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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Kept by the Power of God, continued
But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition [destruction]; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39)
Is Christ concerned with the saint suffering pain or with the saint losing his soul? What is it that is to be guarded?
Let us examine the context of Luke 21:36. We have pointed out already that the Lord Jesus in one breath had stated that many of the saints would be betrayed and put to death and in the next breath had declared that not a hair of their head would perish. The Lord Jesus does not view physical tribulation as a threat to the saint's well-being.
If we can understand and accept that the Lord Jesus does not always prevent our experiencing tribulation, imprisonment, fiery trials but that these can and do befall us, we are on our way to the interpretation of Revelation 3:10 and Luke 21:36.
It is true that the Lord delivers us constantly from physical dangers and calamities of all kinds. Every experienced saint can tell of numerous occasions on which the Lord Jesus came to the rescue. Thank God! He can and does deliver us from physical harm and pain each day of our pilgrimage.
But it is true also that the righteous suffer many afflictions and disappointments, fiery tests and temptations of every description. Our pilgrimage is not an easy, comfortable one. The same is true of the life of the sinner.
If Revelation 3:10 and Luke 21:36 are not addressed primarily to our physical safety and comfort, to what deliverance are they pointing?
Both of these verses are directed toward our not losing our souls during the hour of testing but rather overcoming the works of Satan and standing in glory before the Lord Jesus Christ.
. . . And he said to me, These are they which came out of [the] great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14)
The prime concern of the Lord Jesus is the cleanliness of our robes, that is, the righteousness of our behavior. Are we keeping our conduct washed in His blood or are we living in sin and spiritual carelessness?
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting [dissipation], and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (Luke 21:34)
This is the concern of the Lord Jesus. He knows that physical suffering during our short stay on the earth does us more good than harm ordinarily. Physical suffering is not the concern. Suffering is not what He promises to keep us from.
The concern is our soul. Will we lose our soul because of the things that are coming to pass in the world and the abundance of moral temptation on every side? Will we become discouraged and cease seeking the Lord? Will we drift back into the covetousness, lust, and malice of the world? Will we choose Antichrist over Christ? Will we choose Babylon, the spirit of world religion, over the Kingdom of God? These are the true dangers. These are the temptations from which He promises to keep us, from which we can escape if we remain alert in prayer and guard His precious Word with diligence.
The years ahead will bring many changes to the world. Sin will multiply to an astonishing extent. Tremendous natural calamities will occur. Supernatural signs and wonders will abound, with many false teachers leading astray those who have not become established in Christ.
To be continued.