ENDURING TO THE END
ENDURING TO THE END Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Wars and rumors of wars are not the sign of the end of the age but of the beginning of persecution and moral horrors. Now is the time to gather together in the Lord our family members as closely as possible. He who endures to the end shall be saved from spiritual destruction when the deceptions and tribulations come upon the earth. The Gentile holocaust is at the door!
Table of Contents
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Matthew 24:3)
Our world is becoming spiritually dark. The Western nations are revealing the moral corruption and the chaos of the spiritual and material realms that always result when man makes himself God. Soon men’s hearts will be failing them for fear because of the tumult and shaking on every side.
The disciples asked:
When will these things be?
What will be the sign of your coming?
What will be the sign of the end of the age?
The verses that follow portray the events of the future—perhaps of the immediate future.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (Matthew 24:4)
Deception has always been a problem for Christians. In the days to come deception may prove to be an even more serious issue.
The Lord commanded us to be careful someone does not deceive us. Given the nature of deception, how are we to keep from being deceived? If we knew when we were deceived we would not be deceived.
First we must recognize that the strongest among us can be deceived. The believer who thinks that because he reads the Bible and prays he can never be deceived, is deceived already.
The Lord did not say, be sure that Satan does not deceive you but rather that no man deceive you. However, deception comes originally from Satan. Satan does not possess the power to force the elect away from Christ. Satan attacks the mind. He convinces us of a lie and we then enter into one sin or another, thus placing ourselves in Satan’s power.
In the realm of wisdom we are no match for the fallen cherub. How, then, are we to make certain we are not being deceived?
Only God can prevent our being deceived. Salvation is of the Lord. No person can keep himself in the truth except as the Lord assists. This is important to understand.
Notice the following:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (II Thessalonians 2:9-1)
Notice that the passage above is referring to a man, to Antichrist, but that the "deceivableness" that proceeds from Antichrist is actually the "working of Satan."
Notice also that if we do not receive the love of the truth, God Himself will send delusion upon us.
The expression above, "the deceivableness of unrighteousness," gives us the key to protection from deception.
It is unrighteousness, wickedness, that deceives us. We are living in a world that is under the Divine curse because of sin. Man has placed himself under the power of Satan. God has sent Christ so that through Him we may escape the corruption that is in the world because of lust.
God has commanded us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. We are not to strive for happiness but righteousness. Righteousness is the will of God for us.
We are to deny ourselves, take up our personal cross, and follow the Lord Jesus. As we do this we achieve right standing before the Lord.
Multitudes of believers in our day are not willing to deny themselves. They are not seeking righteousness and God’s Kingdom first. They are seeking first their own happiness and the happiness of their children. They are attempting to restore Paradise to the earth before the curse has been lifted. It is the pursuit of happiness instead of righteousness that makes us vulnerable to deception.
Remaining in the Lord’s prison, carrying our cross and following after Christ, requires a lifetime of patience accompanied by a considerable amount of tribulation. Satan studies our personality. He sees where our areas of strong desire are. Our areas of strong desire are often the gifts of God to us, and are the places in our personality of the greatest danger and also the greatest opportunity for fruitfulness in the Kingdom.
Satan uses people to present us with an opportunity to gain what we desire fervently. Then he places in our mind the thought that what has been presented is natural, right, and must be of the Lord because it feels so good. In addition there may be signs and omens that reinforce the idea that this new experience or hope is of the Lord.
In addition to the satanic deceptions that come to individuals, there are several experiences and hopes that have been presented to the Christian churches as a whole:
The grace of God is an unconditional ticket to eternal residence in Paradise. Even though we do not live as a disciple we shall go to Heaven anyway and live in a mansion on a street of gold, experiencing every delight.
God is love and not wrath, not a consuming Fire.
God is not to be feared, only reverenced.
God will "rapture" his saints before they experience tribulation.
God wants the Christians to be rich in this world.
The Christian can speak a creative word of faith, similar to the Words of God in the first chapter of Genesis, and thereby get whatever he wants.
These deceptions have been marvelously successful in keeping the elect in a state of perpetual childhood. Because the six errors we have just mentioned have resulted in sin and disobedience, the Lord Jesus is removing the lampstand of testimony from the churches. The saints are not working out their own salvation with fear and trembling. The churches are filled with lightness, foolishness, self-will, self-love, bitterness, self-seeking, and sometimes immorality, incest, drunkenness, profanity, and violence.
There is much Christian "ministry," but the testimony of God, His Person, His way, His will, His Kingdom, has been destroyed.
We have been deceived by Satan working through men. Sometimes the people deceiving us are fully persuaded they are fundamental Christians doing the Lord’s will. Nevertheless the damage is done. The great need of the hour is for God’s people to turn to Him in confession of sin and sincere repentance.
The experienced saint recognizes that the voice that tells him God would never allow him to suffer but wants him to be prosperous and happy in the world is not of the Lord. When Peter attempted to turn the Lord away from suffering, the Lord commanded: "Get behind Me, Satan." The Lord resisted Satan who was speaking through Peter. He did not let Peter deceive Him. This incident teaches us that the voice of Satan can come to us through the most earnest Christian.
We must be very cautious when listening to teaching or voices that are telling us something that appeals to us. If there is any doubt at all we are to resist such teaching and voices, knowing that whatever is of the Lord will withstand conscientious resistance and come to pass with power.
Doctrine and voices that proceed from the Lord do not conflict with the Scriptures, can stand up under patient scrutiny, can ordinarily be discussed with other fervent Christians, and are not accompanied by inflamed desires, haste, fear, or a forcing of circumstances.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)
The six doctrines mentioned above, unconditional grace, the unbalanced emphasis on God’s love, the teaching we are to reverence the Lord but not fear the Lord, the so-called "pre-tribulation rapture of the believers," God wants us to be rich in material things, and the use of soulish faith to imagine and obtain whatever we desire, are contrary to the Scriptures.
It is, of course, proper to show reverence toward the Lord. But in addition the Scriptures teach us the fear of the Lord. Whoever does not fear to displease the Lord is proud and also ignorant of spiritual realities.
The six teachings are deception and we are to flee from them.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:5)
Throughout Church history and even today there are various individuals who claim they are Jesus Christ. Sometimes these deceivers organize a cult and gain numerous followers. No doubt we shall see many impostors in the future.
We know that such are not Christ. Christ is at the right hand of the Father in a state of unimaginable glory. There is more power in His little finger than that contained in a galaxy of stars. The pretenders are only flesh and blood people who may be charming and may have some occult power. But compared to the Lord Jesus they are less significant than ants scurrying about in garbage.
The believers of today are far too susceptible to deception. A persuasive individual, male or female, who professes to come in the name of the Lord Jesus, especially one who works miracles, can engage in any sort of foolishness and still draw crowds of silly, gullible Christian people.
The Lord would command us to put to the test every evangelist and teacher before we accept what they have to say. We should compare what they state with the Scriptures and also look to see if they personally are righteous and holy of character. How can one get good water out of a poisoned well?
There are many "Christian" leaders whose prime objective is to wring as much money as they can from the people. They will teach and do anything they think will keep the believers coming and giving of their money.
It is our responsibility to make certain what we are listening to is coming from the Lord. If we do not, but receive everyone who claims to be speaking in the name of the Lord, we will be judged as being spiritually lazy and negligent. In the Day of the Lord we will not be able to place the blame on the false preacher. The blame is ours because we were not diligent in making certain we were not being deceived.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows [birth pains]. (Matthew 24:6-8)
"And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars."
The student of history knows well that there have been wars and rumors of wars throughout the Church Era. Today there are wars continuing in some places and in other areas there is danger war may break out at any moment.
From the time the Lord Jesus spoke these words, to the present hour, there have been numerous philosophers, politicians, educators, who have set forth their own plan for bringing world peace. Today the United Nations is advancing plans for world peace. All such plans have failed and will continue to fail. The Words of the Lord Jesus will remain as the only truth in the world.
"See that you are not alarmed."
We can observe today the potential for war in the Middle East. We could wish there would be a just and lasting settlement between the nation of Israel and the Arab countries. Such a peaceful settlement does not at the present time seem possible. We are not to allow ourselves to be alarmed or frightened at the prospect of a war in the Middle East or a world war. When we are tempted to give way to fear or panic we are to go to the Lord in prayer and gain assurance from Him that we are safe in His keeping.
"These things must come to pass."
Sometimes people, due to the fact that such horrors as wars exist, will refuse to place their faith in the Lord Jesus because they believe there is no God, or God is unrighteous. If there were a God, they reason, He would not allow people, especially children, to be slaughtered in this manner. They seem to forget that it is man, not God, who wages war.
Looking at wars from the human viewpoint it is difficult to understand why the Lord would permit wars and other terrible suffering to occur. But as we come to understand the Divine viewpoint we realize the events of history must take place because of God’s master plan to bring Heaven to earth in the form of the Kingdom of God.
The wars and other disasters of history are an expression of the rebellion that took place in the spirit realm before the material realm was created. God is bringing into existence a kingdom that will displace all the kingdoms of men and make certain that never again will a self-willed creature, angelic or human, bring rebellion and agony into His creation.
In order to establish His Kingdom on the earth, God sent the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of the righteous Kingdom, who was perfected in obedience during His stay on the earth.
Next in line are the victorious saints, the holy remnant of believers who have been brought forth in the churches throughout Church history.
During the era to come, the thousand-year Kingdom Age, the remainder of the elect will be brought to perfect reconciliation to the Father.
Finally every saved person will receive a portion of eternal life and find his place in the new world of righteousness.
Meanwhile, wars and rumors of wars must continue as God permits Satan-inspired men to produce the circumstances that result in the perfecting of the saints. All things are working together for good for those whom God has predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.
"But the end is not yet."
The existence of wars and rumors of wars inform us that the end is not yet. The sign of the end will be the existence of a worldwide peace brought about by Antichrist. It will be a peace apart from God, a peace in which man is his own God.
"All these are the beginning of birth pains."
Current translations present "the beginning of sorrows" as the beginning of birth pains. The change from sorrows to birth pains is significant. It shows us the increasing darkness of our age does not herald the end of all that is good but rather the beginning of all that is good. The darkness is preparing us for the morning of the age of righteousness.
Why it is necessary for God to bring mankind through an age of moral horrors before permitting people to enjoy the glorious world of righteousness that is to come we cannot say, except that by means of this severe trial we are tested to see if we are worthy of the Kingdom that God has in mind. Also, the Bride of the Lamb must be purified by suffering and be separated from the man-directed religious institutions.
Which [persecutions and tribulations] is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: (II Thessalonians 1:5)
The woman goes down into the valley of the shadow of death to bring forth a baby. The creation is going down into the valley of the shadow of death to bring forth the Kingdom of God. In the darkest hour we can look up to the throne of God and know our redemption, our release into glory, is at hand.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (Matthew 24:9)
The term "then" tells us what follows in this twenty-fourth chapter will take place after there have been wars, rumors of wars, famines and earthquakes. Beginning with verse 9 we are seeing what probably will come to pass in our own day and that of our children and grandchildren.
We Christians, in the future, will be persecuted, tormented, put to death, and hated by all nations because of the name of the Lord Jesus.
Although there has been much persecution and martyrdom of Christians throughout church history and continuing to the present hour, we submit that there never has been a time when Christians have been hated by all nations. It is not true today that Christians are hated by all nations, although it has been stated that more Christians have been martyred in the twentieth century than in any other century of the Christian Era.
But the day will come—perhaps sooner than we think—when we shall be hated by all nations because we bear the name of the Lord Jesus.
What will bring about such violent hatred? The hatred will arise because of the spread throughout the world of libertarian democracy, the rights of the individual.
In other of our writings we have mentioned that totalitarian systems of government will eventually disappear. Because it focuses on the rights of people, on human happiness, libertarian democracy will prevail. No doubt this is why China and Muslim countries resist Western culture. They see that Western culture is lawless and decadent and that their own people will choose the Western way if given a chance.
In spite of all the resistance of other governments, democracy finally will prevail. Because libertarian democracy encourages self-will and self-glorification, and Christian discipleship calls for the crucifixion of both self-will and self-glorification, democracy and the Kingdom of God are eternal enemies. It will be the rise of democracy that will finally result in the hatred of all that is associated with the Lord Jesus.
We can see today in the United States a nation in which great value is place on the freedom of the individual, a picture of what will be true throughout the major nations during the reign of Antichrist. Our large cities are in a state of anarchy. Washington D.C., the national capital, is a breeding ground for murder, drug abuse, and drunkenness. In addition Washington D.C. is debt-ridden, a fiscal disaster which always follows sin.
The secular American population, which is the majority, is beginning to grow displeased with the idea that one day the "Christian right" might interfere with their rights to practice abortion, homosexuality, and indulgence in pornography and other immoral media.
Already there are activists who are advocating the legalization of incest and pedophilic activities. Incest and pedophilic practices are held at bay only by the lingering concepts of America’s Christian past.
The concept that the desire to practice fornication, abortion, and sexual perversions might one day be thwarted by the "Christian right" contains the seeds of the coming hatred of Christ—seeds that one day will germinate and bear the fruit of persecution unprecedented in its violence.
The growing hatred of Americans toward Christians, whom they will blame for interference with their prosperity, lusts, comforts, and other "rights," will spread to other nations until those who are associated with the Lord Jesus will be hated by all nations, just as the Lord predicted.
As I see it, the most potent agent for directing animosity toward Christians, in the present hour, may be their support for the nation of Israel. The terrorists, who subscribe to the Muslim religion, but probably do not truly represent that religion, are attempting to bring destruction and terror to every country that appears to support Israel in any manner.
If the terrorists succeed in slaughtering civilians and destroying their environment, the people of the countries that are experiencing these catastrophes may conclude that if they would cease their support of Israel they would be free from the attacks of the terrorists. It may be true that the primary force in countries that support Israel are the dedicated Christians. This fact may direct deadly hatred toward the Christians.
The American people, and perhaps those of other countries, may put their pleasure before their honor. If they do, they will abandon Israel in order to secure their comforts and amenities.
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (Matthew 24:10)
For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Luke 12:52,53)
We are exhorting all Christian parents to draw their children close to themselves. In the near future children will betray their parents to the police.
The philosophy of the United Nations is that children have rights and parents must not deny these rights. The United States is joining this worldwide trend.
Children will be removed from homes that do not permit the child to watch what he or she desires on the television or the Internet. The parents will lose control. The children will learn soon enough that the law is on their side, and if they are not permitted to do as they please they can report their parents to the police.
Hatred shall increase as the gulf widens between the true saints and the people of the world. Right now in the United States the gulf is narrow. Soon it will be uncrossable and multitudes of people who now worship with the Christians will become their fiercest enemies, despising them because the saints remind the worldly that in order to please God they must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow the Lord Jesus.
We must prepare ourselves and our families. Violent persecution is at hand in the United States. Many Christian political activists believe they soon will be able to assume control of their government. Their attempts to do so will result in a violent rejection of fundamental Christianity by the pleasure-loving American people.
Let no minister of the Gospel tell you that you will be "raptured" away to Heaven before these things take place. He may be a person of utmost integrity and sincerity, a righteous, devout individual, but he is deceived and is deceiving those who listen to him.. It is your responsibility to make certain you are not deceived.
When you, having been persuaded you never will suffer, finally realize you are not going to be raptured away from trouble, you will turn on your deceiving pastor or teacher with satanic hatred. But God will not justify or receive you. It is your responsibility now to turn to your Bible and see if it says anything about Christians being lifted to Heaven when the day of trouble comes.
Does the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew imply that you will be here on earth or not be here? Think about it!
The believers in the so-called "rapture" are already reacting with hatred against those who are warning the Christian people they are facing suffering and martyrdom. The "rapture" believers already are taking the side of Antichrist. They are in deception.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:11)
We have mentioned previously the deceiving pastors, teachers, and evangelists and how readily the believers are led astray. Christian theology is in a state of chaos. The foundations of the atoning blood and triumphant resurrection of the Lord Jesus have been established. But on this sure foundation has been erected a superstructure of mythology concerning a Gentile bride, a Jewish kingdom on earth, unconditional grace, mansions in Paradise where the elect will dwell forever doing nothing of importance, and so on and on. Paul’s doctrine of grace has been perverted beyond recognition. That which was intended to bring moral transformation to sinners has become an alternative to righteous behavior. It is a massive deception.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:12)
Because we have been taught that the goal of salvation is to make us happy we view tribulation and suffering as being from the devil. But tribulation is not the enemy of the Christian. Tribulation is redemptive. Tribulation teaches us patience—a very important aspect of the Kingdom of God.
I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 1:9)
The enemy of the saint is not tribulation but lawlessness and wickedness. Because lawlessness and wickedness will abound, the love of the majority of Christians will grow cold. Tribulation is not to be feared because tribulation produces strong saints. But the abundance of lawlessness and wickedness in the United States in the present hour has produced a generation of feeble believers. They will not accept the demands of discipleship because those demands do not make them happy.
The only hope for the American churches is the generation of young people and children who are growing up. If they will turn away from the foolishness of the churches and seek Jesus with a pure heart, God is ready to provide them with an anointing of the Holy Spirit without precedent in history—an anointing that will be more than able to overcome all Antichrist can produce.
If, however, the present generation of young people and children walk in the hypocritical, soft, undisciplined paths of their parents, they will be of little use in establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth. God will have to wait for a generation who will serve God according to the standard of the Scriptures.
The God of Heaven will never be pleased until His children are keeping His commandments. God never gave His grace as an alternative to the keeping of His commandments. All that is written in the New Testament must be observed sternly and diligently as the Holy Spirit helps us. We must pray every day for God’s help in doing all the Lord Jesus has commanded while in Person and later through His Apostles.
The result of the worldwide spread of libertarian democracy will be the rise of Antichrist—the personification of the prevailing secular view that man is his own God.
We see in Second Thessalonians a passage that parallels Matthew, Chapter 24.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin [lawlessness] be revealed, the son of perdition; (II Thessalonians 2:3)
The Day of the Lord, the return of the Lord Jesus to the earth, will not take place until there comes "a falling away first." The falling away is that which will occur because of the rise of lawlessness and wickedness. The love of the majority will grow cold. This is the great apostasy of the last days, the mutiny against all authority.
Antichrist, who is the "abomination that produces desolation," is held in check today by the Spirit of God in the true Christians. But because of the prevalence of libertarian democracy, which always produces lawlessness and wickedness, just as it has in the United States in the present hour, the believers will grow cold in their faith toward Christ, as has taken place in the United States.
The destruction of the faith of the majority of believers will remove the power that is hindering the full revelation of Antichrist. The rise of Antichrist will finally result in the great tribulation.
If we will observe what is taking place in our own day we may conclude that the age of moral horrors, the hatred of all who are associated with the Lord Jesus, and the great tribulation, cannot be far away.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13)
If we expect to be saved into the Kingdom of Christ we need to prepare ourselves and our families for the coming persecution and hatred of everything that bears the name of Christ.
Matthew 24:13 requires a revolution in Christian thinking. This verse reveals that our concept of what it means to be saved is incomplete.
We picture being saved as something that takes place when we first make a profession of belief in Christ. If this view is correct, then Matthew 24:13 makes little sense.
The truth is, we will be saved if we endure throughout the disasters we are facing. This is what God has said!
Salvation takes place initially and specifically when we first place our faith in the Lord Jesus and are baptized in water.
Salvation takes place throughout our lifetime as we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
Salvation is coming in the future when the Lord Jesus appears with the saints and holy angels. Salvation is past, present, and future. If we would finally be saved we must endure to the end.
In order to gain a more accurate view of the Christian salvation we might compare salvation to physical healing.
Let us consider tuberculosis. Let us say a person had an advanced case of tuberculosis. He goes to the doctor. The doctor says, I can heal you. Do not worry about it. Your healing is guaranteed. Your hospitalization and medications are free of charge since you have a low income.
The patient rejoices at this news. His healing is assured. He need have no more fear of dying at an early age.
The doctor then says, first of all, you will be in the hospital for a month while we monitor your vital signs. If all goes well you may return home. But you must stay in bed for an entire year, doing no work at all. Also, we have a medicine that has proved to be very effective and you must take it regularly. If you will follow my advice your healing is guaranteed.
The question is, has the sick man been healed or not?
One might say, he has been guaranteed healing but he must follow the doctor’s advice if the healing is to become a fact.
Then the patient thinks to himself, I have so much I want to do I cannot go to the hospital or remain in bed for such a long time. I will get some rest and take the medicine and hope I will recover.
Will he be healed or not?
Each of us was born with the guilt of sin hanging over us and a disfigured personality. It is God’s will we be forgiven our sin, conformed to the moral image of the Lord Jesus, and brought into complete, untroubled union with the Father through the Lord Jesus. This is what it means for us to be "healed" spiritually, to be saved.
We are healed (saved) so we may have eternal fellowship with the Father and the Son (that which was lost in Eden), and so we may be suited for the many purposes God has in mind for the saints. God’s purposes include the establishing of a royal priesthood, the forming of a Bride for the Lamb, the development of brothers for the Lord Jesus, and the perfecting of living stones in the eternal Temple of God.
We come to the Lord Jesus. He forgives our sin, gives us of His body and blood, and provides us with a portion of His Holy Spirit, a deposit on the fullness to come in the Day of the Lord.
The Lord Jesus assures us we shall be healed. He will keep what we have committed to Him so that in the Day of the Lord we shall be saved from destruction.
Then the Lord tells us what we must do in order to be "healed." We must pray, read the Scriptures, and keep His Word. We must obey the commandments of the Apostles. We must confess our sins and turn away from them as the Holy Spirit leads and enables us. We must endure throughout the persecutions and temptations of the great rebellion against authority.
Are our health provisions still free of charge? Do we earn them by obeying the doctor? No, we do not earn them. But we have to cooperate with the Doctor if we are to be healed.
When we do what the Lord has commanded our sins are covered by His blood and so we live without condemnation. Also, our change into His image is assured. In addition we shall be brought into total, untroubled union with the Father. Our preservation from destruction in the Day of the Lord is guaranteed.
Perhaps the individual may say, "I don’t want to turn away from the world to this extent. I will accept the forgiveness that comes through the blood of the cross. I will attend church as long as it does not interfere with my job and vacations. I hope that when the Lord returns He will consider my profession of faith and trust in His atoning blood to keep me from destruction."
Is this person saved?
The unerring Word of God states we shall be saved provided we endure to the end, that is, to the end of our assigned course. Suppose we do not endure to the end of our assigned course, will we be saved from destruction in any case? Will our sins be forgiven? Will we be changed into the image of the Lord Jesus? Will we be brought into untroubled union with the Father?
Contemporary teaching sometimes states we shall be saved whether or not we endure to the end because grace is unconditional.
The Scriptures thunder, "No!" We shall receive corruption in the day of resurrection."
The deceiver behind the pulpit croons, "You shall not surely die."
The Scripture states, "If you as a Christian live in the flesh you shall die spiritually. If you sow to your flesh you shall reap corruption. If you turn from the way of righteousness it would be better for you had you never begun the race."
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8)
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (II Peter 2:21)
Truly we are in desperate need of a reformation of Christian thinking.
The Bible teaches clearly we will partake of Christ provided we continue in Him.
But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. (Hebrews 3:6)
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:14)
The contemporary response to the numerous warnings in the New Testament that we will partake of Christ only on the condition that we abide in Him and bear the fruit of righteousness, that we endure to the end, is that all such warnings are addressed to the Jewish people or to the unsaved.
There is no scriptural basis for such a viewpoint.
Deception abounds in the Christian churches, particularly in the United States of America. Because of false teaching the moral strength of the believers has been weakened or destroyed altogether. The light of the testimony of good works has been extinguished. The television evangelist with his plea for money has become a national symbol of the corruption of the churches.
Doctrine that obviously is false is embraced by Christians. Theologians attempt to outdo one another as they rush to assure the Christians that God is Santa Claus; the Lord Christ is "good old Jesus" who winks at the sins of the believers; the Holy Spirit is a warm feeling that comes upon us once in a while.
The prodigal son lifts his hand while living in the slops and the Father hastens to assure him that no matter how he continues to defile himself the Father loves him and his place in the family can never be taken away.
The pastors, evangelists, and teachers speak only that which is "positive" so the number of those in attendance will be large and the offering abundant. The preacher who would dare to speak of self-denial or suffering is mocked and scorned as a sick individual who doesn’t understand how much God loves people.
The fear of God, the iron and fire of the God of Israel, have been removed. In their place is a ceaseless reminder of God’s love and mercy. The believers will be surprised when they find out how stern God actually is and their trust will then turn to hatred. "How could God let me suffer like this?"
The preachers will be wise if they make friends with their congregations so they will have someone to receive them when they die. God regards them as faithless stewards.
The true saints are to rejoice as they see the age of moral horrors approaching with its persecution of all who seek righteousness. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. The path of the righteous is shining more and more until the new world of righteousness comes into view.
We interpret Matthew, Chapter 24 to mean that the rebellion and tribulation spoken of by the Lord will take place over the next few years. Once the worldwide persecution of the saints begins, that generation will not pass away until all has been fulfilled and the Lord returns.
We must endure to the end, praying, serving the Lord, bearing our cross patiently behind the Lord. We must be ready to have our loved ones removed from us or slain, to have our property taken from us, to be despised and hated, to be driven from the cities of the earth.
We must pray for the faith and patience to escape being harmed spiritually by all these things until we stand in victory before the Son of Man. As long as we follow Him not a hair of our head will perish. We may be tortured and killed for the Gospel but not a hair of our head will perish. All we value shall be raised in the resurrection of the righteous.
If we are wise we will come out in our heart from the American way of death. We will hold our children as close to us as we can, instructing them continually in the ways of the Lord, paying attention to them, loving them, imparting to them our values if at all possible. If the authorities should come to take them away we want our children to be able to declare their personal faith in the Lord, their willingness to die for His name.
The Spirit of God is warning us today to prepare ourselves for the age of moral horrors we are facing. We can and we shall escape being spiritually damaged by all that we are facing if we will walk hand in hand with the Lord. Then when He appears we shall appear with Him and partake with Him of the glory of God’s Kingdom.