2Timothy 2.11-13 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. (NKJV)
This is a faithful saying: If we endure, we shall reign with Him.
To reign with Him. Have you ever thought of about that? Sometimes our picture of eternal life with God is an eternal church service singing hymns that won’t be boring because we’re in heaven. Or maybe you have no idea what eternity will be like, you’ll just be glad to sneak through the gates.
- Rev 22.5 …And they shall reign forever and ever.
- Rev 20.6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
- Rev 5.10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
God has left us with many things to ponder about our future eternal life in Heaven but He has revealed enough that we can be assured that eternity will be infinitely more than a passive existence. We will reign with Christ. Jesus will be Supreme Lord, Judge, Commander, King and Ruler and in some capacity we will serve and assist Him in His reign over creation.
We shall reign if we endure. Endure what? As with our death in Him, this enduring encompasses both the question of salvation and how it applie to our daily sanctification. God has promised us endurance in our decistion of faith as part of the gift of salvation:
- John 5.24 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
- John 6.37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
- Eph 1.13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
- Heb 10.22-23 … let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
So as to the question of endurance in our belief and faith in Christ, true believers will endure to the end and receive the gift of eternity with God. God will see that none of His are lost.
How does this question of endurance apply to us on a daily basis and what spiritual profit is there in this endurance? In short, what we endure for the sake of Christ allows us to relate to Him better, depend on Him more, grow to be more like Him and love Him more fully.
- (Jas 5.9-11) When we endure mistreatment the Lord is merciful and compassionate toward us. We learn not to grumble and complain when others mistreat us.
- (Heb 12.7-11) When we endure chastening and correction, we mature and grow stronger in our faith. We are assured of God’s love for us for what good father does not correct and discipline His children. We are assured of God’s presence and attention because we know that He has to be paying attention to us and know us in order to discipline us.
- (2 Tim 4.5) When we endure afflictions in Christ’s name, we identify not only with His suffering but also with the suffering of other Christians, the Apostles and the martyrs.
- (2 Tim 2.10) When we endure suffering we help to bring salvation to others through our example of faith, trust, belief in Jesus and our commitment to God.
- (2 Tim 2.3) When we endure hardship we are fulfilling our duty as Christian soldiers. Ask any military war veteran about the hardships of warfare. We are enlisted in God’s Army and as such must endure as a faithful soldier the deprivations of the spiritual war we are engaged in (Eph 6.11-13)
- (2 Thess 1.3-12) We endure tribulation and persecution because it is the evidence of God’s righteousness, makes us worthy of entering the kingdom of God, and allows us to experience the peace and rest found only in the Lord.
- (1 Cor 9.12) We endure denying ourselves for the sake of not hindering the Gospel. At times we forego what is rightfully due us in order that the Gospel may more effectively and fully be demonstrated.
- (1 Cor 4.8-13) We endure mistreatment, reviling, deprivation, hard work, suffering and defamation as evidence of our commitment and obedience to Christ. Why? Because if the world hated and crucified our Master, how much will they hate and persecute us? (John 15.18; Luke 21.17)
Enduring is our path to spiritual growth. Enduring is obedience, faith, courage and love in action.
Enduring is our evidence and reminder of the reward to come.
Examine your life today. Do you endure anything for the sake of Christ? If yes, ask God to increase it. If not, ask God to reveal why you have escaped what is guaranteed to happen to all true believers in Christ.
Lord, give us the strength to endure suffering, persecution and hardship in Your name. Help us to clearly see and understand the incredible blessing it brings. Lord, though the thought of it is frightening, grant us the blessing of increased opportunities to endure. Exchange our fear for grace. Transform our lack of courage into trust. May You be glorified today through our enduring the consequences of life in a sinful world. In Jesus name. Amen.
Contemplation: What do you endure for the sake of Christ? Hardship, suffering, persecution?
Application: If you are enduring nothing for the name or sake of Christ somehow you have escaped the guaranteed persecution and suffering that Christians are blessed with. Ask God why.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?