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who so reverence the Son of God as to show that they are looking to Him for salvation, let it be our diligent concern, that we be among the number. Whether there be “ many that shall be saved,” or few, the death of Christ is an all-sufficient sacrifice, and “God willeth not that any should perish.” Hereafter, “ many shall seek to enter in ” to the heavenly kingdom, " and shall not be able.” 9 But now is the promise given, the invitation universal, “ Let him that is athirst come, and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely."
AWFUL DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM : WATCHFULNESS
MARK xiii. 28–32.
28. “Now learn a parable of the fig-tree ; When her
branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know
that summer is near : 29. “So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things
come to pass, know that it is nigh even at the doors. 30. “ Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not
pass, till all these things be done. 31. “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words
shall not pass away. 32. “ But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no
not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
9 Luke xiii. 24.
1 Rev. xxii. 17.
The apostles had naturally desired to ask when these events would take place. What would be “the time of his coming, and of the end of the world ?”
But of that day and hour God did not see fit to make precise revelation. It is among the secret things which belong to the Lord our God:” which knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
The Son, as a prophet, knoweth it not among the things which He is to declare to mankind. As “God, and with God from the beginning, He is a partaker of the Father's counsels, and nothing is hidden from him. But as the Son of man, He knoweth not “the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power,” and does not reveal to the world. He does not disclose to men what it is not important for men to know; much less what ought rather to be concealed from them. The apostles combined in their thoughts the destruction of Jerusalem, and “the end of the world.” The Lord allowed his language to be so interpreted, nay, used language which, while it described the fearful signs which should accompany that destruction, , might not improperly be applied to that future season, when the day of the Lord shall come, in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat;"2 when the sun shall be darkened
Mark xiij. 4. Matt. xxiv. 3. 2 2 Pet. iii. 10.
for ever, and the moon shall no longer “ cause her light to shine.”
But although the Lord concealed the day and hour, either when the judgment should fall upon Jerusalem, or when all mankind shall be summoned to their great account, there are two things which he earnestly inculcated. First, the certainty of the event; and next, the necessity of being prepared for its arrival. Heaven and earth, he says, shall pass away. We believe that they will: and that God hath prepared “a new heaven and a new earth" for those that are found faithful, and “ endure unto the end.” But my words, he adds, shall not pass away.
AII shall be fulfilled that I have foretold. Thus far it has so proved.
“ Nation did rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there were earthquakes in divers places, and famines and troubles; these were the beginnings of sorrows." 3 In the midst of these national commotions the gospel made its silent way; was "published among all nations : so that a single one of the apostles is represented as having almost throughout all Asia turned away much people “from the vain traditions which they had received from their fathers,” and brought them" to serve the living and true God, through Jesus Christ whom He had sent.” 4 Meanwhile, the Roman army, the abomination of the Jews, did encompass ,
, the holy city; afflictions followed, such as had not been from the beginning of the creation :" and $ Mark xiii. 8.
* Acts xix. 26.
in the end, Jerusalem was “trodden down of the Gentiles,” and so complete was the overthrow that “not one stone was left upon another.” Thus His words did not pass away, till all were fulfilled. There are other words which He has left for our instruction, who live in these later times. He has foretold a time (though the day and hour knoweth no man) when “the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, and shall sit upon the throne of His glory; and before Him shall be gathered all nations."5 These words shall not pass away: and we may here also take example from what happened at Jerusalem. The Christians, warned by the Lord's words, “fled into the mountains,' and escaped the horrors of the siege, and the slaughter and captivity which ensued. And we are warned beforehand of the coming of the Son of man in power and great glory, that we may make timely preparation, and "flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope that is set before us, as to be accounted worthy to escape these things that shall come to pass, and to “ stand before the Son of man.”7
6 Heb. vi. 18.
MARK xiii. 33-37.
33. “ Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not
when the time is. 34. “ For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter
to watch.” This is one of the many natural examples by which our Lord explained to the disciples before Him when He was speaking, and through them to His disciples in every age, their situation in the world. He compares it to that of servants, whose master has taken a far journey, and appointed to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch during his absence, and be prepared against his return.
The absence of the master is the trial of the servants' fidelity. There are few who will not be diligent and honest, whilst his eye is upon them. But the faithful servant is he whom his master, whether present or absent, can trust equally; who acts with equal zeal, and with equal carefulness, whether his lord is on the spot, or has taken a far journey.
What a servant is to his employer, all men are to God; His servants, His stewards: what a master does who takes a far journey, God has