Faithful... To The Very End


Faithful God, I praise You for Your everlasting presence.


As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 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, 1but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:3–14


Have you had times in your life when you experienced the opposite of what you expected? How did you react?

Jesus is now talking privately to his disciples on the Mount of Olives. The group would have enjoyed a panoramic view over Jerusalem and its temple—a magnificent, imposing structure that had recently been rebuilt by Herod the Great.

Again and again the disciples are to find that their ideas of Jesus as triumphal Messiah who will dispatch the occupying Romans will differ radically from reality. Jesus has just told them the shocking news that the Temple will be destroyed. The disciples would have found it hard to dissociate the destruction of the Temple from an immediate “end of the ages.”

Jesus stresses that nobody knows the exact time (24:36,44), but that the Gospel will need to be preached to the whole world before “the end will come” (14). He uses apocalyptic language to describe the “birth pangs,” or indications of the end times—wars, famines and earthquakes (7,8), rumors of false messiahs (4,5) and the persecution of Jesus’ followers (9). All of these things mentioned have characterized the entire age of the church. What Jesus will now concentrate on is the importance of faithfulness, of perseverance to the end despite the cost (13).


It has been said that one will not die for Christ if he cannot live for Christ each day. Do you consistently walk in obedience in the little things? What do you need to change in your actions and choices?


Gracious God, Thank You for Your endless well of forgiveness. May we be so rooted in You that we are not governed by our impulses. Remind us that it is not perfection You desire; Your love is not conditional on our actions. Help us to have patience and grace for ourselves as we grow. We pray that our capacity for self-control increases as we surrender to You. May we love those around us well as they walk this same challenging path. You are good, even when we fall short. Amen