Faith to Endure
Here we examine faith by asking: What is faith, and what does it mean to be faithful? In this article we dare to challenge the mainstream by shattering the shameful falsities of rapture as we discover that the path to salvation is through fire -where one’s faith goes on trial.
One is defined by one’s character and the character of one is most certainly demonstrated by one’s actions. For instance, one cannot be counted as honest if in fact one is dishonest. The same applies to being faithful: one cannot be counted faithful without first behaving faithfully.
Christians preach that salvation is an automatic gift to whoever believes in Jesus Christ; however, while not totally false, we also find that scripture records that faith without works is dead and that all are judged according to one’s works. How, then does one reconcile this contradiction?
Perhaps it is time we recognize our mistakes; for, the season of harvest is nearing. Soon the wheat will be ripe for the reaping. Prepare for the blade, go courageously through the fires of redemption; for, only by trials of fire is one proven faithful and can receive salvation by grace.
Meaning of Faith
The concept of faith is of divine origin -created by God and recorded in the book of Numbers. Here is where we find more than just the origin of faith, but also its intended definition:
7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
Recorded in Numbers 12:7 we find that even though Moses was not the quintessential prophet, he was; nevertheless, a faithful servant; however, not because he had a belief in God, but because his actions up to this point spoke to a much desired consistency of virtuous character.
In the Old Testament the word faith can be found a total of 56 times and in every instance but two we find a description of loyalty, honesty, etc. However, once we fast forward to the 1st century AD we begin to detect throughout scripture a drastic shift toward a generalization of faith.
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
Here we see in Mark 11:22 a great example of where the word belief is discovered hidden beneath the word faith, as if the two words are synonymous. Immediately we see a deviation from what we have determined the definition of faith to be -based on our source text from the Torah.
11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
On the contrary, here we see in Luke 16:11 an obvious deviation from Mark 11:22 where the word faith has changed meaning in such a manner that faith could no longer be synonymous with the word belief. Shall we believe in covetousness, is that what Luke is suggesting us to do?
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
Here we see in John 20:27 a direct correlation between the word faithless and believing, again as if they are indeed synonymous terms. However, we pose the question that if these two terms are in fact always synonymous, then why do we continue to find such contradictions, as:
13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
Here is an excellent example found in 2 Timothy 2:13. If the words faithful and believe are without a doubt synonymous terms, then please tell us how one can believe not, yet still be faithful? Is it at all possible to believe and not believe at the same time or could something be amiss?
Faith to Endure
We cannot have it both ways, either we always define faith as belief or we do so never. God created the concept of faith (i.e. Numbers 12:7) and at the time He was praising one’s integrity. Moreover, both Romans 2:6 and Revelation 20:12 reveal that one is judged by one’s works.
In terms of rapture, 1 Peter 1:7 describes a trial of one’s faith by fire and there are several more references to Christian affliction throughout scripture; therefore, let us avoid the falsities of rapture and pray diligently to have faith like Christ, which is to say: to have the faith to endure.
Here we see the wall of suffering in the midst of tribulations and redemption separating the sinner from the redeemed. As one awaits to be tried, one observes the agony of the trials preceding their own. In short time, overwhelming fear begets doubt and opposition -clouding the mind.
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Here in Matthew 24:9-14 we find reference to tribulations. This is a period of affliction and death. A time of hatred and injustice. A time of false doctrine and lies. Moreover, the Holy Bible tells us in Matthew 10:21 that even the family will be ripped apart and divided against itself.
In terms of each individual, the last battle on earth will be fought in the mind, as one contemplates whether or not one will submit to a satanic world system or accept the consequence of dissidence, by which we shall receive the hellish reward of poverty and death (Rev 13:5, 20:4).
We find that like the Lord, Jesus Christ was both afflicted and killed, servants of the Lord must also be both afflicted and killed. Those who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ are encouraged to endure tribulations despite persecution, even unto death.
Thus, we discover in the midst of suffering and death the true meaning of faith -where our beliefs become action as we walk most faithfully through the fires of redemption. For, we shall find solace in knowing that the Lord, Jesus Christ has promised to return quickly (Revelation 22:20).
Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.