When someone makes the decision to become baptized, they enter into a covenant or contract with God. They exchange their person for a new person. Not physically of course, but spiritually (Romans 6:3-4). This change comes at a very high price. When we make that momentous choice to leave behind our old life and person, we must not turn back. In Matthew 16:24-26, Christ tells us this new Way of Life, of living, is about denying those old things that hold nothing good for us.
Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 10:1-13 that the Israelites of old were weak, even though they had been physically redeemed or freed by God. They saw incredible miracles and signs, but this was NOT enough to keep them believing and staying motivated. Instead, they tended to only want and crave those evil things from which God was attempting to lead them away. And we are not immune to the sins Paul mentions. The stories of the Israelites and how God worked with them are written for our admonition. Do we take the time to study the stories, to put ourselves in their shoes and think about how we would have acted? The fact is, we can take the same principles and apply them to our situations today.
We have power, wisdom and understanding that God gives us through His Holy Spirit. No matter what the issue is, God says He will show us the way out. The question then is, are we seeking to find out the answer(s) diligently? Are we full-heartedly seeking to find out God’s Will and what He wants us to do? And when we do find the answers, are we willing to accept them and take action? Or do we find ourselves not really wanting God’s answer, but just wishing to do things the way we want to?
Satan wants us to become fearful and unable to have a clear mind. He works to get us to doubt ourselves, to doubt our ability to overcome. Once he accomplishes this, people can lose confidence and faith in God. Those who succumb to this doubt can no longer see that it is God who gives them the power to overcome sin in ALL its various shapes and forms. Paul encourages us in 2 Timothy 1:7 to call upon His help for power, for true and proper love and also for a sound mind. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 that he trained his body, his spiritual body, to be in control of his mental and emotional state so that he could continue to fight properly. Satan attacked Christ by testing His resolve and His mental state, but Christ was able to fend him off through the proper use of Scripture.
As we see the end of this age drawing closer, what will we choose to do in regards to sin? Will we choose to no longer have a secret hidden love for sin and get rid of it through a deeper love for God the Father and Jesus Christ? Or will we let it continue to enslave us?
Matthew 24:13 says: “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” We cannot endure on our own. But we can decide to push on until the end. We cannot overcome sin on our own. But we can choose that we do not continue to want any part of it. Romans 15:4 reiterates the endurance and the encouragement that we need to pull from God’s Holy Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 pleads for us to read the Scriptures which will help strengthen our resolve as we see God’s Truth and recognize His help to become the type of people that He wants us to be. Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us that it is Christ, our High Priest, who overcame sin and who sits with the Father on His throne, sympathizing with what we go through. This is the reason why we should come BOLDLY to the throne of grace ANY time we need God’s power and strength. God the Father and Jesus Christ have not gone through the time, effort, trouble and pain to fashion us, just so that we fail.
Whether we live or die before Christ’s return, the true test will be if we will continue to endure until the end—the end of our natural life or the end of this present evil world at Christ’s return. Christ told us many times that this is a choice we will need to continue to make, especially as times become harder (Matthew 10:21-22; Revelation 2:3,7,10-11, 17, 19, 26; 3:3, 10, 19; Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:16-17). We have the opportunity and the choice to endure until the end. The question is, will we?