Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Learn To Endure Opposition

In review of Matthew 10:22 it says, “He who endures to the end will be saved.”

Bottom Line:
The one who endures to the end will be saved.

What this means to me:
I need to understand that I may be disliked and hated because I believe in Him, however, He tells me that if I endure and remain faithful till the end, I will be saved.

We are sent out as sheep among wolves. Therefore we are to be shrewd as snakes and as harmless as doves. But we should be aware that we will be handed over to the courts and flogged, because we are his followers. Family will betray us, and even entire nations will hate us because we follow Jesus. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.

Jesus was telling us, his followers, that the opposition of the Pharisees would be like ravaging wolves. Our only hope would be to look to our Shepherd for protection. So I may face similar hostility. Like the disciples, I am not to be sheeplike in my attitude but sensible and prudent. I am not to be a gullible pawn, nor a deceitful conniver. I must find a balance between wisdom and vulnerability to accomplish God's work.

What I’m learning is that living for God often brings on persecution, but with it comes the opportunity to tell the Good News of salvation. I don't need to worry about what to say, for at the right time God will give me the right words. It will be the Spirit of God speaking through me.

This doesn't mean that I don't have to prepare to present the Good News because God will take care of everything. Rather scripture teaches me that I am to make carefully prepared, and thoughtful statements. Jesus is not telling me to stop preparing, but to stop worrying about it.

In times of persecution, I can be confident because Jesus has "overcome the world". And those who endure to the end will be saved. Enduring to the end itself is not a way to be saved but will be the evidence that a person is really committed to Jesus. Persistence is not a means to earn salvation; it is the by-product of a truly devoted life.

Overall I can be confident that Jesus, the Messiah, has already begun his Kingdom on earth in the hearts of his followers. One day the Kingdom will be fully realized. Then evil will be destroyed and all people will live in peace with one another.