“He who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13)
Translated by Tsigereda Shimeles
May 30, 2023
If there were not things in the world that challenge faith and believe, there would not be talk about endurance. In this generation, we want to be Christians and call God’s name, but seek not to suffer for our Christianity. This is the indication of how alien we are becoming to the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who said “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) We want to inherit the Kingdom of heaven, but do not pay any price for our salvation. This shows that we are not putting into practice what our Fathers, the Holy Apostles taught us but we need to know the entry to the kingdom of God is through many hardships. (Acts 14:22)
Since we do not want to understand the way of Christianity well, read books and realize sufferings of our Fathers and Mothers in the past, we do not appreciate the way of salvation and do not engrave it in our minds with faith. So we complain when we suffer even very little or when suffering visits us. But when the apostle Saint James teaches us that we should not be such Christians. He says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3) These words teaches us that the suffering of Christ and His body the Church, is of joy but of not sorrow, of gratitude but not of complaining.
As can be seen today, we are being tested in many ways as Christians. When we see the Church being destroyed by politicians, we think that God has abandoned us. Where is my helper, when we see oppressors rising up and their oppressors hit us more and more? We are mess. When we walk in the house and struggle to fulfill His will according to our ability, when we are sick and suffering, when we have no money, when we struggle even to find something to eat and drink, when we are surrounded by enemies and envious people at work and in the places where we are engaged, we become bitter and cold hearted without faith. Moreover, the people we set an example of our belief, may be who were even the people that are the reason for our approach to the temple and who taught us the word of God and comforted us in many ways yesterday, have changed and become politicians. So, the number of people who are separated from spiritual life is not small. But our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ taught us in clear words that the solution and medicine for all these suffering is endurance. The foundation of salvation (inheritance of the kingdom of God) is endurance. The apostle Saint Paul taught us about this again and again. For example, consider the following powerful words: –
- “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.” (Hebrew 6:11)
The apostle pleaded for us to not to start with spirit and end with corporeal, humility with pride, true path with false and diligence with justice plead with. We do not find any saint who has not faced any obstacles in his spiritual journey and has not been endangered with suffering. The secret of salvation as the apostle taught is to endure until the end. There are two types of hopes that need to be fulfilled as we walk in spiritual path. The first is the physical hope, that is work and earning, to study, to graduate, to marry, to give birth, to trade, to make profit, to be healed from our sickness and so on. These are taken away by the end of our worldly life. The most important thing is the heavenly hope that is to inherit the kingdom of heaven and live in the Kingdom God and His children in victory. (Hebrews 12:21)
To reach the goals we want to achieve in our worldly life and to inherit the kingdom of heaven that we hope for after death, crossing the waves of temptation with the maneuvering of faith and overcoming the suffering is an inevitable way. As it is written “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:53-36)
- “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2nd Timothy 3:13)
The apostle said, “Stand firm in what you have learned and understood.” It is necessary to be steady fast in religion. If the way of apostasy gets stronger, if sectarian violence comes, the church should be steadfast in the teaching of the saints, where we have learned that God honors His children in the unity of the Trinity (being human) the baptism and the secret sacrament as well as the resurrection of the dead.
- “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him” (2nd Timothy 2:10-11)
The apostle taught that if a person were to face any sufferings and trails while following the true Christian path, the sufferings are insignificant compared to the glory that will be given to us in the future, the suffering is insignificant and if it is proportionate to the glory that will be revealed to us in the present time after the suffering in this world. (Rome 8:18) Lets notice the world if we die with Him! Why did Christ die? We know that they considered Him a liar and falsely accused Him when He was real. To die with Him is to believe in Him; that is, if we believe our creator, Christ, is an example for us, as He travelled in the path of the truth and suffered suffering. We also walk in His way and endure in the path of His gospel. Going through the trials and tribulations of this world with Him and the end is to reign with Him.
May the mercy of God and intercession of Our Holy Mother Saint Mary be with us, Amen!
Source: Article on Mahibere Kidusan Amharic website by Preacher Bitwoded Worku