Matthew 10:21-22 ESV
“Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”
When Jesus sent out his 12 disciples to the lost sheep of Israel to proclaim, “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand,” he gave them all sorts of instructions for their journey (Matthew 10). One of the things he told them was, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (v. 16). And that is great counsel for us today, too. For that is our situation, as well.
We live in a day and age when the love of many is growing cold, and when the gospel that Jesus taught and that his New Testament apostles taught is being rejected as “hate speech,” or as legalism and works salvation. And many people professing faith in Jesus Christ have accepted a diluted and altered “cheap grace” gospel as the truth while rejecting the truth as lies. They don’t want to hear the truth. It is “too negative” for them.
The modern market-driven “churches” of today in America, and social media, have dumbed down many professing Christians to reject the hard truths of the Scriptures and to want to hear only things which are pleasing to their ears. They want the resurrection without the cross, i.e. without death to sin first. And they want the promises of God without the conditions. For they want to hear, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.
And since what is called “church” in America is largely not the church, the body of Christ, but it is comprised of human originated organizations and businesses of men, largely under the headship of church denominations, and largely incorporated under the state, the whole concept of biblical church has pretty much been obliterated as has the teaching of the truth of the gospel, and so many people are following the teachings of man rather than of Christ.
And so what this is saying here is indeed happening, even in America, at least to some extent. People are being encouraged to turn in their fellow Christians, neighbors, friends, and/or family members if they are saying anything that might be regarded as unacceptable to whatever human stipulations have been decided are acceptable. Now, to some degree, this needs to take place, but this should be handled in a biblical manner.
But already people within these institutional market-driven churches are being encouraged to hand over anyone who is not following the market-driven goals and purpose, but who is following the Scriptures and the Lord Jesus Christ, instead. And on social media we are being encouraged to report people all the time who say something we don’t like. But, again, to some degree this is necessary when people are being truly hateful.
But the more that professing Christians are being influenced by these market-driven “churches,” and by social media and their memes, the more that they are taking on the thinking of the world and of those whose goal it is to destroy the truth of the gospel for the purpose to lead people away from genuine faith in Jesus Christ. And so, like Paul (when he was Saul), they will be convinced that they are doing right by rising against those who are genuine followers of Jesus Christ who are teaching the gospel truth.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And what this is teaching us is that our salvation will not be complete until the end and only if we endure and if we persevere in our walks of faith and obedience to our Lord. For if we walk according to the flesh, and sin is our practice, we will not inherit eternal life with God. But if we walk according to the Spirit, in holiness and righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, then we have the hope of eternal life with God if we continue in that walk until the very end.
[Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 11:17-24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24]
Matthew 10:26-28 ESV
“So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Jesus said that as he was hated and treated so we also will be hated and treated. So, if we are following Christ in obedience to his ways, and if we are doing and saying the kinds of things that he did and said, then we should expect to be hated and mistreated as he was hated and mistreated, and by the same types of people, i.e. the religious who go to “church” and who profess faith in Christ but who deny him by their deeds.
These enemies of God who are wolves in sheep’s clothing and who put on a display of righteousness – much like the Pharisee’s of Jesus’ day, only not so much in a legalistic way but more in a way of faking Christianity while living in sin – they are against those of us who take God’s word seriously and who take moral purity seriously. And they are against teachings on repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord.
Yet, some of them may mention repentance, obedience, and/or submission, but it is often with a twist or coupled with a lie to where it takes away from the true meanings of those words or to where it minimizes the importance of them with regard to our salvation and eternal life with God. Most of them, it would appear, have gotten away from those words and don’t even mention the word sin, many times, but have changed sin to “I messed up.”
So, if we are teachers of the true gospel, and if we are teaching against sin, and if we are calling sin what it really is, which is rebellion against God, and if we are calling people to turn away from their sinful practices to follow our Lord in obedience and in surrender to his ways, then we are going to be hated, rejected, and persecuted for righteousness’ sake. And some of our enemies may be others who profess to be Christians, too.
But we are not to fear other humans and what they can do to us or say about us or to us. Remember with me that Jesus’ enemies were continually hounding and harassing him, and they were continually trying to trip him up with his words so that they would have cause to accuse him falsely. And they did accuse him falsely, and they had him falsely arrested, and they did put him to death on a cross even though he had done no wrong.
And we are going to face the same kind of treatment, if we are not already, but many of us already know what this feels like. But we must keep trusting the Lord and give our reputations over to him and be willing to have people think evil of us when we have done no evil. And we must keep on speaking the truth and calling out sin and calling out false teachings and teachers and talking about obedience and righteous and holy living.
And we must keep telling people that true salvation from sin involves walks of obedience to our Lord and perseverance in those walks of faith until the very end. And we must keep telling them that if they continue in habitual and deliberate sin against the Lord that they will not inherit eternal life with God (see group of verse references posted above). And even if it appears no one is listening or that all have turned away, we must keep on speaking the truth. And one day we will get to be with our Lord for eternity.
[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Acts 1:8; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]
Sweet Beulah Land
By Squire Parsons
I’m kind of homesick for a country
To which I’ve never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won’t matter anymore.
I’m looking now, just across the river
To where my faith, shall end in sight
There’s just a few more days to labor.
Then I will take my heavenly flight.
Beulah Land I’m longing for you
And some day on thee I’ll stand
There my home shall be eternal
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land
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