The End of the World - Part 3

Mark: The Beginning of the Gospel - Part 37

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Cory Brock

Feb. 18, 2024


Disclaimer: this is an automatically generated machine transcription - there may be small errors or mistranscriptions. Please refer to the original audio if you are in any doubt.

[0:00] I'm going to read together from Mark's gospel this morning, Mark chapter 13, one last look at Mark 13, verses 24 to 37.

[0:12] This is God's word. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

[0:28] And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send out the angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

[0:42] From the fig tree learn its lesson. As soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also when you see these things taking place, you know that He is near at the very gates.

[0:56] Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

[1:07] But concerning the day or that hour, no one knows not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake, for you do not know when the time will come.

[1:19] It is like a man going on a journey. And he leaves home when he puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake.

[1:29] Therefore stay awake, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows or in the morning, lest he come suddenly and find you asleep.

[1:41] And what I say to you, I say to all, stay awake. So we're working through Mark's Gospel, chapters 13 to 16, all the way up to Easter time. And this is our third and final look at Mark 13, which is about the end of the world.

[1:56] We'll be in Mark 14 next week. This is about the end of the world, as we've been saying. How do all the fairy tales end? How do they all end? The very last sentence. And they lived happily ever after.

[2:08] And that's exactly what every single human being wants. That is the object of human desire. We want to live in a happily ever after. We long to be standing in a place at the end of the world that is a land of justice, righteousness, and peace.

[2:22] The astronomers tell us that the world, the earth, is someday going to be eaten by a star. That that's the death that we can expect. That's annihilation.

[2:33] And for a lot of people, even in the Christian world, the end of the world is ultimately hitting spiritual golf balls on that celestial driving range, you know, teeing off in that celestial golf course above as spirits.

[2:48] And Christianity comes and says something different than both those options. It's not annihilation. The world will not be eaten by a star. There will be a remembrance of what has taken place.

[3:01] And at the same time, we will not just be spirits living in heaven, some celestial life. Merely note that we've seen every the past couple of weeks that Jesus is coming back.

[3:11] He's returning. So you could walk away from this reflection about the end of the world knowing that the second coming of Jesus is the three Rs. Three Rs.

[3:23] The return of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the restoration of all things. Jesus Christ, the three Rs. He is going to make everything sad come untrue in His return, in the resurrection, and in the restoration of this earth.

[3:38] And embodied life. That's what He's coming to give us. And so right here, He's sitting on the Mount of Olives, 300 feet above Jerusalem looking out. And that's why people call Mark 13 and its parallel passage, Matthew 24, the Olivet discourse.

[3:54] Jesus is chat with the disciples from the Mount of Olives. And we said the past couple of weeks that He points out two big events that are going to happen. And the first is in verse 14.

[4:07] In verse 14, He says that the abomination of desolation is coming. What is that? The abomination is a word that first century Jewish people use for whenever a pagan person, a person who does not believe in the God of the Bible, comes and stands in the temple, the temple in Jerusalem and desecrates it.

[4:30] And that happened in 168 BC with a guy named Antiochus Epiphanes. And so since then, they said that was the abomination of desolation. And Jesus says there's another abomination of desolation coming.

[4:42] And it happened, 8070. The general of Rome Titus stood in the holy place in the temple, desecrated the temple, then destroyed it. So Jesus predicts an immediate end of Jerusalem here in part of the passage.

[4:58] And then that is like a foreshadow of a greater end. A tribulation that's coming to the whole world. And then at the end of that tribulation, the return of Jesus. And that's the two big events He's talked about.

[5:09] The abomination of the temple, the destruction of Jerusalem, that's a foreshadow of the ultimate future, the second coming of Jesus Christ. And you see that verse 24, verse 25, Jesus Christ is coming again in the clouds in power and glory.

[5:25] He's not coming in just the clouds above in the blue sky. You know, it's talking about that when Jesus comes down, it is going to be the glory cloud of the Old Testament falling down upon the earth when He comes and restores everything.

[5:38] So that's the big picture. And we have said for two weeks, Jesus turns and then says, okay, be on your guard. Be watchful for this.

[5:48] Four times He says it in this passage, long for it. Make it matter for your life that this should make a difference in how you're living today and what you're up to and how you think about your life right now.

[5:59] And so today, let me just give you the final three very practical applications. We've looked at six already. We're going to walk away from Mark 13 with nine reasons that the second coming makes it different in your life right now.

[6:10] I won't rehearse the previous six. We don't have time for that. So let's just look at the final three. These are, I think, the clearest three in the passage. So I've done the obscure ones and now we're coming to the clearest ones.

[6:22] All right. So here they are. Today, Jesus tells us, thinking about the second coming, the return of Christ, is hope for the sleepy.

[6:33] Hope for the sleepy is a source for waking up again and ultimately is joy until the sleep is over. So it's all about sleeping today.

[6:46] Some of you will be asleep. Hopefully, maybe this will wake you back up, wake us all up in heart at least. First, Jesus tells us here we need to see that the second coming is hope for the sleepy.

[6:59] Now let me show you this. This is an interesting connection between chapter 13 and 14. We already said in verse 14, the destruction of the temple. It's a foreshadowing of the great tribulation that's coming before the second coming.

[7:14] It's a foreshadow, a prototype. But then in chapter 14, verse one, just if you have a Bible you can look down briefly, this is happening two days before the Passover meal.

[7:26] The Passover happens on Thursday night in the way that they counted time in the first century. That means it's Wednesday. So two days for them is not Tuesday to Thursday, but Wednesday and Thursday. That's two days.

[7:37] So it's Wednesday. Passover meal is Thursday. And right after the Passover, Jesus is going to go remember it into the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples.

[7:47] And in Mark 13, the end of the world, what's his big command to us? He says at the very end, stay awake. Look for the second coming. Don't forget about it.

[7:57] Let it matter to your heart. Let your heart be awake that Jesus is going to come back again one day. When you get to Mark 14, in the Passover meal takes place, and he goes into the Garden of Gethsemane with who?

[8:10] The exact same disciples, Peter, James, John, that he was sitting on the Mount of Olives with in Mark 13. And what does he say to them? He says, will you be watchful and stay awake with me?

[8:25] So in Mark 13, he says, be watchful, Peter, James, John, and stay awake. And in Mark 14, in the Garden of Gethsemane, he says, Peter, James, and John, be watchful and stay awake with me because I go to pray.

[8:37] Now Jesus, we're told, was in agony in that moment. He was so sorrowful over what was about to happen to him at the cross that he was sweating blood.

[8:47] He was in deep emotional pain and anguish. And he said, will you stand here and watch, be watchful, meaning guard the Garden because it's not yet time for the soldiers to come.

[8:58] I need to pray, watch for me, be watchful, be like a soldier on the lookout for me. Now what have we seen the past two weeks? When he tells us, look for the second coming, it's be like a soldier looking for the second coming on the horizon on the city wall.

[9:11] And he says the exact same thing. And then he says, and stay awake and pray for me. And he gives the exact same command. And then what happens is when he goes to pray, he comes back three different times and it says that he found them sleeping.

[9:27] Their eyes were too heavy. That's what the text tells us. Chapter 14 verse 40. Now look, you see that there's a clear connection. Jesus knew what was about to happen in the Garden of Gethsemane.

[9:40] He repeats the command, be watchful, stay awake, and they fell asleep. Be watchful for the second coming, stay awake. Be watchful for my first coming, the crucifixion, and stay awake and pray for me.

[9:53] And the apostles, these are the apostles of the church. They can't do it. They're sleepy disciples. They're very sleepy disciples. And what we learn here is that when Jesus says, be awake to the second coming, look for it, long for it, make it matter in your life, in your heart right now, that we can't do it.

[10:14] The disciples couldn't, the apostles could not stay awake when Jesus Christ, the embodied Christ was standing right next to them saying, I'm sweating blood, pray for me, stay awake.

[10:25] I'm about to go to hell for you. And they couldn't do it. And he's giving us the command in 13, giving them the command and saying, look, you're not going to be able to.

[10:35] Now what does that mean? What it means is I think Jesus is trying to say when he says, be watchful, stay awake, yet chapter 14, you won't be able to. He's trying to get us to see that we struggle to stay awake to the things of God.

[10:50] You know, do you have that experience that you come on a Sunday, maybe your faith is renewed and week to week as the week goes on, you enter into a season of prayerlessness and you're not conscious at all of the things of God.

[11:03] You don't feel like your life is being moved by the gospel and the reality of Jesus in any meaningful way. And he's saying, yeah, you got a sleepy heart. Your heart's sleepy.

[11:13] That's why I'm having to say, be watchful, stay awake. It's going to happen to you. It happened to them. What does it mean to be awake? It's simple.

[11:24] It's something like experiencing the conviction of sin in your normal life. It means at a heart level having a daily trust in the reality of Jesus in the gospel.

[11:34] It means experiencing something of the assurance of salvation on a day different than Sunday throughout the week. It means having a real sense of the reality that Jesus really did all this for me.

[11:48] And he really is coming again. And this really is the meaning of my life. It's a simple question. It's a simple application. Are you sleepy?

[11:59] Don't answer that out loud. Are you sleepy? Ask yourself in your heart. Are you sleepy this morning? And Jesus in some sense is saying, yeah, you are. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love, prone to forget the God who has rescued me and saved me, prone to walk away.

[12:18] The apostles struggled with it. We struggle with it. And that's why he's telling us here. Now I just want to ask you some questions. These are not meant at all to be guilt inducing. And instead, I hope for me that they're just meant to be here to wake us up and to restore us and renew us and being watchful, being awake to Jesus and the second coming in the light of the first coming.

[12:39] Here they are. I have six for you. I'm just going to list them. How real has God been to your heart this week? How clear and vivid is your assurance and certainty of God's forgiveness and His fatherly love in your life right now?

[12:57] To what degree are these things present to you in your life in this season? Are you having any particular seasons of sweet delight in God, in God's presence at the moment?

[13:10] Do you really sense His presence in your life? Have you been finding scripture to be alive and active in your soul? Are you finding certain biblical promises extremely precious and encouraging?

[13:23] Now when you say yes to those questions, it means I'm awake. My soul's awake. But I know at the same time right here, this is here because Jesus is saying, I know that you fall asleep.

[13:35] That's why He came. Now let me really show this to you. We need two things in the light of this, in the light of our sleepiness. We need one to see. Remember, the apostles were very sleepy disciples and that gives me comfort.

[13:48] The apostles were very sleepy quite often, even in the rest of the New Testament. But secondly, just lastly before we move on, we need to see a little bit of foreshadowing here.

[14:00] Remember that the destruction of the temple was a foreshadowing to the tribulation right before the great second coming, the second coming of Jesus. But there's also another prototype, a foreshadowing, taking place in this passage.

[14:15] What does He say in Mark 13, verses 24-25? At the time of the second coming, the tribulation just before the sun, the sun will go dark.

[14:27] The moon will stop reflecting light. The stars will fall from heaven. Darkness will fall. That's what Jesus says. And then you jump over to Mark 15, 33.

[14:38] And you learn that the moment that Jesus Christ was crucified, the sun stopped giving its light. Darkness covered the entire land. You see, in the second coming, when the judge comes on the earth, darkness will fall upon the land, but in the first coming, darkness already fell.

[14:54] At the moment of the crucifixion, it was dark over the whole land. Mark 13 says, then the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24, the parallel passage says, the heavens and the earth will shake in the judgment when Jesus comes.

[15:08] What happened when Jesus was crucified? Matthew and Mark both tell us the earth shook. The rocks were split. And you see, what it's saying to is, when you look at the second coming and you realize, I'm sleepy, I struggle to stay awake.

[15:24] I struggle to care about the things of God in my day-to-day life. It's saying, you look at the second coming and you see those things are going to happen. The hope that we have for standing on that day is the fact that that very judgment fell upon Him at the cross.

[15:40] That the world went dark. That the judgment already came. That the rocks already split. That the earth already shook. That my sleepiness, my failure to have any sense that God is real in my life day-to-day, completely landed on Jesus at the cross.

[16:00] When the light of Christ appears in His second coming, when that holy light shines down on you and He illuminates every bit of who we are, what will that be like? How can you stand?

[16:11] And the answer is, because Jesus Christ already experienced the judgment of the second coming in the first coming. The cross was just like the end of history.

[16:22] It already happened to Him. Now listen, you can never stand in the judgment that Jesus stood in. You can never stand in the judgment.

[16:33] We can never stand in the judgment of the second coming when the light comes. We've got sleepy hearts and Jesus Christ, the judge, has taken on every bit of that judgment for us, every bit of our sleepiness into Himself.

[16:45] Now, I just hope that you know that Christianity comes today and says that is real. That is not mythological. And I hope that that lands on you today and that you're persuaded by it and that it would really move you, really move you to consider what is reality, what is my life?

[17:07] What could it be like to live life in the light of the second coming? Now secondly, and more briefly, now that leads us then to the clearest takeaway. There's a temptation here to say, okay, I do struggle with sleepiness of soul.

[17:22] Jesus Christ has taken on every bit of my sleepiness, my judgment, my sin for me when the rocks were split, when the earth quaked, when the darkness fell over the land at the crucifixion.

[17:32] So I'm okay. Yes, you are. If you follow Jesus Christ today, you're okay. You will stand no matter how Jesus finds you when He comes.

[17:42] He might find you on the sleepiest day of your life when it comes to the things of God. But if you're a follower of Jesus, if you trust in Him today, you will stand on that day, no matter what, when the Master comes.

[17:53] And so there's a temptation there to say, okay, well, I don't really need to care about my life today. I don't really need to care about change. And so the clearest application, I think in this whole passage, is that the second coming is actually the source for waking up now before He comes.

[18:12] Now look, here's what Jesus does. You can see He gives us, to us, in a couple metaphors. If you look down at verse 32, He says, look, when it comes to the second coming, that day, that hour, no one knows when it's going to happen.

[18:25] The angels don't know the Son Himself. The earthly Christ does not know when He's coming back again. And so you don't know. We saw that last week. We can never say that we know.

[18:36] But instead, He tells us, but you are living in the end of history. And so this is how He, Tresor, really drive that home. Verse 34, He gives you a metaphor.

[18:46] It's like a man going on a journey that leaves home, puts the servants in charge, and says, stay awake. You do not know when the Master is coming home.

[18:56] Be busy with your work because the Master can come knock on the door and say, I'm home at any time. Now, Jesus is telling us here that He sees Himself as like the Master of the house, and He's coming home again.

[19:09] So that's good news. Jesus thinks that when He comes back to earth, that is Him coming home. He's coming home. The Master's coming home to be with us. But He says, you have no idea when that's going to happen.

[19:21] When's He going to knock on the front door? How is Jesus going to find you when the inapproachable light of heaven shines down into this world? That's the question. How is He going to find you?

[19:31] That's what He leaves us with. Stay awake. How will He find you when He comes again? And what He's suggesting here is, will you be found? Will you long to be found in a state of integrity when He comes again?

[19:45] In other words, do you, because of His first coming that you are safe in Him, do you now long to be found in a state of growth, integrity, sanctification as we put it in His second coming when He comes again?

[19:59] He says, we should long for that. We should have deep desire that when that light shines down and the Master comes and knocks on the door, He will find us in the secret place in a state of integrity.

[20:12] That's the ultimate application that He's giving us here. Now, He gives you another metaphor as well. He says, the coming is like birth pains, you know?

[20:22] And you're there and the baby's on the way and all of a sudden, there's the baby. I've seen this happen. I've been a witness to this. And all of a sudden, there it is. The baby has come.

[20:33] That's what the end is like. There's going to be unbelievable joy, but how will God find you when the new birth happens, when the resurrection takes place? That's the question He's asking us.

[20:46] Application. Look, this is not easy, I think, this idea. It's very difficult. It's very difficult if you're walking through a season where you do feel sleepiness in the soul.

[21:01] But I think this is the more specific thing He's asking you today. Do I live a double life? You know, how will the Master find you when the light of God shines in on this world, in the secret place, in the private place?

[21:15] How will He find you? And I think the questions He's asking that He's been asking in Mark's Gospel is, do I live a double life? Now, the word that gets used in Mark's Gospel is hypocrisy, and it's a Greek idea from a stage play.

[21:28] So the word hypocrite is an actor that in an ancient, Greco-Roman context would put a mask over their face and switch masks to play the different roles on the stage.

[21:39] That's the hypocrite, a person who out in public wears a different face that then gets taken off in private, and they're a completely different person. You see what He's saying? He's saying, are you religious and publicly respectable on the outside in the eyes of the world, but then a very different person in the soul?

[21:58] If you were to take the mask off the soul and look deep down, would you be an enormously different human being? Not a perfect person, not a blameless person. Jesus Christ will come and He will not find any of us perfect, not at all.

[22:12] But He's saying, are you, in other words, chasing integrity? Are you seeking sanctification? Because of your justification, do you long to be sanctified? Do you long to grow? Do you long to experience deep change in your life?

[22:24] That's the question that He's asking. I once heard a really well-known preacher in America say that the sins that He struggled with in His 20s were the exact same sins He was struggling with in His 70s.

[22:42] And I thought, that's discouraging. But then He said, you know what? I know that I'm prone to these very specific temptations. All of us are in different ways.

[22:52] And He said, and I can look back over my 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and now 70s and say that I still struggle with the same temptations and sins, and yet there is a big difference.

[23:03] I've grown. I've changed. I'm able to resist a lot more easily. I'm able to run. I'm able to fight. I'm not the same man I used to be. He said, I struggle with the same things. I'm not perfect. I'm not blameless.

[23:13] Not at all. I've got the gospel. But I have sought change, integrity, sanctification, growth. And that's really what Jesus is saying. When you think about the Second Coming, ask yourself, because of the cross of Jesus Christ, I know I'm okay.

[23:28] The judge was judged in my place. But now in this life, do I long to be more like the Son, Jesus? Do I long to grow? Do I long to change? Do I long to be conformed to Him?

[23:39] Do I long to be sanctified? That's what He's asking. Now, we're going to move on to the last point, but let me just say this. Really that fight of sanctification, of being found walking in the light when the light shines on you is really about the little things more than the big things.

[23:57] Deep change, how does deep change happen? Have you decided in your life, I really do want to address my particular sin issues? I want to do surgery. I want the Lord to do surgery on me.

[24:08] How does deep change happen? It happens in the little moments, not the big moments, not the mountaintops, not the biggest decisions of your life. It happens in the 10,000 micro decisions that we make every day.

[24:21] The little moments of temptation, the little moments to allow or not allow the thoughts of judgment about that person next to us to cross our minds. The little ways to fight the gossip, the little ways to fight the things we particularly struggle with, that's where deep change happens.

[24:37] When temptation comes, we pray instead. It's the micro steps that lead to big sanctification over the long term. That's what Jesus is asking. How do you want to be found when the master comes, when the light shines?

[24:51] It's not about getting the gospel. You already have it. It's for followers of Jesus. But he's saying, but do you want to grow in this life? Do you want to change? Lastly, the second coming offers us joy until this sleepiness ends.

[25:10] All of us are going to struggle ups and downs in our life with the sleepiness of soul. The last thing Jesus is telling us here, I think, is that when you look at the second coming of the Lord, what it's offering you is the possibility of joy until all the sleepiness goes away.

[25:27] Here's how he says it. There's lots of little deaths we experience in our life, little moments of sleepiness, not being the person we want to be yet, not having grown in the ways we want to have grown yet.

[25:41] We look back and think, I thought my faith would be stronger by now. That's the death of the soul, those moments. That's the surgery we really actually need.

[25:52] Then we face another sleepiness of soul. That's that one day we will be hooked up to the wires and we will lay down in the sleep of death. We got all sorts of big sleepy problems.

[26:05] The sleep of the body and death, the sleep of the soul in this life. Jesus says, you got to look at the second coming to see that there is a possibility of joy in the midst of that sleepiness.

[26:16] Here's how he puts it, verse 28. He says, look at the lesson of the fig tree. He tells you, look at the fig tree. Let it be a lesson to you. He says, from the fig tree, as soon as the branch becomes tender and puts its leaves out, you know that summer is almost here.

[26:35] Today, sort of feels like springtime is almost here. That's exactly the same lesson. He says, you look at the fig tree and you see that first green leaf come off and you know summer is about to come.

[26:49] And earlier, the birth pain metaphor, he compared the whole second coming to birth and he said, when you see the tribulation happening, persecutions and rumors of wars, you'll know that the birth pains have begun, the beginning of the end.

[27:05] And I've been around for four births and I've never experienced any birth pains. I haven't had that. But some of you have.

[27:15] And you know that it's incredibly painful and that's what he's saying. And then all of a sudden, remember, just like we said a moment ago, but then there's a baby and joy breaks through.

[27:25] And sometimes you leave your home for work in the morning and you come back in the evening and in your garden, the flowers have bloomed in just a day all of a sudden.

[27:37] And then you know springtime is coming. You walk across the meadows in the morning and you come back in the afternoon and the crocuses have come up. And that's when you know springtime is coming.

[27:48] And Jesus is saying, you've got to look at the second coming and know that the ultimate spring, the ultimate summer is coming in order to survive the winter, in order to get through the sleepiness, the winter times that we're all experiencing.

[28:03] Now look, what is that as we close? What's your winter right now? What are you walking through that is winter to you and to your soul at the moment?

[28:13] Jesus is saying whatever it is, you've got to think about the second coming in order to see the crocuses, the signs, the joy that you can have in the now. Some of us right now this morning, maybe winter is just saying, I am a sleepy Christian.

[28:29] I'm nominal in many ways. I'm not yearning to grow. I don't have that heart right now. I want it. And today's the day where you can just ask God for it and you can pray for it. You can say that is winter.

[28:40] That I'm not sanctified. I'm not growing in the way I want to grow. But there's a lot of other things. And so for some of us today, we are looking at Monday thinking I do not like my job.

[28:52] I hate the work I'm in the midst of right now. I really struggle with it. I know that I'm smarter than my boss, you know. And the bureaucracy is really crushing me.

[29:04] Or it just feels like I'm not contributing. I'm idle. I'm not giving anything to the common good. I don't like the job I'm in. I don't know if this is the career for me. You struggle with the vexation of work.

[29:15] You're made for it. You're made to be fulfilled in it. And yet, and so you long for it, but at the same time, you don't like it. That's this winter season we're in. Work is supposed to be great and it's not always very good.

[29:28] And for some of us, it's the existential pain we bring into our lives because of our idols. You know, we, if you're here today and you came to university in Edinburgh and you came to uni and you thought, you know, I do feel like I'm smarter than most people.

[29:44] And then you came to university and you realized that there are seven people in the first course you took that were smarter than you. And it was crushing. You'd kind of built your identity around that personality. I'm the smart guy, the smart woman.

[29:57] And then you realized everybody's smart. And it was crushing, you know. And you can take all sorts of things like that and build your life around it. These existential idols that we chase after. And that's winter time.

[30:08] Winter time for the soul. As soon as we learn the truth. Or you can be chasing something, a career, a job, a relationship. You came for a relationship. It hasn't happened. You got broken up with.

[30:20] You long for that or this or this or that. Or you're struggling with aging and you want to live but you feel the pressure on the body. And that's winter time.

[30:31] That's the winter we're living in, in the midst of this world. Really the most painful thing is broken relationships that many of us experience. The biggest hurt of all.

[30:42] Broken relationships, family rupture. And watching our children grow up and trying to take them into adulthood. That being really hard at times for some of us.

[30:54] And we pray. And it's winter. And then for all of us we've got to face the sleep of death. We've got to be hooked up to the wires. We know it's coming.

[31:05] Winter all around us and yet Jesus here says to you, what do you do? You got to lift up your eyes and you got to look for that first green leaf on the fig tree.

[31:17] You got to walk out your front door and look at the crocuses and know that the ultimate springtime is on its way. It's coming. What is it? Read the rest of the New Testament.

[31:28] The first fruit, the first blossom, the first flower, the New Testament uses all the metaphors is what? The resurrection of Jesus Christ.

[31:38] You know what he's saying? He's saying, think about the second coming. Think about the ultimate spring and know that the first bloom has already opened. And what is it?

[31:48] It is, it's Sunday. It's the resurrection. He's saying meditate on the resurrection. You want to meditate on the second coming? Well you got to meditate on the first coming. And you got to know that because of Sunday the ultimate springtime is coming.

[32:02] You know, remember the white witch in Narnia? She made it always winter, never spring. But there were appearances, stories of Aslan, the great Christ figure showing up here and there.

[32:15] And as soon as the white witch took her sleigh out into Narnia she got stuck in the grass. The Christ figure had shown up in the early moments of spring. The snow was starting to melt.

[32:26] You know, it's not always going to be winter. The ultimate springtime is coming. We ended last week with Heidelberg question about how the second coming, Heidelberg catechism question about how the second coming helps you.

[32:39] Let me end this week with the Heidelberg catechism question. How does the resurrection of Christ comfort you? Help you today. This is what it says.

[32:49] First, by the resurrection of Jesus he overcame death so that we can share today in the righteousness he earned for us by that death.

[33:02] Second, by his power we too are already raised up into new life. You have everything you need to change. That's what it's saying. Everything you need.

[33:12] Third, Christ's resurrection is now to me a sure pledge of my glorious resurrection. The ultimate spring is coming.

[33:23] Let's pray together. Lord, we ask that you would use this word unto our hearts that we would look out for the crocuses and long for the ultimate springtime.

[33:35] Three weeks now, Lord, we've thought about what it means to look at the first and second coming as the big worldview. We ask as we close this now that you would send us forth.

[33:45] Our church is a church family and body with a big Christian worldview that we stand in the time between the first and second coming and that that means everything, our understanding of history, of time, of who we are, our identity.

[33:59] So Lord, that's our longing that we would walk away from this little three-part look at Mark 13 and really have a world vision, a lifelong view that the second coming means everything to us.

[34:14] And so we pray now to give us eyes for resurrection, hearts that long for it, and send us forth from this place by the power of the gospel, longing to grow. So we do long, Lord, to be a church that is known and for being serious about sanctification, about deep change, about growing together slowly, about struggling together in our sins and away from those things.

[34:38] We want that. We want that, Lord. And so we do ask that the Holy Spirit would be at work in our lives amongst our body, that we would be Christians who experience deep change.

[34:50] And we pray for this in Christ's name. Amen. Thank you.