The One Who Endures

Matthew 10:16-22 ESV

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 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.”

These were our Lord’s specific instructions to a select group of disciples at a specific time in history and at a precise location and of a particular culture. Yet all Scripture is of God and is profitable to us for our instruction and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). So, there is something we can learn from this to be applied to our own lives. And then we can compare this with other teachings of Jesus that we know were meant to be applied to us, as well, and so we can see that much of this applies to us, too.

For we know the Scriptures teach us who believe in Jesus that Jesus didn’t just call us to be separate (unlike, different) from the world, because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ, but he called us to go out into the world with the gospel, to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations, teaching them to obey our Lord’s commands. For we are to be God’s holy people, who are to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness (sin) into his wonderful light (righteousness) (see 1 Peter 2:9).

But if we are true followers of Christ, and if what we are sharing is the full gospel message, and not the diluted and altered “gospel” which is so popular today, then we must understand that our Lord is sending us out with his gospel as sheep in the midst of wolves, and that many of those wolves are dressed in sheep’s clothing. In other words, there are many people out there claiming to be Christians and teachers of the Word, but they are not servants of righteousness, for they are spreading lies to lead people astray.

Therefore, if we are participating in institutional churches, which are partnered with the government, many of which today are market-driven businesses of men called “church,” then we should be prepared that we may encounter these wolves in sheep’s clothing, and the sheep who are following them, and we may indeed be asked to leave, or we may be invited out of small groups or out of these “church” gatherings, for so many of them are not teaching the truth of the gospel, and so they won’t really want us there.

So, if we are confronted, because what we are sharing as the gospel message does not align itself with what most appear to be teaching as the gospel today, then we are not to fear what we are to say in response. But we are to pray, and we are to trust the Lord Jesus to give us the words to say. And it may not be in a “church” gathering that you face such opposition, but it could be in a casual gathering with others who profess faith in Jesus, or on the internet, and even on some “Christian” sites or on social media.

But, as followers of Christ, we need to know what the Scriptures teach regarding these last days before the return of Christ, for they are getting worse and worse. And what is largely being passed off as the gospel today does not agree with the gospel that Jesus taught and died for, and that his New Testament apostles taught, too. And so if we are holding on to the truth of the gospel, and if that is what we are sharing, in its fullness, then we are likely to be hated and rejected even by others professing Christ as Lord.

For what is largely being taught is that we can make a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ, have all our sins forgiven, and now heaven is guaranteed us when we die, regardless of how we live. But Jesus said if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if we die with Christ to sin and live to his righteousness, we have eternal life.

And the gospel Jesus preached taught us that it is the one who endures to the end who will be saved. And he and the apostles taught that if we walk in sin, and if righteousness and obedience to our Lord are not our practice, that we will not inherit eternal life. So, we must be those who are dying to sin and living to God, and who are not deliberately and habitually sinning against the Lord. And then we must continue in walks of holiness and righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, until the end, to be saved.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Wherever He Leads I’ll Go

By B.B. McKinney

“Take up thy cross and follow Me,”
I heard my Master say
“I gave My life to ransom thee
Surrender your all today.”

He drew me closer to His side
I sought His will to know
And in that will I now abide
Wherever He leads I’ll go

My heart, my life, my all I bring
To Christ who loves me so
He is my Master, Lord, and King
Wherever He leads I’ll go

Wherever He leads I’ll go
Wherever He leads I’ll go
I’ll follow my Christ who loves me so
Wherever He leads I’ll go

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