Inputs & Outputs

Inputs & Outputs: Mark 13:24-27
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday March 21, 2021

Last week, Pastor John Nicholas did a great job working through the preceding verses 14-23 in driving home God’s plan and timeline of events that Jesus has been presenting.  Calling forward the prophet who’d spoken these timelines so long ago, who was prophesying about things he didn’t fully understand and that it was hard to have faith in the timeline of.

John demonstrated how the weeks, in retrospect, aligned to the timetable of the destruction of the second temple, and how Jesus in verses 14-23 at the tails of

Mark 13:2 (ESV)

And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Is continuing to talk of future things.  At the end of the day we say this, God has a time-table, it perfectly accomplishes His will, the fullness of the Church and will in retrospect leave many sayin.. ‘ohhhhh’, I get it now.  The end times picture God gives us in scripture should be an absolute encouragement in the faith and furtherance of His kingdom; but in our sin we can practically turn it into theater (literally and figuratively).  It is designed to give us enough that we can be confident in God’s plan, and His timing so that, rather than dwelling we’ll be about His business.

And so, to catchup and be in that confident place let’s look at the views of the end times so that we can understand better, what Jesus is saying here.  To do that we springboard off of something called our hermeneutic as Martin Luther called, in 1515 Grammatical-Historical.

Hermeneutics is described as the study of principles and methods of interpreting the Bible. When we understand scripture in this way, we have a consistent read, inputs impact outputs.  If I put tasty cakes in my body I’ll output unhealthiness and chunk – if I put in lean protein and vegetables, ill output healthfulness and leanness.  Some people say their heavy because of their metabolism; I say, poppy cock, I mean your metabolism doesn’t help, perhaps, but show me a chunky whole food eating vegetarian… inputs impact outputs.  In a similar since our hermeneutic impacts the quality of our Bible reading, how we ingest and interpret what we read matters.

2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV)

15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

We have now, the church age in Revelation’s 2nd and 3rd chapters.  You get to chapter 4 and we see the Church in heaven – why, they were raptured (2 Timothy 2:18/1 Corinthians 15:51) Rapture of the church starts these end times, next is the  tribulation (a period of judgment Rev 6-18), the tribulation period ends with Jesus’ second coming  – He brings His church, destroyed the ungodly and establishes His Kingdom, then after His kingdom (Rev. 20) at the Great white throne of judgement all the ungodly are judged and sent to eternal damnation, all that are left is God’s elect. God (Rev. 21) then creates the eternal new heaven new earth.  With a historical grammatical reading of revelation (and the rest of scripture) you’ll walk away with this view.

2 Timothy 2:18 (ESV)

18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.

1 Corinthians 15:51 (ESV)

51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

You’ll be encouraged by the future, because while we may be bury on what happens in the Church age, we know the rapture happens, we understand there will be the tribulation, the judgement, the destruction followed by the re-making, and then – new heaven and new earth.  If we’re solid in that knowledge, we’ll be less clingy here.   And so, Revelation 1:3 says

Revelation 1:3 (ESV)

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

Rather than being blessed by the plainly read prophecy of the book, we like to start with conclusions and argue about them..  Most people came to scripture with a backdrop/understanding of the end times.  Most people didn’t come out of scripture with a view of end times.

Generally those views are:

  • Amil
  • Post-Mil
  • Pre-Mil

Much of these views bend around a millennial disagreement.  So, lets read something:

Revelation 20:1-8

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain.

And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,

and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison

and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.

I’m reading about 1000 years there.

There is much to-do about the thousand year tribulation period and several views shape that. I’m going to again lean into historical grammatical hermeneutic, if you start by saying I have a view of the end times you can end with alternative approaches that satisfy your view if you start with a plane reading of scripture, you will come out consistently with one view.  Premillennialism.  That is it, anything more or less is theater and philosophical musings.   This camp will find one or two verses which introduce confusion and START there and work for conclusions – this is dishonesty, and it is important to be clear on this – because our inputs impact our outputs and when we’re ingesting God’s word, our outputs are our conclusions about His nature, His character, and His word – knowing His word is important what we communicate about what He has said is vastly important and so we should be concerned with how we understand it.

At a very high level the amillennial view stays that the kingdom should be understood spiritually, there IS not millennial period on earth, there is not a time where Jesus comes again, and the myriad of promises that God made to Israel transfer to the church.  But – good news is, all the bad stuff for Israel, was literally delivered to Israel – so it’s a win:win – blessings Church, curses, Israel – this view asks me to take a long leap with someone to see it there way rather than read the text and understand it the way someone else would.  When God made promises to Abram in a covenant to give he and his people land described as what we’d see as national Israel today, it didn’t use language that would make us thing it’s allegory or poetry, the historical grammatical reading would tell us; God is making an everlasting covenant – this is plain language.  Inputs shape outputs, if we input historical grammatical reading we’ll output right understanding, if we start with an understanding we’ll output that understanding. The amillenal would say that the future kingdom is new earth and life in heaven comes after this life and that there is no physical kingdom as God’s kingdom is now in the world and that Jesus as victories rules His church today.  I’m looking around – NOT seeing that, but if you start here with this view you can make that happen – I guess through creativity.

Post-Mil or postmillennialism would say that there is an extended peace on earth, largely because of Christianity preaching and teaching on moralism.  This view would hold that after a millennial period Jesus will come back after this 1000 year rein of peace that we’re in the middle of now *crickets and which just means, a long time, the church becomes increasingly influential and powerful it conquers philosophy, other religions, government and all become obedient to Christ – as you can imagine things get better and better as time goes and this sets the stage for Jesus’ return.  Also, in this postmillinial view, as in amillenial view Israel through disobedience forfeited their promises (but not punishments/curses) to the Church.

The premillennial view is an output of grammatical historical reading of scripture where Jesus comes BEFORE his 1000 years on earth to a wicked place (which we’re currently preparing for him, and doing a mighty fine job of, might I add) to retrieve his church.

Zechariah 12:10 (ESV)

Him Whom They Have Pierced

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

What is the “house of David” where are the “inhabitants of Jerusalem” – when they look on him who they have priced – the amil/postmil view would have us believe that because of the crucifixion of Jesus Israel’s’ promises (not punishments) have transferred to the Church, the scripture would have us KNOW that God’s sure promised word will be fulfilled that unfaithful Israel will remain as a nation in a land despite impossible odds – we don’t have to change or twist to meet the current realities at varying times, we don’t have to be stressed that God cannot fulfill what He says, we stand surely on the word, reading it historically and grammatically.

Luke 1:67–76 (ESV)

Zechariah’s Prophecy

67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

68  “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has visited and redeemed his people

69  and has raised up a horn of salvation for us

in the house of his servant David,

70  as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

71  that we should be saved from our enemies

and from the hand of all who hate us;

72  to show the mercy promised to our fathers

and to remember his holy covenant,

73  the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us

74  that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

might serve him without fear,

75  in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

76  And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

Luke 19:11 (ESV)

11 As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.

The promises of the OT are being fulfilled and will be fulfilled Jesus points to the future and that is when the promise to Israel WILL be fulfilled in it’s completeness.  Israel isn’t replaced and isn’t  replaced or diluted and folded in – God’s promises to Abraham will be completed – God gathers the faithful, his kingdom on earth is lead by repentant Jews who preach the gospel to all the ends of the earth, then comes final judgment and new earth – it’s a hopeful future!

With all this said, and understood with a premelinnial view set, look how patently clear this text is:

Mark 13:24–27 (ESV)

The Coming of the Son of Man

24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,

25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

27 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.

Acts 3:19–21 (ESV)

19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,

20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,

21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

This gospel is tight, this issue is settled, let’s live WORSHIPFULLY – so we gather and we sing as the world around us quakes and trembles why, because the end is certain in a sovereign God whose Word to us is patently clear!

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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