Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Must I endure to be saved? Matthew 24:13 Part One

Matthew 24:13

13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

What does it mean to endure unto the end?  Religion says, “To the end of one’s life.”  Does that agree with the context?  Verse 3,6,14 reads:

 3And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the END of the world?

6And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the END is not yet.

 14And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the END come.

Nothing in the context even remotely states that if one endures to the end of their life would gain eternal life.  Jesus defined what He meant by the word “end.”  Jesus was answering the disciple’s question (vs.2-3) as to the signs of the end of the age in relation to the destruction of the temple.  Jesus talked about the temple being destroyed at the end of the age, and not at the end of one’s life.  The passage has to do with Israel’s great persecution they would be facing.  This is also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble and not Gentile tribulation.  

The one that endures to the end during this time shall be saved.  What shall be saved?  Does that mean when he dies he goes to heaven?  No, the context answers what exactly is saved in verse 22:

 22And except those days should be shortened, there should NO FLESH BE SAVED: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

It is talking about your physical life saved in the end, and not the end of your physical life where you die to go on living forever.    It has nothing to do with dying, but rather being spared the death from the tribulation.  

To further prove the foolishness of our opponents is to focus on the words, “And except those days should be shortened” as that would imply a briefer period.  If our opponents believe, “endure to the end” implies one’s life then they should pray that all believers die early (days be shortened), so that some flesh can be saved and go to heaven.  Do you see the foolishness of that?  You can see clearly that the “end” was referring to the tribulation that God shortened because if He did not, then no flesh would have been saved.  

One can even see from the OT describing Jacob’s trouble of one being saved “out of” this tribulation.  Jeremiah 30:7 reads:

 7Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Our opponents prey upon fear and ignorance into making people worry that if they do not faithfully endure until the end of their lives then they will not be saved.  The fact is, not one person today has endured to the end, because the end dealt with the destruction of the temple back in 70ad.  I guess we are all lost unless someone can figure out how to travel back in time, and find airfare to go back to the nation of Israel.

Part two will deal further with the words “unto the end” as I will address Hebrews 3:6,14; 10:38-39.

No comments: