Sacrificial worship in light of eternity.
What does the future hold? When I say future, do you think next year, 10yrs, 20yrs? Do you think about the end of this world as ‘The Future’?Knowing what we do about the future, what is important? Right now, today. Christ gives us information about what lies ahead and He also gives us guidance for the here and now of our relationship with God.
21 While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”
- Jesus seems to have spent the better part of each day at the temple that week
- Not just teaching but observing
- He is pointing out what sacrificial worship looks like
- Draws a clear distinction between sacrificial giving & ‘meaningless’ giving
- If it doesn’t cost you something, it is not worth anything! = False Worship
- No matter what the future holds, sacrificial giving should be a way of life for us
5 Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, 6 “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”
- The disciples demonstrate how quickly we get distracted
- They voice popular sentiments of how awesome The Temple is
- Christ is making the point that the Temple is not essential to God
- God is going to allow it to be completely destroyed and not rebuilt to this day
- In that time The Temple had replaced God as the object of worship (corruption)
- ‘All these things’ amounts to the false worship that was going on @ The Temple
7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?” 8 He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them.
- It is odd that they don’t ask WHY this will happen but instead WHEN
- Christ warns of many…many have come, many more to come…
- He warns us because the deception will come from false messiahs & prophets
- If someone says the time has come, NEVER believe them
9 And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.
- The End He is speaking of is both the end of the Temple and this age
- This world, like the Temple has a temporary use…
- He list things that will happen…No one knows the sequence, except the Father
- Great Earthquakes are accompanied by Miraculous signs from heaven
12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers.
- Jesus was predicting the persecution that is chronicled in the book of Acts
- He is also predicting what’s coming at the end of this age (parallel prophecy)
13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. 14 So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!
- Christ calls His followers to capitalize on the opportunity that persecution brings
- We don’t need to to try to answer any charges, we are to speak by the Spirit
- When Christ speaks through us, our persecutors will be speechless!
- How do we prepare for this day? SACRIFICIAL WORSHIP
16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win your souls.
- Anyone who is not indwelt by the Spirit of Christ can and will turn on you!
- Without God’s Spirit you can be deceived and manipulated to do anything!
- There will be unity of opposition to Jesus Christ in this world (see it even now)
- The things of this world can only harm this body
- Christ’s followers can be sure that their eternal souls belong to Him
- The only thing that really matters in the future is who your soul belongs to!
Biblical worship involves sacrifice. Sacrificial worship is giving to God what is dear to you.
This prophecy is both about Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 AD and His return.
Jesus predicts the destruction of The Temple to pronounce Judgement on the Jewish Establishment / False Worship.
Christ foretells events that transpire before His return, and warns against false Messiahs.
Persecution & betrayal should be expected, our response is to stand firm & speak by Christ’s power.
Christ encourages His followers to trust that He will protect their eternal souls.
List some things you sacrifice by giving to God of your time, money and emotions.
What ideas do you have about when Christ is going to return and how He will come?
What is going to enable you to stand firm and speak by Christ’s Power when persecuted?
Why would you trust that Christ will protect YOUR eternal soul?