The Coming End Part 2
And then the end will come. This should cause us to stop and think for a moment because the end will come and just like stories that we read or movies that we watch, events happen all the way up to the very end. Please read Matthew 24:9-14 as Jesus tells his disciples three things that will happen before the end comes. First, people who believe in Jesus Christ will be persecuted for their faith in him. Second, believers must endure the persecution they experience if they are going to be saved. And finally, as a result of going through and enduring persecution those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ will tell others the good news of the kingdom of God. As believers experience persecution for their faith in Jesus Christ some will be killed others will experience a systematic loss of property, personal freedoms and even be thrown into prison. The testing of some people’s faith in Jesus Christ will reveal that they were never genuine disciples of Jesus to begin with because they will betray other believers and practice lawlessness. Jesus tells his disciples that the one who endures to the end will be saved. Those who endure such persecution have truly been born again from God. God is the author of salvation from beginning to end, the only thing that any of us add to salvation is our sin. The author of Ecclesiastes writes: “I know that everything God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of him.” (Ecc. 3:14) God works in the life of his disciple. To give the disciple of Jesus encouragement, the author of Hebrews writes, “For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised.” (Hebrews 10:36) Saul of Tarsus used to persecute believers who followed the Lord Jesus Christ until he had a life changing encounter with the risen Lord Jesus himself. From that moment on he helped the Church to spread the good news of the kingdom around the known world. He would go on to suffer for Christ and endure to the end of his life. You can read about his sufferings for Jesus Christ in 2 Corinthians 11:16-33. How can a believer in Christ endure such persecution and spread the good news of the kingdom at the same time? The answer is Christ in you. It was Christ Jesus living his life in and through Paul that caused and helped Paul to endure. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans that afflictions will help produce in endurance, and endurance will produce character and character will produce hope. (Romans 5:3-4) God the Father has sealed every believer in Christ Jesus with the promised Holy Spirit who will help Christians to grow in their faith. Christ in you is how you will endure to the end.