Sunday, December 26, 2010

Enduring Unto the End

Matthew 10:22, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved."

This is the first post of a new blog which will look at the end times. For this first post, I would like to address a very common misconception which has to do with enduring unto the end.

The question must be asked: enduring unto the end of what?

The majority of Christianity will say, 'Enduring unto the end of your life.' They teach that salvation is by works plus faith, and that anyone who denies Christ under persecution will lose their salvation. But, they say, anyone who endures persecution to the point of death without denying Christ will be saved.

But is that what the Bible says?

What is the end? The end is a very specific reference to a very specific day. Let's look at three verse from Matthew 24 which is a chapter that deals with prophecy and end time events (the context is NOT salvation):

The first verse is talking about the end of this age when Christ shall return. "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. " (Matthew 24:6)

And verse 14 is also talking about the end of this age when Christ comes back. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. " (Matthew 24:14 )

And nestled right between those two verses is verse 13, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. "

Do you see how the phrase "the end" does NOT refer to a believer's death, but rather to the end of this age?

The same idea is reiterated in Mark 13 verses 7 and 13, and Luke 21:9.

Here is 1 Corinthians 15:23-24:

"But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. [That's us!] Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. "

Now of course, the Bible uses the phrase 'the end' in other ways (i.e. figuratively, metaphorically, etc), but very often it is used to refer to a specific date/time/event that marks the end of this age when Christ receives his own and puts down his enemies.

And, by the way, just as Matthew 24:14 talks about the gospel being preached to the entire world before 'the end' coming, so does the Great Commission verse of Matthew 28:20.

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. "

SO, we see that 'the end' refers to a specific day/time/event that is at the consummation of this age. We see that the gospel of the kingdom is preached up until this day/time/event. And, we see that at 'the end' Christ will gather his saints and put down his enemies.

I have jumped ahead a little bit, but all this will be made much clearer as this blog progresses.

I hope you enjoy!!

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