The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
2 Timothy 4:18
The ultimate purpose of suffering
Yesterday we looked at the fact that we’re kept. But for what are we kept? The New Testament writers were at pains to encourage believers to press on towards their goal, knowing that Heaven was their home, but that there would be many dangers facing them along the way until they reached their home. When people are born again they are saved and can never be lost; they have eternal life. Jude, speaking of the consummation of all things, wrote, “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” (Jude v. 21). Paul, looking forward to glory in his second letter to Timothy, said, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:18). We have already seen that Peter looked forward to a salvation “ready to be revealed in the last time”. We are told that we are “kept for Jesus Christ” himself (Jude v. 1). This has to be a great incentive to faithfully press on towards our goal, whatever the circumstances!
We should note that, not only by the power of God, are we kept, but also “through faith”. Believers have their part to play in the process of sanctification. Did you notice that Jude says, “Keep yourselves in the love of God?” John writes, “Keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). This tells us that we have a responsibility to trust in God’s promises and to commit our way to him. We have to live in the word of God, trusting that the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all truth, will reinforce those parts of the Scriptures which will enable us to walk without giving up.
All praise to the Lord – “Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God and Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority before all time now and forever. Amen” (Jude v. 24)
John Martin, Lampeter Evangelical Church