Patience and faithfulness are vital for endurance.
First, patient endurance answers the question “Why me?” Actually, with patience, we turn that question around and ask, “Why not me?”
Again, Jesus pulls back the curtain to show John, and the Church, what is happening in the spiritual realm. In the spiritual realm, there are dragons giving power, titles and authority to beasts. These beasts are now allowed to blaspheme God, do whatever they want, over power and conquer God’s people and deceive the world to follow them.
During persecution, It’d be easy to think there was something wrong with you. Instead, God gives the Church a picture that there is something wrong in the spiritual realm. These dragons and beasts have gone rogue in the spiritual realm. And those who have faith are the primary target of these spiritual enemies.
Patience allows us to see the whole picture. There is a spiritual battle happening that we can’t see, but we’re still a part of. With patience, we stay the course.
Now, faithful endurance answers the question, “Why not them?” With faithfulness, this question turns into, “Woe is them.”
As the curtain is pulled back, God reveals a grand deception to John. The dragon and the beasts are deceiving the world. Those who worship these creatures through unrepentant sin have bought into the deception hook, line and sinker.
And we also see a harder truth. The Lamb’s Book of Life never had the names of the deceived in it. Remember this is showing the reality of what we see through the lens of what God sees. Despite this being reality, we are not given the permission to determine who is and who is not written in the Book. God is teaching his church to be faithful. It is easy to not be faithful when everyone else around you is not faithful and they’re appearing to have a great time being unfaithful! The unfaithful were always unfaithful, so don’t follow them in their unfaithfulness!
Mercy tells us we have no desire for anyone to be deceived. And mercy teaches us we want no one to experience the wrath God has for those who follow the dragon and beasts into their demise. Though we are faithful, we work to bring others to faithfulness because we do not know what God knows.
God is strengthening his Church for patient and faithful endurance. Knowing what is behind the scenes allows us to be patient and faithful. When times are tough, and it seems like everyone else is having it easy, remember being patient and faithful will produce the endurance we need.
Throughout this year (Aug. 2016-Aug. 2017), CrossPoint will be reading through the New Testament. We are doing this because we’re learning about the Church and the New Testament is the handbook for the church. Therefore, join us as we follow this reading plan. Today’s reading is from Revelation 13.