There will be trouble for the end times church as Jesus tells us in this next section. The church will have trouble and individual Christians will suffer for it. There will be a sifting of the wheat from the chaff in the end times and there will be no fence sitting, as these end times will be times for making a stand.
Jesus says that Christians will be delivered up to death and many will fall away. Those who were their brothers and sisters will betray some, and all Christians will be hated by the nations of the world for bearing the name of Christ. These are drastic times for the church and for Christians. Any who proclaim the name of Jesus will be in difficult circumstance. In spite of these fearful warnings though, we must stand firm and fear not. It is the Lord’s battle and he will wage it according to his plans. If some of us die in that battle for taking a stand for Jesus, then so be it. Our reward will be to stand with Jesus on his return and not suffer the loss of our eternal salvation. We will not be cast out as like the sinners and those who choose to oppose Jesus Christ.
These will be times for bearing testimony to Jesus Christ. They will be times for endurance as it is those who endure to the end who will be saved. They will be wicked times and we will see wickedness multiplied. And because of the increase in sin and wickedness in the world we will see that the love of people for their fellow man will grow cold. People will not readily extend a helping hand to those in need, they will not condemn those who do evil, they will fear retribution and so turn away their eyes when they see a wrong committed and they will ignore or reject the plight of those who have been wronged. This is all part of this prophecy of Christ for these end times and we are seeing many of these things happening today.
Prior to the end coming Jesus says there will be many false prophets who will lead many astray. If we are not solidly grounded in the truth and the word of God, then we may also be led astray. It is essential to learn the truth of the gospel now. At this later time it may be too late. Urgency is of the utmost importance. This is not like a school exam where you can cram it all in the night before. Learning the truth of the Christian message and having the truth of the New Covenant take effect in your life takes time. To become mature in Christ is a long road and you cannot expect it to happen overnight.
There will be opportunity to hear the truth of the gospel in the end days amongst all of the false teaching in the church and in the world. For Jesus says, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.” (Verse 14) The key words here are “this gospel.” There are many gospels in the world and many are tainted by the opinions of some preachers or church positions. There are some that are simply polluted and false that are designed to do bring gain to the preacher. But Jesus says that “this gospel” must be preached before the end. He is talking about the gospel of the truth. He is talking about HIS gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ that leads men to freedom and to peace.
At present the true gospel, like the true church is hidden from the prying eyes of man. The true gospel is the message of salvation from sin, death and the law and sets man free from all of the things that bind him up both under the law and in the nature of the human passions of the flesh. Only through the gospel of Jesus Christ can a man be set free and only through faith and the grace of God is this achieved. At the right time this true gospel of Jesus Christ will be made plain and open to all of mankind. The time is not yet right for when it does go out and is preached to all of mankind, then there will be a polarising effect such as has never been seen before. Everyone will have to take a position either for or against Christ when this gospel is preached. Those who stand against it will make war on those who stand with Christ. But Christ’s soon to come return will shut them down and prove where the truth stands.
These are interesting times we live in for many who are here today will see these things unfold. These will also be times of trouble and in this section we are called to endure for the sake of Jesus Christ. No person can hide their head in the sand over this matter and these teachings. They will happen whether we like it or not. We must make a stand and we will be forced to make a choice. The choices are clear to be with Christ or against him. There is and will be no middle ground. You must choose where you stand and then do something about it to seek the truth of Christ and the transforming power of his gospel.