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Mark 13:1 - 37

Good Questions by Josh Hunt

These Questions Have Groups Talking



The second coming has caused more arguments per square inch than just about any doctrine in the Bible, with the possible exception of Calvinism. This need not be. Although the details are a little confusing, our attitude toward the second coming is absolutely clear. We are to be watchful, hopeful and ready. As you teach this lesson, begin with the end in mind. The end is to create people who are watchful, hopeful and ready.


Mark 13:1 - 37(1)



  1. As we read this passage look for the questions that Jesus is asked.
  2. What are the two questions that Jesus is asked?
  3. When they say, "Tell us when these things will happen?" what does "these things" refer to?
  4. When were the buildings they were looking at destroyed?
  5. Are these things signs of the second coming of Christ, or are they signs of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70?(2)
  6. With this introduction in mind, let's make a list on the board of the signs that will be picking up steam as we move closer to the second coming of Christ.
  7. Look at verse 9 and following. Do you think this refers to the second coming or to the destruction of Jerusalem?
  8. In verse 13 Jesus said, "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." Have you ever had anyone hate you because you were a Christian?
  9. Why do some hate Christians?
  10. Does verse 13 teach that salvation is conditional?
  11. If a Christian fails to stand firm to the end does he loose his salvation?(3)
  12. Do you believe the adage, "once saved always saved"?(4)
  13. Verse 14 refers to the abomination that causes desolation. What is that about?
  14. How do you picture the second coming of Christ? How do you visualize it in your mind? See verses 26 - 27.
  15. Suppose you knew Christ was coming exactly five years from today. How would that alter your priorities?
  16. Suppose you know that Christ was coming in a year, how would you spend that year?(5)
  17. Suppose you knew Christ were coming back in 24 hours, how would you spend your final day?
  18. Consider two people. One has a constant awareness of the fact that Christ could come back at any time. The other does not. How would they live differently? How does a profound awareness of Christ's any-moment return affect our lives?
  19. Are you ready for Christ's return right now?
  20. What are some practical steps we could take to increase our awareness of Christ's any-moment return?
  21. Let's pray and ask God to deepen our readiness for His return.

1. Mark 13:1-37

As he was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!"

[2] "Do you see all these great buildings?" replied Jesus. "Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

[3] As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, [4] "Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?"

[5] Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. [6] Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many. [7] When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. [8] Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

[9] "You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. [10] And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. [11] Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.

[12] "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. [13] All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

[14] "When you see 'the abomination that causes desolation' standing where it does not belong--let the reader understand--then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. [15] Let no one on the roof of his house go down or enter the house to take anything out. [16] Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. [17] How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! [18] Pray that this will not take place in winter, [19] because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now--and never to be equaled again. [20] If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. [21] At that time 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 appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect--if that were possible. [23] So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.

[24] "But in those days, following that distress,


" 'the sun will be darkened,

and the moon will not give its light;

[25] the stars will fall from the sky,

and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'

[26] "At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. [27] And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

[28] "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. [29] Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. [30] I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. [31] Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

[32] "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. [33] Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. [34] It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

[35] "Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. [36] If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. [37] What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!' "

2. Yes. Therein lies much of the confusion. It is clear that some of these things refer to the second coming, but the question asked had to do with when the buildings would be destroyed. Jesus answers both questions. Some have likened this to two mountains in the distance. To the casual observer, they look like one mountain, but if you go to climb them, you walk over one and then another. The first mountain range is the destruction of Jerusalem. The second is the second coming of Christ. Some of these things happened in preparation for the destruction of Jerusalem. They happen more so in preparation for Christ's coming. Another analogy, this one from the lips of Jesus, is labor pains. As anyone who has had a baby knows, many times labor pains will come much before the actual birth-sometimes months before. But, they grow in intensity as the time draws near. So it is with the second coming. There will be a crescendo with these signs until Christ appears.

3. Some interpretations of this verse rely heavily on 1 John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us." The idea is that if you loose your faith, you never really had saving faith.

4. One of the things we lost as denominations split a part is the healthy tension that exists when people of various persuasions on these issues sit in the same room and politely but firmly express their opinion to on another. I think a room were each one is firmly convinced in his own mind (Romans 14:5) but where there is a variety of opinions would create stronger disciples.

5. As we think about the question, we have to consider the reality that we don't know. If I knew Christ was coming in a year, it might make sense to spend all my retirement, or, for that matter, live on credit cards and spend my time full time telling people about Christ. But, since I must also plan responsibly for the possibility that Christ may not come back for another thousand years, these actions probably would not be wise.

























































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