And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. – Matthew 10:22
One theme of the biblical story is that of endurance.
We talked about this a bit yesterday, and it’s something that has caught my attention in a fresh way.
The world is a tough place…
There are friends of mine—today—who are enduring pain and suffering in their lives both for the cause of Christ and…frankly…just due to their own personal circumstances.
I’m sure many of you could relate.
What is biblical endurance?
I like this definition from The Dictionary of Bible Themes:
“The ability to persevere in a task or calling. The Christian is called to endure in the face of trial or opposition, and his endurance brings spiritual rewards.”
We tend to forget that Bible speaks of spiritual rewards.
In the context of witnessing, I wrote this in my book, God, the Great Commission, and You:
…there are a variety of roles in the process of bringing someone to Christ. We don’t have to be twins. If you find yourself to be a good planter, plant! If you’re a good waterer, water! According to your faithfulness, you will receive a reward. Notice that only God can give the increase. This means no one wins an award for bringing the most souls to Christ. Such a notion is explicitly contradicted by the teaching of this passage. And thank God! No; the reward is meted out according to how faithful you are to carry out the role you’ve been tasked with: to plant, to water, or possibly both, and only you know what your role is. This comforting truth should remove any excuse you think you have when it comes to the process of bringing others to Christ.
So the message today, friends, is simple: Just endure.
By enduring in the work, we “prove” our faithfulness to God’s calling on our lives.
I really like this theme—if for no other reason than it gives me a reminder of my calling in Christ Jesus.
Perhaps, it will do the same for you.
P.S. By the way, in case you are interested in understanding more about how the Bible places spiritual rewards in the context of faithfulness to God’s work in the world, I discussed that in-depth in God, the Great Commission and You. Grab a copy here: SteveSchramm.com/GGY