April 1, 2012

The Day of God’s Visitation

The temple sermon is a warning to us, that our churches do not become a den of robbers, listen to the lying pen of scholars, or proclaim a false peace.

Scripture: Mark 11:1-25

Sermon Notes:

  1. Up to this point in Mark’s Gospel, the disciples have been struggling with Jesus’ teaching on suffering, servanthood, and discipleship.
  2. In Mark 11, Jesus both cleanses and curses the temple. Jesus has come not to simply reform or cleanse the temple, but to judge it (cf. Malachi 3, Mark 13).
  3. What Jesus does in cursing the fig tree is what He does to the temple: May no-one ever eat of your fruit again.
  4. Jesus brings a halt to the temple worship, stopping people from offering tithes and sacrifices.
  5. Jesus now preaches from Isaiah 56 and Jeremiah 7, proclaiming the temple a house of prayer for all nations and condemning the corrupt practices of the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.
  6. From Isaiah 56:6-8, Jesus welcomes the Gentiles to come to worship.
  7. Jesus has been ministering to the outcast in the book of Mark; now in the temple’s Gentile court He overturns commerce that they may worship.
  8. From Jeremiah 7-8, Jesus preaches condemnation on corrupt practices in the temple.
  9. The temple sermon is a warning to us, that our churches do not become a den of robbers, listen to the lying pen of scholars, or proclaim a false peace.
  10. Many evangelicals are drifting toward ignoring God’s Word.
  11. The Lord’s watchmen are blind, unable to sound a warning (Isaiah 56:10).
  12. Jesus is again inspecting His churches in Canada (cf. Rev. 2:23).
  13. To His disciples, Jesus preaches a word of comfort and exhortation (Mark 11:22-25).
  14. Jesus’ answer to our concern about the withered church is: have faith in God.
  15. We tend to read God’s Word in a self-centered and individualistic way.
  16. But Jesus is calling us to corporate prayer; we’re to pray in faith that God moves mountains.
  17. The call to us today is to revive the church and to reform society.
  18. God’s name is blasphemed across Canada: His will is denied and His Word is rejected.
  19. We must pray that God would revive the church and reform the culture, that the glory of the Lord may be revealed.
  20. God speaks and we have faith in God…it is a big vision. There are many obstacles and we’re in it for the long haul.
  21. We need to be united in corporate prayer as we grow in our calling as a church: be united in prayer and be gracious with one-another.
  22. We may be called to serve our brothers and sisters in the broader church.
  23. We don’t know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.
  24. Let us draw near to God with hearts of faith (Heb. 10:23; cf. Rev. 3:20)

Application Questions:

  1. What was the significance of Jesus’ curse of the fig tree?
  2. What was Jesus’ broader salvation message signified by cleansing the outer temple court?
  3. How is theological liberalism and antinomianism making us blind to the real hurt and brokenness in the world?
  4. Are we guilty of proclaiming peace to broken families and broken sexuality?
  5. How should we apply Jesus’ words in Mark 11:22-25 to ourselves, in terms of both comfort and exhortation?
  6. What are some of the corrupt practices Jesus would cleanse from the church in Canada today? How can we be part of that cleansing?
  7. Outline specific aspects of the vision that we are corporately praying for, that God’s glory and salvation be revealed in Canada.
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