I was reading the tenth chapter of Matthew this morning and two things jumped out at me. So I decided to pass them on to our Trumpet readers.
Matthew 10:22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
My first few years as a Christian were in a Pentecostal Church. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “Pray for me that I will endure to the end,” for it was a very common testimony back then. The thought was to “hold on to my salvation unto the end,” and the end was the end of life or the end of the world, whichever came first.
Revelation 21:1 speaks of a new heaven and a new earth because the first heaven and the first earth passed away. Many Christians take this literally, that the physical earth and heavens will at some point in time no longer exist. However, Psalm 37: 9 says that evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait on the Lord will inherit the earth. Then in verse 11 of the same chapter it says that the meek shall inherit the earth. Then in Matthew 5:5 Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Now, if the earth in completely obliterated, the meek may not have it very long.
The Apostle Peter says something about this in his second epistle: “The heavens and the earth, which are now, are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (3:7). Fire, in the Bible, is seen as a purifying and cleansing agent. And Hebrews 13:29 says that our God is a consuming fire. So the purpose of the fire is not to eliminate but to purify. That which is evil and contaminated will be taken out. The fires of God will in a sense eliminate the world as it is and bring forth a new one. For example, the world I existed in before I became a Christian came to an end. It no longer existed. I was in a new world. Also, I am expecting my present world to come to an end, too. I am expecting my relationship with the Lord to change dramatically. I expect it to be world changing!
Now, let’s get back to our text. What does Jesus really mean when He says, “He who endures to the end will be saved”? The Greek word translated “end” here is telos, and it means “the goal set out for.” And the word translated “endure” is hupomeno. It does not mean to just hang on until you reach the end of your trials. It means to persevere while you are pressing forward. You are not to hold on to whatever your salvation is right now; you are to press forward to the fullness of it, that is, “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). You would be sinning against the Lord to hold on to that little bit of salvation you have instead of pressing forward until you are “filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19)
Let’s take this one step further. The “end” is Christ. Jesus said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the end” (Revelation 21:6). The Church must become a many-membered Christ, and that has not happened yet! The Church must endure to the end; it must endure until it is Christ!
Matthew 10:36 A man’s enemies will be those of his own household.
We realize there can be divisions, even hatred, among family members. Yet, it is not the common rule. Family members are usually quite close. Even among non-Christians there is usually much love between family members. While it is most unusual for family members to be enemies, there is a way in which Jesus’ statement (a man’s enemies will be those of his own household) will be the norm.
Jesus’ teachings always have a mystical element, and if we only understand the actual words spoken we will miss what He is really saying. That is why He often finishes by saying, “Who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Matthew 13:9). The key to unlocking our text is found in the writings of the Apostle Paul.
II Corinthians 5:1-2 We know
that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from
God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,
2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven.
Your house is your fallen flesh-nature. Just as Jesus was born in a stable among the animals, you were born into this world surrounded by the animalistic nature of your flesh-life. Your enemies are the various aspects of your flesh-nature, and they members of your household. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:17-18. Paul follows these two verses with a list of the works of the flesh; that is, the various animals of your flesh that would rend you – the members of your household.
Copyright © 2005 by Henry DuBose