Live Like I'm Coming

There was a young man who was eighteen years old, living in New England who found himself in the city of New York, aware of his own spiritual vulnerability and in need of some anchor points.

In his journal, shortly after moving to the city he began writing notes to himself, beginning with the following statement: 

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

The text of course in the preamble to Jonathan Edwards resolutions. Seventy statements made, not in self-resolve or mere human grit, but rather expressions of an earnest desire to life thoughtfully in light of God’s grace in his life.

It is a simultaneous statement of utter dependence upon Christ, and at the same time, a personal resolve in that grace to honor the Lord.

Edwards was a sober young man. Rather than being pie in the sky or undisciplined, he was focused and part of what influenced him was seeing so many deaths around him. He understood the shortness of our stay on earth.

52. I frequently hear persons in old age say how they would live if they were to live their lives over again. Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.”

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.

Edwards understood well beyond his years, the importance of using the life God has given you for his glory. He understood that it is possible to waste your life. In fact, I would say it is natural and easy to waste your life. 

Throughout the New Testament we read about redeeming the time because the days are evil, walking wisely in the light of the days that we live in. The Psalmist asks God to help him number his days. We spend so much time thinking about living, and perhaps we need to spend more time thinking about our dying.

Or at least the end of this life as we know it.

The issue our passage brings to our attention today is the matter of spiritual apathy and spiritual procrastination. Procrastination and apathy are diseases that plague our lives. Procrastination delays for tomorrow what ought to be done today. 

But we aren’t speaking generally about apathy. Rather the matter before us today is that of spiritual apathy and spiritual procrastination. These things aren’t just a matter of losing your job, or wasting opportunities, or looking unprepared. 

It is about standing before Jesus one day and being prepared for that moment in time.

What’s our challenge? The day seems so far off. It’s not officially on the calendar. And as with normal responsibilities, a not having an official deadline or having a far-off deadline breeds opportunity to become forgetful or lazy.

Jesus is going to labor on the point this morning.

In preparation for this message I couldn’t help but think of a boss who I worked for. He had a reputation for frustrating people by not letting up on a topic that mattered to him. He would often stay on a particular issue until everyone was so sick of hearing about it. 

But over the years I began to see as time wore on, that more often than not, he was wisely and skillfully pressing in on an area that needed that level of engagement.

Sometimes it felt condescending. Somewhat like being a child who has to hear something repeated long after you believe you’ve got it. But what I came to realize is that he was often seeing things that other people weren’t. And by not letting up on the issue he was really wanting to ensure that everyone felt the weight of the topic and understood the implications fully.

So, it is today in our passage with Jesus. 

Jesus is repeating himself over and over today. And if you were one of these four grown men who was with him, I’m sure it felt a bit condescending. 

Really, Jesus? We got it. Got it the first time. Got it the second time. Got it the third time. 

This week we wrap up the Olivet Discourse, this intimate message given to a select few on the hill top outside of Jerusalem. Jesus is going to put a bow on this message as he wraps it up completely.

He is going to end with where he started. Warning.

This sermon has been filled with commands. There are 19 instructions he gives that need to be obeyed. A few of them are very specific to specific times and events, which I won’t include, but listen as I list off the commands given to the disciples by way of review.

Look out/watch out (5); do not be frightened (7); be on guard (9); do not worry (11); speak (11); understand (14); flee (14); don’t go down (15); don’t go in (15); don’t turn back (16); pray (18); don’t believe [error] (21); take heed/look out (23); learn (28); recognize (29); take heed/look out (33); keep alert (33); be alert (35); be alert (37).

Be awake. Be watching. Be ready. Be on guard. Be paying attention—learning, understanding, recognizing, preparing. Be praying. Be not anxious.

Do you see a theme? Jesus leaving is going to produce a liability to possible neglect. It’s what the mockers in 2 Peter 3 think—we haven’t seen Jesus for a while so he must not be coming. But Jesus wants his disciples and you and me, and the whole world, to prepare for his return.

Our Lord who had wisdom and insight into the human heart, knew that this was a message that needed to stick. And rather than worry about sounding redundant or like he was overexplaining he stayed on the same topic again and again.

It was to not grow spiritually complacent while you wait on his return. 

Jesus is gone right now. His presence is here through the Holy Spirit. But he is in heaven right now. You can’t see him. You can’t hear him except through his written revelation. You can’t touch him. And so, the danger is that Jesus would become out of sight and out of mind.

Edwards understood this as a young man. We’re going to be encouraged in these things today. Two ways to apply this message today:

  1. Be saved. Don’t deceive yourself into presuming upon tomorrow that you can deal with your soul another day.

  2. Be ready. Don’t waste your life living for lesser things that you will regret and will burn to ash when tested by fire on that final day.

As Christians, this is our hope. Jesus is coming again. And so, we live our days on earth looking to a future day. That’s why this world doesn’t have its grip on us. Hebrews 11—we are looking for a better city.

Well let’s prepare ourselves for the return of Christ by reading this entire passage together. You have a big picture outline of the chapter in your worship guide.

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. 

14 “But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 15 “The one who is on the housetop must not go down, or go in to get anything out of his house; 16 and the one who is in the field must not turn back to get his coat. 17 “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 18 “But pray that it may not happen in the winter. 19 “For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. 20 “Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. 21 “And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him; 22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 “But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance. 

24 “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 that are in the heavens will be shaken. 26 “Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN CLOUDS with great power and glory. 27 “And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. 

28 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 “Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. 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. 32 “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 

33 “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 34 “It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 35 “Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 “What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’ ”

Jesus Gives 3 Urgings to Watchfulness in Light of His Immanent Return (32-37)

  1. Be ready (33-34)

  2. Be ready (35-36)

  3. Be ready (37)

Last week as we examined vv. 24-32, we saw that Jesus is coming back immediately (Matthew 24:29) after the events of the great tribulation described in vv. 24-27. This fits in perfectly with the fig tree getting leaves right before summer (28), it fits with Jesus being right at the door when these events happen (29). It fits with the promise that this generation will not pass away in v. 30 is referring to the generation that is alive for the great tribulation in vv. 14-23.

Although there have been many details to keep up with in this chapter, there is great consistency and continuity as we see these pieces fitting together here in Mark 13 and harmonize with other passages in the Bible dealing with these same topics.

And as we saw, the vv. In 24-27 must speak of the second coming, the appearing of Jesus in glory. The description there matches descriptions of the day of the Lord in the prophets and in revelation, and it matches the language used by Jesus and the apostles to describe his return to earth, exactly as he left when he went back up into heaven.

So, it is real clouds in the real sky, and actual events in the cosmos that will change when as lightning breaks forth, the Son of Man returns. And although we know the general time frame, at the time Jesus gives these words he states:

(32) “But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 

Staggering words that have created no shortage of controversy.

Part of the humiliation of the Son of God. The second member of the trinity, God himself, took on flesh and became a man. This is the mystery we call the incarnation, which we have been focusing on this month as we prepare during this Advent season. It’s a magnificent reality—one person, two natures.

Jesus is not a lesser version of God. He isn’t part God, that would be impossible. He is fully God, but his nature is inseparably joined to a human one.

So as a human Jesus learned and matured. As God, he remained unchanging. As a boy he had to learn how to eat table food, walk, talk, get potty-trained, read, memorize truth, he had muscle cramps and growing pains and went through puberty. 

And that same man would one day turn water into wine, raise the dead, cast out demons, multiply food and tell the weather what to do. Yet he got tired. He needed food, water, sleep, friendship, prayer and he even was disheartened at times.

Marvelous and staggering.

In so many ways Jesus was just like us and yet in so many ways he wasn’t. This is glorious. And so right here right now, standing on earth, Jesus is saying, “as a man I stand here not even aware what the Father is going to do in terms of the exact timing.”

He probably knows now as he ascended into heaven in his resurrected body.

But what is that day?

He is speaking of the day of the Lord (vv. 24-27). That coming day where he judges and purges and brings to completion his vindication. It is the day that the prophets spoke about repeatedly. It is the day that God’s people look to in hope and comfort. 

And it is a day of dread and fury and wrath for all those who have not embraced God by faith. And so, his message is simple concerning that day:

  1. Be ready (33-34)

(33) “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come. 

Warning based upon ignorance here. You don’t know something and so you need to watch out and stay alert.

If you were to translate this woodenly Jesus is saying, look out and stay awake! It means here to remain vigilant. Don’t become complacent or spiritually drowsy. If you were to imagine a watchman in a watchtower whose job it is to see enemies on the horizon and wake up the rest of the military so that there isn’t a surprise ambush. The greatest threat is drowsiness. For if you fall asleep you will be caught unawares.

Elsewhere Jesus describes this day as coming as a thief in the night. What’s the significance of that? Well, no thief calls ahead and says, “I’m on my way over to break in.” You don’t get a letter or a post it note, or a doorbell ring. It’s a surprise. It’s unexpected. It catches you off guard.

You say if we are in the tribulation, how could the second coming be a surprise. Aren’t people going to be aware? That doesn’t make sense.

I get that question. It was jamming me up as well for a while. On the one hand it seems that it would make so much more sense if it wasn’t happening on the heels of the tribulation period. 

That’s a perplexing issue. And we don’t want to invent some method to resolve it, we want to see it resolved biblically in the text itself.

You say, I don’t see the rapture in Mark 13. Well in our timing scheme here we are saying that although the rapture isn’t stated in this passage, it still exists. Like if someone asked you about church today and you said, we read 2 Peter 3 in the Scripture reading and pastor preached out of Mark 13. 

You didn’t say anything about the prayer or the offering or the songs we sang. But leaving those details out didn’t mean they didn’t happen. The only way that would be is if you said explicitly that they didn’t happen or that you were going to give a complete list of what happened in the service and then you didn’t include them.

Secondly, it is consistent for the prophets and Jesus to assume many smaller details within the bigger picture and not spell them out. Consider for example from reading the prophecies concerning the Messiah, when we find a clear delineation of the incarnation, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the ascension and the second coming laid out as such? You don’t. In fact, it was confusing to Jews how there could be one Messiah based upon trying to reconcile the texts the described his first and second coming without explicitly stating it as such.

So too it is in this passage.

And so, when we read of the immanent return of Christ is viewing all of these features, although there are multiple components to the return of Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul calls it the times and epochs, which is an indication that this is more than a single moment that everything ends in judgement and we go to heaven.

Jesus comes first for his people. Then he comes to reign in rule. Then he comes in judgment and wrath. How does it work? We don’t have time to get into all the details of that today. Peter says one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like one day to the Lord.

So, when he says, be ready for that day. It is a comprehensive statement about his immanent return. You say, how could catch people off guard? We have a fig tree? We have signs? 

In Matthew 25 he refers to Noah that right there was a clear sign God was going to judge. The guy’s building the first boat and he’s going way overboard. But they are marrying—they are getting ready to have a family and settle down. Ignoring the signs.

That’s how it is with the world and the coming day of the Lord.

Now Jesus gives an illustration for us. A story:

(34) “It is like a man away on a journey, who upon leaving his house and putting his slaves in charge, assigning to each one his task, also commanded the doorkeeper to stay on the alert. 

So here you have a wealthy land owner. There is an estate (we know because lots of people are care-taking the property while the owner is away). Just because the owner leaves, he’s still in charge, he is still the owner, but he is no longer physically present on the property.

Before he goes he gives jobs to everyone. Work is a gift and a privilege and a responsibility. And the command to the slaves is to stay alert. The doorkeeper here could probably be a reference to spiritual leaders.

They are to remain watchful and alert to protect the house to protect the church, and the believers (or the slaves) are to be carrying out the callings God has given them.

But what’s the old saying? “While the cat is away the mice will play.”

Years ago, I worked for a company that would have me working in multi-million-dollar houses on Palm Beach Island in Florida. Some of those estates are owned by people who have a handful of houses or live overseas and come to the home only rarely. Celebrities and billionaires.

And let me tell you. In those houses, there is a house manager who oversees all of the staff and contractors who keep the estate in perfect condition. And there is a sense of urgency when the owner is coming in for the first time in many months. It can be stressful.

Windows need to be washed, driveways sealed, paint touched up, grass manicured, trees pruned… the list of preparation is endless. Why? The owner is coming and things need to be in place.

Just think about what earthly that accountability does for a house manager. 

Next week let’s meet and I want to see: how much time you spent studying the Bible, praying, evangelizing, having spiritual conversations with your family, and what you spent time and money on that was wasted…

Imagine the alternative with an unfaithful house manager?

A house manager who has used the long delay as an opportunity to take a paid vacation. A house manager who used the house for throwing big parties and for furthering their own personal advantages.

Jesus wants you and me and to be thinking like those who belong to a master and have been left to wait for his return. That’s our posture. That’s our mindset. That’s our lifestyle.

Jesus Gives 3 Urgings to Watchfulness in Light of His Immanent Return (32-37)

  1. Be ready (33-34)

  2. Be ready (35-36)

(35) “Therefore, be on the alert—for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 

Jesus is saying, let me put the pieces of the puzzle where they go for you now. In this story, I’m the master, you are the slaves. I’ve given you a responsibility to carry out a task.

Implied of course is that the slaves aren’t doing their proper jobs and they will be caught off guard when the owner of the estate returns. They are living like they have all the time in the world to do whatever they want.

The house manager on Palm Beach was expecting the owner to arrive in November and got caught being unfaithful because the owner came back unannounced in July.

Jesus gives four-time references here. These are the four-night watches that the Romans used for dividing up the evening watches. You had four watches during a twelve-hour period from 6:00pm until 6:00am. Each period was denoted by the last part of the time window. Evening (6-9) ends at nine; Midnight (9-12); when the rooster crows (12-3) three was when the rooster crows; or in the morning (3-6).

It’s the equivalent of our modern expression 24-7. It denotes continual vigilance and watchfulness.

You were supposed to carry out your task with the estate. Working the fields. Tending the flocks. Maintaining the residence. And then one night without warning the master comes back and you are caught unawares.

This is the very scenario here for why you must be alert:

(36) in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 

In t-ball I was a right fielder. If you know anything about baseball, right field is basically the least likely place to get any action. I could never figure out why they would take their very best player and put him in right field. 

The greatest challenge in right field is that you have to have a level of focus and concentration to stay engaged in the game when you might only get a single play in an entire baseball game. That long duration between non-action and action made you drift into a state of unpreparedness.

Jesus says, when the master comes back there isn’t a telegram that comes a week or two ahead of time warning you to get ready. That’s the point about coming suddenly.

And when he comes that he would find you asleep this is a metaphor for being unprepared. Caught off guard. No master expects every slave to be awake all the time. Perhaps the doorkeeper in v. 34 is sleeping. 

But the point is that you are found neglecting your duty and your assigned responsibilities. You were living as if your owner wasn’t coming back any time soon. It was out of sight and out of mind without any sense of urgency.

When I leave, you are going to have the same temptation that every human does—which is grow complacent with a lack of accountability. To think that there is not a sense of urgency when there is. To grow cold and apathetic with regard to your soul.

It is physical, it is spiritual.

In two days, these men are going to be falling asleep physically when Jesus needs them most and when they are about to enter into grave temptation to abandon their Lord and compromise their connection with him.

But the bigger point is spiritual. And today’s summary brought to you by Mark here at the end of Chapter 13 is a distillation of what Matthew took one-and-a-half chapters to communicate. Just listen as I summarize these familiar passages on this topic:

  • Matthew 24:36-41—It will be a surprise just like in the days of Noah. You know judgment is coming (people saw Noah building) but then one day he went in and shut the door and it took them by surprise when the rain started coming down.

  • Matthew 24:42-51—the unfaithful slave here is an unbeliever (i.e., cut to pieces). Her was mistreating others, hanging out with drunkards and living for himself.

  • Matthew 25:1-13—missing the kingdom by thinking that you have time to repent later… virgins who are not concerned with oil until they run out and then its too late and the door is closed, and they can no longer enter. The lie that I can put off and deal with it when I’m ready at that last moment.

  • Matthew 25:14-30—the faithful and unfaithful slaves who enter or the kingdom or not based upon whether or not they lived for the master or made excuses and lived for themselves. The wicked and lazy slave wasted his life rather than using it for the master.

  • Matthew 25:31—46—the sheep and the goats judgment (nations… great white throne?). Those who neglected to care for other believers are goats.

Well if that isn’t clear that you and I are to be ready. Then we come to our final urging from Jesus:

Jesus Gives 3 Urgings to Watchfulness in Light of His Immanent Return (32-37)

  1. Be ready (33-34)

  2. Be ready (35-36)

  3. Be ready (37)

(37) “What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’ ”

This message today is a message for everyone.

Now if you were thinking, why in the world would Jesus tell these guys to keep alert if he isn’t going to come back during their lifetime?

Yes. That’s the point.

Jesus wants everyone to be living as if they believe any day could be the day. 2 Timothy 3:1 Paul says we are in the last days. Every generation of believers since then has been in the last days. So, we too now are in the last days.

There is nothing left to happen in redemptive history that is preventing the return of Jesus. It could be tonight. That’s the point. That’s the immanency.

And so in light of that we are to be alert.

So, what does it mean to be on the alert spiritually?

How do we apply that commandment?

  1. How do you prepare? Be saved. There is an opportunity to repent as long as it is called today (Hebrews 3). If you have yet to experience new life in the Lord Jesus Christ, don’t be deceived. Don’t assume that you have tomorrow. Don’t silence that nagging question as to whether or not you are saved. How do I describe this clearly to someone who has heard it many times before?

You can’t try to slide in at the end. 

The garage door game. Go down the hill lying on a skateboard and attempt to slide into the garage before the door would close. The message is that you are going to die, and you don’t know when and you need to be ready.

  1. Live as though he were coming tonight. Let me connect for you how the Gospel applies to this state. Look back up in v. 35 with me. What is the state of your relationship to Jesus in the second coming if you are saved? He is your master.

He is your Lord. I love this language. If you are saved, then that means that Jesus bought you. It means that he purchased you to be his own. And he did it with his own blood. Friends, this message from Jesus is not a lecture in being more eternally minded.

It’s a call to look to the glory of Jesus and to long for the one who bought you. If home is where the heart is then our home ultimately is in heaven. Oh, that we would say with Paul, I long to depart and be with Christ that is very much better for me.

A few thoughts here on how to think through the application of this message. The primary call here isn’t necessarily that you aren’t doing enough, and you need to do more. That’s certainly possible if you are neglecting to serve or be obedient as God would call you.

The primarily call here isn’t necessarily that you need to stop doing vocational callings that God has given you to do. In other words, go to college, buy a business, save for retirement, pay off your house. Those all fit into the callings and responsibilities God has given you.

But the areas for reflection would be this.

What would change in my life if Jesus were coming back in a month or in two years? And now we get to the heart of the issue. What’s in Jesus mind is that you and I would flee any spiritual entanglements and idleness and neglect that would harm our souls. 

Jesus is saying don’t give time and energy and money to things that aren’t lasting by forgetting that it isn’t eternal and I’m coming back.

What will breed spiritual complacency in your life? What are portals to the complacency that Jesus is warning against here? Let me give you a few areas to consider:

  • Neglecting to encounter your God daily in the pages of his word and saturate your mind and life with his truth.

  • Minimizing sin in your life and making excuses for desires and behavior that are contrary to God’s revealed will

  • Pursuing the things of the world. The pursuit of possessions will weigh you down. Energy acquiring. Energy maintaining. Grips your heart wherever your treasure is.

  • Cultivating an undisciplined lifestyle and excusing a lack of discipline as being your personality or something circumstantial. You can’t be undisciplined in compartments.

  • Shutting out influences that bring scrutiny and accountability into your life.

  • Indulging yourself and pursuing excess. Leisure time, food, shopping. Whatever it is that feeds a sense of entitlement and dulls your servant-mindedness.

  • Neglecting the church. This could be either by serving and using your gifts or in gathering to be fed and encouraged.

Any combination of those items will dampen your expectation of the coming of Jesus. Let this passage be a catalyst to action on your part. As a pastor I often hear about aspirations to godliness. That means people expressing a desire to grow or change, but aspiring to grow and growing aren’t the same.

What this text is getting at is are you living as though you belong to the master and he could come back at any moment? Jesus is described as our:

blessed hope, our sincere longing, our eager expectation, our precious comfort in the face of death, and our hope of complete sanctification and final glory.

Viewing Jesus in this way will impact your life, and we don’t have to make up a list of what that looks like. The New Testament spells it out for us. The impact of Jesus coming for us should cause us to:

Be steadfast…

James 5:8—You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

Be kind to one another…

James 5:9—Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

Live wisely and pray…

1 Peter 4:7—The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.

Be faithful to the body both in gathering with them and using your gifts to encourage others…

Hebrews 10:24–25—and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Holy conduct and godliness…

2 Peter 3:11—Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

And grow…

2 Peter 3:18—but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Purity (i.e., Christlikeness)

1 John 3:2–3—Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

What a promise. What a comfort.

This is why we preach the Bible and sing to the glory of God and read our Bibles and gather and encourage one another throughout the week is so that we might be continually brought back to the awareness of the nearness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Well this brings us to the end of the Olivet Discourse. Mark 14 marks another transition in the book as we move to the passion of Jesus Christ. We will take a break from Mark next Sunday as we contemplate the advent and then we will Lord willing resume with Mark on the 30th.

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