Steve Ellison: Endurance

Thursday, July 9, 2020 - by Steve Ellison

Currently, there are many things for a person to be legitimately concerned about. You will note that I am walking a fine line there. Concerned okay, but afraid? Worried about? Anxious about? The Bible does not really allow for the one who is in Christ to be afraid, worried, or anxious. Rather, we are commanded to pray and trust God.  If God is sovereign, every single thing that happens has passed through at least His permissive will, if not His divine will.

Therefore, I can have certainty that anything and everything that happens to me is for my benefit. That is encouraging and humbling all at the same time.

It seems to me that Jesus’ words in Mark 13:5-13 are pertinent now, See to it that no one misleads you.  6 Many will come in My name, saying, 'I am [He]!' and will mislead many.  7 "When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.  8 For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

9 But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.  10 The gospel must first be preached to all the nations.  11 When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.  12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.  13 You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. (NASU)

I see two commands “See to it that no one misleads you” in verse 5 and “Be on your guard” in verse 9.  See to it that no one misleads you is pretty tough to do right now. In fact, apart from the Holy Spirit, it cannot be done. Verse 6 narrows the focus of the command a bit. Clearly, the main point is to not be mislead by those falsely claiming to be the divine messiah.  Most modern translations include the word “He” after “I am”.  However, the original language plainly speaks of the one misleading claiming to be divine.  You also notice that this passage is a close description of current events.  You also noted that this is no indication that the end is near.  So, perhaps we need to get used to it.

The second command, “Be on your guard”, instructs us not to be surprised when persecution comes.  We are further instructed to be ready to give our testimony to our persecutors regarding the character and nature of the one true God in the power of the Holy Spirit. That will be a powerful and painful blessed opportunity. Do not pass over the very sober warning in verse 13, “You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”  Endurance is not a condition for being saved but rather a consequence of being saved. If you think that lets us off the hook, you are wrong.  What the Bible says, is that if we do not endure to the end, we were never saved in the beginning. I urge you to examine yourself to see if you are in the faith. The Bible indicates that many wrongly assume they are, when they are not.


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