Sunday May 31, 1998

BIBLE PASSAGE:    Mark 13:1-7, 24-35

KEY VERSE:            Mark 13:31 "31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."

Session Focus: All that our eyes can see will pass away, but Jesus and His Word will last forever.

All Scripture references herein are in the New International Version Of God's Word

1As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!" 2"Do you see all these great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down." 3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, 4"Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?" 5Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 6Many will come in my name, claiming, `I am he,' and will deceive many. 7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 24"But in those days, following that distress, "`the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' [4] 26"At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens 28"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 29Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. 30I tell you the truth, this generation [5] will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 32"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Be on guard! Be alert [6]! You do not know when that time will come. 34It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn.

We are so handicapped spiritually due to the spiritual death of our first Mom and Dad. It seems like now all that we can see with is our physical eyes and yet, there is so much more to our existence that we've been blinded to. It seems like we as mankind are so good to looking ahead only within this life. By doing great and mighty acts of the flesh; building huge buildings, carving out mountain sides to resemble people, building huge statues to symbolize liberty, and yet expend very little energy for our spiritual welfare. Why is it that when it comes to building our own house or something great, we'll sacrifice for it, sweat for it, work hard for the funding of it and yet when it comes to our eternal souls we think that coming to church and sitting there as we would in front of the t.v., will prepare us for our eternal destination? Oh how sad it is indeed that we can not see as Christ saw that this world and all that we see is so temporary. 1 John 2:16 For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. Oh that we would take the time to listen to our Lord's Words for they ARE TRUTH and yet we expend so much of our selves chasing our tails wasting our lives on those things that do not give life. Work is great, it has so many benefits but if we're not working as unto Jesus our Lord than it is all wasted.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Our adversary, satan, loves to take what we say and twist it! To some he may be saying "listen to this guy talking against work and exerting one's self ." No, not at all, I'm just trying to point out the fact that we need to put the engine of the train at the front and not the rear. When we died spiritually so did our understanding of where our priorities should be. I like the following verse in 3 John 1:2 "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." The sad part about our spiritual state is that it will even try to use God to fulfill our selfish desires such as blab it and grab it or name it and claim it. We need to wake up to the reality that to get anything of spiritual worth, takes effort. Not effort within our selfishness, but effort in learning how to listen much and speak little, effort on spending time in listening to our Lord's voice by the precious Holy Spirit in the Living Word. James 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does. We need to learn how to say "Lord make me hungry and thirsty for you!" We need to see that according to 3 John 1:2 our Lord would like to see us prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers and is in health. Our Lord loves us beyond our greatest capacities to understand. He even knows what's best and when. So, if your life is broken and distraught, or if your looking for work, or your looking for a husband or wife, or whatever area of your life that may be lacking, the one thing I've found to be the #1 cure is Psalm 37:4 which states "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." I've found that when we do this, even out of our pain and sorrow, that He will and always does honor His Word! Why is it that we don't spend more time and energy with the one who would love us so? Why is it that we don't take time to listen to His voice? We need to get our priorities straight. Jesus should truly be #1 in our lives, He should be the one with whom we start, continue, and end each day with. Getting back to the title, I think the greatest Help for the Future we could have is by loving the Lord with all of our hearts in the present. We have no guarantees that tomorrow will hold pain or pleasure. But we do have God's guarantee that Jesus is our intercessor to the Father with whom we need to love with all of our hearts. Hebrews 7: 21 & 22 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: `You are a priest forever.'" [2] 22Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant." Romans 8: 31-39 "31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." [12] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, [13] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We need to have the attitude of Job when, being sorely tried by satan who was trying to get Job to renounce God, he said in Job 13:15 "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely [1] defend my ways to his face." Job had a clear conscience because of his efforts to honor God from his heart. A clear conscience is a vital asset to have Help for the Future as 1 Timothy 3:9 states "They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience." There is no way that our Future will look bright, pain or pleasure, if we are not able to run the race of this life free from the heavy loads of sin and guilt that would prevent us from doing so;

Hebrews 12:1 "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." And yes, there is Peace amidst pain when you're living and loving Him! The world's definition of peace is the absence of trials when God's is rest within Him amidst your trials. Jesus is our Help for the Future when Loved with our all for today!

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