A Call to God-Enabled, God-Dependent Endurance

“Here is call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and faith in Jesus.” – Revelation 14:12

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” – 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Few people today are willing to stand up for truth. Few people today are making an effort to exercise discernment. Today we live in a world where self-professing Christians would rather be comfortable to accommodate worldliness, straying away from inconvenient truths which are plain and clear in the Bible. People seem to be more and more allergic to topics that deal with sin. We are making much of ourselves and less of God.

We are in the last days. Since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we are expectant for His second coming as prophesied in the Book of Revelation which asserts itself as “trustworthy” and “true” (Revelation 22:6). Thought none of us will know the exact time and day; we are simply urged to rest in God and cling to our hope in Jesus.

In the last days, as explicitly warned in Matthew 24, wars and rumors of wars will proliferate. Lawlessness will increase and the love of many, who profess to be followers of Christ, will grow cold.

2 Timothy 3:2 gives a detailed description: “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; [and] having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power.”

If we would be honest with ourselves, we all fall under categories of rebellion against God. It’s a sad thing to see that what is warned in Jude 1:4 is unfolding with increasing frequency for undiscerning Christians. Tragically, we pervert and twist and destroy God’s grace (God’s free forgiveness of sin) into a license for sensuality and immorality.

The darkness is getting darker and the path to life may seem to be getting narrower. Surely, the righteous wrath of a holy God will be unleashed on a rebellious world at the end of the last days. But before we fall into despair, I hope that we would all consider God’s mercy. 1 Timothy 2:4-6 encourages us that God, “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.”

1 Corinthians 1:18 says: “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” In light of this, it will come as no surprise that Biblical Christianity will be labeled as intolerant and fundamentalist. But take heart that our faith does not rest in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. In the end, we will all give an account to God.

If we are willing to take a stand for the gospel, willing to be insulted for the name of Christ, 1 Peter 4:14 shows us that we are blessed “because the Spirit of the glory of God rests upon you.”

God himself grants us the gift of faith to believe in Him through Jesus Christ. If we are in His love, and if at all your heart’s inclinations are moved with conviction against sin and wickedness, heed these words. The Apostle Paul urges in Acts 20:27 not to shrink from declaring the whole counsel of God. Preach the word and be ready in season and out of season to reprove, rebuke and exhort with complete patience and teaching. Be sober-minded and endure suffering for sake of the gospel (2 Timothy 4:2, 5).

We are all weak. Even if you think you are privileged because you have been in ministry for X-number of years or shared the Gospel to X-number of people, remember that it all comes from God as weak, fragile instruments in the loving hands of the Potter. Though we will all die physically, we cannot save ourselves from eternal hell. Salvation comes only through the righteousness of Christ, provided that we believe.

And if you think that you need to muster up the strength for even the smallest ounce of faith, do not despair. God Himself is already at work even if we think that we are working hard at preventing our disqualification from salvation. He works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose as Paul reminds us in Philippians 2:12-13. God enables. Depend on Him for daily dependence and security.