On July 2, 2018, I was in a dream of the night, when Jesus told me to open my Bible, which was under my pillow to the book of Mark 13:13. I woke up and immediately open my Bible to Mark 13:13 as instructed.
It reads, “And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall ENDURE to the end shall be saved”.
As I was pondering over the meaning of this Scripture and what shall I do with this information, I sense that my Lord wants me to share this information to all the people who care to know. In the above verses the word Endurance stood out as a condition for salvation. The word endurance is one the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit. The word endurance means to suffer-for a long time.
I said to my Lord, this is not a good news message. Endure suffering for a long time is not one of the regular prayer points. At this time of the end, no Christian prays to suffer at all, talk less of suffering for a long time. All our prayers points are to move us from glory to glory. Endurance is not needed when one is living a prosperous life. Endurance is not needed when one is enjoying good quality of life. Endurance is not needed when one is living in abundance.
Why should a Christian be ready to suffer for a long time or need endurance in other to be saved? Jesus answered this question: You shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. That a slave is not greater than his master, if the world hates Jesus, then Christ followers should expect the same maltreatment and hatred from the world. Christians need endurance at this time of the end more than any other time in history.
Christians the world over are been persecuted and are been beheaded by Islamic terrorist group in many countries. In Afghanistan and in Arabian countries and particularly in Nigeria. For example, the Boko-Haram terrorist group started by bombing Churches and killing Christians in their effort to Islamized the Northern Nigeria. In 2015 and in 2017 they kidnapped 300 Chibok school girls and another 115 Dapchi school girls. After a long period of negotiation by the government officials they released 114 girls but refused to release Lear, a Christian. This young girl upholds her faith in Jesus and for this reason she is still in bondage. People like Lear, the Chibok girls and their parents and those who have been rendered widows and orphans need endurance to be saved. What about you? What about me?
Jesus further said, there will be great affliction, such as was not from the beginning of creation unto this time, neither shall it be. The rise of false prophets and false Christs will abound. They will show signs and wonders and mislead many with their false teachings. “Heaven and Earth shall pass away but my word shall not pass away”, Jesus said. You can see why endurance is needed to be saved.
What should Christians do? Jesus again answered this question: Watch and Pray. What does it means to watch? Is it to form a Vigilante Group in every villages, hamlets, towns and Cities? Is it to ban Muslim from entering our Countries? The answer is no. The improved security and vigilante group will not stop the hatred and the killing of Christians. Christian must watch for signs and physical manifestation of Jesus words and the signs of his second coming. They must come to pass. Prophesies about the persecution and the killing of Christians must come to pass in other to know genuine Christians from fake Christians.
For example, four armed men entered into a mega Church and fire into the ceiling. They shouted, “if you are ready to die for Jesus move to the right. If you want to deny Jesus and live, you can go. Ninety five percent of the church members denied Jesus and left the church. Then the armed men removed their face-mask and said to the people on the right, we are not here to kill you but want to know who are genuine Christians; now let the service continue“, they said.
From the above experience, we can see that God is looking for those who will pass the test of faith and endure to the end to inherit God’s Kingdom. The persecution and the killing of Christians allow Jesus to identify those who truly love him and those who deserve to be in God’s Kingdom. That was why Jesus advice true Christians to “enter through the narrow gate: for wide and broad is the way that leads to destruction and many are the people going through the broad road, (Mathew 7:13) Feel good religions can only put unsuspecting Christians into a spiritual coma or spiritual drowsiness forgetting about Jesus prophesies about the signs of the last days and of this wicked generation. Unfortunately, many people are forsaking the salvation doctrines to the feel good doctrines.
One may asked, why would a loving God allow the persecution of his servants? Another illustration that comes to mind to answer this question is precious metals like Gold or Diamond. It must pass through the fire and be purified before they can be useful. Similarly true Christian must pass through the test of our faith like fire, like flood and pass through other form of purification before one can qualify to rule with Jesus. It calls for wisdom, then, to be spiritually awake to watch for the signs of Jesus second coming as foretold in Mark 13 and Mathew 24.
The second advice of Jesus was to pray. What shall Christians be praying for? Shall we pray for fire to come down from Heavens to consume our persecutors and killers? Or should we pray for endurance to be able to pass the test of our love and faith in Jesus? Or should we be praying that our flight should not be during the winter? Jesus said, when they persecute you in one city flee to another city and before you flee to all the city, the son of man will come(Mathew 10:23).
Remember the word of our Lord when he said, “A servant is not greater than his master; If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you… ” (John 15:20). All true Christians should be prepared to endure persecution, and all kinds of evil against you for Christ’s name sake. In all these endurance is required to maintain our love and faith for the king of kings, Jesus Christ. He who loves his life will lose it, and he that loses his life for my sake will find it, Jesus assured Christians.
Therefore we should pray without ceasing for the spirit of endurance. We should pray for the fruits of endurance. We should pray for more faith and unconditional love for our God. Even if our lives are lost, it will be temporary because Jesus promised the resurrection of the faithful to reward them with everlasting life.
One of the outstanding servants of God who endured severe persecution was Apostle Paul, he wrote about the assurance of the resurrection hope,
“For we know that if our earthly [a]house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our [b]habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as [c]a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. for we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:1-8).
All Christian should have the same mental attitude like Apostle Paul in the above example. We should count it a privilege to give up our lives for Jesus Christ who paid a supreme sacrifice to purchase us from the bondage of sin and death. “If anyone wants to be my disciple, let him carry his torture stake (cross) and follow me. He that endures to the end shall be saved, Jesus says” (Mark 13:13 and Mathew 24:13). If the men and women who serve their nation in the military are willing to lay down their lives in defense of the nations, all Christians should be able to endure all form of persecution to the end of our mortal life. Christian should not be afraid of those that can kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Remember, those who endure to the end shall be saved.
If it is in your hearts to endure to the point of death for Christ’s sake, my Heavenly father, Jehovah God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will give you the spirit and the fruitage of Endurance to serve God to eternity. Aaamen.
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