But all is not lost. Look at Mt. 24:13, keeping in mind that we are talking about a time following the rapture of the church that goes through the seven years of tribulation. Even as evil is raging unbridled across this world, Jesus promised a reward to those who persevere. He says, “He who endures to the end shall be saved.” My friends, we need to understand at this very moment that the true test of salvation is not verbal profession but faithful obedience and perseverance to the end. Don’t misunderstand. Perseverance doesn’t earn salvation; it is the proof of salvation. This is the promise to those who persevere to the end, in spite of the trial and in spite of the tribulations, in spite of the treachery and in spite of the threat of death, that those who persevere to the end demonstrate that they were the true believers saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
And listen to this. Even though this period of time prior to Christ’s return will be characterized by a growing polarization between good and evil, even though persecution of and hostility towards everything Christian intensifies, and in spite of the deception of the false teachers, wars, and natural disasters, God’s people will increase in power, witness, and impact in this world so that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations. Did you hear me? The Great Commission of Jesus Christ will finally, ultimately, and gloriously be fulfilled. And then, Jesus said, the end will come.
Last week, I told you why I was spending so much time preaching on the signs that we are living in the last days. I am hoping to spark within you a sense of urgency about telling your story to a lost world. But today it is for some of you. You see, I believe that true believers in Christ will not have to experience the horrors of these last seven years. Praise God for that wonderful hope, but there are some here today who continue to say, “Lord, Lord,” professing with their mouths that they are saved but in reality are simply playing games with God. Their lives are their own. They’ve never surrendered their hearts to the King of Kings, and even now, the Holy Spirit is convicting you of this truth. If Jesus were to return right now for His church, you would be left behind to experience the wrath of God. But the good news is that God is waiting to say to His Son that it is time to rapture the church because He wants you to be saved. But He won’t wait forever. Can you afford to continue to play games with God and all the while know that His prophetic timeline is ticking down to the final moment?