Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19970319.htm
MARK: GOSPEL OF THE SERVICE OF CHRIST, GOD'S SERVANT
Part LI: The Believer's Need To WATCH OUT From Being SIDETRACKED From God's Will
Lesson: As the commands of Christ in the Mark 13 prophecy for believers to "Watch out" deal with spiritual warfare issues as (1) standing against false messiahs, (2) responding properly to persecution by the world and (3) not letting down one's fai thful ministry by EITHER getting scared by "doomsday" preachers OR going to sleep on the job as others may be, or by hurt in the destruction of formerly close relationships, we must note that life is a dire SPIRITUAL WAR IN WHICH GOD WORKS TO KEEP US FAITHF UL TO HIS REVEALED WILL AND SATAN IS TRYING TO SIDETRACK US FROM DOING THAT WILL JUST ANY WAY HE CAN.
- It is rather easy to serve the Lord when great events capture one's imagination and force him to summon up courage to meet the challenge. That's why they say there is no atheist in a foxhole in wartime!
- However, the vast majority of the time, God calls the believer to a high level of spiritual alert when a wide variety of experiences tend to get him sidetracked from doing God's will .
- To hammer this truth home, Jesus predicted events to come to His disciples, and scattered throughout the prophecy are repeated warnings to "Watch out" regarding various sidetracking trials (13:5,9,23,33,35):
- The Believer's Need To WATCH OUT From Being SIDETRACKED From God's Will, Mk. 13:1-37.
- As we learned last week, the events in Mark 13:5-37 are Christ's prediction of the coming Great Tribulation Period and His Second Coming to earth to reign.
- Though the Church will be raptured before that time, the spiritual lessons of that prediction, just like the Old Testament dispensations of Scripture truth, are applicable to us, cf. Rom. 15:4 with 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
- Well, Christ gave repeated warnings to "Watch out" in this prophecy that apply our not getting sidetracked from God's will just like those living in the coming Great Tribulation as follows:
- God's people must "Watch out" for theological deceivers and deceptions, Mk. 13:5-6, 21-23; 13:7-8.
- God's people must be on their guard to discern false messiahs, and not to follow them. As many false messiah's would arise in the Tribulation, so even a believer must now watch out for false christs who tend to mislead people down paths of destruction and error, Mk. 13:5-6; 13: 21-23.
- God's people must watch out getting preoccupied with "doomsday" preachers whose clambering after regular tragedies scare the godly into thinking the end is prematurely near, and stunting their ministries and composure, Mk. 13:7-8 with 2 Thess. 2:1-2,15-17. (Contrast with Mk. 13:14-18.)
- God's people must "Watch out" for persecution that they react for edification with it, Mk. 13:9-13.
- In view of the fact that Christians would be persecuted for following the true Christ opposite the world's rejection of Him, Jesus warned believers to anticipate this trouble, Mk. 13:9.
- In anticipating this persecution, they were not to lose their composure, but trust God to lead them to say what they needed to say for a witness under persecution, Mk. 13:11.
- In anticipating persecution, they were to expect it from officials as well as close associates, 13:12.
- In anticipating persecution, they were to face it with an attitude of long-suffering, Mk. 13:13.
- God's people must "Watch out" for letting down on their ministry responsibilities, Mk. 13:33-37.
- God expects His people to watch and pray for help out of temptation to let down their faithful ministries and stands as they will be held accountable at any time for that ministry, Mk. 13:33-34.
- As God is the believer's Master, the believer should have enough respect for God and a sense of accountability to Him to complete his tasks, no matter who else is faithful or not to God, and not matter what else is going on about him, whether edifying or not, Mk. 13:35-37 & 13:28-32 context.
Application: The faithful function of the believer in his assigned earthly task is by far the most important contribution he can make in the plan of God. Our job is not to get sidetracked either in failing to do that job due to the angelic conflict out of (a) fear or (b) boredom or (c) heeding false messiahs or beliefs or (d) fatigue or (e) relationship hurt under persecution, or (f) in any other way.