Title: Being ready for anything

Focus: As believers, we should always be mentally, emotionally, and realtionally ready for the coming of any challenge the world brings us so that we will be ready for the final return of Christ

Function: To motivate the hearers to encourage and build up those who suffer

Text: Mark 13:1-37

1.  Difficult thing to get family ready in the morning
	a.  Goes great when everything is laid out and ready night before
	b.  When it is not, kids say, “Mom!”
	c.  They never say, “Dad!” because Dad is also saying, “Mom”
2.  When we not ready, we wind up being late, and missing something
3.  This morning’s text says something about getting ready (Matt 13)
4.  Jesus gives some details to forewarn and get them ready
	a.  (v.9-13) - Warns them of general persecution
	b.  (v.14-23) - He relates some signs of the coming destruction
		1) Abomination of Desolation
			a) 68 A.D. Zealots occupied the temple
			b) Moved about freely in the Holy of Holies
			c) 70 A.D. temple destroyed
		2) Anyone that not know better
			a) Would flee to the temple
			b) This time, temple not a safe place, it object of wrath
			c) Birth Pangs, common prophetic language for judgment
			    (Jer 13:21; 22:23; 49:24; Hos 13:13; Mic 4:10)
		3) Apocalyptic Language (vivid, poetic imagery)
			a) (Mic 1:1-6) - Lord’s coming - Judgement and Salvation
			b) (Am 8:4-10) - Sun go down at noon = destruction
			c) Same language used for destruction of Babylon (Is 13) 
			     and for the destruction of Egypt (Ezek 32)
			d) (v.30) - Generation not pass until these things happen
		4)  Parable of the Fig Tree
			a)  Visible signs that destruction is near
			b)  But don’t know the exact time
	c.  What this have to do with you or I?  (1 Thess 5:1-11)
		1) The Lord has “come” for judgement before
			- He did so in 722 B.C., 587 B.C., then 70 A.D.
		2)  Paul Paul is talking about the final coming (4:13-18)
			a) But uses many of same imagery (birth pangs)
			b) Adds the image of the “theif in the night”
	d.  On practical level, Paul has same exhortations as Jesus
		1)  This was to instruct believers to be ready
		2)  Whether it is persecutions or the final coming, we need to be ready
		3)  How can we be ready?

I.  Must be ready mentally (v.9-13)
	A.  Jesus says, “do not be misled”
		1.  Easiest to be misled when world out of control
		2.  Everyone will be looking for a Messiah
		3.  World will gladly provide one
	B.  Mentally ready for unthinkable to happen (temple’s destruction)
		1.  We in shock when 9-11 happened
			a.  What if the capital or White House were hit?
			b.  Before 9-11, it was unthinkable
			c.  Many end-times prophets imaginations went wild
		2.  Why does tragedy cause such a loss of mental equilibrium?
			a.  If not used to it
			b.  Things not supposed to be this way, what is wrong???
			c.  Where was God - Some false Messiah says, over here!
		3.  With loss of mental equlibrium, deception can take place
			a.  People will frantically clamor for a savior
				- Modern Day Messiahs
				- Science, Philosophy, Governement, etc.
		4.  So Jesus says, “do not be misled”
	C.  ILL:  Conditioning
		1.  Different types of conditioning
		2.  In Military, we conditioned to wake up to revelry
		3.  Tech school, used recording of it to get them up, and it worked
	D.  Jesus has been conditioning his disciples to expect hardship
		1.  Ministry was filled with unger, long days walking, opposition
		2.  He is preparing them for it getting worse (birth pangs)
		3.  Must be mentally ready
		4.  (1 Pet 5:8-10) -  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the 
		        devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

II.  Must also be ready emotionally (v.9-13)
	A.  Jesus tells them not to fear
		1.  These things “must” take place
		2.  World not out of control, it is all according to plan
		3.  Fear will cause you to do things you normally wouldn’t
	B.  Jesus didn’t say you “might” suffer
		1.  Jesus own example one of hardship
		2.  Can his followers expect the same, or expect blessings?
		3.  (1 Pet 4:12-13)
			a.  Suffering is the model, not a “strange thing”
			b.  Rejoice that you can share in his sufferings
		4.  (1 Pet 4:1) - “Arm” yourself with same purpose
			a.  How is it “arming?”
			b.  If you don’t have this “purpose” will go awol
			c.  If mentally and emotionally ready, will stand up to it
	C.  ILL:  “Campaign” in Paducah
		1.  In devo’s getting ready, we talked about military “campaign”
		2.  P.J. Jones, devo, Yea, some areas in town is a war zone
		3. Could even get killed, but what better way to die
		4.  As parents, we might disagree, but what an inspiration
	D.  Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it
		1.  We may not be facing death/danger, but challenge still there
		2.  What are your fears?
			a.  What if someone say faith in Jesus is the most stupid, 
			     arrogant, assonine thing he every heard of?
			b.  Do you scurry away under a rock?
			c.  Do you pray, even in public?
		3.  Ever been called a party pooper?
		4.  With mental and emotional readiness, we claim allegiance to 
		     Christ without a second thought

III.  Need to be ready Relationally
	A.  Paul emphasize this in his teaching on the ultimate end time
	B.  Encourage and build up one another (1 Thess 5:11)
		1.  Can’t edify without mental and emotional readiness
			a.  Tendency would be to despise suffering - It not natural
			b.  Will distance self from suffering
			c.  Job’s friends a classic example of this
				- Job must have been a bad boy
				- Their theology messed up
				- God is not punishing when suffering happens
			d.  But Bible says to expect suffering and persecution
		2.  If ready, will be able to edify and encourage persecuted
			a.  Instead of “why?” will be empowered to rejoice
			b.  Will not ask, “what did he do to deserve this?”
			c.   Jas 1:2 - Consider it all joy...
			d.  Not meant to tear down, but build up
		3.  (2 Thess 1:3-4) - Paul builds up those who were persecution
		4.  This is why family is so important
			a.  Jesus says that family will turn against you
			b.  But we have another family, our brethren (3:33; 10:29)
			c.  If we are not close-knit family, will isolate and destroy
	C.  ILL:  Many widows in early church widows due to husband’s faith
		1.  Some would call these men immoral
		2.  Because he would not recant, he killed, left family with nothing
		3.  But they are cared for by the church!
			a.  The church was ready for every good deed
			b.  They did not hesitate to comfort, build up, encourage
	D.  What kind of support system do we have?
		1.  Ought to let persecuted know we proud of them as Paul did
		2.  Need to honor them and encourage them

1.  So we need to always be ready for hardships, persecutions, and the final coming
	Mentally, emotionally, and relationally
2.  If you are ready in this way, then we are  prepared for the final coming
3.  (1 Thess 5:8, 11) - What readiness involves
	a.  Being alert, sober (mentally, emotionally, and relationally)
	b.  Faith - Trust in God
		Col 4:2 ¶ Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude 
		of thanksgiving;
	c.  Love - Love for God and one another
		Titus 3:1 to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be 
		 peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
	d.  Hope of Salvation - Expectation of delieverance, will not fear death
4.  Therefore - Encourage and Edify

5.  Invitation:  Are you Ready?
	a.  Morning is coming, only way to be ready is to be ready night before
	b.  Have you prepared for his coming