Keep Watch!

In Audio, Sermons by Geoff Chapman

The sermon for this week was not recorded.

Mark 13:24-37
How should we live in the light of Jesus’ return? Christians have always believed that the Lord’s return is imminent, but this expectation isn’t supposed to goad us into living a subversive or artificially zealous life. Rather, in the last section of Mark 13, Jesus says that we should keep watch:

1. Watch The Signs. Just as the fig tree blossomed in Israel before summer, so the fulfilment of Jesus’ predictions will show us that he is returning as he said. This is not so we can know exactly when he will come back, even the Son doesn’t know, but rather to give us confidence in his authority. (vs. 31) As we look back at history we see Jesus’ predictions unfolding ever more fully, from the destruction of Jerusalem to the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. This view gives us confidence that he is reigning even now, will indeed return. Looking back we can readily see God’s providential care in our own lives too, which gives us confidence of his love and power.

2. Confidence in his authority leads to watching your Life. Knowing that Jesus is reigning and will return leads to accountability and motivation for living according to his Kingdom. Accountability because he calls us to build a life of love now, if we do not we will not recognise his Kingdom, or the signs of it, and we may not be ready for the life of heaven. But also, motivation to live differently; lives that point beyond our own immediate needs and express confidence in his eternal throne and point to the reality of his Kingdom. (Matt 6:31-33)

3. Watching your life leads to watching the Father. Jesus’ trust in the Father’s timing is illustrative of his deeper relationship of trust that we are invited to share. (Psalm 131) As a man, Jesus loved the Father by seeing the Father’s love for him perfectly and freely loving him in return. As adopted sons, Jesus is enabling us to know God’s love in the same way, so perfectly in fact that, freed from fear we can obey him perfectly. We can see the Father’s heart as we look at Christ enthroned and spend time with him in devotion. We can also ask God to give us a special insight into his love for us by the Spirit. As we see love and live in love, we are filled with confidence at the Lord’s return, (1 John 4:17), knowing th