*Sermon for 11.14.21 Text: Mark 13:1-13 Theme: Built to last*
*In the Name of the Father…Amen.*
*The Gospel lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.*
*Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father through our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.*
*Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:*
*A Miktam of David.* Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink
offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs
I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I
shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness
of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
*So why are we always shocked when cars break down, or bodies, for that
*Don’t they always? *
*Or why are we surprised when the house that was always on that
corner—though, obviously, it wasn’t always there—but why are we surprised
when it’s not? *
*Or everything you see, sit on, or lean on in the whole world? *
*For one reason or another we trust in things on earth and this is not just
*Maybe we secretly think that if we believe in them enough, we can make
them stay—by faith. *
*St. Paul told us that the things that we can’t see yet are permanent,
whereas the things we can see now are temporary. *
*“Yes,” says my heart, “but you can see them.” *
*To little people like us, whatever you can see, in spite of everything we
know, it can seem like it’s forever.*
*Especially if it’s impressive at all—like, say, oh, the Roman Empire or
cancer or a Mercedes-Benz—it takes your mind away, until we can reason,
contrary to all experience, “It’s here today; ergo, it won’t be gone
*Well, the disciples were little guys like us, and when they came to the
big city and saw the temple in Jerusalem, it took their breath away. *
*Naturally. It was enormous and gorgeous, built by King Herod with all his
money and power, earthly to the max. *
*But beyond that, it was one of the best things earth ever produced. *
*God used it. *
*God met people there. *
*It was the house he chose to live in for a while. *
*If anything on earth was impressive, that was it. *
*And when those small-town fellows from up in Galilee saw it, they were as
awed as any country boy staring up at the Simmons Tower. *
*It seemed as invulnerable as the State Capitol building. *
*It seemed as solid as the earth, or as solid as the earth seems until
*Really, when you look at anything, cars or bodies or temples or planets,
the question isn’t “Can I see it?” The question is “Is it built to last?”*
*1. Not the world or anything from it, not anymore.*
*A. In the beginning, all earthly things—including us—were built to
1. By this we know God’s will.
a. Not destruction,
b. But everlasting joy.
2. Because of this, we still expect things to last
a. It’s what we ourselves were made for.
b. It’s the nature of the world we were made to live in.
*B. But nothing from earth is built to last now.*
1. Everything from earth perishes, to our shock and
2. Even the best and greatest from earth is doomed: “Do
you see these great buildings?” (verse 2).
3. In this, we have a warning and a preview of the end
of all things.
a. Earthly peace perishes: “wars” (verses7–8a).
b. The ground is shaking already: “earthquakes” (verse
c. The skies are undependable; crops fail: “famines”
d. Inevitably, earth and everything on it will be swept
away: “These are but the beginning of the birth
pains” (verse 8c).
4. Things don’t last because human sin has brought
God’s curse on all fallen creation—including our natural lives.
a. Your life is a mist, a vapor that appears for a
b. As God turns us back to dust,
c. As the beginning of judgment.
*What am I saying? *
*Don’t earthly things matter at all? *
*Aren’t they real? *
*Of course, they are. *
*We can see them. *
*We can see them all leaving**. *
*Is anything built to last?*
*2. Jesus Christ is built to last.*
*A. He was born everlasting.*
He is, from his conception, everything we were made to be.
A sinless man, like Adam before the fall, and therefore,
An immortal man, like Adam before the fall: the permanent man.
He is from before his conception the eternal Son of God.
In him the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily (Colossians 2:9).
The God-man is the everlasting temple,
Of which the splendid temple in Jerusalem was just a shadow.
That’s what was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple (verse
How strange: A temple looking at a temple!
How strange that one man, sitting on the ground, was greater than all those
Only Jesus Christ is built to last.
How strange that his flesh and blood was more permanent than all those
Tell me, which one *looked* more enduring?
To his own disciples, which one seemed more impressive at the moment?
They told him, “Look, Teacher, isn’t it incredible?”
But that teacher from Galilee sitting there, with his little followers
looking at the best thing the world ever made—*he* was God’s real house,
holy and everlasting, looking at a little model that was doomed, like the
Only Jesus Christ is built to last.
But then *he* died too, like everything else.
*C. The everlasting man was born to be destroyed.*
As if he were fallen and sinful, like everything we see, including
To bear Judgment Day ahead of time, the whole world’s curse in his body.
To bring the end of the world on his everlasting self, instead of on us.
Soon enough, the temple in Jerusalem was turned to rubble, just like what
happened to the old McDonalds here in town.
It was a great building, for a moment; then there was not left one stone
But that ruin was nothing as terrible as the ruin left hanging on the
The end of the whole world couldn’t be as horrifying as the end of Jesus
Christ, when the living temple of God everlasting was destroyed in front of
Tell me, what score doesn’t that settle?
What sin doesn’t that pay for?
What curse, what doom, what judgment isn’t swallowed up in that
No matter how stained, how doomed, no matter how we’ve sinned, God’s death
puts paid to it all.
And Christ is risen!
*E. The everlasting man was raised. “Destroy this temple, and I will raise
it again in three days” (John 2:19 NIV).*
Built to last. Christ, being raised from the dead, cannot die again; he is
the permanent man.
Built to last. As the Son of God, he continues forever, the same yesterday,
today, and forever.
Built to last. He is holy and immortal, the everlasting temple of God.
The only permanent thing in all creation.
And he’s here to make us permanent again.
Who would’ve thought those little disciples would wind up indestructible
and glorious, long after that temple was dust?
* 3. Jesus Christ rebuilds us to last.*
*He rebuilds us by his Word, Spirit, and life.*
That’s why the Gospel must be proclaimed to all the dying nations (verse
That’s why the Holy Spirit is still speaking that Gospel to us and through
us (verse 11).
That vanishing people may be reborn of imperishable seed.
Through faith alone: Whoever believes has eternal life.
*Jesus Christ, the everlasting temple, makes us everlasting stones. “You
yourselves like living stones are being built up” (1 Peter 2:5).*
We receive from him the life we were built for in the first place: holy,
with his holiness; immortal, with his immortality.
Already in our souls: *“Everyone who lives and believes in me shall never
die” (John 11:26).*
And soon in our bodies: *“Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall
he live” (John 11:25). *
Raised, like his glorious body, powerful, imperishable.
More than Adam in Eden: indestructible, like living stones.
So that while everything we see disappears, the world around us, rushing
past like waves over rocks, and everything temporary about each of us—don’t
These suffering bodies, with their cancers and their pains!
The last bit of sinfulness inside us!
What we can’t see yet is built to last.
Our own resurrection.
Our own reborn souls.
Therefore, as living stones, stay in the temple that lasts.
No matter what pretends to matter:
“And Jesus began to say to them, *‘See that no one leads you astray. Many
will come in my name, saying, “I am he!” ’ ” (verses 5–6).*
And the world will always be saying, “I am it!”
Only Jesus has the words of eternal life.
*3. Jesus Christ rebuilds us to last.*
No matter what else disappears:
Our peaceful lives: *“But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over
to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues” (verse 9)*—but Christ is
built to last.
Our friends: *“You will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (verse 13)*—but
Christ is built to last.
Our family ties: *“Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the
father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put
to death” (verse 12)—*but Christ is built to last.
Our own bodies: *“over to death . . . put to death” (verse 12)*—but Christ
is built to last.
The ground, the skies, the universe (verse 8)—but Christ built *us* to last.
*Everything we see is disappearing while we watch, but not you: *
you were judged on his cross and raised by his Gospel.
The one who endures to the end will be saved, and that’s you, dear brother,
dear sister, in Christ, in whom he has built you to last, to the end and
*through* the end, into the world without end.
Everything else comes and goes: don’t lean on it.
Don’t chase it into the air.
And don’t be alarmed; whether it be pleasures and property, sorrows and
sins—we can see them all leaving.
But stand, you precious stone, in Christ, until you see what’s ahead.
Everything else that’s here today, you can bet will be gone tomorrow, but
all the while, in Jesus Christ, you are being built together into a
dwelling place for God. In him the whole building is rising into a holy
temple in the risen Lord (Ephesians 2:19–21).
*And any minute now, all the scaffolding is going to disappear with a roar.
When Christ, who is our life, appears, we also are going to appear with him
in glory, and holy angels are going to shout in amazement at what he’s made
of us, “Look! What wonderful stones!”
But we, when we see him face-to-face, when we see him as he is, God in
flesh, our Brother, destroyed and raised for us, then with angels and
archangels and all the company of heaven, we’re going to shout in amazement
at the splendor, the glory, and the wonder of the temple built to last
forever and ever and ever, Jesus Christ himself.
*Let us pray**:*
*Thanks be unto You, Lord Jesus, for Your bitter sufferings, Your shameful
death, and Your joyous resurrection. *
*Enlighten our eyes to see in You the way unto life.*
*Uphold us by Your truth, so we may not fall into idolatry and false
worship, and preserve us in the true faith unto eternal life. *
*2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of
God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.*
*The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and
minds in Christ Jesus. Amen. *
*In the Name of the Father…Amen.*