3rd January 2011

Let’s Plan To Endure

“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
Matthew 24:13 (NKJV)

The disciples had come to Jesus to ask about the end of the ages, the end of all things—or more correctly, the time when Jesus would return.

Most Christians focus on the prophecies and indicators of significant time markers, which Jesus did point to in his discourse. But then he said to the disciples the short sentence quoted above and, just like the prophecies, men have argued about this verse ever since. ‘Endure’ what? Read which commentator you will, they all have their opinions. Most hurry past it because they want to focus on the prophecies about things that follow. But here’s my opinion for what it’s worth. I think that this is the central prophecy, the most important statement of all that Jesus said in this chapter; something that Jesus wanted us to understand.

Immediately before Jesus said this, he said, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (verse 12).

Now, laws of grammar indicate that words which qualify or modify, should come as close as possible to that which is to be qualified or modified, and that would be “love”. So the thought is: He whose love does not endure to the end will not be saved.

We have to look elsewhere to see if this idea is scripturally sound. Jesus’ only command to his followers was “These things I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:17), and “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you” (verse 12).

The prophetic warning would seem to be that we must maintain that love through whatever comes our way to oppose it. The old adage that the first casualty of war is truth, could be adapted for our purpose. So often the first casualty in our Christian walk with Christ, is forgetting to love one another as Christ has loved us.

This has to be the most highly significant warning given by Christ to his followers. Everything else he prophesied here, he was in control over, whether it was wars, famines or earthquakes, God is in control in such matters. But whether we love one another or not, is in our own hands.

Most merciful Father, prophecy is given to show us that you are in charge and to warn us when we are in charge. Help us to maintain that love you give to us to love God and one another, despite anything and everything opposed to it—even our own natures. We heed your loving warning, Father, and in Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford

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