Another year is passing and new year is coming again. Another year of enduring the sacrifices for all the Church activities, the time you lost for yourself, your family, the many thanksgiving that you offered in the Church, the more giving for the coming year is already starting in a few weeks. Some of you don’t even know how to pay for your debt, yet you try your best out of faith to set aside something you can offer in the Church.
You are probably continuously being reminded of Matthew 24:13. “13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.“. Now let me give you a different perspective so I hope you will continue reading.
Read Matthew 24 from the beginning. The whole context is about Jerusalem Temple and the Jews. Matthew 24:1-2: Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”. Jesus predicted the destruction of Jerusalem temple and the end of the age. If you are reading King James Version of the bible, the Apostles question is referring to the “end of the world”. This has been corrected by most of the new bible versions. Matthew 24:3 (NKJV): 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”. The Apostles are asking questions in the context of Jesus prediction on the Jerusalem Temple. When they as when is the end of the age, they are not asking the end of the world.
If you continue reading to verse 12, the “enduring” is not about enduring inside the Church, it is enduring the tribulations (verse 9), betrayal and hatred (verse 10), false prophets deceiving many (verse 11) and lawlessness (verse 12) which are all associated to the destruction of Jerusalem prophesied by Christ in verse 2. That is all the Matthew 24 is all about. Let us now read verse 13-14.
Matthew 24:13-14 (NKJV): 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come..
These verses are in sequence of events. The enduring will be followed by preaching of the gospel of the kingdom in all the world then then the end [of the age] will come. The enduring is not for us [our time so that we will be saved] because the gospel has already reached the world even in time of the Apostles. Colossians 1:5-6 (NKJV):because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;. Again this is confirmed in Colossians 1:23 (NKJV) if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Think about our time, do you think the bible has not reached all the world? The “enduring” is what will befall to Jerusalem and its people which has already happened in the first century. According to some references, the book of Collosians was written possibly in 80 A.D., 10 years after the destruction of Jerusalem. Therefore the “enduring” in Matthew 24:13 is a thing of the past. It is history to us.
Ephesians 2:8-9 explained that you cannot boast for your work [your sacrifices] to justify your salvation. If you do not believe to this verse, then do you believe the bible? Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) “8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast”.. The gift of God cannot be taken by anyone. In Romans 11:29 (NKJV), “29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable“. This clearly tell us that no man in this world can remove the gift of salvation given to us, regardless if someone believe he has been given power to expel individuals from the Church membership, it cannot override God’s decision that his gift is irrevocable. God is always sovereign than man.