Summary: Usually no one likes to consider themselves as weak, but we all need to find more strength in Christ so that we can together (as a church family) defeat a very real enemy – the devil.
STRENGTH TO STAND
~ Part Two ~
Enduring To The End
Usually no one likes to consider themselves as weak, but we all need to find more strength in Christ so that we can together (as a church family) defeat a very real enemy – the devil.
As we continue out series entitled, Strength To Stand – I want to bring to you a few passages of scripture that will help us all to (as Ephesians 6:10 states) “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”
The days of our being passive with our Christian faith have come to an end. The church can no longer be seen as just
• a social gathering
• a good place to meet friends
• sing some songs
• raise and clap our hands
• and return to our homes.
There are some who would just have it this way, but to make God’s House anything other than what God wants will be exactly what the devil wants.
I am convinced that Satan has a strategy (in these last days) to slowly pick off the weaker sheep who may be satisfied only to wander from one green pasture to the next.
But the Bible clearly tells us that we are to hold fast to our faith, and that is what I want to speak to you about today. The title of today’s message is
ENDURING TO THE END.
As we draw closer to the end of this age, it is easy to see that we are faced with days of uncertainty. I have heard several TV commentators and politicians (this past week) express their concern that what we are seeing in the news reports are the early days of WWW III.
Regardless of their opinions – we must make ourselves ready for the soon coming of the Lord to this planet. We will patiently for the Lord’s return, but we must remember that it is Christ alone Whom will give us STRENGTH TO STAND and the where withal to “Endure To The End”.
Text: Matthew 24:10 – 13
What Jesus has to say in the 24th chapter of Matthew has everything to do with what is happening today. The “love of many will grow cold.”
For a moment – Please pay careful attention to the word “love”…
The Greek word is “Agape”. Perhaps you’ve heard that word mentioned in church before. It is defined as the love that God has given to Christians, and is only used with God’s people. “Agape” is the love that Christ gave to us by willingly going to the cross for our salvation.
So in other words, what this verse says to us is that (in the last days) the
“love of many Christians will grow cold.”
How often do we think of these last days only in terms of people who are not Christians? Or, those who do not go to church?
What Jesus is referring to in this verse is specifically speaking to people like you and me…that is, the Christians. Jesus knew all too well about the Christians whose hearts would grow cold and weak in the last days. This problem actually took place in the small church that He was in (while here on earth). You remember who went to that church, don’t you?
Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew, etc…
No doubt but what that Jesus was very offended by those who were closest to Him. Perhaps this is just like how you have been offended by those closest to you (in church).
I would suggest that this is the reason why many believers find themselves discouraged, defeated and weak here in the last days.
Being a weak Christian is not God’s plan for anyone or any church!
Can we (for just a moment) look past our own individual problems and disappointments and give thought to how Jesus must have felt during the last (few) days before He gave His life on Calvary?
Listen to what might have been the thoughts of Jesus during those last days He was on this earth…
“In My greatest hour of need, My closest friends deserted Me. Judas betrayed me, Peter denied Me, and the rest fled for their lives. I had cared for each of them for over three years, feeding them and teaching them. Yet as I die for the sins of the world, I forgive them. I told them to ‘love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be the sons and the daughters of the kingdom.’
My friend – Jesus had STRENGTH TO STAND in spite of how His closest friends had failed Him. Jesus was able to ENDURE TO THE END all because He knew how to love unconditionally. Saint or sinner…it did not matter.