Daily Readings and Thought for December 26th. “ENDURANCE AND FAITH”
“Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints” [Rev.13 v.10]
This statement in Revelation was true then – and it is just as true today, and it is almost certain to become even a guiding principle in the lives of earnest believers before God “shortens” [Matthew 24 v.22] life on earth by sending the Lord Jesus back here, otherwise no human beings would be left alive.
Honesty should compel all dedicated students of God’s word to admit that some things, maybe many things in the Bible are a “challenge” to understand and the history among those striving to be true believers is full of examples of mistakes made in trying to be specific in expounding prophecy, and time has proved them wrong.
That said though, it is clear from what is written that there is to be, and has been throughout history, a continuing battle between that which is true and right in relation to God and that which is a human perversion of that truth.
It was so in the time of Jesus and we read in several places how Jesus condemned the religious leaders for teaching their own traditions. [Matthew 15 v.3-6] These are represented in Revelation as a dragon and a beast. We read of a beast that looks somewhat like a lamb [13 v.11] but when it opens its mouth it is clear it is not.
It is very much a lesson of life that one never judges simply by appearances! This is why it is essential to read and absorb the teachings of the Bible for ourselves, especially the words of Jesus and the apostles.
In past Centuries, those represented by the symbols of the beast and the dragon, often persecuted those who followed the lamb and sometimes they became martyrs – as some of the first disciples eventually did. Revelation pictures this in some places.
Today, as well as seeing those who think Christ accepts them as his followers teaching things which Christ did not teach, we also have to contend with human imaginations that we are just the highest form of animal life! That all that exists has evolved by pure chance – an incredible accident – and there is no Creator!
As a result there is even greater immoral behaviour now – there is “no fear of God before their eyes” [Rom. 3 v.18]. So the call for“endurance and faith” goes out today more than ever.