Faithfulness is the final journey of our faith, from Gods’ standpoint; in other words to be found true. Webster’s dictionary defines true as: (3) “fully realized or fulfilled.” I believe in healing, provision and all God has for me, but these are only shadows of the real, found in His presence in heaven itself. To that end you must be found faithful, or true. The focus of your faith can't be on the problems of this life because the end of your life is not in this world.
But it’s not easy to be faithful in this day and age. I Timothy 3:1-5 declares: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Coming against your faithfulness are the “perilous times” mentioned above. Notice that God didn’t say Paul’s times were perilous times, but “the last days”. Now in Paul’s day Christians were being eaten by lions, used by Nero as human candles and otherwise severely persecuted. But those weren’t perilous times, right? What could be worse from our standpoint?
A person could assume that the Apostle Paul lacked revelation. After all, even after being warned by Agabus the prophet of impending peril against his person in Acts 21:13, he was still ready to go to prison or death. Today some people think he was just a little bit over the top, a fanatic. Couldn’t he have just gone about his mission some other way and saved himself a lot of grief? The disciples in the passage above did suggest that very thing before Paul left for Jerusalem.
What he realized was the temporal nature of this life, and he was also sold out to God 100%. He knew that sometimes God doesn’t save His children’s skin. Sometimes it too gets sacrificed; the ultimate test of faith. Paul knew that standing for God’s Word is more important, for: Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 10:32).
A church not sold out to God is the real cause of perilous times. The church across the world has always been strongest when fewest in number and darkest when it grows large enough to take over governments. E.g. the dark ages were named so because of the sin of the church. The real mortal danger is to your soul, not your flesh. Matthew 24:12-13 gives us this truth: And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold, But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Psalm 116:15 says: Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Your death is precious in His sight. Your demise will begin a joyous homecoming party! That probably won’t make you jump for joy at the prospect of dying, but it will raise you from the grave in power. Don’t be deceived. This world is definitely not your home or the full realization of your faith!
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