Behold He comes! | The Signs | Mark 13

The signs of Jesus’ coming from Mark 13.

Mark 13:26-27 

26“At that time people 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.

It was the Passion Week and Within perhaps about 48 hours the Lord Jesus Christ would be betrayed and also crucified. It had been a very busy week for Jesus and This day had been a very eventful day as well, as Jesus was questioned all through the day in the temple (Mark 11 & 12). Meanwhile, they plotted to kill Jesus and In the evening, Jesus and his disciples make their way out of the temple.

Mark 13:1

As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

Whoever this disciple was, he pointed out these buildings to Jesus and was saying in essence, “Lord Jesus, look how magnificent and beautiful they are.” And they were great structure.

Jesus replied to him in 

Mark 13:2 

“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

Then Jesus and his group of disciples made their way up the Mount of Olives. Once near the top, they probably sit upon the western slopes of the mount, looking upon the Kidron Valley at the temple. Jesus and his disciples sit their catching their breath at the scene, looking upon the valley at the temple where they had spent that day and the days before.

Mark 13:3-4 

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?” Jesus had said to the disciple that the temple is going to be destroyed, so these four disciples came to Jesus privately and ask him about it.

Jesus as he began his discourse, he really did not explain to them that some 35-40 years from then the Roman soldiers would come in and destroy the city of Jerusalem and the temple. Instead, Jesus began to speak of something else.

Mark 13:5-7

 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.

Jesus launched into that discourse in which he talked a little about the end of this age. Those who know the Bible know that we are waiting for an event, very soon, called the rapture. The Lord will raise from the dead all the saints who believe in him who are in the graves, who have died until now. We who are alive and remain with changed bodies, will be caught up together to meet him in the air. That is called the rapture.

So Jesus began to talk about the events which would take place very soon after that rapture. He began to talk about what he called, “The beginning of sorrows, the beginning of tribulation.”

 Mark 13:8 

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

Immediately after the rapture, a time of 7 years will come on this earth. These will be 7 years of great judgment which will fall upon this earth. Jesus talked about the early days of those judgments. There will be judgments in the nature, there will be wars. The Bible says these are the beginning of birth pains.

Revelation 6 speaks of a man coming on the white horse. He is the antichrist. The church is in heaven now. At the start of Tribulation a world leader will come into picture. He will possess extraordinary political and militarily skills and personal charisma that will soar his popularity throughout the entire world. The Bible calls this person is the antichrist. How can we call a world leader antichrist? Satan takes this opportunity to rule the world. This leader becomes possessed by the devil and thereby becomes the personification of the devil called the antichrist.

Revelation 6:3-4 

3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.

Red Horse is the horse of war and bloodshed. The red horse shows the peace that came in the beginning of tribulation was just temporary and the antichrist will start to get all the nations under his control by diplomacy, and if diplomacy fails he would use wars and there will be a lot of manslaughter. Peace will be taken from the earth. Man will kill one another.

Jesus in his discourse in Mark 13 spoke of the abomination of desolation, spoken off by Daniel the prophet in the OT during the Tribulation.

Mark 13:14 

“When you see ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ standing where it does not belong—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Abomination that causes desolation: That time is in the midst of tribulation when the antichrist will enter the temple in Jerusalem at the holy of holies and will declare him to be God. As the days and weeks go on, he will begin to demand that all the people of the world worship him and accept him as God. Jesus spoke of that.

Mark 13:14b

let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. It will be severe persecution for the Jews and they will be persecuted and scattered again throughout the earth.

Then Jesus spoke of that last part of the tribulation period in 

Mark 13:19 

because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world,until now—and never to be equaled again. It is such an awful time.

Mark 13:2

If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.

So those days of terrible trouble will not be long because Jesus in his mercy has already determined that those days will be shortened for the sake of his people. So Jesus addressed himself to these things.

But you come to the most important part of Jesus’ address. This is the most important point that Jesus wanted to make, a sign of comfort before tribulation. 

Mark 13:26-27

26“At that time people 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.

Jesus said: Before all this could happen he is going to come back again to gather his elect.

Now get the picture. It is the Passion Week. Jesus has been insulted time after time after time. He had been questioned the entire day and they are plotting to kill Jesus. They disciples were thinking about the magnificent temple and its building. They were shocked when Jesus said that the temple will be destroyed, which happened in AD 70.

But Jesus was fixing his eyes on the crucifixion. He told his disciples many times that the Son of Man came to die and the time is very near. To fulfill the penalty of man’s sins he will be insulted, persecuted, and rejected by men and woman, despised, as the lamb to be slain, and hung on the cross. Cross was very painful for Jesus. He had to take the sins of the world but sitting on the Mount of Olives, the place where he is going to come back with his saints after tribulation.

Jesus’ solace telling

Jesus is taking solace telling, “I am going to suffer and die as a man disfigured but after that is the glory. I am going to rise again in glory but the greatest glory will be revealed when I come back to receive the church in power and glory.” Jesus is telling that after that I will come back again. Then you will see the Son of Man and you will see him coming in power and glory as the eternal God in judgment.

Those days Jesus refereed to are specifically part of the 7 years of the tribulation period. The rapture has not come, so we are not there yet. But when I look at the world around us, I do feel that we are seeing perhaps something of the beginnings of the beginnings of sorrows. What we see in the world today compared to the events described in this verse are really a contrast that we can see the signs now.

So when we look at what Jesus about the tribulation time and when we see what is happening now, we understand we are very close to the rapture of the church.

Signs of Tribulation from Mark 16

1. Sign | Spiritual Deception

Signs as False prophets, false teachers, & false Messiah, false believers.

Mark 13:6 

Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.

Matthew 24:10-11 

10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

Matthew 24:24 

24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you ahead of time.

False Christs: When we look into history many have come and are still living who claim themselves to be Christ, some who claim themselves to be God.

False prophets: Not all who proclaim themselves as prophets are prophets. We need greater discernment these days to know the false prophets.

False believers: You see there is a lot of backsliding among believers.

2.War and bloodshed.

Mark 13:7-8 

7When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8aNation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

The Bible says nation will rise against nation. Nation in Greek – Ethnos – ethnic groups. All over the world there is fight going on between different ethnic groups. Take for example Sri Lanka, India etc. Kingdom will rise against kingdom. Kingdom in Greek – Basielia – One that has marked borders. We have seen so many wars between countries and there are still some going on at the present time. Everyday we hear about war and rumors of wars, well that’s a sign in itself.

Not just war between nations apparently, but a breakdown of the fabric of civilization even within nations. Bloodshed on the streets, masses of people rioting, people murdering, rape and so forth has been in the news every day in our country.

3. Natural Disasters.

Mark 13:8b 

There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

Earthquakes: Terrible earthquakes have hit earth in the recent years. In the year 2014 alone there have been 16674 earthquakes on the earth from magnitude 4 to 9.9. In 2013: 11341

Famine: There is a great shortage of food grains across the world. Many people in Asia and Africa go to bed hungry. Do you know that there are certain places in the world where people starve to death?

World hunger statistics: Research date July 7, 2013.

People who die of hunger everyday 20864.

In those places of the developed world there are problems in agriculture. We experience drought, we experience flood and excess rain which spoil our crops. Look carefully and you’ll see the signs.

4. Sign | Persecution.

Mark 13:9 

You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them.

Mark 13:11 

Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

Mark 13:13 

Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Another clear sign is that presently the church is facing persecution. Many are giving their life for the Lord’s sake. People are persecuted because of their love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Today as we sit here there are Christians being persecuted and killed in Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, AF, and other nations. There are Christians being persecuted in our own land. Jesus spoke about that of being one of the characteristics of beginning of sorrows, the first part of tribulation.

5. Sign | Worldwide evangelism.

Mark 13:10 

And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.

If you believe it or not the word of God is spreading to all the parts of the world like never before. TV networks are entering the homes of unreached people and there are millions of secret believers in the Arab countries and regions where the Bible is banned.

6. Divided families

Mark 13:12 

Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death.

It has been 2000 years since Jesus spoke these events which are going to take place during the tribulation period. Tribulation comes after the rapture. Rapture has not yet taken place, we are waiting for that. When you really see the events carefully today, the sign is, it is as if the world is like in the days of tribulation. That means we are that close to the rapture of the church.

Illustration

As a child we used to playing hide and seek. I loved to hide not to seek. Then those who get their chances to seek would close their eyes. Now most of the times the seeker would cheat a little bit and see through those fingers as we count 1-20. Once the count is done then we would heed the cry, “Ready or not here I come.”

Three things were always certain in the game: The seeker was surely coming. He was coming whether you were ready or not. If you are not ready, then you would pay the consequences. Little did I realize as a child how much this game of hide and seek paralleled the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion

Jesus is coming soon. Behold He come! I want to ask you a question. Who is Jesus to you? Are you ready for the rapture? Believers are you ready? Are your garments spotless today or are you living in the sins of the world? He will come without warning like a thief and we ought to be ready.

If you are here for the first time, you have a provision to be caught up in that secret coming. The Bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. That means you are a sinner, you do not measure up to the glory of God. No matter how many good deeds you do that may not be possible. The Bible says there is none righteous, not even one. The Bible also says the wages of sin is death.

Dear friend, unless something has happened to your rescue, you are doomed. But I am so glad that there is good news and in Jesus Christ. The Bible says that God gave his only begotten son (Jesus Christ) that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus gave his life for you so that you and I can have eternal life.

For such people who puts his faith in Jesus Christ Jesus is coming back again in Glory. Behold He Comes. Let’s prepare ourselves for his coming.