Question #50

What about Mark 13:32?

I would like to know some scripture comparisons to Mark 13:32. Why did Jesus say what he said in that verse?

The Answer:

Mark 13:32 is specifically paralleled in Matthew 24:36. Luke parallels the context, but not the specific verse, beginning in Luke 21:29. Matthew and Mark use similar language. In the beginning of Matthew 23, Jesus had predicted the destruction of Jerusalem with not one temple stone left upon another. Matthew 24:3 records that this led the disciples to ask three questions: 1) When shall these things be? 2) What shall be the sign of thy coming? and 3) [what shall be the sign] of the end of the earth? Jesus answers the first question through verse 34. The signs given prior to verse 34 must relate to the destruction of Jerusalem. That they do not signify the end of the earth is evident, since verse 34 states that the generation then living would not pass away until those all of those signs had been fulfilled.

Verse 35 connects the first two questions to the third. Just as Jerusalem shall pass away, so shall the heavens and the earth. The only thing that is certain and shall remain is the word of the Lord, i.e., that which he had just predicted and that which he is about to predict will most certainly come to pass!

But of that day (the end of the earth), there will be no sign. Moreover, no one except the Father knows when that passing shall occur. The angels don’t know. The Son doesn’t even know. All we are told is that the coming of the Son of Man will be like the coming of the flood in the days of Noah. Men and women will be going about their daily lives oblivious to the destruction that is upon them.

The message is clear: 42 Watch therefore: for ye know not on what day your Lord cometh. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken through. 44 Therefore be ye also ready; for in an hour that ye think not the Son of man cometh. Matthew 24:42-44.

The surprising thing to many is that the Son does not know the time of his second coming. While the “Son” and his being placed alongside the Father say something about his divine nature, it also predicates something about his human nature. In their oneness, the three members of the Godhead know all things knowable; however, in his humiliation the Son did not use his divine attributes save as he needed them in his mediatorial work. That is why he did not know the date of his second coming. How he restricted the use of his omniscience is a mystery; the fact that he did so is beyond dispute.


God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)