The Coming of the Son of Man
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The Coming of the Son of Man

Mark 13:24–31  (ID: 2899)

In Mark 13, Jesus answered the disciples’ questions about the end of time. When the Son of Man returns, all that is wrong will be made right, and justice will be perfectly served. Alistair Begg assures us that we can have absolute confidence in God because His Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ will endure and remain unchanged.

Series Containing This Sermon

Stories of the Kingdom

Mark 4:1–34, Mark 10:17–22, Mark 11:12–25, Mark 12:1–12 Series ID: 27201

A Study in Mark, Volume 7

The Last Days and Christ’s Return Mark 13:1–37 Series ID: 14107

Sermon Transcript: Print

Mark 13:24. Page 850. Page 8-5-0. Mark 13:24:

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 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.

“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. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”


Father, help us as we turn to the Bible now to understand it, to believe it, and to obey it. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

I had a rental car this week—I was in North Carolina at the Billy Graham Conference Center at the Cove, and I drove from Charlotte to Asheville—and it had wing mirrors, which you would expect. But on the wing mirrors, there was another little mirror that was over in the corner that I think was there in order to help you see how close people really were. I’m not sure; I think it’s that. I think it’s there to replace what you have on the mirrors that don’t have the wee mirrors, where it says, “Objects may appear closer than they actually are.” Something like that. I don’t know. You know what I mean, don’t you? They have that thing. I’ve never fully understood that. I was horrible at physics. I couldn’t figure out how that could possibly be.

But anyway… The reverse is the case as we continue to study the apocalyptic discourse of Mark chapter 13—i.e., events are further apart than they appear to be. This we’ve been discovering all the way through as we’ve used the metaphor of hill walking, and we’ve said that things that have appeared in a passage of Scripture right beside the next thing in the Scripture make it seem as though the two things are right on top of one another, when in actual fact you realize that the things are much further apart than they appear to be. That’s not the entire story, but it is an important principle, and it’s helping us from going badly wrong—at least many of us—in trying to understand these things.

We are considering the events of the end. The disciples have asked questions; Jesus is answering, and we have this telescopic dimension whereby some of it has an immediate application, some a sort of midpoint application, and some of it a much longer-term application. What we’re really discovering is that the end of all things has three dimensions to it, in the same way that we speak about the salvation, where we will say, “I have been saved from sin’s penalty, I am being saved from sin’s power, and one day I will be saved from sin’s presence.” And in much the same way, we’re able to say that the end has come, the end is coming, and the end will come. If that’s not of help to you, just forget all about it.

But the end has come, inasmuch as the coming of Jesus was the beginning of the end. He said that, didn’t he? And when you read the Gospels, and when you read, for example, Hebrews, we read in Hebrews 9:26, “He has appeared”—past tense—“once for all at the end of the ages”—notice the phrase—he came “at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” So in the first coming of Jesus, the end has come, the end is coming, and eventually, at the second coming of Jesus, the end will finally come.

Now, in this little section before us this morning—and none of these sections get easier than the previous one. We’re desperately keen to get to chapter 14, I think, although that might catch us by surprise. But I want us to notice, first of all, a picture to be understood—which is what we’re given here—and then a lesson to be learned, and then, thirdly, a word to be trusted.

A Picture to Be Understood

First of all, then, a picture to be understood. It’s the picture that is there for us in verse 24 and 25. Now, you’ve become familiar with the fact that we’ve been saying to one another, “If we had lived in the era of the first readers of the Gospel, we would have, each of us, been better placed to deal with this than many of us are today.” And that is because we have to sadly recognize that we are not as familiar with the Old Testament as we ought to be and as would be helpful for us to be.

But the early readers of this Gospel would immediately—in reading this verse concerning the darkening of the sun and the moon not giving its light—they would immediately be able to connect it to the day of the Lord prophesied in the Old Testament. And once again, I’m going to ask you to trust me on this, and then I’m going to ask you to be Berean about it and go away and examine the Scriptures and see if these things are so.[1] But if your Bible is there in front of you, I encourage to turn to Isaiah chapter 13. And there in Isaiah 13, under the heading of “The Judgment of Babylon,” which is the immediate historical application of this chapter, we read of the day of the Lord. And the exhortation comes, in verse 6, “Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come!” Verse 9:

Behold, the day of the Lord comes,
 cruel, with wrath and fierce anger,
to make the land a desolation
 and to destroy its sinners from it.
For the stars of the heavens and their constellations
 will not give their light.

As soon as you come to that, you begin to say, “Oh, I get it. I’m beginning to get it now. I can see where this has its genesis.”

The sun will be dark at its rising,
 and the moon will not shed its light.

Now, what we have to be aware of is this principle that is the sort of comprehensive notion of the prophetic word: that this prophecy in 13 of Isaiah is immediately to be worked out in the context of Babylon; the prophecy we find exemplified in the movements and shifts of nations and events throughout time; and eventually, it will be reaching its great denouement when Jesus Christ returns.

Without the restraining hand of common grace, we couldn’t manage to live for a nanosecond. For it is the restraining hand of grace which prevents us from absolutely decaying to the point of extinction.

And I think that this picture is better understood as being figurative rather than being as literal. Now, some of you get immediately concerned about that, because you’ll run outside and say, “The pastor is no longer interpreting the Bible literally. He said he was dealing with it figuratively.” That’s exactly right. I was taking it literally in a figurative sense. Because that picture that is given to us there is of the powers of the heavens being shaken. And to the degree that these things unfold in this way, then the picture would simply be fulfilled. But what you have in the picture is a description of the aspects of life, if you like, that are normally routine and the things that are apparently stable being disrupted. Whatever else you do with it, that’s what we’re finding. This is not “catch a falling star and put it in your pocket.”[2] This is something far more dramatic than that. The stars will be falling from the heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. In other words, it is a picture of a cosmic shaking of all that represents stability within the world.

In other words, the day of the Lord has come, is coming, and will come. And when that day of the Lord comes, he will then intervene and put to rights, establish, the justice for which men and women say they long—although if he were to establish it now, they wouldn’t be so quick to long for it. And the reason that the day of the Lord has not appeared à la Mark 13, Peter tells his readers, is not because God is “slow” concerning his promises but because he is “patient,” not willing “that any should perish, but that all should [come to] repentance.”[3] But the patience of God is not infinite. It is finite. And there will be an end to his patience. And on that day when his patience ends, then these things that are portending this drama will be seen in all of their fullness.

One of the commentators puts it as follows: God has a day scheduled on the calendar “when he will repay all the dirty deals and broken promises and backstabbings of history.”[4] He will repay all the dirty deals, all the broken promises, all the backstabbings of history. He will take care of Hitler. He will take care of injustice. He will take care of all the times when we’ve read our newspapers and said, “You know, that person got off apparently scot-free.” His justice will satisfy himself and will satisfy all who are present.

Now, loved ones, it is imperative that we understand something of the solemnity and the gravity of this. When you look at that chapter—and I just commend it to you for your own further consideration—when you read Isaiah and look at what is being said there, and when you go on into the fourteenth chapter, you realize that here’s material concerning which we need to put our hands over our mouths:

This is the purpose that is purposed
 concerning the whole earth,
and this is the hand that is stretched out
 over all the nations.
For the Lord of hosts has purposed,
 and who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,
 and who will turn it back?[5]

It’s speaking there of the hand of God’s judgment over the nations of the world.

Alec Motyer, in his wonderful commentary on Isaiah, was helpful to me in this respect, and I hope will be helpful to you. Because when you think of this picture—of all that represents stability and reality being completely shaken and God intervening—you have the question, “Where does man’s inhumanity figure in the fact that God is a sovereign God over all of that inhumanity? How does it work out?” Says Motyer,

We mus[n’t] think of human beings as puppets with the Lord as their puppet-master. On the contrary, they are being themselves to the full, with their natural acts fulfilling his supernatural purposes. In a very real sense, therefore, what the Bible speaks of as “the stretching out of his hand,”

which I’ve just quoted from Isaiah 14:26,

what the Bible speaks of as “the stretching out of his hand” … would be more easily understood if we thought of it as the withdrawing of his hand—to leave sinners to implement all the inhumane savagery of fallen human nature, bereft of the restraining, humanizing efficacy of common grace.

So when you read Romans chapter 1 and it says, “[And] God gave them up,”[6] God said, “Fine, you want to try it like that? Here’s what it looks like when you do that. Here’s what it feels like when you respond in that way. Here’s what happens to a culture.” Without the restraining hand of common grace, we couldn’t manage to live for a nanosecond in contemporary America. For it is the restraining hand of grace which prevents it from absolutely decaying to the point of extinction.

Motyer: “The Creator has so constituted humankind that sin progressively makes people less human and, therefore, less humane.” “Sin … makes people less human and, therefore, less humane.”

The process, however, is not allowed to run its logical course in [the] logical way or else the race would have perished as soon as sin entered [into] the world …. The Lord remains sovereign, operating his own rules, directing, restraining, prompting. But the time will come—the day of the Lord—when in a climactic way sin will take the stage as the total destroyer it always is and sinful human beings, who for so long have determined their own destiny without God, will be left, and indeed directed, to do so.[7]

That’s why Townend and Getty in their song have the line, “A shout of joy, a cry of anguish, as [Christ] returns, and ev’ry knee bows low.”[8] Either—when that day dawns, and the heavens move and the earth shakes, and the Son of Man descends in the clouds, and we see him—we will either say, “Fantastic!” or we will say, “Oh no!” with no prospect of anything to plead in our defense.

“Then,” he says—“then the Son of Man will be seen coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”

Now, once again, you need to have the Old Testament, because this is the book of Daniel. Daniel chapter 7. Daniel 7:13:

I saw in the night visions,

and behold, with the clouds of heaven
 there came one like a son of man.

This is the prophecy of Daniel. He’s looking forward in the night vision. He sees this.

And he came to the Ancient of Days
 and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
 and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
 should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
 which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom [is] one
 that shall not be destroyed.[9]

It’s fantastic, isn’t it?

Now, you see, the people in Jesus’ day lived with this prospect of this son of man. “Son of man” is used as a description just of humanity in a general sense in the Old Testament, but it is used specifically, peculiarly, in relationship to the one as described here in Daniel chapter 7. Now, if you think about it, you’ve already got part of the picture on this, because you will remember that when we began to study Mark a hundred years ago and we got to chapter 2, and the men came bringing the paralyzed man, and they dropped him down through the roof, Jesus had already announced what? “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is near; repent and believe the good news.”[10] What was he saying there? He was saying that all the things that the Old Testament has been prophesying, “They’re all fulfilled in me; they’re fulfilled now.” There’s nothing, really, that is gonna take place in the second coming that hasn’t been actualized in his first. That’s why we’re able to say that the end has come, is coming, will come.

This is a promise: there’ll be no empty seats in heaven. None whom he has purchased will be missing.

And on that occasion, when they dropped the man down through the roof and he said to the man, “Son, your sins are forgiven you,” the scribes responded by saying, “This man’s a blasphemer. How can he blaspheme in this way? Because only God is able to forgive sins.” Remember that? And Jesus says to them, “Well, wait a minute.” Knowing what they were saying, he said, “Let me ask a question: Which is easier, to say to the fellow, ‘Pick up your bed and walk,’ or ‘Your sins are forgiven?’” Well, from one perspective, it’s easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” because how would anybody know whether they were or whether they weren’t? But if you say, “Pick up your bed and walk,” and he stays on the bed, then you know it hasn’t worked. So Jesus says, “Well, let me just point this out, in order that you might know”—here’s the phrase—“in order that you might know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins—hey, take up your bed and walk.”[11]

So his physical healing was a testimony to the reality of the spiritual transformation which was the real need of the man’s life. He didn’t need his legs. Better to have no legs and go to heaven than have four legs and go to hell. That’s the point that is being made. It is this Son of Man that is prophesied in Daniel, that is expressed in the Gospels, that is now the one who will come in clouds with power and great glory.

Now, some of my best friends want to see in this the ascension—that they say that Daniel 7:14 fits far better the giving of the kingdom to Jesus in terms of “now he has ascended, he has led captivity captive,”[12] and so on. And so now, from his position as the ascended Lord, he pours out his gifts upon the church, and his messengers go around the world—and that is verse 27, according to that view—the messengers go around the world and collect his elect from the four corners of the earth. I’m not convinced of that. And you might be; I’m not.

I think that even if there is that foreshadowing of it in the notion of the ascension—or the typifying of it, if you like—that we still have to see in this the return of Jesus Christ. Even just the phraseology, “coming in the clouds with great glory.” I know it fits Daniel 7, but it also fits, “Why are you folks standing looking up into heaven? Don’t you realize that he will come in the same way that he was taken from you up into heaven?”[13] And what had they just witnessed? They had witnessed the fact that he was caught up into the clouds. And now he returns.

But then how do the angels “gather his elect from the four winds” and “from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven”? You ever just look at that? That’s why I chose that hymn: “I cannot tell how he will win the nations, how he will [gain] his earthly heritage.”[14] I mean, if you could tell, then you’d be… well, you couldn’t tell. But this is a promise: there’ll be no empty seats in heaven. None whom he has purchased will be missing. No one will be missing. No one will say, “Well, where are the rest of the people that fill up the seats?”

How is he going to do this? Listen to Calvin:

Whenever … we perceive the Church scattered by the wiles of Satan, or torn in pieces by the cruelty of the ungodly, or disturbed by false doctrines, or tossed about by storms, let us learn to turn our eyes to this gathering of the elect. And if it appears to us a thing difficult to be believed, let us call to remembrance the power of the angels, which Christ holds out to us for the express purpose of raising our views above human means.

“Above human means.” How are you going to bring all the people that died in the Titanic? He’s gonna send his angels.

For, though the Church be now tormented by the malice of men, or even broken by the violence of the billows, and miserably torn in pieces, so as to have no stability in the world, yet we ought always to cherish confident hope, because it will not be by human means, but by heavenly power, which will be far superior to every obstacle, that the Lord will gather his Church.[15]

You see, this is, “Lift your eyes and look up, for your redemption draws nigh.”[16] This is not, “Get all freaked out by dramatic signs in the heavens or trying to tie the signs in the heaven to contemporary events.” No. The purpose remains always moral. It remains always evangelistic, if you like. These things are to teach you.

A Lesson to Be Learned

That brings us to the lesson. Straightforward, verse 28: “From the fig tree learn its lesson.” Just as leaves appearing on the fig tree are a sign of the approach of summer, so these things are signs of the approach of Christ. “Then you will know,” he says. “When these things take place, you will know that he is near. He’s at the very gates.”

“At the very gates.” It’s a picture, isn’t it? He’s not at the gates; there’s no gates! It’s a metaphor to try and help us. We know what it’s like to be at the gates. “The watchman is on the gates.” He’s gonna finish the chapter by saying, “Watch!” He’s told the stories of the five wise and the five foolish virgins, who both had the same information, but only five were ready for what was about to take place. “When you see these things,” he says, “then you will know that he is near. He’s at the very gates.”

You say, “Well, that’s fine, but look at verse 30: ‘Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.’” Do you know that that verse has singularly been used by more people than I can count to say, “You see, the Bible’s a bunch of bunk? ’Cause clearly, that couldn’t possibly take place.” And so they say, “Look at this. Jesus was clearly wrong. How could he say that the generation wouldn’t pass away until he came back?” Well, I don’t think that’s what Jesus is saying, is it? I don’t think that’s what he said.

Now, for those of you who like to fiddle around with verse 30, let me give you a few things to fiddle with in the week to come. First of all, you can fiddle around with the silly idea, the untenable notion, that Jesus got it wrong. Jesus cannot get it wrong. Secondly, you can explain “this generation” as the Jewish people, as some commentators do—thoroughly unconvincing perspective from where I’m sitting. Or that “this generation” is not a reference to a particular group of people in the time frame of these events, but “this generation” is being used, say these commentators, to describe the objectionable mentality that was part of the generation that resisted Christ. So, for example—and you can go through and look for it; it comes out clearest in Luke: “This is a stiff-necked generation.” So, the commentators are saying that that stiff-necked generation is not limited to the immediate historical moment, and so the stiff-necked, objectionable people will still be around when finally Jesus comes. Well, there’s no doubt about that, because there are a few of us here this morning who fit the category very nicely. Objectionable people, and stiff-necked to boot. All right?

But it seems like special pleading to me. I hope you’re wriggling in your seat going, “I don’t know if I get that. I don’t know if I buy that.” Well, that’s good, ’cause I don’t either.

So what do you do with it? I think I have the answer, but I only think. Verse 23, verse 29, and verse 30 I take as referring to the same thing in every instance. So, in verse 23, “Be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.” So you have “all things.” Verse 29: “When you see these things.” And in verse 30: “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” So, what are these signs—“I’ve told you all these things,” back up in verse 23?

He’s already told them, hasn’t he? He began by saying, “Don’t let anybody lead you astray. You’ll hear of wars, rumors of wars. The end isn’t yet. Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdom, earthquakes in various places, famines. They’re but the beginning of the birth pains.”[17] Then he goes on to expand on that as he goes through. Even now we have these dramatic cosmic pictures. But what are they all describing?

These are all signs leading to the second coming. They’re not signs of the second coming. If he is near, he can’t be here. Right? That’s what he’s saying. “When you see these signs, you will know that he is near, that he is at the gate.” He doesn’t say, “When you see these signs, you’ll know that he’s present.” So these signs are signs of what is yet to come. And the generation that saw these signs lived to see all the signs. They didn’t live to see Christ return. And I think that is what Jesus is pointing out. You’re sensible people. Figure it out.

A Word to Be Trusted

Finally, a word to be trusted, there in verse 31: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Once again, echoes of the Old Testament and the Old Testament prophets. Here’s Isaiah 51:6: “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath.” Everything that represents stability to us, right? Eyes up to the heavens; the movement of the planets, the spheres. Look at the earth beneath, on this solid firmament. And then the prophet says,

For the heavens vanish like smoke,
 [and] the earth will wear out like a garment,
 and they who dwell in it will die in like manner;
but my salvation will be forever,
 and my righteousness will never be dismayed.

Surely Jesus has this in mind; we’ll have to check later on. But probably he knew the whole Old Testament off by heart. So when he says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away,” perhaps he had Isaiah 51 in mind.

Do you see what is being said here, as we draw this to a close? How unbelievably durable the heavens look—and yet they’re obsolete. They’re obsolete. The earth will succumb to its own transience. Now, that’s not the final statement on the Christian involved in ecology and whether you’re putting all your plastic boxes in one bag and your other ones in another bag and another one in another bag. You know, if you’re gonna be a good citizen, you have to do what you’ve gotta do. But I’m not putting all that stuff wherever it needs to go because I’m desperately concerned that if I don’t, you know, somehow or another the earth is just gonna freak out and get out of control, and we don’t know what’s going to happen to us next. So we have to go to Earthworks for earth food for the earth store for the Earth Day, for the earth, earth, earth, earth, earth. No! The earth will vanish, will be absorbed into its own transience. The earth will crumble. There will be “a new heaven and a new earth in which dwells righteousness.”[18]

We’re not going to some airy, fairy planet up who knows where to play harps for an interminable Sunday afternoon. We are going to live on a new heaven and on a new earth. But the present heaven and the present earth are gonna pass away. That’s the point. Heaven and earth will pass away. “And,” he says, “you will pass away.” You have a shelf life. You have a shelf life. The watch on your wrist tells you you’re passing away. So in all of the disruption of the cosmos, in those days after the tribulation, in all of the madness of our times, in all of the chaos of a life without God, how in the world are we gonna figure things out? If this is true—if this is true—that all the explorations of science, as significant and wonderful as they have been—all of our ability to get to the moon, all of the penetration of Mars, and everything else that’s going on—as wonderful and as significant as it is, it’s not the issue. Because those heavens will be dissolved. And to consume myself with saving the earth? No.

But here’s the question. I understand why people are doing that. ’Cause they want to have something worth living for. Something worth living for! There gotta be something worth living for, hasn’t there? When I was in Glasgow in June, a lady stopped me in the street—a young girl, a nice Scottish girl—and she had a clipboard, and I knew, “Oh brother, here we go. I have to buy something, or whatever else it is.” And I can’t go into all the details now, but she wanted me to know—and she was earnestly committed to—she wanted me to know that the elephants were running out of space. Not that the elephants were in outer space; that they were running out of space. And she needed my help to make sure, you know, that that didn’t happen. And I said to her, “You know, I’d like to give you money right now, ’cause I admire your commitment. I admire your courage. I admire the fact that you stand out in the middle of Buchanan Street on an afternoon like this because of this concern. But I can’t do it, and I won’t do it. Because I’ve only got so much money. And I actually think it’s more important that I give money to prevent the unmitigated slaughter of babies in their mothers’ wombs than I give money to make sure that the elephants have enough space to run around.” She didn’t like my answer. I didn’t treat her unkindly. But that’s a Christian perspective, isn’t it? Why’s she doing that? She wants something to live for.

At the cross, the execution of divine justice has entered into time in a moment. Heaven’s love and heaven’s justice meet at the cross.

You probably want something to live for. The Kinks, in the ’60s, wanted something to live for. They asked the question, didn’t they? “What am I living for? Two-roomed apartment on the second floor?” And then the refrain, remember? “We’re living on Dead End Street. We’re living on Dead End Street. We’re living on Dead End Street.” It fades out with that refrain: “We’re living on Dead End Street,” and eventually they just take the volume down on the recording, and that’s the last thing you hear. “We’re living on Dead End Street.”[19] I got news for you this morning: without Jesus Christ, you are living on Dead End Street. I don’t care how nice your street is; it’s a dead-end street.

And that is the significant aspect of what is going on here. Because what this passage is telling us is what we tried to say last week—namely, that the gospel will outlast every brilliant human project. The gospel will outlast every brilliant human project. That’s not to denigrate brilliant human projects; it’s just to say that the best of them will finally be outlasted by the gospel. And it is the gospel which is able to answer the basic human predicament.

So you see, it is the gospel—it is this strange story about Jesus Christ, who bears sin on the cross in order that God, who is perfect in his holiness, may look on man without displeasure, and man, who’s a horrible wreck of a mess, may look on God without fear. How can I then look at the creator God, who made me and whom I have disregarded and just been indifferent to and have no concern for at all—I’m more concerned about his creation than I am about his existence—how could I ever look on him without fear? And how would it ever be that he could look on me without displeasure? And the answer is, in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because there the execution of divine justice has entered into time in a moment. And heaven’s love and heaven’s justice meet at the cross.

No, the heavens and the earth—and we with them—endure just for a moment. The Word of the Lord endures forever.[20]

Let’s just pause and pray, shall we? You see how easy it is for us to be distracted from the main thing by all kinds of theoretical preoccupations that do us no service whatsoever.

O Lord Jesus Christ, help us to hear your voice. Help us to get this picture, to learn this lesson, to believe your Word. That when you said, “I am come that [you] might have life,”[21] that we might come to you and discover life. That when you said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest,”[22] that you promise that to all who come. That when you said that you would go and prepare a place and come back for us,[23] that you meant exactly what you said, and you will.

O Lord Jesus Christ, help us now to believe you. Help us to know that if we end up separated from you from all of eternity, it is because we’ve had to step over your offer of mercy, do an end run around your cross, turn our backs on a love that drew the plan of salvation. Remind us of how frail we are, how brief life is. “Teach us to number our days that we may [gain] a heart of wisdom.”[24] For we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

[1] See Acts 17:11.

[2] Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, “Catch a Falling Star” (1957).

[3] 2 Peter 3:9 (ESV).

[4] Raymond C. Ortlund Jr., Isaiah: God Saves Sinners, Preaching the Word, ed. R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2005), 126.

[5] Isaiah 14:26–27 (ESV).

[6] Romans 1:24 (ESV).

[7] J. Alec Motyer, The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction & Commentary (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 139–40.

[8] Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, “Jesus Is Lord” (2003).

[9] Daniel 13:13–14 (ESV).

[10] Mark 1:15 (paraphrased).

[11] Mark 2:1–11 (paraphrased).

[12] Ephesians 4:8 (paraphrased).

[13] Acts 1:11 (paraphrased).

[14] William Y. Fullerton, “I Cannot Tell” (1929).

[15] John Calvin, Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, trans. William Pringle (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1846), 3:148.

[16] Luke 21:28 (paraphrased).

[17] Mark 13:5–8 (paraphrased).

[18] 2 Peter 3:13 (paraphrased).

[19] Ray Davies, “Dead End Street” (1966). Lyrics lightly altered.

[20] See Isaiah 40:8.

[21] John 10:10 (KJV).

[22] Matthew 11:28 (paraphrased).

[23] See John 14:2–3.

[24] Psalm 90:12 (ESV).

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.