Faithlife Sermons

Therefore, Keep Watch!

Advent B  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  31:02
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Mark 13:24–37 NKJV
24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven. 28 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors! 30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. 32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

Watch Your Focus (13:1; 5-23; 24-27)

Mark 13:1 NKJV
1 Then as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

Be careful of a false focus. (13:1)

Notice their focus here. The beautiful buildings of worship.

Place your focus on Him (13:5-23)

Check out the language in this passage:
The Bible says “watch out, or take heed” in verse 5.
“Be on your guard, or watch out for yourselves” in verse 9.
And again, “watch out or take heed” in verse 23.
You see, people are following preaching sensations instead of the paschal lamb.
More people can tell you what TV, radio, or Internet pastor said than are reading God’s Word on their own.
“Watch out!”
Many will deceive you.
People spend more time tracking wars, natural disasters, and moon phases than are behaving as a 1 Peter 3:15 believer!
1 Peter 3:15 NKJV
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
The word for “watch out, or be on your guard” in verse 9 carries with it the meaning of, “really pay attention.”
The same word is used in Acts 1:9
Acts 1:9 NKJV
9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Be on your guard.
I talked to a pastor friend this week and he was telling me that he has a family member that always wants to attack Christianity and the church.
He said, “I thought of so many things I could have told him, but they were on the way home!”
We shouldn’t be snarky, or have a quick “come back” line.
We need to ready do what Mark 13:10 is telling us.
Mark 13:10 NKJV
10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.
“Watch, be on your guard!” Verse 23 tells us that He’s warning us ahead of time that there WILL be trouble.
Don’t form political action groups if you don’t have a Bible study group!
Don’t spend all your time talking about the end of the world and judgment-talk about sin, The Judge, and His redemption plan for lost sinners.
Friends, watch your focus. Keep it on Him.

Watch For Judgment (13:28-31)

Christian, notice the references to the fig tree here.
Mark 13:28 NKJV
28 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near.
Remember the earlier reference?
Mark 11:12–14 NKJV
12 Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.
He then goes into the temple to cleanse it.
Mark 11:17 NKJV
17 Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”
Next, Peter notices the fig tree.
Mark 11:21 NKJV
21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”
We see in Mark 11:27-33 that Jesus tells the reader through not answering the priests, scribes and elders, that He has all authority.
The temple was about to be destroyed. The physical temple, where the people met God would be destroyed forever.
There was another temple that would be destroyed as well.
Jesus’ temple-His body. The difference is that His temple would be raised up again, never to be destroyed again.
Take a look at Mark 12:1-12
Mark 12:6–9 NKJV
6 Therefore still having one son, his beloved, he also sent him to them last, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 7 But those vinedressers said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ 8 So they took him and killed him and cast him out of the vineyard. 9 “Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others.
He reminds them that with authority, comes judgment.
Now then, let’s look back to 13:28-31.
Mark 13:29 NKJV
29 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors!
These things: what things?
Mark 13:2 NKJV
2 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Mark 13:4 NKJV
4 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”
Verse 6 “many will come in My name.”
Verse 7 “wars and rumors of wars.”
Verse 8 “nation will rise against nation.”
Verse 8 “earthquakes, famines, and troubles”
Verse 9 “you will be delivered to councils and brought before kings on account of Him”
Verse 10 “the Gospel will be preached to all the nations.”
Mark 13:30 NKJV
30 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.
Friends, “these things” are there that people will come to Christ to escape the coming judgment!
The judgment is real!
During this season of Advent (parousia- second coming), remember that we celebrate the coming of the Messiah.
The Savior
The Perfect Lamb, who is also
The Alpha and Omega,
The Beginning and the End,
The Great I Am!!
God said this through Jeremiah 14:10
Jeremiah 14:10 NKJV
10 Thus says the Lord to this people: “Thus they have loved to wander; They have not restrained their feet. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; He will remember their iniquity now, And punish their sins.”
He also said this Jeremiah 16:16
Jeremiah 16:16 NKJV
16 “Behold, I will send for many fishermen,” says the Lord, “and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.
He intends on gathering His people, but they need to understand they are under HIs judgment.
Jeremiah 16:18 NKJV
18 And first I will repay double for their iniquity and their sin, because they have defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their detestable and abominable idols.”
Friends, God has found us guilty too.
Romans 3:23 NKJV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 6:23 NKJV
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God’s judgment is on all mankind
Hebrews 9:27 NKJV
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
Are you busy fishing for men?
Matthew 4:19 NKJV
19 Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Watch For the Master (13:32-37)

By Praying (33)

Pray for yourself. Pray that you’ll study to show yourself approved. That you can discern the times as you prepare yourself for His coming.
Pray for your church. Pray for those who are in leadership positions and those who serve through serving the community and sharing the Good News. Pray for those the church is able to minister to each week.
Pray for the lost. There are lost in our churches. These are the hardest ones to reach. Pray for them to soften their hearts.
Pray for the lost in your homes. Often, we aren’t reaching those in our homes because not only do they not hear the Gospel from us, they don’t see any change.
Pray the lost you come in contact with each day. Pray before and after you share a word or a tract. Pray with them right then. Pray for those you aren’t able to talk to.

By Remembering Our Task (34)

Mark 13:34 NKJV
34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch.
He has given all authority to us to go and make disciples.
We each have our work and field of ministry. What’s yours? How are you fulfilling your task?

By Being Ready (35-37)

Some will try to tell us the end will come when a certain meteorite passes.
Others said it was a special moon or eclipse.
Some have tried figuring it out through Biblical dating while others have used their extra-Bibilical literature to do so.
You don’t know when the Master is coming.
Watch.
Be ready.
If the trumpet were to sound and God were to call His children home today, would you be ready?
Have you repented of your sin and put on the Lord Jesus Christ?
If not, you stand guilty before a just judge.
You owe a fine that you can’t pay.
It can only be paid through the blood of Jesus Christ.
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