The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Obtaining the Promise

Posted by israeliteindeed on January 4, 2015

Speaking of Abraham, Heb. 6:15 declares:

And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Note that he did not obtain the promise immediately, but only after he had patiently endured the hardships of this life.

We must also continue in a faith like that, as the writer of Hebrews speaks again:

But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.”

But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. (10:32-39)

These early saints “endured a great struggle with sufferings.” They endured their own tribulations, and brought even more suffering on themselves by compassionately aligning themselves with other persecuted Christians. They were instructed to continue enduring, for only after enduring in the will of God could they obtain the promise. This is fully in line with Jesus’ teaching, “He who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt. 10:22)

There is such a thing as not believing to the saving of the soul, or falling away in time of testing. This is a faith that refuses to endure hardship in the present life. Because it refuses to suffer now, it forfeits the Promise. We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. (Rom. 8:17)

And what was/is the Promise? Is it a happy and care-free life on this earth? No indeed! The Scriptures are clear that the Biblical saints lived as pilgrims, like Christ, having no place to call home.

Arise and depart, for this is not your rest; because it is defiled, it shall destroy, yes, with utter destruction. (Micah 2:10)

This world is not our rest. We are forbidden to love it or be a friend to it, precisely because it can never be our rest. It is defiled, and it will be burned!

Recently I’ve seen many Christian brothers and sisters having health problems, financial problems, and of course relational problems as they are cast out by those who claim to be their brethren. The whole creation is groaning, waiting for the sons of God to be fully and finally revealed. Is anyone groaning more than the true saints?

It is easy to fall away in times of testing, and these are most assuredly times of testing. It is tempting to think God has forsaken us; or that His giving us over to the slaughter, as it were, is unfair. It is tempting to reason that our doing good has only brought us harm, and to envy the ease with which the wicked sail through life claiming to be “blessed.” But we must consider not only what is happening now, but what will be the latter end for both the righteous and the wicked. We must see things with spiritual eyes rather than carnal eyes, lest we complain against God and fall in the wilderness, never entering into the rest which remains for His people. We have tremendous need of endurance if we are to finish this difficult race with a steadfast faith.

Please be encouraged if you are suffering as a Christian. God has chosen the poor of this world to inherit the riches of the next (James 2:5). God has chosen the weak of this world through whom to manifest His strength, and He has chosen to declare His Name through those who are despised (Psa. 22). If you walk by your spiritual eyes rather than your carnal eyes, you can endure like Moses (Heb. 11:24-27)–he was able to endure the wrath of this world’s elite and powerful, because he looked to the Invisible One, who would soon crush satan under his feet. He esteemed the reproach of Christ as the true riches compared to all that he could have had in Egypt (the world).

Our brother, who was crucified, wrote the following:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. (I Pet. 5:8-10)

Until that day that He has perfected, established, strengthened and settled us, let us remember that the entire brotherhood of Jesus is experiencing sufferings with us. Let us be vigilant to guard our hearts against the devil’s schemes to get us to turn away from the Lord Jesus. No one else has the Words of Life; there is no where to go but to Him. We will suffer “for a while.” I know it can feel like our troubles are unending, but they aren’t. Our suffering is temporary and it will end. If we do not draw back to perdition, we will obtain the Promise, and He will wipe away every tear.

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