Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
I often think about the surprises I have experienced in my Christian walk and ask myself whether I would have given my life to God had I known what I would be required to lose. I certainly did not know at the time that I would lose so many people I considered important and would have to change so much of my life. Of course, that is what happens when you get saved the second time you go to church. The only thing I needed to know was that I was completely lost without Jesus, and that He was waiting with open arms. God’s word, however, makes it very clear what our justification and sanctification mean for our future here.
When I first began studying the Bible I noticed that my peers fell into one of three groups. As I spoke with them and studied the end times I was asked often whether I was pre-trib, mid-trib or post-trib. Even today I cannot say that I subscribe to one school of thought after having been convinced completely. I say today what I have said for years. Scripture warns us of how terrible the times will become, and we simply must be prepared for all possible scenarios. In the passage above, Jesus tells us that He is certain some will fall away due to deception and other worldly pressures. We may not know when exactly this will occur, but we certainly know how. There is a reason for this warning, and it is because some of us will need to heed it.
God’s grace makes it so that there actually are no surprises. He unfolds it all for us so that we are aware what may come. The only thing we need to do is read his word and study this instruction. The simplest way to break down this instruction is that we must be ready to endure. Trials, hardships and tribulation will come, but we must endure. If God poses this requirement it is only because He can give us what we need to meet it. He sets us up not for failure but for success. Rest assured that our Father in heaven will make a way no matter what we must endure in these end times, but we must be prepared. Father, give us wisdom to make ourselves ready and build our endurance for whatever trials might be ahead.