What To Do
October 8, 2020
Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved (Matthew 10:21-22).
As stated yesterday, “Facing persecution has been, and will always be inescapable for the Christian and the Christian church. This is not a deterrent for witnessing and ministry, but a motivation to continue to press the Gospel to others.”
Jesus spoke of another aspect of persecution - not coming from the ‘outside’ (government), but from the ‘inside’ (family). We don’t have much evidence in Scripture of this type of persecution actually happening (unless you consider Jesus’ family calling Him crazy and attempting to restrain Him - Mark 3:21). And it would seem that family ties would be so strong that it would seem almost impossible that such persecution would happen.
Yet history proves this has been often done. In many places in the world if a person becomes a Christian the family will turn away from that person, even to the point of turning him/her over to the magistrates. I know of families today that have banished a member from their midst for professing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. And it’s not uncommon for Jewish families to even send a family member a ‘death certificate’ when that person becomes a Christian. So this type of persecution is not as farfetched as it may seem.
What is a Christian to do? The writer of the Book of Hebrews tackles this very problem. His counsel is the same as our Lord’s counsel - persevere. You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. But what does that mean?
This verse has caused a lot of debate among Christians. Is Jesus saying, “the one who perseveres to the end will be saved” or “the one who perseveres to the end is saved”? In reading the parallel passage in Matthew 24:13 and the words of the apostle in Hebrews 3:6,13; 6:4-6; 10:23,26-29,38-39, it seems that Jesus said that perseverance on the part of the disciple is the evidence of genuine salvation and not the motive for salvation.
“‘To the end’ may refer to the end of the age, but probably it means endurance even to martyrdom (Revelation 2:10). This does not mean that only martyrs will be saved, but saving faith will endure even in martyrdom. It is the constancy which reflects one’s salvation, not the holding out which earns salvation” (Frank Stagg).
“Lord Jesus, thank You for salvation that not only saves from sin, but saves to the ‘uttermost’ in life as well. Thank You for the record of the faithful in Hebrews 11 which demonstrates faith that endures time, tests, and even life itself. May my faith in You be as evident to me and to others as theirs. To Your glory and honor I ask, Amen.”