Family Bible Study lesson for June 10: Signs of the End
May 18 2001 by Catherine Painter , Mark 13:1-37

Family Bible Study lesson for June 10: Signs of the End | Friday, May 18, 2001

Friday, May 18, 2001

Family Bible Study lesson for June 10: Signs of the End

By Catherine Painter Mark 13:1-37 Inviting Jack's parents to accompany us on a monthlong tour of the United States accentuated the difference a generation makes. In San Francisco we loved the cable cars, steep hills, flowers, street musicians - a truly romantic city! Later walking to Fisherman's Wharf we saw gay couples, openly affectionate, a few wearing make-up, even high-heeled shoes. This was 1973, during the hippie movement. "We didn't sleep last night, thinking Jesus might come and find us here," Jack's mother said. "We want to leave." Sight seeing tossed, and without even time to leave our hearts, we departed San Francisco.

Tension reoccurred in Nevada where all travelers know there are few places that offer hotels and food; the rest, endless highways without points of reference. Growing hungry and with children asking "Are we there yet?" we spotted a billboard: "All you can eat for $3.50."

"Surely our hunger will override it being in a casino," we thought. Wrong! Entering, we passed gambling tables and buffets groaning with food to visit the rest rooms. Inside, mother said, "If you eat here, I'm waiting outside. Jesus will not return and find me in this Godforsaken place!"

We located a KFC (with slot machines) and a dirty picnic table where we shared chicken with a beggar who angled up looking through garbage cans.

I was perturbed with mother's attitude, but her strong stand influences me to this day.

Request for signs (Mark 13:3-4) Jesus predicted Jerusalem's destruction, then His disciples asked, "When will these things happen? What will be the signs that the time is near?" Matthew adds, "... and what will be the sign ... of the end of the age" (Matt. 24:3b)? What will the world be like when You return?

Signs of this age (Mark 13:58) Jesus first explains precursors to His return, then the event. We're not to confuse the two. Neither are we to follow every eccentric person trawling five gallons of water up a mountain anticipating His return. False leaders will spread their own ideas, not His truth. Studies prove there were more than one hundred "wars and rumors of wars" since 1990, twice the number in former decades. Earthquakes have increased dramatically as well as violence from road rage to heinous crimes.

Signs of Christ's return (Mark 13:10, 14, 21-22, 26-27) Jesus insists the gospel must be preached to all nations first. This doesn't mean every person will hear the gospel, only that every nation will have a witness. Concerning abominations, Matthew quotes Daniel's description of distress that man has never before witnessed. He predicts increase in travel and knowledge. How could the prophet foresee 2,500 years ago advances in travel and science and computers (Dan. 12:1-4)?

False prophets will appear to deceive and men will not hear sound doctrine but will gather teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear ... and turn aside to myths (1 Tim. 4:3-4).

Recently, I watched a film about a science teacher explaining-away creation and "proving" the big bang theory. He said, "You have heard history is moving in a line and one day will end, but you are educated; you know better. Events move in cycles; history repeats itself."

The word from God is that history is linear, beginning with creation and ending at Christ's return when time will surrender.

Jesus' coming will be as He departed, physical and visible (Acts l:11). He will come in great power and glory, in contrast to His first meek and mild appearance in Bethlehem.

Response to the Signs What can we not know? The day and hour of His appearing. Jesus says simply, "Be alert" (v.33)! Whether the science teacher likes, agrees or understands, like the rest of us, he will participate in Jesus' return.

A student once asked, "Mrs. Painter, if you knew Jesus would come back in an hour, what would you do?"

"I'd keep grading these papers."

"You would? Why?"

"Because He called me to teach and I want Him to find me busy doing what He called me to do."

Look! Jesus said He'd be crucified - He was. He said He'd rise again - He did. He said He'll come back some day - He will. So, if you'll excuse me, I'll pack my suitcase and polish my shoes.

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5/18/2001 12:00:00 AM by Catherine Painter , Mark 13:1-37 | with 0 comments
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