Lawlessness & Loveless-ness
Matthew 24:12 (KJV) “And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound, the love (agape) of many shall wax (grow) cold.” – There is a direct connection between lawlessness and loveless-ness. When people become lawless, they become loveless. We often think of love as free, spontaneous that requires no lawless or discipline. This is an incorrect view. Love and discipline go hand-in-hand. And when discipline and law break down, love goes cold. In this somber picture, lawlessness abounding and love goes cold, it is the Love of Christian and not of the world that goes cold. Thus, Love is a matter of Character (Romans 5:1-5).
Then, comes the warning from our Lord Jesus Christ – Matthew 24:13 (KJV) “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Mark 13:13 – Prophetic preview of the situation that will exist before the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Endurance is that Christian virtue that we need to be able to live through those perilous days (2Timothy 3:1-7).
The word “endure” means an inner fortitude. It expresses the idea of the person having the quality which enables him to withstand all situations/enemies thrown against him, and still have the reserve power to love his enemies (Matthew 5:43-48), being an Overcomer (Revelation 21:7). It speaks of the genuine Christian as the person who possesses the kind of character which will enable him to endure. Such a person will maintain a warm of love for Christ, and Others. He will endure the trials and will thereby prove the genuineness of his faith and spiritual life which he already possesses. This also speaks of the person who holds out even to the point of death.
Mark 13:12-13 “Now brother shall betray brother to death, and the father, his sons; and children shall rise up against their parents and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake; but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” – In the midst of betrayal and lawlessness before the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, proven character is a very essential Christian attribute to develop. Endurance to the end is the requirement that will see us through the perilous time before the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Timothy 3:1-7). Sometimes “holding out” is what God expects us to do in tight and difficult situation.
Proven Character – Romans 5:1-5 (KJV) “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh (produced) patience. And patience, experience (proven character); and experience (proven character) hope. And hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us.” (James 1:2-4).
Love is the matter of character. The forming of character is through trials (tribulations) – Produces patience (perseverance) and perseverance produces proven character (experience).
- Bob Monford said, “Suppose there are 10 areas in our character that need to be corrected. The person can probably deal with 6 of them successfully but the remaining 4 needed to be adjusted by others.”
- Joyful Endurance – Colossians 1:11 “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering (endurance) with joyfulness.”
It takes strength and patience to be able to suffer long with joyfulness. Patience and endurance are marks of strength.
Inheritance of Promises
Inheritance of Promises – Hebrews 6: 11-12 (KJV) “And we shall that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end. That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience (endurance) inherit the promises.” It takes both faith and endurance (patience) to inherit God’s Promises (Hebrews 10:35-36). If we have done God’s Will and have not yet receive the promise, we need endurance (patience) to hold out from the point that we did God’s Will to the point when we receive His Promise (Hebrews 12:1-2). Ecclesiastes 9:11 “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.” It takes endurance to complete the race that God has set before us.
2Corinthians 12:12 “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” The first evidence of an Apostolic Anointing is “Patience” (Endurance). The Person with the Apostolic Anointing is the Person who hangs out when everybody gives up.
Matthew 13:19-23 (Parable of the Sower) – There are two kinds of tests:
- Test of Persecution (hard life) – Matthew 13:20-21.
- Test of Riches (prosperity) – Matthew 13:22.
Principle of Enduring
Principle of Enduring is the hearted commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ – Acts 11:23 “Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cling to the Lord.” And Acts 14: 22 “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorted them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
- Sees the Invisible – Hebrews 11:27 “By faith he (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” For the Person to hold out he must believe in God and the unseen world (2Corinthians 4:17-18).
- Moved On – Psalm 37:23-24 “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and he delighted in His way. Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD up-holdeth him with His hand.” Face the issue squarely and moved on in life (Luke 22:31-32 – Peter).
- Rewards – 2Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” We are to keep the faith, fight the fight and finished the course. Paul kept true to the end because he saw the reward that he will receive from our Lord Jesus Christ.