Predictive prophesy is subject to a wide variety of interpretations. The elders at Eternal City hold interpretations of prophecy about future events with an open hand. We choose to let the gospel's weightiness to outweigh secondary and tertiary issues. In this message, Peter Rew explains the various traditions of interpretation surrounding the millennium and his future-oriented reading of Mark 13:24-35. You will be blessed as you listen in!
There are three dominant theological positions for the timing of the Second Coming of Jesus:
Premillennialism: Following a time of great tribulation, Jesus returns and establishes a physical kingdom on the earth for a period of time (usually believed to be 1,000 years). The final judgment will occur after the 1,000-year kingdom followed by the new heaven and new earth
Postmillennialism: Through the spread of the gospel and growth of the church, Christianity will prosper during a “golden age” of the millennium. After this undetermined amount of time, Jesus physically returns for the final judgment followed by the new heaven and new earth
Amillennialism: The millennium is not literal but has already begun and is identical to the current church age. Though spiritual in nature, Jesus will physically return for the final judgment followed by the new heaven and new earth
The Coming of the Son of Man (24-27)
“But” is a connecting word that typically involves some level of contrast between what came before and what will come after
“In those days” is used with regularity as pertaining to eschatological (end times) events see Joel 3:1 and Jeremiah 3:16
There is debate about whether the cosmic activity of vs 24-25 should be understood metaphorically or literally. Regardless of this, it is clear that the activity is associated with a physical, literal event (either the destruction of Jerusalem or the future return of Jesus)
The Fig Tree (28-31)
“These things” and “all these things” refer back to v 4 and indicate that the events from vs 5-23 need to happen before Jesus returns. These things happened with the destruction of Jerusalem (AD 70)
The plain meaning of “this generation” is that it refers to the generation Jesus is speaking to
No One Knows but the Father (32-37)
Jesus’ lack of knowledge does not show a lack of deity. Rather, this aligns to Phil 2:5-11 where Jesus “empties” Himself of certain divine attributes when He became a man
What has been your experience with eschatology?
What are the similarities and differences between the three views of the 2nd coming of Jesus? Why is it appropriate to not consider this a primary theological position?
Discuss the faithfulness of God that can be seen in verse 27
How does Mark 13 connect to the cross? Specifically, compare 13:32-37 and 14:34-41
What are the areas of your life where you notice you are falling asleep?
How can we collectively care for one another to keep each other awake until Jesus returns?