9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
You may have noticed that we are in the last days. Now more than ever signs of Jesus’ prophecy about these times are becoming more and more true. Jesus said there would be tribulation and that believers would be hated and put to death. It has been said that more Christians died a martyrs death in the 20th century then all 19 centuries prior combined. The 21st century seems like it will be no different as stories of persecution continue to rise. Jesus spoke of false prophets who would lead many astray – this is happening in droves as men who claim to be pastors preach to itching ears and “churches” are being filled to capacity as these men persuade many to believe in a different Jesus and a different gospel. Jesus said that as persecution rises many will fall away; they will hate and betray one another. These are not pleasant truths to consider, but the evidence of Jesus’ words are all around us and the times seem to be getting darker. But there is a ray of hope, a light that shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it – it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the story of God’s redemptive work to save those who are his own to bring them from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. That gospel story will spread and it will reach to all the nations before Christ returns. How wonderful that will be, but the gospel will not only be proclaimed to the nations it is the very heart of what will cause us to endure to the end. Those who have placed their faith and trust in the saving work of Christ will endure, not because of their own effort, but because those who believe are being preserved by the Lord Jesus Christ himself. That’s what he is doing now as he lives to make intercession for us (Heb. 7). So the days ahead will get dark, there will be bad times for all those who believe, but fix in your mind the hope you have in Christ.