I’m going to take off with this one, so buckle up for the ride, my sister. So much is happening in our world today. We have the coronavirus, riots, defunding the police, division, vaccines, contact tracing talks, the peace deal, and the presidential election brewing all at the same time. Our world is in chaos. And let’s not forget about life’s tests and trials, right? This calls for enduring faith all the way unto the end.
Spiritually speaking, Jesus forewarned us that before He returns, there will be wars and rumors of war, nation against nation, kingdoms against kingdoms, famines, earthquakes in many parts of the world. He also said in Matthew 24:8, “But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.” I believe we’re in the “more to come” part.
Naturally speaking, when a woman is getting ready to give birth, the contractions get closer and closer. It means the baby is coming soon. And it’s very painful. So pause and consider what Jesus is saying here.
We are living in the last days, my sister. And as the days get closer to Christ’s return, it will be painful. It will be trying. It will be tough. But as believers, we are going to need to stand firm together and having enduring faith unto the end.
In Matthew 24:9-14, Jesus explains the future to the early disciples of what it will look like before He returns. He said, “Then you will be arrested and persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other and many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures unto the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” (always pay attention to the word “then”)
This passage of Scripture was written for all of us as believers to read, consider, and prepare. Guess what, sis? There will be a standing generation that is here to see the end. The early apostles were not the ones, but based on what we are experiencing today, we could be that very generation to see the coming of the Lord – the rapture of the saints/the church.
While the actual word “rapture” is not in the Bible, the words “caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” are referenced in the Bible and that is what “the rapture of the church” is all about.
First Thessalonians 4:15-17 describes it this way, “We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of an archangel and with a trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.”
Amen! In this post, I am encouraging you, but I am also warning you at the same time to…
- Stay alert
- Love others (during a time when the love of many is waxing cold)
- Remain faithful
- Choose whom this day you will serve
- Continue growing and maturing in your faith (do not drift or fall away)
- Endure hardships in life and persecution unto the end
Now, before I close this post, I want you to listen closely, my sister. I believe that while there is so much unrest going on in our world, the global church (which also means America) is on the verge of persecution like we’ve never seen before in history. Pastors and leaders are now beginning to have this conversation, because it’s time to talk about it based on what’s happening and forthcoming. Are you hearing and seeing more people and leaders talking about it?
Whether you believe in pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or post tribulation (which has been a debate for years, however it is not a salvation issue), this is not the time to fight against one another on any issue, but to stand firm together unto the end. The early church experienced persecution and we are not exempt in our day.
My encouragement to you in the coming days and years is to not only remain faithful in your walk with Christ in every way, but to also continue working (just as the apostle Paul warned the church of Thessalonica – found in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18), to also keep occupying until the Master returns as Jesus said through the parable found in Luke 19:13, do not grow weary in well doing as Galatians 6:9 encourages, and preach the gospel.
Remember what Jesus said. While all those things were happening in Matthew 24, He said that the Good News will be preached throughout the world. So let’s do our part in our time and in our generation. Let’s preach to whomever the Lord will allow us to share the gospel with and endure, my sister. Let us endure unto the end, because we are truly in this together.
Enduring Faith Scriptures
“Be careful then, my dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning away from the living God. You must warn each other, while it is still ‘today,’ so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.”
“Wasn’t it the people who disobeyed him? So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest…So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall. So then since we have a High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe.”
~Hebrews 3:18-19 & Hebrews 4:11 & 14
“For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”
“Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for 42 months. And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling – that is, those who dwell in heaven. And the beast was allowed to make war with the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made – the Book that belongs to the lamb who was slaughtered. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand. Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword. This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.”
(i.e. the endurance and faith of the saints)
“He required everyone – small and great, rich and poor, free and slave – to be given a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. And no one could buy or sell anything without that mark, which was either the name of the beast or the number representing his name. Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.”
“Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or on the hand must drink the wine of God’s anger. It has been poured full strength into God’s cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. The smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever, and they will have no relief day or night, for they have worshiped the beast and his statue and have accepted the mark of his name. This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently, obeying his commands and maintaining their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!’”
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
(Also read Revelation 14:14-20 – parallel passage/”the sickle and harvest”)“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth has disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. It is finished! I am Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end.’”
~Revelation 21:1-4 & 6
“To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of a water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars – their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
~Revelation 21:7b & 8
*If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ…TODAY is the day of salvation. Choose whom this day you will serve. I pray that you choose Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. He died for your sins so that you could have a right relationship and life eternal with God our Father in heaven. He loves you so much. I pray that you’ll accept Him into your heart and begin living for Him beginning today.
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
QUESTION: Got questions? Need salvation and would like me to pray for you as well? If so on either one, email me directly. I’d love to hear from you.
If you need prayer for something other than what was discussed in this post, please leave your prayer request in the comment section or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pray for you.
ONE MORE THING! It’s finally here! My Cover and Feature Stories! I am all about supporting my fellow sisters in Christ. Check them out through interviews that I’ve conducted with them and continue growing in your faith from the inside out…read this month’s Cover Story with Valorie Burton…
Also, discover more resources from my ministry and find out more information about upcoming events and booking for your next conference or event by visiting www.courtnayerichard.com. Let’s connect and let me know how this post ministered to you today! ~Courtnaye
Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in their walk with Christ from the heart and equips them to fulfill their God-given purpose. She is also the author of the book, IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ and Moving Forward in Your Purpose. Courtnaye is married with three beautiful children and is a contributing writer for ibelieve.com, Women’s Ministry Tools, speaker of a host of women’s conferences, and her blog reaches thousands of women across the globe. She resides in the beautiful Texas Hill Country (outside of Austin, Texas).