Sunday Recap Vol. 1.43

FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR

All Things New

Verse 1

Come, Lord, and tarry not;
bring the long looked for day;
O why these years of waiting here,
these ages of delay?
Come, for Thy saints still wait;
daily ascends their sigh;
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come”;
does Thou not hear the cry?

O come and make all things new. Come and make all things new
O come and make all things new. Build up this ruined Earth,
Come and make all things new.

Welcome to the Red Mountain Sunday Recap! 

The Sunday Recap is a brief fly-by of what we did during Sunday worship. Did anything land with you from worship on Sunday? What did it make you think? How did it make you feel? What did you find especially sweet or challenging from God's word? What did we sing, read, or pray that left an impression on you?

Food For Thought:

The life of faith is not an exemption from adversity but a reliance on the promise of God to bear witness to the gospel in adversity, and to be saved for eternal life through it. – James Edwards

Confession of Sin:

Prayer of Confession
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, not one day of my life has passed that has not proved me guilty in your sight. Prayers have been uttered from a prayerless heart; my best efforts to love you and others are but filthy rags. All things in me call for my rejection but all things in Christ plead for my acceptance. I appeal from the throne of perfect justice to your throne of boundless grace. Grant me to hear your voice assuring me of the gospel of your Son: that by his stripes I am healed, that he was bruised for my iniquities, that he was made sin for me that I might be declared righteous before you, that my grievous sins, my many sins, are all forgiven. I am guilty, but pardoned, lost, but saved, wandering, but found, sinning, but cleansed. Give me perpetual broken-heartedness, keep me always clinging to the cross of our Lord and Savior in whose name we pray. Amen.
 
Words of Grace
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
 
1 Peter 2:22-25

Confession of Faith: The Children’s Catechism Question 68-72

Q. 68: How many offices does Christ fulfill as the promised Messiah?
A. Christ fulfills three offices.
 
Q. 69: What are they?
A. The offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king.
 
Q. 70: How is Christ your prophet?
A. Christ teaches me the will of God.
 
Q. 71: How is Christ your priest?
A. Christ died for my sins, and continues to pray for me.
 
Q. 72: How is Christ your king?
A. Christ rules over me, the world and Satan, and he defends me.

Listen To This Week's Sermon: "Stay Awake"

Sermon Text: Mark 13:1-37
1 And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” 2 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.”
 
3 And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?”5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
 
9 “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
 
14 “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, 16 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 17 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 18 Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20 And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
 
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.
 
28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
 
32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or atmidnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

Sermon Outline
1. The paradigm of the Temple (v. 1-4)
2. Two keys for understanding: a framework and a clue (v. 4, 30; v. 32; v. 17, 19, 24)
3. The coming of the Son of Man (v. 24-27, 32-37)

Sermon Summary
Mark 13 is a riveting passage with glorious things to behold and to take to heart as we wait for that great day when Jesus returns to make all things new. Therefore, in this passage, Jesus gives us all we need to face the future with confident hope no matter what comes through faith in him.

The context for this passage comes from a question asked by the disciples about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, which took place in A.D. 70. (v. 1-4) The Temple in Jerusalem was the largest and grandest Temple in the ancient world. Therefore, its destruction was a cataclysmic event for those to whom Jesus' is speaking. As such it also becomes a paradigm for reflecting on and understanding various trials and tribulations for God's people between Jesus' first and second coming.

In order to understand this passage Jesus gives us a framework and a clue. We need to notice three key phrases. The first is the phrase "these things" found in verses 4 and 30, which refer to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The second is the phrase "that day or hour" in verse 32, which refers to the return of Jesus at the end of history, what the Old Testament prophets call "the Day of the Lord." The third is the phrase "those days" in verse 17, 19 and 24, which refer to the period of history between the "these things" in vs. 4 and 30 and "that day or hour" in vs. 32. In addition, Jesus gives us a clue to understand this framework in verse 8 and the metaphor of "birth pains." As one writer put it,  "labor pains certainly indicate that a birth is about to take place. But who knows how long a woman’s birth labor may be? The birth pains indicate that childbirth has begun, they do not serve as a prophecy of the exact moment of delivery. This ‘beginning of birth pains’ does not tell us whether the end will be tomorrow or next century." (Ferguson) The metaphor of birth pains also gives meaning to the variety and intensity of experiences we can expect to face as followers of Jesus this side of heaven. (v. 7-23)

However, as important as the framework and clue are for understanding this passage, it's not enough. Jesus repeatedly commands us to be on guard, to stay awake. And so we need to know for whom we are waiting. Verses 24-27 are vivid verses with the furthest possible ramifications! But the beauty of these verses is the coming of the Son of man, the only chosen King, who came to suffer and die and rise again and ascend to the right hand of God to one day come back and gather his people while making all things new.

This is a passage that confronts us with the need to trust God with what we don't know. We all struggle with that. But we also must see what Jesus says about himself. "But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come." (v. 32-33) Do you see what Jesus said? He doesn't know the day or hour. In other words, he is in the same place you and I are. In fact, that is what he came to do; to identify with us, to stand where we stand in our humanity in order to save us through his perfect life, death and resurrection! In other words, if we need help to be on guard and to stay awake we need only look to Jesus for grace and help to do so! Jesus trusted his Father with what he did not know even to the point of dying on the cross (Mk. 14:36). This is the good news we need as we wait and as we live for God and his glory looking to Jesus' return to make all things new.

Reflection Questions

  1. What was new or compelling to you? What stood out to you from this passage?
  2. What questions does this passage raise for you?
  3. Was there anything that bothered you?
  4. In verse 23 Jesus says, "be on guard, I have told you all things beforehand." What do you wish Jesus would tell you that he has not?
  5. What reasons do we see in this passage for Jesus' command to be on guard, to stay awake and what help and hope does he give?
  6. What difference does belief in the return of Jesus make for living your life today?

Suggested Resources:
This week I, along with Ruling Elder, Miles Gresham, am in Mobile, AL to participate in a denominational wide church meeting called the General Assembly. Therefore, I thought it might be helpful to point you to a basic article on church government for any of you interested in learning more about the church of Jesus Christ and the way in which he set it up.

Songs for this week:
Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
How Firm a Foundation
He Leadeth Me
Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me
Come Ye Souls by Sin Afflicted

Sermon passage for this week: John 4:1-42

Until next time,

Will

All Things New

Verse 2

Come, for creation groans,
impatient of Thy stay,
Worn out with these long years of ill,
these ages of delay.
Come, for love waxes cold,
its steps are faint and slow;
Faith now is lost in unbelief,
hope’s lamp burns dim and low.

O come and make all things new. Come and make all things new
O come and make all things new. Build up this ruined Earth,
Come and make all things new.