Chapter 41

The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (Part B)
Mark 13:24-37 (NKJV)

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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!”

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Mark 13:24-27
It is certain!

After these alarming events and situations, Jesus describes the final ‘curtain call’ before He, the Son of Man, will return in the clouds with great power and glory. Before He splendidly and majestically bursts on the scene expect unprecedented cosmic activity. The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. The coming to earth again of our mighty Lord, Saviour and Creator God, will be preceded by His angels gathering His chosen ones from far and wide. By God’s grace, they have repented of their sins and trusted Jesus as their Saviour. God’s prophecy is always future history. All this will certainly come to pass. We have Christ’s own authority on which to base that confidence.

Mark 13:28-31
It is certain and it is near!

Jesus assures His hearers that Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Thirteen times in Mark’s Gospel,[1] underlining their importance, Jesus says, Assuredly, I say to you. Now He follows them with, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. By this generation, He means that the generation of people first experiencing the final signs of His coming will still be there when He comes. He will come quickly. When the cauldron of fulfilled predictions really boils, His coming will follow speedily.

No one on earth knows when that will be. Futile attempts of some to predict it made them look very silly. As growth in the fig tree’s leaves indicate summer’s arrival, so these signs announce Christ’s coming again. People need to come to Christ soon to escape being lost eternally. Jesus may come much earlier than they expect (if they expect Him at all). It is also essential that Christians live faithfully for Him. He may also come much sooner than some Christians think!

Mark 13:32-37
It is certain, it is near and it is challenging

Only God the Father knows the timetable. The angels know nothing. Even Jesus chooses not to know its timing in humbling Himself to take on our humanity so he can go to the cross to bear our sins in our place.

Someone has said that the Christian should live ‘as if Jesus died this morning, rose this afternoon, ascended to Heaven this evening, and is coming back tonight.’ Jesus warns, Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. We should live focused on that command. Anything diluting that is wrong. Jesus talks of servants and a doorkeeper. Their boss, the house owner, leaves, does no know or say when he will return and his servants know neither the day nor time of his return  – dawn, morning, afternoon, evening, or during the night. So they must be ready for him. Jesus tells us all to be ready. He says, Watch!

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[1]   .  The following references are all from Mark’s Gospel: 3:28; 6:11; 8:12; 9:1; 9:41; 10:15; 10:29; 11:23; 12:43; 13:30; 14:9; 14:18; 14:25; 14:30.

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Questions on Chapter 41
Mark 13:24-37 The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (Part B)

A. Why can you be absolutely certain that Christ will come again?   Mark 13:31   John 14:3   2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

B. As a fig tree’s growth signals the coming summer, what will signal Christ’s return?  Mark 13: 28-30   Mark 13: 24-27

C. What is the main challenge to the Christian about Christ’s second coming?   Mark 13:32-37   1 John 3:2-3   Matthew 25:1-13