Eschatology

The Long-Awaited Day

Jesus Finally Gives Three Details About the Day We’re All Waiting For (13:24-32)

1.     The cosmic occasion of my return (24-27)

2.     The clear indicators of my return (28-30)

3.     The complete certainty of my return (31-32)

24“But in those days, after that tribulation, THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, 25AND 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— 36in case he should come suddenly and find you asleep. 37“What I say to you I say to all, ‘Be on the alert!’ ”


Withstanding the Greatest Tribulation

A Bible Exposition of Mark 13:14-23

A great deal of what we study in the Scriptures is historical, it has already taken place. But today again we are looking into events that have not yet happened. Please grab your Bibles and turn with me to Mark 13, we will be studying vv. 14-23 today.

If this study has felt a bit technical for you, let me remind you, this is considered one of the most challenging passages of Scripture in the New Testament. We are in this together and it feels technical and challenging to me as well. 

It is agreed by everyone that Jesus gives instructions about the future here. The debate centers around just how far into the future. Do these words pertain only to the disciples and their generation? Do these words pertain only to days beyond the disciples, or is it some combination of the two?

Our temptation when you come to a difficult passage is to find your favorite or most trusted teacher and listen to their perspective and make that your own. Or if you have a well-established theological grid to bring that understanding to the passage.

But that’s not the proper approach to this. We don’t do outcome-based-Bible study where we begin with a viewpoint and then go to the text because it will slant our views. Rather, if you simply study the text in its context and deal with details in integrity before the Lord you will get clarity on the interpretation.

I was on the phone with one of my former seminary professors this week who I took Greek and some other classes from. I was so blessed by our conversation about this passage… the clarity of moving through it and just letting the text speak is letting God speak to us. So that’s what we are going to do. Essentially in this passage…

Jesus Issues a Survival Guide for Withstanding the Greatest Tribulation

This is content, given by Jesus, which will equip anyone who goes through this tribulation. He provides a guide of sorts that will give someone the tools necessary for surviving these incredibly difficult days.

  1. Study prophecy so that you understand what you’re watching for (14a)

  2. React appropriately when you see the great tribulation arriving (14b-18)

  3. Set your expectations properly for the magnitude of the trial (19-20)

  4. Keep waiting for my return and don’t be duped—you won’t miss it (21-23)

Preparation for Enduring Difficult Days

A Bible Exposition of Mark 13:5-13

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

  1. Don’t be conned by imposters (5-6)

  2. Don’t be troubled by calamities (7-8)

  3. 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. 

Demo Day for the Temple

A Bible Exposition of Mark 13:1-2

Chapter 13 is the longest block of teaching in the Gospel of Mark. It is cast in the form of a final discourse of Jesus, not unlike the farewell discourses of major biblical figures such as Jacob (Genesis 49), Moses (Deuteronomy 32–33), Joshua (Joshua 23), Samuel (1 Samuel 12), and Paul (Acts 20:17ff.).

Today we will set up our study over the next weeks as we make our way through Chapter 13.

Properly Setting Up a Long Lesson on Future Events (13:1-4) 

  1. A stunning prediction by Jesus about the temple (1-2)

  2. A subsequent question to Jesus about the future (3-4)