9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
It looks like things are gonna get a whole lot worse before they get better. Jesus had just warned us in the previous passage about wars and earthquakes, and now he’s telling us that we’ll be arrested, persecuted and killed, all on account of Him. In the NLT version, Jesus says this will happen “because of your allegiance to Me”.
Will I experience this level of hardship in my lifetime? I do not know. Either way, this is not easy to digest. This is not comfortable Christian living nor sitting-on-the-fence kind of faith. I had better be sure who I give my allegiance to. It is all or nothing. I am either for Jesus or against Him. I don’t want to be luke-warm, or as He warns, have a heart that turns cold.
Keeping my allegiance (or heart set on Jesus) is something I need to keep a constant eye on. Yet it is something that is decided before things get tough. My allegiance is determined by my commitment not circumstance. When things around me get tougher, I can’t then be changing my mind as to whether or not I will follow Him. I need to set my mind and keep it set. I choose to not be deterred by the circumstance or the battle. I know that You hold me – I just need to keep looking to You Lord.
Lord Jesus, You are worthy of all praise. My heart belongs to You. By your Spirit may I continue to build spiritual muscle in a world that lives opposite to You. Thank you for your promise: “those who endure will be saved”. You are my reward!
Written by Gab Martin