He who endures to the end shall be saved.” ~ MATTHEW 24:13
Life is a dangerous endeavor. We pass our days in the shadows of ominous realities. The power to annihilate humanity has, it seems, been placed in the hands of people who are happy to do so. . . . If the global temperature rises a few more degrees . . . if classified information falls into sinister hands . . . if the wrong person pushes the wrong red button . . . What if things only get worse?
Christ tells us that they will. He predicts spiritual bailouts, ecological turmoil, and worldwide persecution. Yet in the midst of it all, he contends bravery is still an option. “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed” (Matthew 24:46 NIV).
Things are going to get bad, really bad, before they get better. And when conditions worsen, “See to it that you are not alarmed” (v. 6 NIV). Jesus chose a stout term for alarmed that he used on no other occasion. It means “to wail, to cry aloud,” as if Jesus counseled the disciples, “Don’t freak out when bad stuff happens.”
Don’t freak out at the heresy, calamity, and apostasy. Don’t give in or give up, for you’ll soon witness the victory. “But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (vv. 13–14).
Jesus equipped his followers with farsighted courage. He listed the typhoons of life and then pointed them “to the end.” Trust in ultimate victory gives ultimate courage.
Some days, holy Father, it seems that the world is spinning out of control. Worldwide turmoil increases, and we are alarmed. It is easy to lose courage. But this is not what you want for your children. You have given us ample warning that these things will happen. May we remember that they are preparations for the end of time. When we forget, remind us that ultimate victory belongs to you. Help us face the future with courage and confidence, amen.
The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.
~ PSALM 121:7
But the LORD your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.
~ 2 KINGS 17:39
He saved them for His name’s sake, that He might make His mighty power known.
~ PSALM 106:8