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The Last Sunday of the Church Year/
Sunday of the Fulfillment
Series B

Option #1: "What We Know About The Unknown Day"
Mark 13:33-37
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

I. The timing is a secret (vv32-33)–cf. Lk 21:34-36; 1 Peter 4:7

II. We have work to do while we wait (vv34-35)–Rom 12:4-21; 1 Cor 3:8-10, 12:4-31; Eph 4:29-5:2; the word apodeemos means to "be absent from one’s people, to take a journey in a foreign country" (Strong’s Concordance)

Who left his house–The word "house" often means family. Our Savior here represents himself as going away, leaving his household, the church, assigning to the apostles and all his servants their duty, and leaving it uncertain when he would return. Since his return was a matter of vast consequence, and as the affairs of his kingdom were entrusted to them, just as the affairs of a house are to servants when the master is absent, so it was of vast importance that they should be faithful at their post, that they should defend the house from danger, and be ready for his return (Albert Barnes).

III. How to be ready for it (vv36-37)–Lk 21:34-36; 1 Thess 5:6-11

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the New Testament: We ought to be always upon our watch, in expectation of his return, vv35-37. (1.) Our Lord will come, and will come as the Master of the house, to take account of his servants, of their work, and of the improvement they have made. (2.) We know not when he will come; and he has very wisely kept us at uncertainty, that we might all be always ready. We know not when he will come, just at what precise time; the Master of the house perhaps will come at even, at nine at night; or it may be at midnight, or at cock-crowing, at three in the morning, or perhaps not until six. This is applicable to his coming to us in particular, at our death, as well as to the general judgment. Our present life is a night, a dark night, compared with the other life; we know not in which watch of the night our Master will come, whether in the days of youth, or middle age, or old age; but, as soon as we are born, we begin to die, and therefore, as soon as we are capable of expecting any thing, we must expect death. (3.) Our great care must be, that, whenever our Lord comes, he does not find us sleeping, secure in ourselves, off our guard, indulging ourselves in ease and sloth, mindless of our work and duty, and thoughtless of our Lord’s coming; ready to say, He will not come, and unready to meet him. (4.) His coming will indeed be coming suddenly; it will be a great surprise and terror to those that are careless, and asleep, it will come upon them as a thief in the night. (5.) It is therefore the indispensable duty of all Christ’s disciples, to watch, to be awake, and keep awake; "What I say unto you four (v. 37), I say unto all the twelve, or rather to you twelve, I say unto all my disciples and followers; what I say to you of this generation, I say to all that shall believe in me, through your word, in every age, Watch, watch, expect my second coming, prepare for it, that you may be found in peace, without spot, and blameless."


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Children's Message 

Mark 13:33: Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.

Visual aid: poster of birthday party favors, hats, ribbons, etc.

These are the sort of things you’d see at a surprise birthday party. Tell me: what is the difference between a regular birthday party and a surprise party? (Accept responses) Some people don’t like surprises, but they probably would enjoy this one, especially if people were there that they hadn’t seen in a long time.

Jesus is talking about another kind of surprise. He talks about the owner of a home going away on a long trip. He tells his servants to watch over the house until he gets back. He doesn’t know when he will return, so they don’t know either.

There have been movies about teens having parties when their parents were gone. They get drunk, destroy property, and get into all kinds of trouble. As the movie ends, the parents come home and someone has a lot to answer for.

Jesus says that the end of the world will be like that. You don’t know when Jesus is coming back–it could be in the evening or at midnight or when the rooster crows or at the crack of dawn. So always remember that it is His property that you are watching over. No matter what you have, it came from Him. Not only that, you don’t even belong to yourself. That’s because Jesus paid for you with His very own blood that He shed on the cross for our sins.

Many people today get into trouble because they forget that their very lives belong to the Savior who loved them and gave Himself for them.

Jesus says that we must stay awake. You can’t keep your body from needing sleep; what He means is that you have your spirit stay awake. You do that by remembering who you are, a servant of God; by remembering that you don’t know when He is coming back; by remembering that we are to serve Him no matter how long it takes for him to return.

After all, you want to be happy at the surprise when He comes back, not the one who’s in a lot of trouble. Right?

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"On God's Watch"
Mark 13:32-37
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
The Point: Jesus' return is imminent and so we need to be always alert and ready for it
The Problem: ignorance, complacency, inattention, drowsiness, if not downright slumber
The Promise: "He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep"! (Psalm 121:4)
1. gregoreuo {gray-gor-yoo'-o}, v35: to watch; metaphorically, give strict attention to, be cautious, active; to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one. (Strong's)
2. katheudo {kath-yoo'-do}, v36: to fall asleep, drop off to sleep; to sleep; to sleep normally; euphemistically, to be dead; metaphorically, to yield to sloth and sin; to be indifferent to one's salvation. (Strong's)
3. A true story: There was a small group in a town where I served who had a date when they were convinced that Jesus would return (and save them). A man, who, among other things, sold used cars, approached one of men from this group and said something like, "If you are certain that Christ is coming on such and such date, why don't you just deed your property over to me effective the day after that date since you know that I won't be here?" He wouldn't do it. (Brian Stoffregen)
4. A story that isn't quite true: A young girl asked her Sunday school teacher, "What's a lert?" "A what?" the teacher asked. "A lert?" she said again. "Why do you want to know?" asked the bewildered teacher. "Because the pastor said that we should 'be alert,' so I want to know what a lert is, so I can be one!" (Brian Stoffregen)
5. When Jesus says "Beware" or "Watch out for" in our text, I don't think that he is telling us to watch for his return. I think that he is telling us to "watch out" for the unbelieving, adulterous and sinful generation that seeks to deceive us into not following God's right way. (Brian Stoffregen)

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