TEXT: Matthew 10:16-23
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
Thomas Watson, “Persecution is the touchstone of sincerity. It discovers true saints from hypocrites. Unsound hearts look good in prosperity—but in time of persecution fall away. Hypocrites cannot sail in stormy weather. They will follow Christ to Mount Olivet—but not to Mount Calvary.”
In this series, we have looked at the persecution that Jesus warned the disciples they will inevitably face when telling others the Gospel message, both from the government and even their own family. As we turn our attention to verse 22, know that this verse is especially relevant to us because Jesus was describing future events here. The apostles themselves did not experience this type of persecution until after Jesus had died. John Walvoord and Roy Zuck wrote of this verse, “These words of the Lord probably had an application beyond His own lifetime. What was proclaimed here was more fully demonstrated in the apostles’ lives after the day of Pentecost in the spread of the gospel in the church. But these words will find their fullest manifestation in the days of the Tribulation when the gospel will be carried throughout the entire world before Jesus Christ returns in power and glory to establish His kingdom on the earth.”
On the 21st of April, Easter Sunday, three churches, along with smaller attacks on hotels and residences, were bombed by Muslim terrorists in Sri Lanka. 259 people were killed, and over 500 were injured. This attack was not in retaliation to anything. The Christians were not even proselytizing, just worshipping on Easter Sunday in a country where only 7% of people are Christian. So why was it carried out? This passage holds the answer — many people hate Christians for no other reason than that they are Christians, even when they are doing nothing but minding their own business. This hatred only increases in intensity when Christians spread the Gospel in a hostile world and confront the unsaved about their lost state.
However, Christ comforts us by saying that there will be an end to these troubles. Salvation awaits the Christians who endure persecution to the end, remaining faithful to Christ. While the end state of all sinful humanity is de ath and hell. those who are saved will be delivered from it. But what if a Christian wavers in persecution? Will he then not be saved? Well, just as St. Peter denied Jesus, but later repented and was eventually executed for His faith, all true Christians may waver and stumble, but they will eventually make a stand for the Gospel. Make sure that you are a Christian who will remain faithful to the end, so you will be saved from damnation.
Charles W. Naylor wrote:
I mean to go right on until the crown is won;
I mean to fight the fight of faith till life on earth is done.
I’ll nevermore turn back, defeat I shall not know,
For God will give me victory if onward I shall go.
Should opposition come, should foes obstruct my way,
Should persecution’s fires be lit, as in the ancient day—
With Jesus by my side, His peace within my soul,
No matter if the battle’s hot, I mean to win the goal.
I see a shining crown awaiting over there,
I see a mansion all prepared and decked with beauties rare:
Shall that which intervenes deprive me of my right?
Nay, on I’ll go until I reach that city of delight.
Then forward let us go, our hearts with love aflame,
Our snowy banner borne aloft, inscribed with Jesus’ name.
The hosts of evil flee, and heaven’s open gates
Invite me now to hasten where eternal glory waits.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.