In a number of places in scripture, we are told that “he who endures to the end shall be saved.” What does that mean? What does enduring look like?
Matthew 24:12-14 (NKJV)
12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Okay, here we see the spiritual love connection. That’s why it’s so important to live God’s love. That’s what God looks for in us, so hold fast to that love.
Mark 13:12-13 (NKJV)
12 Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.13 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who]endures to the end shall be saved.
Jesus actually gives encouragement here, showing that we must endure persecution just like He did. The spiritual reality is that we will be persecuted, and that’s something we need to cope with just like Jesus, our example, did. What hurts is that betrayal by physical family members. How many of you have endured this already? I know I did. My mother would not speak to me for six months because God led me outside her religious comfort zone.
2 Timothy 4:3 (NKJV)
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
I’m sure you know some who are always seeking to learn new things, whether they are within Godly parameters or not. Let’s understand that scripture is spiritually discerned. That means no teaching of man can guide you into spiritual truth like God the Holy Spirit surely can.
James 1:12 (NKJV)
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Trials are part of the believer’s walk. To endure them means we need to stick close to God and His ways no matter the temptation. Remember satan’s act of futility in Matthew 4 when he tried to get Jesus to change spiritual sides? Jesus relied on scripture to make His points, and He refused to bow down and worship the devil. When you think about it, Jesus was fully God and fully man when He walked among us. Can you see how silly it was of satan to try to tempt God? Besides, there was a timing issue involved. When the devil offered Christ the kingdoms of this world, they were already His, but for a time yet future. Satan must have mistakenly thought that conditionally giving them to Jesus would make a difference.
So, what does it look like to endure to the end? It requires us to live God’s love and be Him to those He sends across our path. It requires focus on God and His plan, ways and timing. It requires our faithfully keeping our eyes on Jesus. It requires really believing in Jesus’ promises that we will be saved if we endure to the end. It requires us exercising Godly character so that we continue on God’s path. It requires commitment and zeal in the face of obstacles, ones that by ourselves we can’t handle but with God’s empowerment and help, we surely can. In short, it requires us transcending the physical just like Jesus did and does.
Pray with me: Father God, help all who are Yours to endure to the end so that we may be saved. Help us make needed changes so that we live within Your parameters. Help us to know You more and better so that we understand Your working in our lives. Help us to live Your love. In Jesus’ name, amen.
copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved