October 20, 2020

You Must Obey Jesus Warning To Watch

INTERESTING FACTS : RALPH WALDO EMERSON BORN May 25, 1803, Boston, Mass., U.S., died April 27, 1882, Concord, Mass. - American lecturer, poet, and essayist[1]
 
"Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: 'Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.[2] "
 
DAILY READING : MARK 13 - 14
 
TEXT : Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.  13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.  13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.  13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.  13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:  13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.  13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
 
THEME : THE LAST DAYS
 
Mark 12 
 
The parable of the vineyard let out to wicked husbandmen, Mar_12:1-12. The Pharisees and Herodians question him about paying tribute to Caesar, Mar_12:13-17. The Sadducees question him about the resurrection, Mar_12:18-27. A scribe questions him concerning the chief commandment of the law, Mar_12:28-34. Christ asks the scribes why the Messiah is called David's son, Mar_12:35-37. He warns his disciples against the scribes, Mar_12:38-40. Of the widow that cast two mites into the treasury, Mar_12:41-44. [Adam Clarke][3]
 
Mark 12 
 
In this chapter, we have,  I. The parable of the vineyard let out to unthankful husbandmen, representing the sin and ruin of the Jewish church (Mar_12:1-12).  II. Christ's silencing those who thought to ensnare him with a question about paying tribute Caesar (Mar_12:13-17).  III. His silencing the Sadducees, who attempted to perplex the doctrine of the resurrection (Mar_12:18-27).  IV. His conference with a scribe about the first and great command of the law (Mar_12:28-34).  V. His puzzling the scribes with a question about Christ's being the Son of David (Mar_12:35-37).  VI. The caution he gave the people, to take heed of the scribes (Mar_12:38-40).  VII. His commendation of the poor widow that cast her two mites into the treasury (Mar_12:41-44). [Matthew Henry][4]
 
Mark 13 
 
Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple, Mar_13:1, Mar_13:2. His disci ples inquire when this shall be, and what previous sign there shall be of this calamity, Mar_13:3, Mar_13:4; which questions he answers very solemnly and minutely, vv. 5-27; illustrates the whole by a parable, Mar_13:28, Mar_13:29; asserts the absolute certainty of the events, Mar_13:30, Mar_13:31; shows that the precise minute cannot be known by man, Mar_13:32; and inculcates the necessity of watchfulness and prayer, Mar_13:33-37. [Adam Clarke][3]  
 
Mark 13 
 
Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple, Mar_13:1, Mar_13:2. His disciples inquire when this shall be, and what previous sign there shall be of this calamity, Mar_13:3, Mar_13:4; which questions he answers very solemnly and minutely, vv. 5-27; illustrates the whole by a parable, Mar_13:28, Mar_13:29; asserts the absolute certainty of the events, Mar_13:30, Mar_13:31; shows that the precise minute cannot be known by man, Mar_13:32; and inculcates the necessity of watchfulness and prayer, Mar_13:33-37. [Matthew Henry][4]
 
TRUTH FOR TODAY : "YOU MUST OBEY JESUS WARNING TO WATCH."
 
In Mark 13:31 Jesus mentions something about the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.  Although the subject is the last days, there is an application to the Scriptures as a whole.  "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away." This is a significant verse pertaining to God as Author of the Bible.  It infers His Authorship in the Bible as a whole - that not one word of it will perish or be destroyed, since it was written by God.  Also, we see a nother inference in the fact that Jesus claims infallibility concerning His words, His teachings, His prophecies, and anything else that Jesus utters.  Therefore, Mark 13:31 is a passage of Scripture you want to commit to memory.  At least, keep this verse of the New Testament always in the front of your mind.  The words of philosophers and other teachers of religion - their words, shall pass away.  But the Word of God shall not.  At least, it shall not pass away until all Biblical prophecies are fulfilled. 
 
Concerning the end of the world and those days leading up to it -simply known as "the last days," The LORD explicitly states no one knows the exact time of Jesus Second Coming, or of the end of the world.  That is, the world as we know it.  Further, he specifically states not even the angels know it.  Therefore, it is somewhat perplexing to hear Bible prophecy teachers state they know the exact date (usually this is predicated upon some "secret" they have gleaned from their intense study of the Bible).  More over, these teachers -some who are sincere, and some who are insincere, take advantage of Christians who do not know any better, and do a world of harm to the subject of eschatology ("the last days").  By their insistence on "knowing" the day or the hour they clearly and patently contradict the words of the Master.  You know better.  Specifically, you know that Jesus taught that no one knows the date or the hour not even the angels.  That said, you can "take heed" and spend your days "watching and praying."
 
By employing the words "watching and praying," Jesus is obviously not telling you to be anxious and worried.  He is simply stating that you must always be conscious of the time that you live in - predicted by the prophets of the Old Testament, Jesus Himself, and the Apostles of the New Testament.  In other words, be prepared.  Again, it is not for you to be full of consternation and angst.  It is quite the opposite.  You are to be full of joy and peace knowing Jesus is about to r eturn.
 
Now, with respect to no one knowing the day or the hour, we do know that the Church will know the season.  That is, it is much like winter, summer, fall, or spring.  These are all seasons.  Each season, obviously, has 12 weeks.  Further, each week has seven days of 24 hours each.  From this you can reason that although no one knows the day or the hour, you do know the "season." This is what the Scriptures teach.
 
1Th 5:1  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 1Th 5:2&n bsp; For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 1Th 5:3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 1Th 5:4  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
 
Thus, you have the exhortation to "watch and pray." This statement, or rather - command of Jesus, is founded upon the verses preceding the 33rd, since Jesus gives the indications of what the signs would be  prior to His coming.  Hence, we observe as we read our newspapers and watch our newscasts that the season is now upon us.  This is the reason you want to be found alert and in the state of prayer -this implies an attitude more than just a mere action, as the coming of Jesus draws near.
 
Jesus said His departure is like a man goi ng on a "far journey." From this you learn something.  Namely, although it has been almost 2000 years since Jesus left the earth, He specifically stated His departure and eventual return would be like a traveling man on a long journey.  This subtle truth seems to escape some teachers of the Bible.  Many teach that the Apostles and the early Christians thought that Jesus would return in their lifetime.  However, as you examine verse 34 of the Gospel according to Mark, you see the analogy of Jesus' teaching as He compares His leaving with  that of a merchantmen who gives  orders to his servants -each one with a specific job or jobs to do, and tells them to work until he arrives.  Again, this is inferred in verse 35 as He says to "watch." He reiterates that in verse 37.  The message therefore is clear.  The season of Christ's return is known - made clear by the signs that precede the return of Jesus, even though the day or the hour is not known.  Nevertheless, those who are alive at the return of Jesus Christ - claiming to be His followers, must be found diligently serving him.
 
Although every generation of Christians had reason to believe Jesus would return in their lifetime, we have more.  In the time in which you live, there have been more signs - Biblically speaking, then in any other generation.  If we just look at the world population and technology, that alone would be sufficient to know that our generation is unique in world history.  However, we see a spate of famines, earthquakes, wars, rumours of wars, ethnic group against ethnic group (this is the Greek word translated as "nation against nation" found in Matthew chapter 24), and many other natural and sociological phenomenon.  Of course, there are also cosmological signs as well.  In all, we have more reason to believe we are in the season in which Jesus will return to the earth than any other generation that has ever lived.
 
Therefore, "watch and pray." Remember, obedience is the true sign of saving faith.  Further, to seek the LORD in this generation equals serenity, tranquility, and confidence.   All of these virtues are enviable.  Many people do not have them.  Make sure you are not one of them.  Believe on the LORD, and you shall be saved!

  • [1] Encyclopedia Brittanica, Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopedia, 2011, 2011.
  • [2] FINESTQUOTES: HTTP://WWW.FINESTQUOTES.COM/SELECT_QUOTE-CATEGORY-VOTING-PAGE-0.HTM#IXZZ29KEETPSE
  • [3] Adam Clarke LL.D., F.S.A. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible. Public Domain, 1715 - 1832.
  • [4] Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Public Domain, 1662 - 1714.
  • [5] Adam Clarke LL.D., F.S.A. Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible. Public Domain, 1715 - 1832.
  • [6] Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible. Public Domain, 1662 - 1714.
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