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Great Expectations


"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 that are in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven."

Good Morning my beloved,

We welcome you to worship in the name of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It is such an honor to come together with you today for the study God's Word. I humbly ask you would join us in praying for our brothers and sisters who are at this time facing severe persecution for their faith, that their witness would turn the hardened hearts of their persecutors and faithfully leading them to Christ. May they become a new source of Christ's Light to those who are in darkness. 
I’ve always loved studying biblical prophecy, it's like history but in reverses, with God pulling back the curtain to give us a glimpse of the future events that will ultimately usher in the period of global chaos and of course, the most glorious event that transcends all other events in human history is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven. Scripture is very, very clear He will literally, physically visibly, come in glory manifestly, in clouds just as He promised He would, to rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. It will happen the very same way He left, when He was lifted up and a cloud received Him, as He ascended to heaven. 
I believe that the next event on God’s prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church. I am confident our Lord’s going to collect His church before the evil of the Antichrist is unleashed upon the world. In speaking to the church of Philadelphia in Revelation 3:10, the Lord tells us "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth." With that in mind, we need to live godly lives in this present evil age, denying ungodliness, and denying worldly lusts, anticipating His glorious return, because he who has this hope in him purifies himself. He will come quickly to snatch away His bride, the church, and take us to His Father’s house. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." I just want to mention this, because people keep asking me the same question. There’s no possible way that you can distort this passage of Scripture to come to that conclusion it is referring to the Second Coming. 
Zechariah 14:4-5, "In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!"
Make no mistake, these are two completely separate events. In the rapture, Jesus' feet won’t touch the earth, we will be "caught up" together to meet the Lord in the air. The Greek verb " harpázō," is the Latin word "raptio," from which we get the word rapture. The church is mentioned 26 times in the first three chapters of the book of Revelation and is only mentioned again in the last chapter. Since Jesus doesn’t talk about the rapture in Mark 13, so we're not going to focus a lot of attention on it, but it's very important to mention, because there are many professing Christians who seem to ignore the fact that Christians are expected to lead a life characterized by holiness, righteousness and obedience. Truth is not whatever anybody wants to believe, it is what God's Word says it is, because somebody refuses to acknowledge the Truth and doesn't want to believe it; doesn’t change that fact. It is imperitive to understand that it's impossible to have a genuine encounter with Jesus Christ and your entire life not be dramatically changed. I believe the Apostle Paul, who went from persecuting the church to be persecuted for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is a perfect example of that.
I don’t want to spend a tremendous amount of time on this but Jesus doesn't want people who profess to be associated with Him, who continue to live in the kingdom of darkness, under the influence of Satan. In Mark chapter 2, Jesus said "I am come to call not the righteous, but sinners." Call sinners to what? To repentance! It's a command rather than a moral didactic. That’s why He came, to save the lost, by calling sinners to repentance, rescuing lost souls from Satan, who intends to damn every soul. I can preach the Gospel, I can tell you the Truth, but I can't make you respond. If you choose to disregard it, you’re left without an excuse. But, you cannot begin to understand salvation, grace and mercy, until you understand sin is what God calls sin, not the world. So, I hope I've made my point clear enough to make it evident, because it has eternal consequences. I don’t ever want you to fall prey to spiritual hypocrisy, I trust you will examine your heart to ensure your salvation is genuine. 
Let us pray
Heavenly Father,
Father, we thank You so much for Your Word, how blessed we are to hear the glorious message of the Gospel today. Thank You for reminding us that the coming Judgment is connected to sin. Lord, help us to remember just how wretched we were before we put our faith in Christ and acknowledge it, remind us that our salvation was not cheap, but came at such a high price. Remind us of how we are expected to live after receiving the precious gift of grace, mercy and forgiveness. Bind these powerful Truths to our hearts, and seal them, cause us to hate the remaining sin that still hangs on, even though it's forgiven, as much as You hate it. May we encourage one another with the blessed hope of  Christ's return, pray with and for each other, come along aside each other, calling one another to a life of holiness and righteousness and live each day with a renewed commitment to faithfully follow and obey Him. Lord, we thank You for calling us out of the darkness, to repentance. Father, I pray that You would touch the heart of every sinner and make them willing to recognize their sinfulness and turn toward Christ in repentance and receive saving faith. I pray this in Jesus' Name, for Your glory and for His sake.

Today's Message: Great Expectations

As you may have noticed, we're moving much more quickly through the book of Mark than we did the book of Matthew, it's only been a little over six months, compared to over two years I believe we were in Matthew. As I said in the beginning, that's because Mark presents us with a fast paced, condensed version, of the significant events, which explains why it is the shortest of the four gospels. Mark does not give us every little detail, in order to get the full story, you need to also look at Matthew and Luke, because each of the Gospel's were written with a specific purpose in mind. 
For all intents and purposes, He has reached the end of His earthly ministry after leaving the temple complex in Jerusalem on Wednesday and went up the Mount of Olives, sitting opposite the temple, where He has been with His disciples, answering their question at the beginning of the chapter, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?," after He pronounced Judgment on the corrupt religious leaders and their false religious system, the temple and the city of Jerusalem. As we noted before, the heart of their burning question is "How soon are all these things that we anticipate going to happen? What is the sign we are to look for?" Again, this is the longest answer ever recorded in Scripture to any question asked of Jesus.
As we continue on our fascinating journey through the book of Mark, the passage before us is brief, yet it contains a very heavy subject in which our Lord is speaking in very graphic apocalyptic language on the details of His second coming, and all the things that will come to pass in His own words. We know from history, that much of what Jesus predicted has already come to pass, like the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., given that reality, we can be absolutely certain the things that have not yet come to pass, will, exactly as Scripture says, and it’s not going to be good. In fact, it’s going to be a very, very horrendous time for those who are alive and remaining on the earth. It is going to be devastating, worse than anything the world has ever known, it's the beginning of the end of human history!

Open our Bibles to Mark chapter 13. I trust you will be following along with me as I read to set the text in our minds, as we open our hearts to hear what the Spirit of God has to say to us today. Mark 13:24-27.
"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 that are in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven."
Let's look at verse 24, "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light." "But in those days, after that tribulation," we don’t know exactly when after, but He's setting the stage for the events that will occur at the end of the Tribulation time, the events triggered by the abomination of desolation. The word tribulation is the Greek word "thlípsis," means persecution, affliction, and distress, it carries with it the idea of being confined without options or feeling of being trapped with no way of escape. "the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light,"  Luke 21 says "There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken." In other words, their hearts will stop and they’re going to just drop dead unable to handle the inconceivable fear.
This is an incredible, very dramatic scene, where everything that has been held together by power of God for millennia, is literally beginning to become undone. The language here is borrowed from the prophet Joel, one of the most complete, vivid visions of the future recorded in the Old Testament of this ultimately redemptive event. When you read the book of Revelation; it tells us what to expect, saying there will come signs in the sky, this is in perfect agreement with the Old Testament. Joel 2:11, "The Lord utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it?" And in verse 31, "The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes." One of the best ways to understand the future, is by looking at the past. I believe that's why Satan is using Cancel Culture in part, to erase as much of the events of the past as possible, to keep people in darkness.
Verse 25, "and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens will be shaken." This will be a supernatural atmospheric disaster beyond anything we can imagine. After the sun goes dark, and the moon loses it's light, the stars held by power of God will begin careening through space, falling like the leaves of the trees. Some have suggested that the description of these signs are not meant to be taken literally. However, the Greek word for power is "dýnamis," which refers to a physical miraculous force, a term used 120 times in the New Testament. I believe Scripture is very clear, the entire universe is  going to literally, physically experience the Second Coming of Christ! Darkness is not referring to the absence of God or the presence of Satan, as some have suggested. Rather it's referring the presence of God in Judgment, God's divine judgment, as in the final Day of the Lord, when His final fury being unleashed on this world. That's why Hell, is referred to as the outer darkness. 
So, these amazing events are all setting the stage as promised by the Old Testament prophets, and we'll not go into all them, I'll just give you a few. Amos 5:20, "Will not the day of the Lord be darkness instead of light, even gloom with no brightness in it?" Zephaniah 1:14-15, "Near is the great day of the Lord, near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the Lord! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness." Genesis 15:12-15, "Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age." And there are a number of others in Exodus, Isaiah and Jeremiah to name a few.

Verse 26, "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory." When He appears in unveiled majesty and glory, surrounded by clouds, the whole world will know it, just as everything goes black, the stars, the sun, and the moon all go out, and there isn't going to be any human explanation for it. This is going to be a spectacular sight, like nothing the world has ever experienced! There have been some pretty difficult times throughout the history of the world, but can you imagine the utter shock and confusion when the whole world goes dark and the absolute chaos that will occur to communications, transportation, and infrastructure when this happens? No wonder Jesus said " For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will."
It reminds me of the story of Harry R. Truman, in the spring of 1980. Harry was the cantankerous 83-year-old owner and caretaker of a lodge at Spirit Lake, with 16 cats, near the base of Mount St. Helen, an active volcano in the state of Washington. Harry became a minor celebrity for his refusal to evacuate the area, scoffing at the geologist's warnings, claiming they were highly exaggerated. On May 18th, at 8:37 a.m. Mount St. Helen  exploded with the force of a 23-megaton atom bomb, with the pyroclastic flows, a fast moving hot gas, instantly reaching temperatures between 600 and 1800° F. The eruption was followed by a fifty-foot tall wave of mud that flattened everything within 150 square miles and a cloud of ash that covered everything to a depth of 150 feet. They never did find a trace of Harry, his cats, or his cabins. I can't help but to wonder what went through old Harry's mind in that millisecond before his death, when he realized he had gambled and lost, ignoring all the repeated warnings. That's the way it will be, for those who have scoffed at the preliminary warnings, ignoring all the signs throughout human history, when they look up and see THE SON OF MAN. Oh I hope you hear me and believe me when I say God’s patience with sin has a limit. When He came the first time, wicked and evil men judged and condemned Him; when He returns the second time, He will condemn and judge them!
Verse 27, "And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven." Angels are not only God’s messengers, they are His gatherers as well. Matthew says "And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other."
The angels will gather together God's elect from the four winds, meaning the north, east, south and west, those who are alive and have been scattered all over the earth, those who have believed during the tribulation, those who heard the two witnesses, heard the 144 thousand and are still hiding from the Antichrist. The Old Testament saints, along with the tribulation saints who died as martyrs will be joining their glorified bodies with their redeemed spirits. We'll all come together for the kingdom, the angels are making sure that nobody is left out. Only you can decide whether you're going to take part of the glory or are you going to be a part of the judgment and devastation. Tragically, there will be some people like Old Harry, who will just laugh at those of us who repeatedly warn them to repent and turn away from sin, and refuse to heed God’s Warning.

I pray that you'll be there, and you can be, but only if you personally know the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other way. Are you ready to meet the Lord? Ready or not, He's Coming, and it’s nearer than it’s ever been! 

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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