Those who endure to the end will be saved

The King James Version of Matthew 24:13 says, “he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” So, does that mean our eternal salvation depends on our endurance, or that salvation only happens after we’ve endured, and that it’s possible for us to lose our salvation if we don’t endure?

But in context, what does “saved” mean in this verse? Does it mean saved from eternal death, or saved from hell? Is “saved” here an eternal life and death issue, deciding our fate forever? Is that the salvation Jesus is talking about?

No, it isn’t. In context he’s talking about being saved from the dangers that Christians face as conditions in their world get worse. The dangers are many, verses 4-12 – natural disasters, violence, attention-grabbers predicting the date of the end, preachers pushing their own version of Jesus, worldwide persecution and murder of Christians, and a world where it’s every man for himself. The strain of it all will test even the stoutest heart. We can survive it all, though, Jesus says; it’s possible. So stand firm, because those who stand their ground will make it through, no matter what this insane world throws at us.

But Jesus also warns us in Luke 21:34, to “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.” As the world goes down the tubes we can go down with it and resort to ITS ways of dealing with stress, rather than the world’s worsening troubles being a source of hope for us that “your redemption is drawing near,” verse 28. The worse it gets, the sooner it will be over. “When you see these things happening you know that the kingdom of God is near,” verse 31, and the restoration of everything under Christ will begin (Acts 3:21).

So stand firm, because it’s all going to be over and done with one day, once and for all. And those who do stand firm can make it through with their trust in Christ intact. It really is possible, no matter how bad the world becomes. So don’t even “be afraid of what you are about to suffer,” John writes in Revelation 2:10, because as Jesus said in John 16:33, “In this world you wil have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” and with his help so can we, Hebrews 13:6. Because “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

That’s right: What can the world do to us that Christ can’t deal with? So stand firm; HE will get us through.

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