Faithful Endurance to the End

The ninth sign of the end is the perseverance of believers to the end. Jesus said, “But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matt. 24:13) The verb “endures” (hupomeno) means “with the accusative of the thing be patient under, suffer, endure, put up with.” (Friberg) The phrase “to the end” is in the accusative case. The context is about the tribulation and persecution of believers. The same word is used in Heb. 12:2 about Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” (emphasis added) Hence, to endure here is to bear all suffering and to persevere in tribulation in the last days.

In the last days, believers will suffer terrible tribulations. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

Pastor Joseph tells of the endurance of Christians in Baghdad, Iraq.

We have new blood, born-again new believers,” says Pastor Joseph. “That is a challenge. It brings a new culture to the church. Recently, a man converted. He is married to three wives and has children with all three of them. He asked me what he should do. I told him to keep them, what else could I say? This is only one of the problems we face with new converts.

About 45% of my church now comes from a Muslim background,” says another anonymous church leader. . . .

“People are impressed that Christians come to them, show them love and support them when they are from another religion. This is especially significant because their fellow Muslims fight them and even want to kill them.”[1]

We just celebrated our 31st Anniversary of GGCF. I was watching old pictures of old GGCF members last Sunday. I wonder where are the old members now? Are they faithfully serving God or faithlessly living for themselves? You must endure, not just today, but to the end.

Jesus is not talking about losing one’s salvation if one does not endure. Rather, He is confirming the salvation of those who endure to the end. He is talking about perseverance in suffering. Jesus is speaking about a true believer, not a fake believer. At the end of the age, people will persecute followers of Christ. The fake believers will fall away (Matt. 24:10). But the true believers of Christ will remain faithful to the end (v. 13).

The phrase “to the end” could mean, “after suffering all persecution,” for the context is about believers suffering for Christ (v. 9). It might mean “until death.”

He who endures to the end will be “saved.” The word “saved” here refers to spiritual salvation, not physical. It refers to eternal life. Jesus is not saying that endurance is a requirement of salvation. Rather, endurance is the mark of salvation. Jesus said that false believers will not endure but fall away (v. 10). In the case of the rocky soil, the mark of no salvation is falling away (Matt. 13:21). The one who falls away therefore is a false believer. Now Jesus says that the one who endures to the end will be saved. The one who endures is the true believer. Thus, endurance is the sign of salvation in one’s life. The truly saved person will endure to the end; but the unsaved will not. Salvation is not a 100-meter sprint, but a marathon.

Are you saved today? Then you will endure to the end. The power of God will make you endure to the end.

[1] “Christians in Baghdad: A Church Behind Concrete Walls and Barbed Wire,” July 19, 2017 by Open Doors USA in Middle East. Cited July 22, 2017. Online: https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/stories/christians-baghdad-church-behind-concrete-walls-barbed-wire/.

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