And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
I do not think that I have ever heard these verses quoted by a preacher giving a gospel invitation. Jesus words are alarming and troubling. In truth most of us do not want to live out our faith in this way. And in America most of us probably will not. But I am reminded of stories that I hear in the news about people in other countries that experience this kind of persecution simply because they bear the name of Christ and will not recant.
People like them throughout the ages have given us examples of what it means to endure to the end. In truth the walk of faith is a walk of faithfulness in good times and in bad. The betrayals of family members and friends that the Lord mentions in these verses point to a need for endurance. When we read of being hated for His name we begin to understand that endurance is not a word for the weak but for the strong of heart.
I am weak Lord. I ask for strength of heart today. Help me to be faithful and endure.