The King, Persecution, and His Coming
“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. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 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.” Matthew 10:21-23 (KJV)
These verses seem to allude to an eschatological meaning. Especially with the last part of the twenty third verse saying, “till the Son of man be come”. He is the one saying it, so must surely be speaking of His “coming again”, because while He speaks it His presence is without question. So in these times called the “latter times” or “Last days” we again must be diligent, and vigilant about living the gospel and proclaiming the gospel in our everyday lives.
When brothers, fathers, parents turn against us and our faith in Christ we must remain firm in Christ. It is hard to imagine but there are many stories of individuals who have been saved out of Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam, only to be shunned by their family, lose their jobs, even stoned by family members. This form of persecution is happening today in many parts of the world. A Christian brother by the name of Salim suffered rejection from his family after he received Jesus Christ as his savior, and he and his wife have been persecuted by beatings. Family members turning against their child because they have chosen to love Jesus.
MacArthur Study Bible on:
“24:13 endure to the end…be saved. Cf. 10:22. The ones who persevere are the same ones who are saved –not the ones whose love grows cold (v. 12). This does not suggest that our perseverance secures our salvation. Scripture everywhere teaches precisely the opposite: God, as part of His saving work, secures our perseverance. True believers are “are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation” (1 Peter 1:5)”
We have tended to get a little ahead of ourselves in some missions causes. We are sending missionaries to hostile lands, and I am not persuaded that that is a good policy. We have Jesus telling us, “When they persecute you in this city, flee ye to another.” I am not certain that my thinking is correct on this, but when we send missionaries into a hostile environment we are violating their laws; and just what does that say to the leaders of that Country? This is something Missions Boards and agencies need to be in earnest prayer about, and the lives of those that we send. Is there an open door if we enter it when they are hostile to what we are proclaiming? Is God really leading us to a place where the message of Christ is not welcomed? That seems to be what Jesus is referring to earlier (Matthew 7:6) about casting pearls before swine, and giving what is holy to dogs.
This calling of being a missionary to go into foreign lands requires much prayer, discernment, dedication and diligence to follow God’s direction. Though this does seem to be linked to the latter days, and the time near the second coming of the Lord Jesus, it is practical advice for the Christian disciple today as well. The time of His coming is near; nearer than ever before. No call to follow Jesus as a disciple should ever be taken lightly. The cost of following Jesus, until He comes, is your life.