From Paul in 2 Timothy 1:12; “…which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that day, what has been entrusted to me.” (ESV, all emphasis mine)
And then Jude 1:24-25; “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy; to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Chris our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority before all time, and now and forever.”
One more. Titus 1:2; “…in hope of eternal life, which God never lies, promised before the ages began.”
The apostle Paul wrote the 2 Timothy and Titus verses. In the beginning, he not only was an unbeliever but was a persecutor of anyone who belonged to “the Way,” which is what the Christian movement was first known as. He would go to the homes of the believers and cause them to be arrested. And because of this, some were even martyred. He was very zealous in what he did because he believed what he was doing was right.
Then, in Acts 9, Paul went to the High Priest of the Sanhedrin, asking for letters to the Synagogues at Damascus to help him locate believers there. On the road to Damascus, Paul had an encounter with Jesus, and his life was forever changed. He continued being zealous in his belief, but now it was for Jesus instead of against Him.
For anyone who believes they have sinned so greatly that they can’t be forgiven, Paul is a great example of someone who repented and even became a great apostle for the Lord. Once he knew the truth, even the possibility of his own death did not make him back down. Our God knows all of our weaknesses and is willing to forgive us and allow us to choose His Son for eternal life.
Also, consider Peter, who denied the Lord three times at His trial, yet he also was forgiven and became bold for the word of the Lord.
The Way became even closer to Jesus in Antioch, where disciples there were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:25-26). From the very beginning, followers of Jesus have been hated just as He said we would be. John 16:33; “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Jesus knew what it was like to be hated because of the religious leaders of His day. They looked at Him as being an intruder that was going to ruin their positions of power. Jesus called them out as the hypocrites they were, and as a result, He went to Calvary. It should be noted, He knew exactly where all this would lead as given in John 10:17-18; “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down; and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”
His immediate family, except for His mother, of course, did not believe in Him at first. After His resurrection, two of His brothers became firm believers. In his epistle, James calls himself “a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude, or Judas, identifies himself as “a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James.”
Jude 1:24-25 verses are credited as being written by Jude, brother of James, brother of Jesus. Both Jude and James were martyred for their belief in their Holy Brother. Jude was killed by an ax, and James was stoned. Yet, after they accepted Jesus as their true Savior, they would not recant even to save their lives.
This brings to mind a song by Daniel W. Whittle in 1883, known as “I Know Whom I Have Believed.” Consider the message of this great hymn.
1.) I know not why God’s wondrous grace to me He hath made known. Nor why unworthy, Christ in love redeemed me for His own.
R.) But I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.
2.) I know now how this saving faith to me He did impart. Nor how believing in His Word wrought peace within my heart. (R)
3.) I know not how the Spirit moves, convincing men of sin, revealing Jesus through the Word, creating faith in Him. (R)
4.) I know not what good or ill may be reserved for me. Of weary days or golden days, before His face I see. (R)
5.) I know not when my Lord may come, at night or noonday fair. Nor if I walk the vale with Him, or meet Him in the air. (R)
Today, we are in a world in which Jesus told us there would be a turning away from the faith. This has become obvious, especially within just the past couple of years. There are evangelical churches that previously were much more Bible-oriented. Today, some are advocating the LGBT, and all the rest of the letters, as somehow now being acceptable to the Lord. Sadly, many of their members are going along with that agenda. Just recently, there was a report of a “drag queen” reading stories to kids from the pulpit of a prominent church. Members who complained were told to accept it or leave.
For true believers throughout the world, our environment is becoming very unfriendly. In some nations, Christians are being martyred for not converting to a man-made religion. In some countries that were at least neutral in the past, laws are being passed that are making it illegal for believers to exercise their faith. In some places, it’s become against the law to educate children that alternative lifestyles are sin. Parents face fines and even imprisonment for breaking those laws.
With all that’s happening, some may say God is being taken by surprise. Actually, the surprise is that God is “allowing” all this to take place to confirm we are at the end of this age and to fulfill His word.
Does anyone really believe our government could change drastically, almost overnight, without God allowing it? He has a timetable that we can only guess what’s next. Yet, He is right on time for prophecy to be fulfilled. To date, all prophecy has been fulfilled with 100% accuracy.
The world is preparing for a new evil leader to come forth. Some groups aren’t even trying to hide this any longer as they are advocating a “new world order.” It will happen just as God said it would, but first, all true believers who have received and accepted Jesus as their Savior will be taken up to meet Him in the air. We will avoid the whole tribulation period just as God promised we would (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). All who will be left behind will face the worst 7-year period of time this world has ever known.
Everyone, All, can make their eternal address to be with Jesus. He prepares a place for all who will receive and accept Him as given in John 14:1-3. Romans 10:9-13 gives the easy-to-understand steps: confess sins and admit we need a Savior; Jesus is that Savior, and the only way to have eternal life in Heaven; All who call on Him will be forgiven and saved.
Romans 8:1 is a genuine promise from our Father given through Paul; “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” He will be coming soon (Luke 21:28), and it’s definitely not too early to seek Him. Tomorrow could just be too late, as we do not know the day, hour, minute, or second that He will call. Our Father will not force anyone to receive and accept His Son but will accept all who truly call on Him. No one can buy or earn their Salvation, as it’s a gift from Jesus that He paid for with His own lifeblood. He would love for all to be a part of His flock, and that includes all who are reading this. Call today; it will be the very best decision you will ever have made!
Maranatha – Come Quickly, Lord Jesus!