We have entered a time of alarming lawlessness in our nation. When the government tramples on our God given constitutional rights with impunity, how much longer do we have before our religious broadcast and internet services are suspended? These are dangerous times – not only for our traditional American customs but for our spiritual lives as well. Will the people of God be able to withstand the onslaught of chaos and disorder in government and society all about us and endure spiritually unto the end?
"He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." (Mark 13:13).
Extremely trying days lie just ahead for those of us in the Church of God. Everything that we hold sacred will soon be overthrown – everything, that is, except our faith, which must continue until the very end. Over and over in the Bible the brethren are admonished to live lives of overcoming, and to remain faithful to the end.
Should we expect to find abundant faith just prior to the return of Jesus Christ, or should we anticipate finding very little faith among God's people? Over the last few decades we have seen a terrible erosion of faith. It seems clear from the following Scripture that there will be a scarcity of faith – even among the brethren of God’s Church. Jesus asked a very frightening and sobering question and stated a very grave comment about our day. He asked the question that probably shocked the original disciples:
“When the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
Why would Jesus ask such a stern rhetorical question if the great majority of the Church brethren would actually be growing in faith as we come to the end? Obviously, many will not continue until the end. Enduring to the end is not a matter of relying on our own strength and will-power. If we rely on ourselves – we will ultimately fail. We have the example of the Israelites who had the faith to leave Egypt, but lacked the faith in God to give them a victorious entry into the Promised Land. They did not endure unto the end – the promised rest (Hebrews 4:1-2). Do we have the proper faith in God to deliver us in every trial and bring us securely to the Kingdom of God? Jesus indicated that conditions would worsen as the end approaches:
"The night comes when no man can work." (John 9:4)
Copious time will not continue indefinitely for the brethren. Will we be in good standing with God when He brings everything to an abrupt end?
"He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth." (Romans 9:28)
Let’s not take it for granted that we will always be able to tune in to a plethora of literature and sermons.
"Behold, the days come, says the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord." (Amos 8:11)
Not only will Sabbath services not be available, those who continue to express their faith will be persecuted. Even now, long time, well meaning brethren, are being singled out and persecuted in God’s Church. No one is taking a stand to defend them. Often it is the wayward ministry demanding that “their authority” be recognized. When the disfellowshipped brethren beg for reinstatement to their local congregation they are made an example of so that all the other brethren will learn to submit in fear. Jesus said:
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever kills you will think that he doeth God service." (John 16:2)
The message is very clear; now is the time to draw near to God.
"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while he is near." (Isaiah 55:6)
These warning Scriptures show that it will be a small minority of the brethren who will be fully living up to God’s expectations of His people. It is not enough to be in a friendly congregation – there are many denominations that have pleasant services. It is not enough to be in a congregation that keeps the Sabbath – the Jews do that. It is not enough to be in a tithe paying congregation – there are Protestants who do that. Millions of so called “Christians” are missing the mark terribly. What kind of faith is Jesus looking for among His people? What makes a faithful Christian? Who in God’s Church is fully pleasing in His sight?
What is it that makes us Christians who live according to Godliness? How many attend Sabbath services for the purpose of provoking all the others to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24)? How many could define Godly love – or good works for that matter (1John 5:3)? How many are actually laying their lives down daily as Jesus Christ gave us example (John 15:13)? How many even know what that means to lay down their lives (1John 3:16)? How many know how to overcome Satan (Revelation 12:11)?
Are we striving with every ounce of our being to imitate the life of Jesus Christ? Paul said:
“We do not cease to pray for you that you will walk worthy of the Lord pleasing Him in all that you do, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9-10)
Brethren, it is not safe to think that we are all doing just fine; having all the faith in the world. Should we not heed God’s warning to us and aim high, seeking to have that faith of which Jesus spoke?
||"Will I Find Faith"