Faithlife Sermons

Endurance

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Intro

Read Text
Mark 13:1–13 ESV
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Look at the beautiful, magnificent stones (Look @ that beautiful Church “building”)
Not one stone will be left standing
many will come saying “I am He” & deceiving and leading people astray
wars will happen
nations will be against nations, kingdoms against kindgoms
earthquakes
famines
wildfires
hurricanes
GOOD GRIEF AND JESUS SAYS THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF THE THINGS!!!!!!!
PAUSE
This passage… at first glance… sounds like a dire warning about the end times and the things to come before Christ returns.
Transition: But if we dig deeper we hear an encouraging word from our Lord and Saviour.
A call to stand firm, endure, and in that we are given a promise (a great hope)

Stand Firm

A call by Jesus to stand firm as these things happen.
The disciples were in awe @ the temple structure and the other buildings within the great city of Jerusalem
They saw power in these buildings… a sense of comfort in their majesty.
Jesus responded by saying that none of them would be left standing ( and in 70AD the city was destroyed - the temple demolished)
Jesus is pointing them away from their hope in the present things… the visible things… and pointing them to the future hope that is in Christ.
Pointing them to the real living stones that Christ builds up for His kingdom.
1 Peter 2:5 ESV
you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
We are the living stones of Christ’s body (His Church); We are the temple in which the Holy Spirit resides;
But we must stand firm as His living stones as His temple because:
Many are going to come in my name trying to deceive you and they will be successful in leading many away from me.
Don’t we see that deception today?
Many people trying to lead Christians away?
There’s a pastor in Toronto who is now an atheist leading a congregation astray!
“It’s going to be wonderful,” she told the Paper. “We’ll be out from underneath that heavy cloud. Now we’ll be able to really fly.”
This pastor (if you can still say that) has been upfront about her atheism and non-belief in the Bible for years
In her sermons each Sunday, she spoke openly about how she did not believe the Bible was “the authoritative word of God for all time” — a conviction she’d held long before her ordination, and one that is not uncommon among clergy.
She made it clear that she did not believe in the God called God — a supernatural being who intervenes in human affairs.
Prayer turned into community sharing time. Hymns were rewritten. Talk of God and Jesus was replaced with talk of love, compassion and beauty.
And why, you might ask, is she still a Pastor in a church, and why has the leadership of her denomination not fired her for heresy?
Because Satan has deceived many...
The leader of this denomination, said in a public message, that he’s happy about the resolution and referenced the church’s core values of faith in God and inclusiveness
(https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/11/12/atheist-minister-in-christian-denomination-gets-to-keep-her-job-leading-congregation-wonderful/amp?fbclid=IwAR3MW-tCzuAXOiI7VLeIFKu1d4zafBUiVdntlukiH_A0hJN6y6YkM0zkcp8)
People will come falsely representing Christ and leading His sheep… pulling them away from the truth and one true God.
Deception is ever present and we are called to stand firm in the midst of it. Not giving in to things that go against what God has revealed in His Holy Scripture.
We are called to stand firm not only through the deceptions but other difficult times that are to come.
Christ called his disciples to stand firm because the future persecutions were coming for them.
Mark 13:7–9 ESV
And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.
Most all of the Apostles were martyred. Killed for Christ’s name and His Gospel.
But yet they stood firm and proclaimed it and were witnesses
We are called to that same witness. To proclaim the Gospel in every and all situations!
We are witnesses of Christ!
Well how do I do that?
You may think you aren’t strong enough, or that you know enough to proclaim Christ.
But I’m here to tell you this morning that you are Christ’s witness to the world.
not because you know everything, but because God is at work through you.
Jesus says in verse 11 “it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit!”
He is the one who works in you and through you!
Christ says the Gospel must… must be proclaimed to all nations!
You may have struggle with this… it may not be easy
or you have lost loved ones because you’ve followed Christ.
Friendships may have changed or you’ve been treated differently because of Christ.
But brothers and sisters we can be encouraged through it all because the Holy Spirit is at work through you!
We stand firm in our faith and not in our comfort.
Christ said, “You will be hated by all for my names sake.”
We see that in our world today… as Christians we deal with hatred.
(examples: ppl hating cuz of our views on abortion, on marriage, our unwillingness to go along with the cultural collapse in morals)
Transition: So as this time between Christ’s resurrection & His second coming continues… as it continues to become more and more tumulus, we are called by Christ to stand firm in faith and endure.

Endurance

As Christianity gets pushed to the fringes of our world,
As we become more oppressed or belittled for our beliefs, it becomes harder and harder to stand firm and endure proclaiming the Gospel.
Fear takes over. Anxiety heightens because of the coming confrontations. (How will I handle this question against my faith, or that accusation against me)
The fear and anxiety rise...
But… remember, we do not have to be anxious or afraid. Christ has sent us a Helper the Holy Spirit.
And it is not us who speaks during these times (especially when we don’t know what to say), but it is the Holy Spirit who speaks. He will give you the words to say in each situation.
He is the one working through you!
There is great comfort in that.
God is with us.
Therefore, we can endure, proclaiming the Gospel to everyone, being witnesses for Christ.
We endure in our life because of Christ.
Transition: This endurance is only possible because of the promise of Christ.

The Promise

The promise of Jesus is both about Jesus and from Jesus.
In Him those who endure will be saved by Him.
Those who live by His promise of salvation have everything they need, not only for survival in our short time on this earth, but also for the faithful and fruitful proclamation of the Gospel.
Our opportunities for witness do not go away during difficult times.
I mean just look at the work God did through the apostles and how the Gospel spread during the persecutions and executions of Christians during that time.
How He is working through missionaries, through people who are killed spreading the Gospel.
Fruitful proclamation.
Difficulties seem to open up even more opportunity to share Christ
It may not be persecution or the threat of death, but other things that we encounter in our society.
I think of what we talked about last week about the tragedies and difficulties in life and how God works through those for His purpose of proclamation.
I think of how the Holy Spirit is working through Diana’s disease bearing witness to non-believers, giving her opportunity to share the Gospel.

Conclusion

You see, Christ in our text today isn’t trying to scare us or warn us of all the bad things that are going to happen.
He is encouraging us.
Encouraging us to stand firm in our faith and not our comfort.
To endure to the end when He returns for His bride.
Enduring by His promise… His promise of salvation and complete restoration for eternity.
Because of this promise, we can live in the comfort and hope that is in Jesus Christ who fights for us as our champion,
forgiving us our sins and providing the means of grace for our comfort and strength,
and that He who has saved and sustains us will keep us faithful,
sending His promised Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to help us through all our hardships and difficulties to everlasting life.
Therefore, we earnestly proclaim this promise and this comfort to all people, no matter what the circumstance.
We endure because we endure in promise… the promise of Jesus Christ...
Amen.
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