A Question I Was Asked:

Does Matthew 24:13 Make 'Staying Faithful' a Human Work Which Can Save Us?

I appreciated your article on the Great Tribulation but just one thought: Does not Matthew 24:13 make staying faithful to the end a human 'work' which can save us?

UK Apologetics Reply:

Okay, let us look at this, but we need to take in a few more verses to ensure we are getting the context correct:

9. "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11. and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13. but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:9-13).

This refers to Christian persecution, notice: "you will be hated by all nations because of me." Of course, as we all know, Nero initiated the first great persecution of Christians in AD64 and many were killed, these persecutions would then come and go until Constantine recognised Christianity in the 4th century AD, but other persecutions of God's people would still come and go through the centuries. Overall, these have now intensified again during the last 25 years or so. Also, note that the arrival of "false prophets" (verse 11) would be part of this whole scenario; these could be sub-Christian cults and sects who spend their time trying to poach members from established Christianity by using a perverted "gospel," or other major religions.

Who Stands Firm?

Jesus stated that those who resist these assaults on our Faith "...will be saved." Now, does their standing firm therefore become a human work which can facilitate salvation? Absolutely not, don't forget that Jesus also said,

23. At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Messiah!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25. See, I have told you ahead of time. (verses 23-26).

The point is: it is not possible to deceive the elect of God. These are the people God has called from eternity to serve Him in in the restoration of all things upon Earth; God's people of the Old Testament are there, so are all the saints and Apostles, so, hopefully, are you and I. These are the 144,000 who might be a little confused or deceived for a while but not for long; God does not allow these people to remain deceived.

But this is something that God Himself has granted to His people, it is not any sort of human 'work'!

As I have pointed out in some recent articles, others too will be saved, simply the recipients of God's unbounded mercy but, of course, all who are finally saved are only saved through the blood of Christ; the New Testament is clear that there is no other way into God's kingdom:

7. Therefore Jesus said again, "Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14. "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - 15. just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. (John 10:7-16).

Robin A. Brace. December 15th, 2017.