Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday, November 14th Mark 13:14-23

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ezekiel 27-28, 2 Peter 1
Today's scripture focus is Mark 13:14-23

Mark 13:14-23English Standard Version (ESV)

The Abomination of Desolation

14 “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.

Accompanying John MacArthur sermon: The Future Tribulation
Accompanying David Legge sermon: Signs of the Second Coming
Accompanying Robert Rayburn sermon: This Same Jesus....Will Come Back

There is a Day of Judgment coming, but mankind as a whole, does not live as though this is true.  Humans generally only believe things are true that they want to be true.  Secular society in particular, manages to convince itself of many ludicrous things, simply because they want them to be true.

As science uncovers so much more about the details and complexity of creation, it should be clear that there is a Creator - but society doesn't want there to be a Creator because what would logically follow is that this Creator would have some say or sovereignty over our lives.

As we learn more details about the incredible growth of babies in the womb, is should be clear that abortion is wrong and that that baby is human - but society doesn't want that to be true and so it claims it is simply a clump of cells.

The coming judgment is no different.  Oh, we want judgment for the Hitlers of the world, but not for ourselves or our loved ones, and so we simply believe that "good" people go to heaven and that there will be no judgment.

But no matter how badly people want that to be true, the day will come when they will see that it is not true, but it will be too late.  Judgement Day is coming, and this passage is another one of anticipation.

You remember how the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in ancient times was often used by biblical writers as a picture or anticipation of a still greater judgment to come. So too were the destruction of the northern kingdom and its capital, Samaria, by the Assyrians and then the southern kingdom and its capital, Jerusalem, by the Babylonians........And so it is not surprising that the judgment brought against Jerusalem in A.D. 70 should also serve as an anticipation, a foreshadowing of a greater judgment yet to come. In each case the instrument of God’s judgment is immaterial, that that brings the destruction and accomplishes it is unimportant: it is God who is judging sinners – whether he uses Babylonians or Romans or Al Qaeda for that matter – and we learn from these prototypical judgments the reality, the finality, and the ferocity of the divine wrath which someday will come upon all impenitent sinners. Just as God teaches us the nature of salvation by showing its pattern in such great events as the exodus from Egypt and the conquest of the promised land, so God reveals the pattern and the nature of his coming judgment by likening it to catastrophes he has brought upon people and his own people on account of their sins.

It is only natural then and to be expected that the Lord Jesus’ own great prophecy, given there on the Mount of Olives just a few days before his crucifixion – just a few days before was committed the greatest sin every to be committed by human beings in the history of the world, a sin committed by God’s own people – I say, it is only to be expected in the context of the whole Bible that he should draw together the judgment of his people that was about to befall them for their unbelief and disobedience and the final judgment of all mankind. The one is the anticipation, the picture, the pattern of the other.

And for that reason, brothers and sisters, we have every reason, as our Savior urges us here, to cultivate a godly fear, to remain alert and watchful, and never to live our lives as if that great day of doom were not hurtling toward us and everyone else at breakneck speed.

Monday's scripture focus: Mark 13:24-27
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Ezekiel 29-30
Sunday's passage: Ezekiel 31-32
Monday's passage: Ezekiel 33-34, 2 Peter 2

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