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Keep your faith to the end

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | August 19, 2023 | Matthew 24:9-14


¹²Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, ¹³but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:12-13 (NIV)


If you read the story of the early church in the book of Acts, this passage is a very apt description of the difficulties they faced as Christians taking the Good News to others in a hostile world. Christians were beaten, arrested, martyred, left to die, and despised. But they were not deterred, not stopped, and not thwarted! Jesus' living and last word in Matthew's gospel was that he had authority over all things. On his authority, the disciples were to take the message of his saving power to every culture. They were not just to be faithful, but also to teach new disciples to be obedient and faithful. No matter what they faced or what happened, they were to remember that Jesus was with them.

In the present days when Christians are being persecuted simply for being Christians and so many in the Christian movement are sidetracked by sin, worldliness, and fear of offending someone else's sensibilities, Jesus' words are a sobering reminder that Satan will do anything he can to shut God's people up so the world will remain in darkness. But our heritage is a heritage of Good News, for all peoples, against all odds, and overcoming all difficulties! In a world that rejects and opposes the message of Christ, believers may face hatred, betrayal, and even death for their faith. This passage reminds us that following Jesus does not guarantee an easy path but promises His presence and ultimate victory. The increase in lawlessness can cause love to grow cold. Jesus encourages believers to endure to the end. Persevering through trials and hardships showcases the genuineness of our faith. It's not merely about starting the journey but finishing it faithfully. Our salvation is a result of God's grace, but our enduring faith is a testament to His work within us. The passage concludes with a promise that the gospel will be proclaimed throughout the world before the end comes. This serves as a reminder of our role in fulfilling the Great Commission, sharing the message of salvation with all nations. Our faithfulness in this task contributes to God's redemptive plan and the eventual return of Christ.


The reality of suffering for the sake of Christ is acknowledged. Believers are called to stand firm and endure persecution, trusting that God's purposes are being fulfilled even in difficult times. The concept of enduring to the end emphasizes the perseverance of genuine faith. This is not a call to "earn" salvation through works, but rather an affirmation that true faith perseveres and produces fruit throughout one's life.


Gracious Father, I pray that you strengthen my faith so that I may hold on to your truth with unwavering resolve. Pour out your grace upon me, that I may endure every challenge, knowing that you are my refuge and strength. Grant me the courage to stand for righteousness and share your love, no matter the cost. In the Name of Jesus, I pray, amen.


SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!! ____________________________

DAILY word study: STAND FIRM The English phrase "stand firm" in this verse is translated from the Greek words "ὑπομείνας" (hypomeinas) and "ἕως τέλους" (heōs telous). Let's break it down:

1. **"ὑπομείνας" (hypomeinas):** This is the aorist active participle form of the Greek verb "ὑπομένω" (hypomenō), which means "to endure," "to remain," or "to stand fast." It implies a sense of perseverance in the face of challenges or trials.

2. **"ἕως τέλους" (heōs telous):** This phrase translates to "until the end." "ἕως" (heōs) means "until," and "τέλους" (telous) means "end," referring to the conclusion or completion of something.

In this verse, Jesus is addressing the importance of endurance and perseverance in the midst of trials and challenges. He emphasizes that those who endure and stand firm in their faith until the end will experience salvation. The phrase "stand firm" carries a powerful message about the resilience and steadfastness required in our faith journey. It conveys the idea of remaining unwavering in our commitment to Christ, even when facing difficulties, doubts, or opposition. It's not just about enduring for a time; it's about maintaining our stance until the very end. This phrase encourages us to cultivate a faith that isn't easily swayed by circumstances or external pressures. It reminds us that our salvation journey is marked by continuous growth, refining, and reliance on God's strength. Standing firm means trusting in God's promises, relying on His grace, and persevering in our pursuit of righteousness.


How can you strengthen your ability to stand firm in your faith, especially during challenging times? What spiritual disciplines, habits, or truths can help you endure with unwavering determination until the end?

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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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