Sermon #58 Series: Mark
Title: “The Abomination Of Desolation
Text: Mark 13:14-23
Reading: Daniel 9:1-27
Subject: The Abomination of Desolation
Date: Sunday Morning - August 16, 1998
Tape # U-81a
The title of my message this morning is “The Abomination Of Desolation.” You have my text before you in Mark 13:14-23. Let’s read it together.
Proposition: In this paragraph, our Lord Jesus both warns us of the time of great spiritual darkness, deception and trouble which must come upon the earth and assures us of the infallible security of God’s elect in the midst of it.
Divisions: As we look at these verses of Holy Scripture, may God the Holy Spirit inscribe upon our hearts the things here taught. Let me direct your attention to three things revealed in our text.
1. A Time Of Great Deception
2. A Matter Of Great Responsibility
3. A Reason For Great Praise
I. A TIME OF GREAT DECEPTION (v. 14)
In this thirteenth chapter of Mark, the Lord Jesus warns us over and over again of a time of terrible spiritual darkness delusion, deception and danger that must sweep across the earth before he comes again. Without question, the warnings given in verses 14-18 had a specific reference to the judgment of God which fell upon Jerusalem in 70 AD.
When the armies of Rome destroyed Jerusalem, when God sent Titus into that once holy city which had become an abominable house of devils, when swine’s blood was offered up in the most holy place, when the temple was leveled, when the scepter of civil government departed from Judah, God’s judgment upon the nation was manifest and obvious to everyone except the nation of Israel. The Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth.
However, our Lord specifically directs our attention to Daniel’s prophecy (Dan. 9:20-27). In that prophecy, though Daniel speaks of the abomination of desolation, he was also assured by Gabriel, “thou art greatly beloved.” Daniel had been praying for God to show mercy and exercise forgiveness. He had been praying that the Lord God would in wrath remember mercy toward his holy city and his chosen people.
In verses 24-27, Daniel is given a vision by which he was assured of both God’s justice and his mercy. In strict justice, the Lord God declared that he would destroy the physical nation of Israel and the physical city of Jerusalem. At the same time, he assured his prophet that he would accomplish the everlasting salvation of his elect, his people, his holy city, his royal priesthood.
In these verses we are given a clear, prophetic declaration of two things: REDEMPTION AND WRATH - DELIVERANCE AND DAMNATION - MERCY AND JUSTICE.
A. Daniel’s prophecy is a profound declaration of Christ’s great work of redemption, by which he satisfied the justice of God and put away the sins of his people.
I will leave it to others to debate and argue about the 70 weeks and the time span they cover. I am not very interested in that. But I am sure enough interested in the things here promised. There are eight things spoken of here. All of them depended upon and have been effectually accomplished by the sin-atoning death and glorious exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. In verse 26, we are told that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, must be cut off, slaughtered, not for himself, but for his people.
2. In verse 27, Daniel tells us that after he was cut off out of the land of the living, our Lord Jesus Christ would confirm the everlasting covenant of grace to many.
a. Christ confirmed the covenant by his blood (Heb. 13:20).
b. He confirmed the covenant to many - “This cup is the New Testament in my blood…”
c. When he did, when he died as our Substitute, our dear Redeemer caused the sacrifices and oblations of the Old Covenant to cease forever!
Note: Though this was done in the most public, conspicuous manner when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, pouring swine’s blood upon the altar, the oblations ceased when Christ died!
d. Our Lord Jesus confirmed the covenant at the appointed time - “One Week.”
Note: There is no preposition in the text for the word for in this opening sentence. It really should read, “He shall confirm the covenant with many one week.” That is to say, - Specifically at the time God ordained from eternity, in due time, when the fulness of time shall come, Christ the Messiah shall confirm THE COVENANT with many.
He confirmed the covenant with his blood. Now look back at verse 24, and you will see some of the things confirmed to us, confirmed to God’s elect by the blood of the everlasting covenant.
3. 1He finished the transgression - our breaches of the law.
4. 2He made an end of sins - all the sins of all his people!
5. Our all glorious Christ 3made reconciliation for iniquity - our inequities, our failures!
6. Our great Savior, 4brought in everlasting righteousness for us.
7. By his obedience, death, resurrection and ascension, the Son of God, our God-man Mediator, has completely 5fulfilled and sealed up the vision and the prophecy. - THERE IS NO OTHER WORD COMING FROM GOD SINCE THE WORD CAME!
8. Our great Redeemer has now been 6anointed as the King of kings and Lord of lords with the oil of gladness; and he is the “MOST HOLY”!
These are the blessed things spoken of by Daniel; but our Lord directs our attention also to Daniel’s prophecy of wrath and judgment. Look at Daniel nine again, and you will see that…
B. Daniel spoke by divine inspiration about God’s wrath and judgment upon those who refuse to bow to and trust his Son (Dan. 9:26-27).
We will not read the verses again; but the “overspreading of abominations” by which God made Jerusalem and all Israel spiritually desolate, by which he destroyed the city, the sanctuary and the nation in the flood of his wrath was neither accidental, nor unforeseen by God. Oh, no. Daniel was specifically told that these “desolations are determined”.
Horrible as that act of divine judgment was, it was nothing compared to the abomination of desolation which the Lord God has sent upon this reprobate age in which we live. The things which happened in Jerusalem 1900 hundred years ago only foreshadowed the judgment of God which has fallen upon this generation. Read the first chapter of Romans, and you will discover that ours is not a generation ripe for the judgment of God. THIS IS A GENERATION UNDER THE JUDGMENT OF GOD. I can think of no age, no generation, no circumstance under which the warning of verse seventeen is more appropriate than it is in this day of apostate, freewill, works religion.
Just as the Jews fled for fear of their lives from Titus and the Roman armies which engulfed Jerusalem, you and I will be wise to flee the abominations of Arminian, freewill, works religion, lest we be forever damned with Babylon (Rev. 18:4; 2 Cor. 6:14-18).
1. Let nothing, neither house, nor property, nor clothes, nor even family hold you in Babylon (Mk. 13:14-19).
2. The danger, the trouble, the affliction spoken of here is far more serious than physical persecution. - THIS PERIL IS A PERIL OF SOUL. IT IS ALTOGETHER SPIRITUAL!
a. False prophets abound.
b. False prophets always point men to a false Christ, a false Savior (A Redeemer who did not redeem! A Savior who cannot Save! A King who cannot rule! A Priest who cannot prevail!).
c. They seduce unsuspecting multitudes by satanic power with signs and wonders, imitating and pretending to be the apostles of Christ.
I have deliberately spent the bulk of my time on the first point of my message, because it certainly leads us to and more or less takes in the last two things I want you to see. The second point of my message is…
II. A MATTER OF GREAT RESPONSIBILITY - “Flee to the mountains!”
Because I have already touched on this, I will deal with it only briefly here.
It is always our responsibility to use the means and the good sense God gave us both to provide for and protect our physical well-being and our spiritual well-being.
A. If you care for your soul and the souls of your family, you will diligently use the means God has given you for your souls’ eternal welfare.
C. Those who profess to believe God, while they idly sit still and do nothing show contempt for God than conviction from him.
Their faith is fanaticism. Their profession is pretense. They may bluster; but they do not believe! Their loud sounds are just lip service.
Because he believed God, when Hezekiah said, “The Lord is with us to fight our battles,” he also built up the walls of the city and made swords and shields (2 Chr. 32:5). Paul had a word directly from heaven assuring him that no man on board his ship would perish. Yet, he knew they would perish if they did not through over all their cargo and stay on the ship (Acts 27:31).
2. If you want God’s salvation, put yourself under the sound of the gospel. Addict yourself to the Word of God. USE GOD’S APPOINTED MEANS OF GRACE!
2. If you want your family saved, get them under the sound of the gospel. Addict yourself and your family to the worship of God. USE GOD’S APPOINTED MEANS OF GRACE!
The last thing I want to show you in this passage, but certainly not the least, is…
III. A REASON FOR GREAT PRAISE.
Here is the reason given in our text for great praise and thanksgiving to God - ELECTION!
Let me make just four statements about God’s election, and I will send you home to rejoice in it and give thanks to him for it.
A. There is a people in this world called “the elect” who must and shall be saved.
B. Everything God does in this world he does “for the elect’s sake!”
C. Every sinner who trusts the Lord Jesus Christ is numbered among “the elect.”
Someone put it this way - “We must begin at the grammar school of repentance and faith before we can go to the university of election.”
D. God’s elect shall never be deceived by the false prophets and false Christs of the world.
It is only because of God’s election that we are not deceived by the abomination of desolation called freewill, works religion. Thank God for electing love, mercy and grace!