“…but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Mark 13:13/KJV).
Here we find the same words as we had in my two previous posts. This time I am referring to a text in the gospel of Mark. Mark has some detail in his account of Jesus’ speech on the end times worth considering.
Jesus speaks of greater pressure within families. People would lose their interest in family ties just because of some family member believing in Jesus. They would disregard their sense of belonging together. They would disown Christian family members:
“Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.” (Mark 13:12/KJV).
It is not a rare thing in Muslim families, for example, that some family member who becomes a believer in Jesus is expelled from the family. Brothers give up their sense of brotherhood. Parents do not want to see their child ever again, just because of his or her faith in Jesus.
We also have heard from Communist countries that put much effort in the ideological upbringing of children that it is dangerous for parents to let their children know about their faith in Jesus. The children might tell this to some other children or to some teacher at school. This might lead to the parents being sought out by the authorities. This might lead to parents being punished – just because they believe in Jesus.
“All men shall hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Mark 13:13/NIV).
Jesus here speaks of a situation where the public opinion has become ill disposed towards Christian believers. They do not appreciate these believers. They are fairly prepared to believe any evil thing being told about Christians.
In the time of the Emperor Nero there was a fire in the City of Rome. A fire could be very devastating at that time. Huge overcrowded buildings largely made of wood could catch fire easily.
At that time the Christians were accused of having lit that fire. This led to Christians being persecuted. Many were put to death.
Jesus does not promise that we should never experience any trouble or difficulty. Yet he wants to carry through all them who trust in Him. He wants to sustain us and he is calling for our faithfulness and endurance.
At times some might begin to profess faith in Jesus merely in order to gain some timely advantage. Such people could easily give up their faith if some kind of persecution should arise.
Happy and Blessed Christmas to All My Readers!
Having made this post ready for publishing I have noticed we are very close to Christmas by now. For a moment I wondered, if it would not have been better to share a Christmas related post today. Finally I have recalled that December 26th is also a day to commemorate St. Stephen, who was the first martyr of the Christian church as related in Acts chapter 7.