Faithfulness Unto Death – Part Two

In an environment known for a lack of commitment our Lord appeals: “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2: 10b)

Before reviewing your personal faithfulness under the microscope of this text we are reminded “Faithful is He who has called you…” (I Thess. 5: 24).

We are following the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Leading His people is nothing new to our God. Caring for His followers is assured by His bountiful provisions. Jesus has been walking with His people for over 2,000 years. He is not out of ideas. He’s not even running low. He is no less powerful today than the day He said, “Let there be light, and there was light.”     

Faithfulness is exhorted in our text against the background of four major challenges. Thus, it becomes instantly obvious faithfulness is not simply a response of gratitude for blessings. It is as a consequence of devotion to our unchanging Lord.

The word translated “tribulation” means crushing pressure. A hint of the kind of pressure is indicated by two names being used in the text for the devil. One is “Satan,” a direct translation from the Greek word “Satan” which means “adversary.” The other is translated “devil,” which comes from the Greek “diabolas” literally “slanderer.” These titles indicate we are challenged.

Satan is our adversary, our opponent, who slanders. That is his nature and he inspires people to use his techniques. Have you ever been slandered? It is most painful. How is one to respond? Christ answers, “Be faithful…”

Tribulation can be a tributary to triumph. Psychologist Dr. Marie Benoyn Ray has made a study of the relationship between handicaps and achievement. Assuming a handicap to be one form of tribulation, apply the findings to all tribulation. It was:

“No one succeeds without a handicap.
No one succeeds in spite of a handicap.
Everyone succeeds because of a handicap.”

In other words, solid attainment doesn’t come out of the absence of struggle, but can always be traced to it. The things that are against us are often the best things for us.

Resolve to be faithful in a depraved society remembering, “Faithful is He Who has called you” (I Thess. 5: 24).