away? Their teaching doesn’t conform to sound doctrine and doesn‘t produce godly living.
Not only do they come in the name of Jesus, but some of those teachers come saying they are the Messiah.
Those who say I am. We have some of those in history. That’s the narrow application.
There are dozens and dozens and dozens of so-called prophets who have risen up even in our day and claimed to be prophets. Everyone from Joseph White claiming to be a prophet a d founding Mormonism that numbers has led astray millions claiming to be a true prophet of Jesus.
Then there are those who make overt messianic references. David Koresh, leader of cult Branch Davidians in Waco Texas changed his name from Vernon Howell. Why? He claimed to be a Messiah—David the son of David, and Koresh the King Cyrus who was a Messiah (the Anointed from Isaiah 45).
Many people claiming to be the Messiah. Many people coming in the name of Jesus as false teachers.
Friends, we should expect false teaching to abound. We should expect it to dupe many, many people. And we should expect it to at times sound similar to truth. Sometimes people will say that all the different views and teachings people have regarding the Bible invalidate it.
No, quite the opposite.
The Bible again demonstrates its validity in specifically predicting that it will be misused by false teacher.
There are two important things to note before we move on to our next point:
First, no person who is chosen by God can ever be ultimately deceived about the Gospel.
Mark 13:22—for false Christ’s and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect.
That means all of those whom God chooses to save (that’s what elect means, chosen, in v. 22) will know and believe the truth about God, Christ and the Gospel. God promises that you will never be led astray in anything pertaining to salvation.
Second, believers (here these four men) are warned to be on the look out. That means although you cannot be deceived ultimately on the Gospel, you might get duped on other matters
The disciples still thought the kingdom was coming immediately (Acts 1). The Thessalonians thought they must have missed the return of Jesus.
At this point you should be asking yourself, how do I look out for false teachers? How do I apply or obey this truth?
The single most important factor is how you relate to truth itself. We won’t go to the passages right now, but 2 Peter 2 describes how false teaching gains a foothold in the human heart, 2 Timothy 4 and Romans 16 do as well.
Each on one of those passages describes words that flatter and words that appeal to the flesh. See, being led astray is not a matter of intelligence. Many brilliant scholars are led astray. People far more learned than you and me.
Just to give you one example where the church is beginning to be led astray today is on the matter of acquiescing to pressure from the culture. You can watch it take place in the writing and speaking of many leaders in evangelicalism today:
The church is compromising on gender roles—that there is a difference between men and women and that God has given men and women different roles and responsibilities in the church.
The church is compromising on calling homosexual desires sinful. Homosexual desires are sinful as are any sexual desires outside of marriage.
The church is compromising on the calling of the church and what the church’s mission is, which is to proclaim the Gospel of God’s grace to sinners and disciple them into maturity in Christ and adopting all these concepts that add to that simple message: we are about redeeming the arts and redeeming and beautifying culture, and economic equality and racial reconciliation.
So just taking that one example, why is the church so easily deceived on these matters? Because it is accommodating personal desires for sin and it is gaining the approval of the world. It’s that simple.
It appeals to my flesh in terms of confronting my own sin, and it lessens the reproach of following Christ. So how do you watch out?
You study the Scriptures carefully and you live a life of increasing submission to God’s truth by faith, through the power of Christ in you. Spiritual discernment grows through practicing what you are hearing (Hebrews 5:14).
Don’t be deceived or led astray by con artists. Well, that’s our first guideline for enduring difficult days while waiting for Jesus.
Don’t be conned by imposters (5-6)
Don’t be troubled by calamities (7-8)
Jesus is going to say hear, while you wait for me don’t get exercised, don’t get panicky over difficult days that come upon you. Expect chaos to continue and even to worsen before I return.
(7) “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened;
War is terrifying.
Right now, in the United States there aren’t any immanent threats of battle or war on our borders that threaten our nation.
Jesus said to these men, when you hear of the real deal, or when there is a concern that a war might take place don’t get frightened, alarmed, distressed… don’t panic.
Now war is of course by nature distressing. People die on both sides and then typically one side loses to another, and the loss means giving up whatever it was you were fighting for. Not to mention the toll it takes on society in terms of economics and lost productivity and then the pain of losing loved ones and injured soldiers.
Plus, it’s just distressing. The Persian Gulf War was taking place when I was pretty young, and I remember struggling to go to sleep because of images of Saddam Hussein that I had seen on the evening news. It was scary.
But Jesus doesn’t have these types of distress in mind here as his primary point. Certainly we are to take our fears to him in prayer, even as I did at that early age. But his point is related to the question asked by the disciples.
Look at how Jesus brings this back to preparation and timing again:
those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.
See, he isn’t really focusing on, “don’t be concerned when your nation gets invaded” but rather “don’t get alarmed that I’ve come, or you just missed my coming due to wars.”
During the cold war with Russia and the establishment of Israel as a nation there were predictions all over the place that we were at the end. Wars drew speculation then that it could be the end of the world, and it still does today.
Just a few weeks ago we were in the park as a family on a Saturday morning and met a woman who learned that I was a pastor. Her immediate response was that she is a “prophecy girl” and if I needed to know anything about prophecy, she was “my girl.” And she proceeded to tell me about the signs of the times right now, and all of the things that are coming together right now for the return of Christ.
What’s Jesus say here? Don’t alarmed, it is not yet the end.
Expect things to happen and you will be tempted to think, “boy I don’t know how much longer this world can even exist…” Why?
(8) “For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines.
World super powers will go to war with one another. And it just keeps happening. World War I was the “war to end all wars.” What happens about twenty years later? World War II begins.
Earthquakes and tsunamis that kill thousands. In 2004 the Indian Ocean Tsunami that left nearly a quarter of a million people dead, and destroyed entire communities and villages leaving them with nothing and no way to rebuild.
Famine the severe shortage of food. In the past decade entire countries ravaged with thousands of people starving to death in Sudan, Niger, Somolia, the Congo, North Korea, and Yemen. Hundreds of millions of people die due to crop shortages from a lack of rain or ongoing frost conditions, or else mismanagement by governments and corruption.
The point is that these are horrible situations. And when you are in the midst of the it will look and feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. Jesus goes on to say:
These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
Simple analogy that is easy enough to grasp. All these difficulties are to not only be expected but are just the warm up for something even worse.
Look, the beginning of birth pangs aren’t anywhere near as bad as the peak of labor. Sure, you might have some painful contractions in the early stages of labor, but they come and go. You get breathers and breaks. In the beginning, for most women, you can talk through the contractions—in fact that’s one of the signs that things are moving when you can’t talk anymore during a contraction.
Jesus says these difficult days are going to come: wars, natural disasters, and famines. And in those days it will look and feel like the end. But realize that it is the expected, normal part of the process of the earth groaning for my return.
Don’t be like the prophecy girl trying to discern the signs of the times. That’s the exact opposite of what I want you to do. Don’t’ get worked up by these things because they are the beginning, the foretaste.
Absolutely specific and clear. Verses 7-8 are a foretaste of what is coming. And listen to this, the disciples lived through all of these things, just like we are:
There were fears of war in A.D. 40 when Caligula (Roman emperor, A.D. 37–41) attempted to erect a statue to himself in the temple of Jerusalem.
Josephus uses a phrase very similar to 13:7 to describe the rumors of war circulating in Caligula’s day. The rumors of Caligula’s day turned out to be only that, but twenty-five years later total war broke out in A.D. 66 when the Zealot revolt plunged Palestine into a catastrophic defeat by Rome.
There were famines during the reign of Claudius (Roman emperor, A.D. 41–54; see Acts 11:28).
Earthquakes struck Phrygia in A.D. 61 and leveled Pompey in A.D. 63.
The language of vv. 7–8 finds striking parallels in Tacitus’s description particularly of the last years of Nero’s megalomania and the civil wars that followed his suicide in A.D. 68.
Not surprisingly, toward the end of the first century Revelation 6 contains a similar list of wars, famine, earthquakes, and persecutions.
The purpose of the litany of woes in 13:8 is not to lure believers into speculations about the end, but to anchor them to watchfulness and faithfulness in the present.
Don’t be caught up in trying to discern timing, but rather be preparing since you don’t know whether it’s the end or not. What’s that look like?
Purity of life. Urgency in evangelism. Praying for Jesus to return.
Well we’ve seen our first to guidelines for enduring difficult days while waiting for Jesus:
Don’t be conned by imposters (5-6)
Don’t be troubled by calamities (7-8)
Don’t be surprised by persecution (9-13)
We are living in a somewhat uncommon situation as Christians to be in a country where there is little to no violent religious opposition to our beliefs. And the government, although beginning to limit free exercise of religion, still protects us. This isn’t the case for many in the world and hasn’t been for most of history.
(9) “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts,
Watch out. Same word repeated from v. 5—βλέπετε.
Emphatic about personal watchfulness… ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς. Intensely practical. Watch out who your friends are, watch out who you confide in. William Tyndale being turned in by a friend.
παραδώσουσιν—same thing that happened to Jesus.
This is very specific to these guys right now… what says courts in the English is the Sanhedrin in the original. You remember the Sanhedrin from Mark 12—the ruling body of leaders in Jerusalem.
and you will be flogged in the synagogues,
Flogging was issued by the religious authorities for heresy. It was no more than 40 lashes according to the Mosaic law as outlined in Deuteronomy 25:2-3. If you went over 40 lashes then you would get flogged.
So, the ones doing the flogging stopped at 39.
It was issued for heresy. That’s why Paul got 39 lashes on five separate occasions. Five times he was convicted of heresy and flogged. It was 26 strikes on the back with a leather strap that we separated into four pieces that were braided. That was after 13 to the chest.
This also happened to the apostles before Paul was even saved, as recorded in Acts 5:40. What was the offense? Stating that Jesus was the Messiah.
and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.
Wow. That’s intimidating. And it was fulfilled historically in the apostles in so many ways.
Names like Felix, Festus and Pilate—these were governors that Jesus and Paul would stand before. Kings would be the Herods—John the Baptist previously, soon Jesus, and eventually Paul.
It is the for the sake of Jesus Christ. It is for his purpose. It is for his desire. It is by his design to make his name known. A way that the Gospel spreads is through Christians being persecuted and going before powerful leaders.
Remember what Paul said in his letter to the Philippians? The house of Caesar has now heard the Gospel because I have been chained to important guards and as I testify to them the Gospel is going forth into very high places.
Just think about the re-alignment taking place right now. The disciples were asking not long ago—so when you set up the kingdom, who gets to be in the most prominent positions of influence and power?
First, they are picturing being the powerful people. Then they find out the way you will influence them is by being tried by them. Huge perspective re-alignment.
And then Jesus visits again the concept of timing of events:
(10) “The gospel must first be preached to all the nations.
Undeniable, clear and plain language: and before it is necessary to preach the Gospel to all the nations. [καὶ εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη πρῶτον δεῖ κηρυχθῆναι τὸ εὐαγγέλιον.]
must—it is necessary…
first—proton; where we get prototype, before…
For those who view these verses as being fulfilled before the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, there is no good answer for this verse. Sure, the Gospel had gone forth to into Asia Minor and Europe, but that was the extent of it. Hard to see how that could be all the nations.
And there is a link implied here between persecution and the advancement of the Gospel.
As clear evangelism takes place, so persecution increases. As persecution increases, the Gospel spreads. It’s what took place in Jerusalem at the beginning of the church. Christians fleeing persecution took the Gospel with them and it spread.
Most of this has been challenging so far. But now Jesus gives a word of comfort.
(11) “When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say,
Don’t panic if they get you. Be on the alert. Be careful to live so you don’t get caught. But if they get you, don’t be stressing out about what you are going to say [μὴ προμεριμνᾶτε].
What a promise! What a joy. Don’t be overconcerned—EVER. That’s the negation here. Absolute. Strongest possible. Same word for worry and anxiety in Matthew 6. You are going to have pain. Terror. All these things happening. And then you’re gonna be stressing out about what you are going to say, but don’t. Instead…
but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.
This verse is a huge comfort. If you’ve read Foxe’s book of Martyr’s, it is always challenging to read to clarity and power and eloquence with which those saints spoke before death. It’s almost like we are doing an infomercial—if you have the Holy Spirit, you can speak like that too.
But really this is such a comfort.
It is intimidating and scary. But what Jesus wants you to know is that in those moments he will give you special grace to testify concerning him. And so, you don’t have to be wondering—will I cave? Will I be faithful? Will I have the courage I need? Will my explanation bring glory to God?
You set your heart upon Jesus and fix your eyes on him, trusting that he will provide for you when the time comes.
Jesus is very polarizing to the degree that even…
(12) “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
Sometimes people will say blood is thicker than water, which is misused today, but it intends to communicate that family relationships are stronger and deeper than any other relationship. But that’s not true when it comes to the Gospel.
Just talk to someone who converted to Christianity out of Islam. This is a real issue. Jesus is describing the worst possible expectations as it pertains to relationships in light of the Gospel. And then he summarizes the whole thing by saying:
(13) “You will be hated by all because of My name,
Such a profound statement for us that gives us crystal clear expectations on how we should expect to be viewed. It doesn’t mean that every single individual who isn’t a Christian hates Christians. But rather that the hatred doesn’t know boundaries in terms of the types of people who would hate us.
Literally the idea is to expect to be detested and loathed. The word draws upon the Hebrew concept of hatred which meant to disregard and have a strong aversion to. This is why fear of man is so detrimental and crippling. This is why you can’t love your life and have Jesus as well.
Of course, in many places it is life and death. Right now for us it’s embarrassing to be a Christian because it doesn’t fit in with the values that are popular in society.
Why? Because of My name…
Jesus in you shines as a bright light that testifies to who God is and the result is that it testifies against evil deeds. As one lyricist writes:
We're part of a culture, that really loves to hate us, every chance they get, they attempt to isolate and debate us, it's not that they don't like us. It's just they don't like God in us…
Listen, my flesh hates this truth. My flesh wants approval and esteem. My flesh doesn’t want to be disregarded. This sin will cripple us spiritually if we don’t embrace the reproach of Christ. See, for the believer we gain a new perspective on what matters and what doesn’t.
Prior to Christ, the approval of the world matters. In Christ, he becomes precious to us and we realize that anything opposed to him is vanity that is doomed to pass away and we can more easily part with it.
Don’t attempt to remove the reproach of Christ. The apostle Paul dealt with this extensively in 1 Corinthians as there was pressure to soften the message of the cross to make it more appealing. The writer of Hebrews dealt with the pressure to adopt practices that would avoid persecution.
One other comment—facing rejection for the Gospel allows you to depend upon the power of God. There is a special way that God unites with his people as they stand for him against opposition.
I can tell you this biblically and experientially (Daniel 3—Shadrach, Meschach and Abednigo… See you at the Pole, Edelman).
Also, according to the United States Department of State, Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Jesus Christ.
Of the 50 top countries for Christian persecution the three most common sources of persecutions are Islamic oppression, dictatorial governments and communism.
but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.
Tight connection in the original… the one enduring… this one will be saved. This is certainly an encouragement to preserve. But it is more than that. It is a word of comfort because it is Jesus that will give you endurance.
John 16:33—These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.
Jesus didn’t need to give any indication of what was going to happen in the future. He was under no compulsion to explain what was coming. When asked about the temple he could have just said, “yeah some amazing craftsmanship, huh?”
When asked about his return he could have said, “it will be a surprise… I’m not even sure of the hour.”
But he’s a loving leader.
And so, he told his disciples and he tells us what to expect. Difficult days while we wait for his return.
Many false teachers
Many persecutions and hatred
But we can take heart that through Christ we overwhelming conquer. The only thing that you have to really fear is being outside of Christ when he returns.