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Be On Guard! (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
November 12, 2020 3:00 am

Be On Guard! (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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November 12, 2020 3:00 am

Persecution, earthquakes, famine, wars, tribulation… Sound familiar? Jesus said these events would signal the end of the age. So what do we make of His warning, and how should believers respond? Hear the answers on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Mark chapter 13 includes a warning from Jesus to his disciples. Jesus described several ominous signs that would precede his return to earth things like earthquakes and famine wars, persecution, tribulation today on Truth for Life. Alastair Beck helps us understand how these warnings from Jesus should cause Christians to be on guard) afternoon this adjunct say something about the abomination of desolation about the tribulation and about all these imitation. Jesus is first of all, when you see the abomination of desolation.

You'll be helped by Matthews statement in this regard, which is the 15th verse of Matthew 24 he says so when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken by the prophet Daniel standing in the holy place, so let's just jump into Daniel for a moment. Daniel chapter 11. It is here in Daniel's prophecy that you have this notion of this abomination that is to take place in the context of that which God has said, must not be profane, so Daniel prophesies in this way by the time that the gospel is being read. The Jewish people had had at least one illustration of that taking place because in 168 BC Antiochus epiphanies he had attempted 168 years before to not only subvert but to stamp out the Jewish religion. He actually went as far as sacrificing pigs flash on the great altar. He set up a statue of Zeus, and he ordered the Jews to worship it, but what is Jesus saying here what he's saying is that there is more of this to come, you're going to see the abomination of desolation, when you see and it's interesting because it doesn't say when you see it, but when you see he okay the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be so mellow as it is in this abomination is actually personified. Isn't Luke says in 21 he says when you see the Roman armies amassed against Jerusalem, so you got the combination of these pictures you by the encroaching forces of domination. You've got the expression of abomination which grades desolation and you've got this notion in your mind that somehow or another. This very abomination will take on a physical personal presence.

Somehow, somewhere in a lowercase, it is the very spirit of the antichrist.

All that is opposed to God all the profane's guard all that stands against God. Therefore, encouraging the reader to realize that once again the historical impact of this is set within the larger eschatological framework. Now we know that this has immediate application because in the balance of verse 14. The instructions for fleeing are given to those who are there.

Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. In other words, this was expected in their lifetime. Now why is it better to make a run for it. If you just told him that are supposed to endure under those who endure to the end will be saved in the verse 13 so he wants them to be absolutely committed for the faith of the gospel, but he wants them to know that there's no reason for them to be fanatical about buildings namely example are about places, namely Jerusalem, you're not tied to this building and you're not tied to this place. You're tied to the gospel therefore endure to the end for the gospel. But when this goes you can make a run for and Eusebius. The early church historian records how in A.D. 67 with the revolt of the Jews, the believers in Jerusalem did make a run for it and fled to the mountains of Pella.

You can find out for yourself with any good concord so you see the immediacy of it is something that needs to be reckoned with. Josephus at the Jewish historian, in his fifth book of the war of the Jews describes how and 97,000 people in this event were taken captive and 1.1 million perished by slow starvation and the sort. Let me quote from then did the famine, whiteness, progress, and devour the people by whole houses and family.

The upper rooms were full of women and children dying of starvation.

This is a Jewish historian. The lanes of the city were full of the dead bodies of the agent, the children of the young man wondered about the marketplaces like shadows all swelled with famine and fell down dead, wheresoever their misery ceased. As for burying them. Those that were sick themselves were not able to do it, and those that were hearty and well were detailed by the great multitude of the dead, and the uncertainty when they would die themselves for many died as they were burying others, and many went to their own coffins before the fatal hour.

There was no lamentation made under these calamities. The famine confounded all natural passions, a deep silence and a kind of deadly night had seized upon the city and it is actually worse from there, describing what they were forced to eat. In describing the cannibalism that actually became the result of the devastation of the starvation. Note when we read this this morning and we say to ourselves, you know, abomination, desolation, tribulation, we haven't got a clue where medical the worse that some of us can think of would even register on the scale of terror and horror and grimness that unfolded when this abomination of desolation to hold in that immediate historical context. But here's the point here is the question is a question for you to wrestle with as well. Are we then, to assume that the events as devastating as they were in A.D. 70. Exhaustively fulfill Jesus prophecy here and the answer is clearly no because when we read the balance of our Bibles when we read, for example, first John and what he has to say about the antichrists that are in the world and the final embodiment of that. When you read Paul writing to the Thessalonians, you realize again this this guy mentioned pushes out and beyond and if you want for your homework you can read second Thessalonians. In chapter 2 I don't have time to read it all now, but Paul writes to the people.

He says now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask your brothers not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed either by a spirit or a spoken word or a letter seeming to come from was the effect of the day of the Lord is come always people doing this first century, 21st-century and sore. Let no one deceive you in any way. Same as what Jesus would say for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God is the very same thing that you have in the prophecy of Daniel that is exactly what this person will do so. I think you get the point. George if you try and argue for the historical fulfillment of it exhausting what Jesus is saying, you probably left with with it with an aftertaste. If you try and push it out to some remote future and pay no attention to the immediacy of it. Then of course I think you've gone immediately wrong.

I was really help this week when I find a quote from my good friends and conversant where he said this was in a moment. For me, I just came on this. I was reading something else and is in a confession of ignorance about the precise significance of some of these statements is nothing of which to be ashamed. I said this is my kind of literature. A profession of ignorance about the precise significance of some of these statements is nothing of which to be ashamed and then he goes on to say, adding a dogmatic assurance to one's interpretation of a passage of Scripture is no guarantee that the interpretation is correct, and we've got the point. And what about the tribulation that is mentioned here because it goes on as part of a dozen when I say the tribulation. I just mean as it unfolds for us here, where are we, verse 19.

In these days there will be such tribulation is not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now and never will be well done must be too quick to say, well, I couldn't possibly be in the historic context because, listen to what I just read. Do you thing when those people when those people read this and said there's there can be anything worse than this ever they said to one another. I agree with that entirely when they when they reflected on what it happened with 1.1 million people butchered and left for dead and they realize the extent of things and then they read their Bibles, and frankly the quote from Josephus only mentioned the physical suffering that the physical self. What about the mental anguish. What about the theological significance. What about the fact that these people who had had the promises of God from of all found themselves standing out in the middle of this carnage and say to one another where's God now where is God now can there really be a God in heaven that we eat our own children, can there really be a God in heaven. When these people arrived to butcher is in this way have the prophets told as lies. Is there no salvation is there no liberation. Are we simply to live in this guy mentioned if you want a little sidebar for your own study, ponder this in relationship to the unbelief of the Jewish people in terms of what Paul writes in Romans chapter 11 in many ways the events as they unfold where the judgment of God on unbelief. We don't believe and we don't care we will find our own way, we will find our own Messiah. We will find our own and once again if you think immediately that that then finalizes any notion of tribulation and you fail to read the rest of your Bible and failed to understand the Bible makes it perfectly clear that the closer we come to the return of Jesus Christ.

The greater will be these things and those things and is my third and final word and those events will also be marked by the presence of false Christ's and false prophets, and these individuals are like Jesus will be doing their thing in order to lead people astray. Jesus didn't do miracles in order to attract or to create followers stays were signs of the kingdom. But these individuals do what is spectacular to appeal to the natural cravings of folks and in the middle of all of this, you will notice where guards focus lines and lies on his people there described. There is the electron thing but for the sake of the elect.

To me, chose, he shortened the days.

We don't really know what that means. There's not many indications are that I can find in the Bible. All we know is that he intervened on behalf of the zone of of his own and also he is the one who protects his own from succumbing to the seducing wonders of those who pretend to be the Messiah who pretend to be Christ, and he then Jesus says, and the impact of this is that you might be on your guard and I've told you all of this beforehand, in other words, I've given you sufficient warning, sleepier than to finish this up yourself, but let's let send let send in this way, if you stand far enough back from this passage, you realize that the claim that the Bible is making is and is an immense claim, namely, that history history is truly his story and history of the world cannot be understood apart from Christ apart from God's revelation of himself that the events that's why theologians refer to Genesis 315 is the proto-evangelion and other was the gospel in embryo in Genesis 3 and in verse fifth dean, I will put indemnity between you and the woman says God between your offspring and her offspring, he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel. In other words, the very heart of the drama of history is this great battle is aware that that Milton God far as you know, in paradise lost in an paradise regained the way to understand the story of the world is to understand the behind all the wars behind all of the hatred behind every broken marriage. Behind every rebellious child behind all that represents chaos and carnage and hell on earth is this amazing encounter described in Genesis 3 that Christ is the one who comes to vanquish the evil one. His kingdom comes he prevails. He triumphs over him in the cross, the evil one is now chained waiting for the day of destruction. He still engages in all of his skirmishes. The battle is not yet over. But victory is secure so the Christian must live in the light of that, must realize ye fearful saints, fresh courage take the sky he so much dread are filled with mercy, mercy, and will break with blessings on your head. No matter what no matter who is elected no matter where your freedoms go, no matter if you're in prison for your faith no matter if you remove your children from you, ye fearful saints take fresh courage. Jesus is saying this seriously.

Be of good cheer in the world you will have tribulation, I told you this before you can be absolutely sure God reigns. I found myself in my studies yesterday afternoon singing old choruses and myself out loud I can do that. Go noiselessly. It doesn't matter I was saying out there for the redeemed of the Lord shall return memo I want.

Isaiah something and come with singing unto Zion and everlasting joy will be upon their heads. They will they will obtain gladness and joy and saying in morning will flee away. Therefore the redeemed of the Lord to return. Who are these people, while the picture is of the Exodus. The pictures of them being restored to the promised land out of the exile in Babylon, but does not fulfill it in the history is that everything that is in mind the redeemed of the Lord will return with singing and joy. No, it pushes on beyond history and has an eschatological dimension to this is the only hope is the only hope in the world. The gospel is the only story that doesn't flameout the gospel is the only story that gives freedom for the captives site for the blind piece for the broken. This gospel story is what I if you return Mark chapter 13 into your favorite hobby horse were fiddling and piddling around with it then. Shame on you, and you miss the point Jesus is declaring unequivocally no matter how it happens and when it happens no matter if you get it in its entirety or you miss it in his security rest contained in this God reigns. That's why the feet of the Mountaineer were beautiful, how lovely on the mountain is the feet of him who brings good news, proclaiming peace, announcing use of happiness.

This is what we go into the world with news of peace and happiness with wasn't happy once seen yourself.

Goodness gracious. Give me a smile, for crying out a letter that they are right. I finished with her story from Cuba in a wonderful book called against all whole, which is the prison memoirs of a guy called her Mandel valid Darris. He describes being in the prison and the guards coming to take away the Christians to the firing squad. He says that his faith is interesting God was nominal until he saw these men going to their deaths, and he went to their deaths.

With shouts of Viva Crystal Ray Viva crystal Ray and then he writes those cries of the executed patriots. Long live Christ the King had awakened me to a new life and he echoed through the 200 year old motes of the fortress. Those cries became such a potent and stirring symbol that by 1963. The man condemned to death gagged before being carried down to be shot because the jailers feared those shouts.

Why the answer is in Philippians 1 do not, says Paul, be afraid of those who oppose you stay true to the faith. When you do so unashamed and unafraid. It is a clear sign to your captors of their distraction.

Shoot me if you will.

There is a whole that stands the test of time. There is a whole that triumphs over the grave. There is hope that is found in Jesus and in Jesus only, and if you do not embrace that whole if you do not know that whole then I invite you today to buy where you are and ask Christ to forgive you deceive to make you a whole new person send you out with a shout with joy even in this season of cultural confusion. Jesus assures us that God reigns in his mandate is clear we are to await Christ's return to remain on guard and endure to the end. Please stay with us.

Alister will conclude today's message with prayer in just a minute. Today's study in Mark 13 is consistent with the message we proclaim every day here on Truth for Life. We want people all over the world to realize that the turbulence many of us have felt intensifying in 2020 will be overcome. Even now, Jesus rains and he will return over the last several months many listeners have expressed to us.

Their gratitude for the comfort they find in our daily study of God's word. In fact, some have written to tell us that the teaching has been for them a lifeline, so I want to extend our sincere thanks to our truth partners and anyone who is ever given a donation. You need to know that your generosity is what has kept Truth for Life on the radio available to all of our channels during the uncertainties of the last year people have benefited as a result, and we are genuinely grateful as we head toward the final weeks of 2020. You need to know your giving is essential for this list are supported ministry.

Your donation at this important time of year, will enable us to finish 2020 strong so as you begin to think about your and giving please remember Truth for Life with a generous gift in support of the gospel. Your much-needed donation will go directly toward the teaching you hear on this daily program and to say thanks for your support today would love to send you a copy of a book called the disciple, written by John Stott. This book ties in naturally with our study of the gospel of Mark because it clearly describes what it means to be a true follower of Jesus today, even centuries after Mark wrote his gospel, you can give a donation on our mobile app or you can donate by calling 888-588-7884 and you can also give and request the book online at now here is Alister lead us in prayer, O God our father, look upon is in your grace. We pray we are all learners from the one who knows the answers help us to stand far enough back from things to get the big picture, and where we missed the point correctives where we overemphasize something, forgive us and may grace and mercy and peace from you, God the father and your son the Lord Jesus Christ be ours by the Holy Spirit today and forevermore. Amen. The Bible teaches that God's perfect patience while remarkable will, in some ways come to an end be listing tomorrow to an alarming depiction of God's justice served as Jesus returns again and Bob Lapine. This daily program features the Bible teaching of Alister Greg and it's furnished by truthful with the Learning is for Living

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