It is amazing that over the years, so many members of God’s Church family just simply walked away from the great promised rewards ahead. Of course, they found various reasons and excuses for their inexcusable conduct:
Real or imagined personal or other offenses, including from officials in the Church; feelings that prophecies were not being fulfilled fast enough; unwillingness to accept doctrinal changes, such as how to determine Pentecost; rejecting the authority which Christ placed in the Church, while feeling themselves superior; rejection of tithing, as giving one tenth back to God was considered to be unaffordable; pressures from their mates, parents, children or schools; loving the pleasures of the world more than God’s Sabbaths and Festivals; and finally, just wanting to fit in with those around them.
People who never grow to love all of God’s Way will find excuses in the end to leave. The responsibility of God’s true ministers in the body of Christ is to help in facilitating growth in God’s grace and knowledge, proving by the Bible what is correct, and to change any error in order to please God, not men.
God never promised that entering into the Kingdom was going to be an easy sled ride down a gradual slope Quite the opposite is true. It is rather through much suffering that we can inherit eternal life.
Matthew 5:11 tells us: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”
Matthew 10:23 adds: “ When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”
Luke 21:12 reads: “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake.”
In the end time, true Christians are almost guaranteed to experience some form of persecution, trials and tests, and some will even be martyred.
Look at what some of God’s true servants went through in the past, as Hebrews 11:32-39 explains:
“And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
“Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise…”
Notice, they did not receive the promise of eternal life and the inheritance of the Kingdom of God at that time, but they will in the future, together with us if we hold fast and endure to the end.
Very tough times are coming so it is important to be mentally prepared and remain close to God Who is our only true protection.
Notice also John 16:2: “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.”
If we have to go through serious trials, we must not be offended, but we must always bear in mind that God will not try us beyond our abilities. 1 Corinthians 10:13 gives us this promise: “No temptation [or serious trial] has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear.”
Even though trials and tests are coming, we must make sure that with God’s help, we do not fall into the category of those who walk away. We must be ready to accept God’s Will in all our trials and put all our trust in Him. We must cement His truth in our heart. We can grow in our relationship with God through daily prayer and Bible study. Then we will not be looking for excuses to leave when times get hard, and ultimately, we will receive our great rewards in the Kingdom of God.