Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Persevere! (And Help Your Brother to do the Same)

A few days ago I sat and read John’s Revelation from start to finish. I must admit that my motivation in doing so was to receive the promised blessing (1:3)! And blessed I was. In particular, I was freshly impressed with the need to persevere in our Christian walk. As John begins this apocalyptic book, he includes warnings to “the seven churches,” all of which include something like this in them: “To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (2:7b).

To the one who conquers...

Later on, the warning will be repeated with slightly different language in several other locations. For example, “If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints” (13:9-10).

Here is the call for endurance...

As I pondered that this morning, my mind was drawn back to Jesus’ words to four of His disciples on the Mount of Olives. Speaking of the same trials and tribulations that await His followers in this life, Jesus said to them: “But the one who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13b).

The one who endures to the end...


Last Sunday I preached on Romans 15:14 and the need for mutual admonishment in the Body of Christ. One Scripture that has come to mind since then is that kind word found in 1 Thessalonians 5:14: “...encourage the fainthearted, help the weak...” It strikes me that one of the primary tasks of any Christian is to encourage endurance in his brothers and sisters. Satan’s purpose in those trials is to get you to give up and walk away. The lure of sin is the false promise of relief from the discomfort of following God in a sinful world. Brothers and sisters, let’s not fake it. We all need encouragement to press on.

Why not purposefully seek a way (a note, a phone call, a face-to-face conversation?) to encourage one Christian today? Go out of your way and out of your comfort to urge a brother to endure to the end!