February 29/Mark 13

Happy Birthday to all of you Leap Year People!

Verses 1-2 > sometimes we get so preoccupied with the everyday that we loose sight of the future. We make money and spend money and forget to set some aside for days when we might not have a job or might not be able to work or might want to be semi-retired. Or we can go through school with sports, sports, sports, or girls, girls, girls, or guys, guys, guys on our minds and not be prepared for after graduation day.  The disciples were so enthralled with the temple as if it was going to remain forever and that they and future generations would always be able to worship there. Jesus shakes up their thinking by telling them that the temple is going to be destroyed. When they ask him when this will happen he doesn’t give specific dates and he even talks farther into the future. They got more than they asked for!

As we read on we will see that we must have a balanced outlook on life looking at today but also planning for the future. Jesus lets them know that there are rough days ahead, they are to remain faithful to him no matter how hopeless the times seem to be because he assures them that he will be back for them. They are to pass this faithfulness  on to each generation because no one knows when the end will come.

The message for us today is the same for believers everywhere. Be faithful to Jesus and have a plan on how you will handle persecution for your faith > stick with the Church!

Verses 5-8 > These things might increase in intensity but they have always happened through out the history of the world. Sinful people sin against each other. This should be no surprise to us. The earth goes through these birth pains(earthquakes, famines) because of the sin in the world.

Verses 9-11 > a time is coming when Christianity may not be tolerated. Don’t be surprised if we are hated for our beliefs. Jesus puts a positive spin on this by saying that this will be our opportunity to tell people about him. Also there will be a greater anointing of the Holy Spirit upon our lives. God will tell us what to say! We must hang together Church and encourage each other to stay strong.

Verses 12-13 > The family will come under great attack. I guess we see this today already with what they are teaching our little children in schools about same sex marriage and not having to get parental permission to receive condoms in school. There are teachers that even make fun of Christian beliefs. Perhaps the most damaging effect that I see the sch00ls having on our children is the abundance of extra curricular activities. They are not inherently bad in themselves however parents seem to think that their children are being deprived if they don’t have them in everything possible. These things take time away from family. Where is the time to just sit around the supper table and talk and find out how each other is doing? Where is time for parents to have one on one time with each child? Children do not have to be involved in everything and it is up to the parent to choose the amount of activity. Some activities even take place on Sunday and now the child is being taught that these activities take priority over family worship.  We must spend today developing strong family units so our children have a godly future. Don’t fudge on spending time with your children teaching them about Jesus, modeling Jesus before them and exposing them to the teachings of the church. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you keep your families together. Be the fathers and mothers and grandparents that your children need!

Verses 14-19 > this seems to be the time of the Seven Year Tribulation period when Anti- Christ will set up shop in the temple in Jerusalem. He proclaims to be God. This will be a very severe time for Jews and Christians in this area. Many students of prophecy believe that the Church will have been raptured before all this takes place. I hope so but I don’t know for sure and that is why I keep saying like Jesus; be faithful, don’t turn back, don’t be surprised by the cruelest of events, just keep trusting that our Lord has things under control and that the enemy is playing right into his hands!

Verse 20 > God has his hands on the situation!

Verses 21-27 > don’t get fooled by false signs, wonders and miracles. There will absolutely be no doubt when Jesus comes back. Nothing on earth or in the heavens will overshadow his coming! Nothing will be as glorious. Nothing more amazing. Nothing will take our attention from our Lord coming back!

Verses 28-31 > We don’t know the exact date when Jesus will come but Jesus just gave us some signs so we can be alert. The only stable foundation to build your life on is the Word of God! Everything else is shaky at best and will pass away.

Verses 32-37 > Hey Hilltop we must stick together, study the scriptures, build up our faith in the Word and encourage each other and help each other to stay alert! I doubt it will ever be popular to be a Christian.

If you were looking for a detailed explanation on end time prophecy I just disappointed you. There are many books that you can read on prophecy. There are many schools of thought. Some say the church will be raptured before the tribulation. Some say the church will be raptured half way through the tribulation. Some say the church will go through the tribulation. This chapter in Mark seems to be talking about the tribulation period. My purpose as your pastor is to prepare you spiritually so that no matter what comes down the highway of life you will be prepared to deal with it because your life is built on the Word of God. I love you Hilltop! Be filled with the Holy Spirit and:

Be Inspired Hilltop!



  1. Mark Gundersen says

    This chapter is an expansion of the prophecy we read in Matthew 24. Once again the desicration of the temple was mentioned where a statue of Zeus will be set up and pigs will be in the sanctuary but this time it was also connected with the end times. In this description of end times the rapture seems to be more related to the end of the tribulation period before the millennial reign of Jesus. Of note it is clearly stated that only God, the Father, knows when this will occur and false prophets will come to tell people otherwise and turn people away from truly following God. The most important thing is to live for Jesus and watch for the signs of the end times. As pastor said there are many bible scholars who have written books trying to explain the prophecies found in Daniel, the Gospels, and Revelation and further study of these sources can help you watch for the signs.

  2. Lois Stinogel says

    And remember, God has our future in mind! So good to remember that when I need to plan for the future. Planning is good but God has the final say! “Greater is He, greater is He. The Lamb has overcome. Greater is He, greater is He, the victory is won! It’s finished, it’s done. God’s only Son has conquered the enemy! Greater is He, greater is He that is in me”

  3. Kathy Gundersen says

    I know you asked yesterday if you should continue the blog the answer is Yes!!!!! Enjoy the inside and like to know I’m on the right path. Thank you for your work and time put into this.

  4. I just finished the book “The Insanity of God ” by Nik Ripkin. We must get the Word into us, and persecution is normal for Christians in a good portion of our world. Thanks for the good word today, Pastor Dan!