Focal passage: Mark 13:24-37
Each Sunday after church, if the weather is nice, I take my children outdoors to play. My children are old enough to play on the playground while my wife and I jog around a nearby field with friends.
As the adults finish their run, my children automatically know it’s almost time to leave. When I asked how they knew, I found it interesting that they understand what is coming by occasionally glancing in our direction.
They simply notice that we are walking toward them.
Similarly, scripture informs us that Christ’s coming will be evident. When Christ died on the cross (Luke 23:45; Matthew 27:51), even the centurion knew He was the “Son of God” (v. 39). If my children know the time has come by simply seeing us walk toward them, then how much more will we know Christ has returned for His children?
Indeed, Christ’s return will be so noticeable that it helps us identify false messiahs. Six times in Mark 13 the reader is told to “be on guard” or some variation (vv. 5, 9, 23, 33, 35, 37).
Some of the dangers include people who come in Christ’s name (v. 5), persecution (v. 13) and false messiahs and false prophets (v. 22).
Even today, there are people who claim to be messiahs. The Unification Church in South Korea was made popular by Sun Myung Moon, a false prophet who claimed to be the messiah.
Not only was he a false messiah, but his arrival on the scene was anything but grand.
With the main focus of the passage emphasizing the nearness of Christ’s coming and that we are to be on guard, we should consider the widow, who “put in everything,” at the end of Mark 12.
The same sentiment “stand firm till the end” is echoed in 13:13 and again in verse 36.
What potential dangers should your church watch for?