November 30, 2008
Mark 13~ Keep Watch for His Return
Thunderhead over Pea Ridge Taken at Metfield Bella Vista Ar
Mark 13Jesus Foretells the Future
As Jesus was leaving the Temple that day, one of his disciples said, "Teacher, look at these tremendous buildings! Look at the massive stones in the walls!"
Jesus replied, "These magnificent buildings will be so completely demolished that not one stone will be left on top of another."
Later, Jesus sat on the slopes of the Mount of Olives across the valley from the Temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him privately and asked him, "When will all this take place? And will there be any sign ahead of time to show us when all this will be fulfilled?"
Jesus replied, "Don't let anyone mislead you, because many will come in my name, claiming to be the Messiah. They will lead many astray. And wars will break out near and far, but don't panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won't follow immediately. Nations and kingdoms will proclaim war against each other, and there will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, and famines. But all this will be only the beginning of the horrors to come. But when these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the courts and beaten in the synagogues. You will be accused before governors and kings of being my followers. This will be your opportunity to tell them about me. And the Good News must first be preached to every nation. But when you are arrested and stand trial, don't worry about what to say in your defense. Just say what God tells you to. Then it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
"Brother will betray brother to death, fathers will betray their own children, and children will rise against their parents and cause them to be killed. And everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me. But those who endure to the end will be saved.
"The time will come when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where it should not be (reader, pay attention! )Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. A person outside the house must not go back into the house to pack. A person in the field must not return even to get a coat. How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for mothers nursing their babies in those days. And pray that your flight will not be in winter. For those will be days of greater horror than at any time since God created the world. And it will never happen again. In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, the entire human race will be destroyed. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days.
"And then if anyone tells you, `Look, here is the Messiah,' or, `There he is,' don't pay any attention. For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform miraculous signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God's chosen ones. Watch out! I have warned you!
"At that time, after those horrible days end,
the sun will be darkened,
the moon will not give light,
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the powers of heaven will be shaken.
Then everyone will see the Son of Man arrive on the clouds with great power and glory. And he will send forth his angels to gather together his chosen ones from all over the world-from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.
"Now, learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its buds become tender and its leaves begin to sprout, you know without being told that summer is near. Just so, when you see the events I've described beginning to happen, you can be sure that his return is very near, right at the door. I assure you, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these events have taken place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever.
"However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. And since you don't know when they will happen, stay alert and keep watch.
"The coming of the Son of Man can be compared with that of a man who left home to go on a trip. He gave each of his employees instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. So keep a sharp lookout! For you do not know when the homeowner will return-at evening, midnight, early dawn, or late daybreak. Don't let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. What I say to you I say to everyone: Watch for his return!"
Labels: Bella Vista, Scenic Arkansas, scripture