September 16, 2012
Many people throughout history have set dates for the world’s end—yet anyone who tries to do so ignores Jesus’ clear assurance that no one knows the time of His coming. Alistair Begg emphasizes the comfort of this promise as we live in expectation for our Lord’s physical return to this earth. Meanwhile, we must stay on guard against skeptics who claim that Christ will not return and false teachers who claim to be true messiahs.
Sermon Transcript: Print
I invite you to turn to Mark and chapter 13. We’ve begun to study this chapter; I think this is our third study. And I’m reading from verse 1 to verse 13:
“And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.’
“And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?’ And Jesus began to say to them, ‘See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
“‘But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you[’re] to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.’”
Father, help us now as we turn to the Bible. We always need you. We need you. Holy Spirit, illumine the page to us, and conduct that dialogue within us, in the very core of our being, so that we might hear—beyond the voice of a mere man, that we might hear from you, the living God. So give us to think clearly, to feel deeply, to respond properly. For Christ’s sake. Amen.
Well, I don’t know if you have heard this, but the latest date that I have heard now for the end of the world is the twenty-first of December this year. December 21, 2012. I came across this when I met someone in San Francisco in the last couple of weeks. This individual had been at a celebration out in the desert called a “festival.” The more I researched it, it sounded really dreadful to me. But part and parcel of it was a preoccupation with Mayan civilization—which is, of course, an ancient civilization—and the Mayan people developed calendars, as you know. The Mayan calendar could only run for so long, and of course, now you know when it ran out. And it ran out, or runs out, on 12/21/12. It’s funny how all of these numbers always just seem to have a pictorial dimension to them as well. So you have 12, and then you reverse the 12, and then you put the 12 back again: 12/21/12. And apparently, a number of people are already getting pretty stirred up about this. And the good news for us, of course, is that we will be able to have our Christmas concerts before this finally hits.
It’s nice to know that other people, other than crazy Christians, are predicting the end of the universe. But whether it is some kind of biblical prophetic interpretation or unbiblical prediction, what they both have in common is an attempt to disprove what Jesus says clearly in the thirty-second verse of this chapter—namely, that “concerning that day or that hour, no one knows.” And the fanciful notions that surround the question of the return of Jesus and the end of civilization as we know it continue unabated. And clearly that was the case in the context in which Jesus was speaking.
It’s very, very important that we do not allow, however, any kind of skepticism to creep into our own thinking concerning the return of Jesus Christ itself. The fact that there are fanciful interpretations and that there are all kinds of academic and theoretical predictions mustn’t dim in our thinking, in our hearts, in our expectation, the fact of the return of Jesus Christ. We have sung of it in that little song that we hadn’t sung for some time, affirming the fact that Jesus promised his disciples that he was returning. Remember, he says to them in the Upper Room Discourse, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house were many mansions. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself so that where I am, there you may be also.”
And the disciples paid attention to that. And on the occasion when Jesus ascended into heaven, as Luke records it for us in the Acts of the Apostles—at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles—you may recall that when Jesus was taken up into heaven and a cloud covered him from the sight of those who had gathered with him, God dispatched two messengers, just to drive home the significance of what was taking place. And those two individuals said to the gathered company, “This very Jesus”—this very Jesus; not another Jesus or a different Jesus or a different kind of Jesus, but “this very Jesus”—“who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in just the same way as you have seen him go.” In other words, Jesus left physically, and he left visibly. And he will return both physically and visibly. And the Bible tells us that on that occasion, “Every eye will see him.” It’s quite a remarkable thought. But it is a cornerstone of Christian doctrine.
And this I want you just to understand. You will see that there are four individuals with Jesus that are engaged in this dialogue. Two of them wrote letters: Peter and John. And when John wrote—and the reason I mention this is because one of the questions that inevitably comes to mind is: these fellows were there to ask the question, Jesus gave them the answers to their question; how then did they apply it when they, in turn, were the teachers of others? Did they get off on sidetracks with this material, or did they stay, if you like, straight down the middle of the thoroughfare?
Well, the answer is, in 1 John chapter 3, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us,” writes John, “that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we[’re] God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” There’s not any doubt in his mind. This is not theoretical; this is absolutely practical. And he drives home the implications of it on this occasion: “And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
When Peter writes his first letter to the scattered Christians of his day, his introduction to his letter is along the same lines. First Peter 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” he says—begins with this great exclamation of praise.
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
And then he goes on to say, “And in this you rejoice, even though for a little while you may face trials of various kinds, in the fact that you know that these trials have come to test your faith so as to prove how genuine it is, and you may be in no doubt that this same God who is bringing you through this is guarding you and keeping you and will bring everything to fulfillment and to fruition.”
In other words, the return of Jesus Christ is not a piece of theological lumber. It’s not extraneous. It’s not tangential in any way. And it comes across clearly, then, in the way Peter writes. He starts from the fact that God the Father has displayed his mercy in the atoning death of his Son. This has been applied to the lives of those who have believed. They have been born again to a living hope. That living hope is on account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If he was still in a Palestinian tomb, there is no living hope. There is no hope. But he is not. He is risen. He is the ascended King. Therefore, there is an inheritance—an inheritance that is not like your 401b or whatever those things are. It’s not like your retirement package. It’s not like your stock portfolio. It’s not like your house, which will eventually crumble. It’s not like all your stuff that will eventually go in a garage sale. It is not like that at all. It is “imperishable,” it is “undefiled” and is “kept in heaven for you.” For who? For those who are awaiting the return of Jesus Christ—the absolute, visible, physical, glorious, definite return of Jesus of Nazareth.
So don’t let’s any of us be in any, any, any confusion concerning this. Nobody is standing back from that which is main and that which is plain. Jesus has promised he will return, and the Christian lives in expectation of the return of Jesus. Either he will come for us first or we will go to meet him. But see him we will, and return he will, even as he’s promised.
Now, not everybody believes this. Not even some people who apparently profess themselves to be Christians believe this. I hear people telling me that the return of Jesus Christ was a spiritual return, and that he returned in the hearts and minds of his followers, and that’s what stirred them up post-resurrection, and so on. It’s a kind of futile notion. And liberal scholarship just dismisses Mark chapter 13, just wholesale—and the equivalent passages in Matthew 24 and Luke 21. It just says, “Jesus didn’t say any of this stuff.” But that’s the standard by which liberal scholarship works. We are not starting from there at all. No.
Jesus, in this discourse on the Mount of Olives, is pastoral in his concern, strengthening and sustaining the faith of his followers. And the request, which we’ve noted a couple of times now, is there in verse 4: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” The mind of the disciples cannot conceive of a time without the temple in Jerusalem, and therefore, they collate two things: one, the destruction of the temple, and the end of the age. “When is all this going to unfold?” And that kind of twofold dimension then runs, as we’ve said, in a telescopic fashion all the way through the reply of Jesus.
So the request is straightforward, and the response, you will notice, begins in verse 5. Mark tells us that at that point, “Jesus began to say to them…” He “began to say to them.” That little phrase should just remind us, incidentally, of the fact that we do not have everything that Jesus ever said about every subject written down for us in the Gospels. John tells us that; he said, “There were many more things that Jesus did and said that could have been written down. If they’d been written down, there aren’t really enough books to be able to contain them all. But these are the things that have been written in order that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, and that by believing you might have life in his name.” In other words, we have everything there that is necessary for us to understand who Jesus is and why Jesus came and what it means to trust unreservedly in Jesus. I find it quite helpful to realize that some of the things that we might struggle with between one verse and another, if we had been present on that occasion, we might have had a greater degree of clarity. Having said that, however, the Holy Spirit has preserved everything exactly as he intended, and so we rest content in that.
And so, verse 5, “He began to say to them,” first of all, “Do not be led astray.” “See that no one leads you astray.” Or, if you like, “See to it that no one leads you astray.” In other words, what he’s saying is, “There’s a real possibility that you could be led astray.” There’s no reason to say “See that you’re not led astray” if there’s no chance of being led astray. In other words, there are things that need to be done to make sure that we don’t wander away. The means of grace that God has given to us in the reading of the Bible, in prayer, in the fellowship of his people, in the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, in the issues of church discipline, and so on—all of these things are to be attended upon, so as to ensure that we are not led astray. You neglect your Bible, you may be led astray. You neglect the worship of God’s people, you may be led astray. One coal taken out of the fire, put over by itself, will very quickly go out. Pick it back up and put it in amongst the rest of the coals, and it will be illuminated and give warmth to the house along with the others.
So this is not theoretical here on the part of Jesus. He is pastorally concerned for his followers. Remember, one of them is going to go astray—one who would have heard this discourse as it was rereported. And they didn’t do a particularly good job, did they, when everything began to turn against Christ?
No, this is an important word, isn’t it? “See that no one leads you astray.” And then he explains why this is pressingly important. Because, verse 6, “many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray.” “They will lead many astray.”
Now, Roman and Jewish historians record the fact of the presence of all kinds of charlatans in this time period—while Jesus existed, certainly after his ascension, and in the period of time that is represented in the early decades of the first century. You can read that for yourselves. It’s not my purpose here to give history lessons from Roman and Jewish historians. But he is pointing out that the reason that they need to pay particular attention is because of the influence of these individuals. “People will come and lead people astray.”
Now, obviously, that is true of that time, but it is not limited to that time. Because the whole of human history is full of charlatans, arising generation after generation, either mismanaging the words of Jesus, attempting to portray themselves as Jesus, or explaining that Jesus means very little without their explanation, because they actually are the prophet that was the one who needed to explain the prophecies that were contained in the Bible. For example, Joseph Smith, who was a flat-out liar and a charlatan—and the founder of Mormonism. Can’t say that today, because it’s politically incorrect. Just read history. If you want to sleep with, like, twelve women, either you have to do that—twelve other than your wife—either you have to do that and admit that it is flat-out wrong and violates the law of God, or you invent a religion that includes that.
Many will be led astray. Many will be led astray. Because they never paid attention to who Jesus is, how Jesus came, the eternal nature of his sonship, the fact that the doctrine of the Trinity is not a piece of theological nonsense—that it is foundational, that there is a radical difference between the coeternity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and a Jesus who is a product of a relationship. It’s vastly different! “Well, we’d like to know about the end of the temple and the world and everything else.” “Well, let me just say one thing to you: make sure you’re not led astray, for people will come saying all kinds of things, and many will be led astray. Many will be led astray.” Here’s a situation where there’s no safety in numbers, loved ones. No safety in numbers. That’s his first directive.
Secondly, he says, “And I do not want you to be led astray, and I do not want you to be alarmed. I don’t want you to be alarmed. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed.” Why does he say, “Do not be alarmed”? Because wars and rumors of wars are a basis for alarm. And if you throw in famines and earthquakes and the movement of nations against one another, these are all the kinds of things that can unsettle a person. Now, again, these characteristics were present in the decades leading to AD 70. But the decades leading to AD 70 clearly don’t exhaust the application of wars, rumors of wars, and so on. But again, what is Jesus saying when he refers to these things? “I don’t want you to be alarmed.” He’s already said it, John 14: “Let not your heart be troubled.” “Don’t be alarmed.”
And then he explains why. “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place.” Why shouldn’t you be particularly perturbed? Because “the end is not yet.” And at the end of verse 8: “These are but the beginning of birth pains.” See what Jesus is saying? “Many of the things that’re gonna happen to you fellows will appear to be signs of the end of the age. But they may not actually even be signs of the imminence of the end of the temple.”
And once again, if you read history, you discover that of course there were wars and rumors of wars. Of course there were all these kinds of things. There were earthquakes, and there were famines. But why would we think there wouldn’t be? Because we all have a kind of “end of the universe” mindset. I never met anybody who thought that the end of the age was actually—I shouldn’t say I’ve never met anybody—most of the people that talk about the end of the world, they always talk about, “The end of the world, it’s coming, like, next Tuesday.” I don’t ever hear very many people explaining that they think the universe is going to go on for two and a half thousand more years. I mean, you can’t write a book on that. Nobody cares. What possible relevance does it have? No, everybody’s always on the now, now, now, now, now. As if this is the first time in the universe there were famines, or earthquakes, or wars, or rumors of wars, or international peace conferences. I have lived sixty years; I never lived a year yet without war. Never lived a year yet without earthquakes, or without famines, or without international crises. So why would you imagine that in the decades that led up to AD 70, all these things would be missing? Do you think this is just a comment about 2012? Course it’s not! Does it exhaust it prior to 70? Course not. Once again, you got the telescope. You got the interweaving of these things.
Instead of being troubled or preoccupied by them, the believer is to recognize that these are just—and the metaphor he uses is a good one—the birth pains. The birth pains. I’ve never had birth pains. But my wife has, and so has yours, presumably. And when they first come, you think, “Here we go!” Especially if it’s your first baby, you don’t really know what’s going on at all, and whatever these things are called—I forget what they have; they have a name for them—but you find the people running off to the hospital immediately, only to be sent home with a kind of embarrassed look on your face. Because they were just the beginning of the birth pains. There was no guarantee. I met somebody this week; I said, “When’s the baby due?” She said, “Well, such and such a date, but,” she said, “we’re not sure.” Of course you’re not sure! May come early, may come a little late; we don’t know. He’s kicking—we understand that—she’s kicking, or they’re doing the “Branson-Hicks” or whatever those things they do. But they’re just the beginning of the birth pains.
Now, that’s what Jesus is saying. The metaphor is a great metaphor, because, you see, for a Jewish woman, without giving birth her life was robbed of meaning. If she didn’t give birth, she had no goal. So the beginning of the travail for a Jewish woman meant that now the significance of her life was going to be there for all to see in the fulfillment of her desire. It began with the pains, and the pains are the promise that she’s going to have what she waits for with longing. And so Jesus says, “When these pains come, the sufferings that come along with them will be an indication of the fact that there is a day coming that will give meaning to your lives as well.”
Thirdly, verse 9: “I want you to be on your guard.” See the way he does this? “See that no one leads you astray, and let me tell you why: because many people will be involved as charlatans. Then, when you hear about wars and rumors of wars and stuff, do not be alarmed, because it’s not the end; it’s just the beginning of the birth pains. And there’s no guarantee, then, about the time that there is that exists between all of that movement and stuff and the actual arrival. Thirdly, be on your guard.” Why? “Well, because they’re going to deliver you over to councils and beat you in the synagogues, and you’ll stand before governors and kings for my sake.”
Well, the immediate application of that is clearly not Cleveland 2012, is it? Not the immediate application of it. I mean, when’s the last time you had any thought of being taken into a synagogue and given a jolly good beating? And there hasn’t been a king around here for a couple of hundred years at least, and even if he showed up, we’d probably give him a beating rather than he gave us a beating. So, there’s little application there, is there? Not immediately. Not immediately.
And you will notice that the reason for the suffering that they’re going to face is—according to just three words, there at the end of verse 9—“for my sake.” “For my sake.” And then down again in verse 13: “You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.” “For my name’s sake.” It’s not that these people are disruptive in the culture—they’re standing out in the street with signs and whatnot. Not necessarily. No, no. No, the Jews hated them because of what they said concerning the messiahship of Jesus, and the gentiles hated them as well—these strange people who were cannibalistic, so they thought. Why else would they be gathering in places and eating the body and blood of their Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth?
Now, you don’t have to read into the Acts of the Apostles for very long before you realize that what Jesus says here takes place. Peter and John are imprisoned. They’re released. They’re arrested. They’re beaten. Stephen is stoned. James is killed by King Herod. And so Jesus says, “This is what is going to unfold for you. It’s going to give you an opportunity to tell the truth about who I am and about what I have done.”
And interestingly, you will see that verse 10, just one little sentence, nestles in there between verse 9 and verse 11—which I recognize is where you would expect verse 10. But the point that I’m making is that the phrase—over which there’s a lot of ink spilt, and a lot of coffee spilt as well, and a lot of hot air used—sits in between the bearing of witness for the name of Jesus and suffering before governors and so on, and then, “When they bring you to trial and deliver you over,” in the prospect of that and in the middle of that, and “the gospel must be first proclaimed to all the nations.” So what do you think that’s really about? I mean, in that context. What do you think he’s saying there? I mean, if this was class, we would have interaction. It’s not—well, it is, but without…
What does he tell them? How did this start? “This is quite a place, Jesus. Did you see these buildings?” Jesus says, “You see those buildings? They’re going.” What did that mean? It meant this: that no longer were people going to encounter God in a dark room of an ancient building in the Middle East. Because he was no longer inhabiting that temple. His followers are now the dwelling place of God. Those followers are going out into all the ends of the earth with this good news. They’re gonna get a hammering for this, in Jerusalem and in Judea and when they go to the ends of the earth. And as soon as they go out there with that news, it will become apparent that this message that has been conveyed through the Jewish people has come to an end, and that this message now is for all the nations: for the Jews and for the gentiles, for those from Macedonia, for those from Greece, and so on. And in the post-Pentecost experience, you have this very thing taking place: the gospel is being proclaimed to all the nations. Isn’t that what they say on the day of Pentecost? “We can hear the gospel being proclaimed in our own tongue.”
Now, does that exhaust the notion of the gospel being proclaimed to all the nations? No. There is every indication that the expansive dimension of that speaks to the fact that God’s patience—and we’ll come to this tonight—but that God’s patience is such that he is allowing his voice to go out to the ends of the earth so that all the nations of the world will have the opportunity to hear the gospel. But think about what “all nations” meant in the minds of Peter, James, and Andrew, and John. Do you think they thought about United States? They couldn’t; it didn’t exist. About New Zealand? No. Great Britain? No. These nations did not exist. So when he says, “The gospel’s gonna go out to all the nations,” remember, he’s not speaking this for 2012. He’s speaking to a group of fellows who said to him, “Tell us when this’ll happen and what will the signs be?” Says, “This is what’s gonna happen. They’ll haul you in, they’ll give you a doing. Remember that the gospel has to go out to all the nations, and when they do, make sure that you are on your guard.”
In fact, he says—look in verse 12, and with this we’ll have to stop—you’ll look in verse 12: “Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and [the] children will rise against [their] parents and have them put to death.” In other words, the familial relationships that tie men and women to one another will eventually be broken down under the impact of the gospel. What this means for us today is different from what it means to our brothers and sisters in the Sudan, and in Afghanistan, and in Pakistan, and in many other places.
But why would this strike us, when Jesus has already said, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he should take up his cross and follow me.”
“But let me first go and bury my father.”
“Let the dead bury the dead.”
“But I have got a business. I’ve got a field.”
“Forget your field.”
“Yeah, but I’ve got family ties.”
“Forget your family.”
You see, unless those umbilical cords are severed in the core of a person, however would we ever be able, then, to face the challenge that is represented here?
“But,” he says, “I want you to know that the one who endures to the end will be saved.” “The one who endures to the end will be saved.” It’s what you have in the book of Revelation: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give [you the] crown of life.”
You see the cohesion of the chapter, then. “Tell us, what will these things be, and what will happen?” He says, “Don’t be led astray. Because if you’re led astray, you won’t continue to the end. And if you don’t continue to the end, you won’t be saved. Don’t allow these things to alarm you and unsettle you and knock you off your horse, ’cause if you get knocked off your horse, you won’t continue to the end. And if you don’t continue to the end, you won’t be saved. And be on your guard, because you’re gonna be brought under the persecuting gaze of those who hate you for my name’s sake. And if you allow that to disestablish you, then you won’t continue to the end. And if you don’t continue to the end, you won’t be saved. It is the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
“Well,” you say, “but I know. But, I mean, you just endure to the end. If you’re saved, you endure to the end.” How do you endure to the end if you’re saved? By enduring to the end. By keeping yourself in the love of God. It’s the very same thing you have in the same few verses of Jude: “Now unto him [who] is able to keep you from falling … to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” so on. God does this; he’s the one who keeps you from falling. In the same few verses, he says, “Keep [yourself] in the love of God.” So the one who is kept keeps. And if he’s not kept, he doesn’t keep. And the ground of our salvation is in what Christ has accomplished. By his first advent, he has come and dealt with everything that was necessary in our lives. The triumphant victory of his first advent will be brought out in all of its fullness in his second advent. So he says, “Make sure that you endure to the end. Don’t throw the towel in. Don’t lie down in the grass. Don’t allow all the unsettling factors of the universe to knock you off your stride. Keep going. Keep going!”
And then, fascinatingly, you go from verse 13 to verse 14, and he says, “Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” So in verse 13, you’re supposed to endure it, and in verse 14, you’re supposed to run away from it! I’m so glad that we’ve run out of time.
Let’s pray together:
O God our Father, thank you. Thank you that the clarity of your Word is clear in all the places you expect it to be clear, and where it seems a little tenuous for us, it’s in order that we might be humbled, and also that we might realize that the things that you want us to really lay hold of are the things that you’ve made so perfectly plain. So help us, then, to heed your exhortation, given to these men on that day and written down for us so that we might read them today and apply them, as is right. Help us not to be led astray. Save us from foolishness and silliness. Help us not to be alarmed as we see the nations of the world in turmoil, as we see famine and earthquakes. Help us to learn from that metaphor that these are the beginnings of the birth pains, and they don’t give us an announcement of the day of arrival. And help us, Lord, always to be on our guard. Help us not to let our guard down. Help us not to yield to temptation. Help us to exhort and encourage one another. Help us to be the very embodiment of the song, to be able to say as we look on one another, “We are watching, we are praying, we’re hoping, we’re looking for you.”
And so, may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be the portion of all who believe, today and forevermore. Amen.
 John 14:1–3 (paraphrased).
 Acts 1:11 (paraphrased).
 Revelation 1:7 (ESV).
 1 John 3:1–3 (ESV).
 1 Peter 1:3–5 (ESV).
 1 Peter 1:6–7 (paraphrased).
 John 20:30–31 (paraphrased).
 John 14:1 (KJV).
 Acts 2:7 (paraphrased).
 Mark 8:34 (paraphrased). See also Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23.
 See Matthew 8:18–22; Luke 9:57–62.
 Revelation 2:10 (KJV).
 Jude 1:24 (KJV).
 Jude 1:21 (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.