In Matthew 24, Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” (vs. 3) Then, throughout the rest of the chapter, Jesus laid out for them what they (we) can expect.
One of the signs of His coming especially stands out to me. Jesus said, “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (vs. 10–11)
In Revelation, Jesus sent messages to seven churches in Asia Minor that existed at the time. The apostle Paul and his co-workers had established at least one of those churches (in Ephesus). Yet, at the writing of Revelation, a few short decades later, Jesus urged five of those churches to repent of their sin. In so short a time they were already falling into apostasy. We see the same happening with our churches today.
The antidote Jesus gives for this falling away from the faith is to stand firm. As men, we need to stand firm in God’s Word. His Word, the Bible, is our standard for faith, truth, and living. We must be men of the Word and live as men who believe and obey God’s Word.
We must stand firm in our love for Jesus Christ. To the church at Ephesus, Jesus warned, “You don’t love Me or each other as you did at first!” (Revelation 2:4 NLT) We must daily cultivate our love for the Lord and each other and demonstrate our love in the way we live.
We must stand firm by holding to the truth of God’s Word in the onslaught of deception introduced by false teachers and our culture in general. The Lord continually urges us to be alert and sober-minded. When the tide of cultural views is so strong and prevailing, it’s so easy to be swept away by it.
Today, our culture not only chooses to sin but celebrates it and calls us bigots and haters when we call them out on it. We must always love the sinner, but call out and stand against their sin.
Finally, be especially vigilant in your church. Many churches are watering down the Gospel and embracing worldly views and sinful practices. In their efforts to be culturally relevant, they take on the sinful mindset and practices of the culture.
You might be wondering to yourself, “Who am I to stand against this torrent of unbelief and apostasy?” Yet, Jesus urges you and me to stand firm, and if we stand firm together, with God’s power, we will make a difference.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 24:4–13
- Where have you perhaps yielded ground to our sinful culture?
- In what specific ways do you need to stand firm in the faith?
Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5