“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints.” This phrase occurs twice in these verses in the ESV and at least for me, this is what sticks out to me today. (I love how the Holy Spirit draws our attention to different parts of God’s Word at different times in our lives. We can read the passage over and over and “hear” different things each time.) Although these chapters are a huge part of the debate, I intend to steer clear of those arguments and focus on those things which most would agree on.
No matter what happens in the last days, these chapters are clear that it is not going to be a walk in the park. There will be deception, and idolatry, and blasphemy, and war on the saints, and martyrs, etc. However, throughout it all, we are called to endure, to persevere. The second time the phrase appears, it defines the saints as “those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”
I don’t know about you but I struggle with these things without having the persecutions that are described here in Revelation. My faith is solid. I truly believe in Jesus and strive to give over all of my life to Him. However, I still struggle with unbelief. I do a pretty good job of keeping most of the commandments most of the time, but I fail sometimes too. (And even just one failure deserves death and separation of God.) This is a high calling and one that is ultimately impossible without God’s intervention.
The good news is that He has intervened (the cross) and He continues to intervene (the Holy Spirit) and according to these chapters in Revelation, He will intervene in the end of days too. We are called to endure – to hang on – to keep believing – and strive to live out the things He speaks through His Word. High calling? Yes. Impossible? Yes. Discouraging some days? Yes. But I appeal to you to just hang on to Him – He will intervene and He will be victorious.
– Steve Corn