Endure to the end!

Have you ever heard someone say that, "If we endure to the end, we will be saved?" The idea is that spiritual salvation is dependent on how we cope with hardships and problems in our lives!

In Mark 13:13 we read this...
Mark 13:13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

It's repeated in the gospel of Matthew in Chapter 24 also...

In Mat 24:12-13 we read this...
Mat 24:12-13 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

It's always good to get the context of any saying though; so what's the context here? Let's go back to verse nine and read through to verse fourteen.

Mat 24:9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

We see here that the context is 'the great tribulation' at the end of days and in this context Jesus says, "But the one who endures to the end will be saved". So, those who endure to the end of the 'great tribulation', the time of 'Jacob's trouble', will be saved.

As you can see from the context this is referring to Christians who live through the great tribulation being saved physically alive because the tribulation is cut short! Notice that many Christians are said to be put to death during this period and do not therefor endure to the end since they are contrasted with those who do! Are they lost?

If this passage were to mean that a guide to those saved spiritually in the future is that they were good enough personally or strong enough mentally and/or physically to endure through the great tribulation, then one wonders what is the benchmark for those who live/d outside the time-frame of the great tribulation.

What constitutes endurance for them? Putting up with 'Windows' crashing every couple of days and not moaning? Spending 2 hours to get to work because of a tube/subway strike without griping, maybe? Having to live with only one computer, one tablet and only one mobile phone in this information rich society, perhaps?

If enduring the torture and murderous conditions of the great tribulation, fleeing from death in winter maybe and surviving in faith through the worst persecution of God's people in history only just gets you saved, what hope do we have today of knowing we reach the endurance standard required for salvation?

When we look at the context of the passage though, we see that it's not the people's endurance that gets them saved. Rather, it's God cutting short the days that the tribulation lasts; There is nothing here of which we humans can boast! Let's read on to see more of the context.

Mat 24:15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days!

20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short."

So we see from this extra section of Jesus' words that it's because the end time is shortened by God that the people are saved. It's not because the people are good at enduring torture! If that were true it would mean that spiritual salvation was according to our physical works! If one holds this belief then it's not the blood of Jesus that saves but rather the blood you spill!

So what are the verses we quoted at the beginning of this article really telling us?

(1) Note again that the context of the whole passage is with regard to 'physical' suffering in the 'great tribulation' and this is the theme before and after the statement regarding 'enduring to the end'!

(2) The climax of this section in Mat 24:22 tells us that people who survive to the end will be saved 'physically' because the days are cut short and God through Jesus intervenes to stop them being killed. Verse 13 tells us they will be saved alive - verse 22 tells us why; Because Jesus Christ returns and cuts short the time of Jacob's trouble!

(3) To most people the obvious meaning of the passage is that neither the Children of Israel (who are 'Jacob' and central to the message) nor the Church will be erased from existence and it is not referring to spiritual salvation at all but to the physical salvation of Israel. In other words we see the thought in Mat_24:13 being referenced and filled out in verse_22 of the same chapter.

So to sum up this understanding - Those who are of Israel (or others affected) who endure to the end of the great tribulation will be saved physically because the days will be cut short; otherwise no human being would be saved! In other words they are saved from physical destruction at that time because Jesus comes back and cuts short the days of wrath!

If it were not so, can you imagine the pride of the people who have the belief that it's their powers of endurance that will get them into the kingdom of God? They would be are able to say to all who ask them in the kingdom - "Yes, I made it into the kingdom myself because I endured to the end. It was tough, but when you've got it, you've got it!"

But what does Paul say to us in Ephesians, Chapter 2 verses 8-9...

Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.


Best wishes for grace and the peace of Jesus.

Attlee Brathwaite.

The Person Of The holy Spirit - R. A. Torrey. Click Here.
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