The Privilege of Persecution

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is March 8, 2021, and this is Episode #5 of Series 2021. This episode is titled “The Privilege of Persecution.”

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You may find the title of this week’s message a bit disconcerting, if not downright frightening. If so, I hear you!

But the truth is that the Body of Christ here in the United States will undergo persecution. Indeed, it has already begun. Thus far, it has been only “soft persecution” in the form of censorship, reviling, mocking, and ridicule. But in the days ahead, we will witness more severe persecution, as is happening to our brothers and sisters in countries like China, Iran, and, most recently, Myanmar.  Given the degeneration that has been occurring in America over the last five decades, it will not be long before the same type of persecution hits our shores in full force.

Why we in the American Church think that we are immune to persecution is a mystery to me, especially since we have opened the doors to persecution because we have not been salt and light in our nation. We have allowed the forces of darkness to take territory that we, the Church, should have protected.

Instead of overcoming the world, we have become like the world. We have embraced ideologies blatantly contrary to the Word of God, and yet, we expect God to bless us. This is deception at its most basic level.

Let the truth be told: the buck stops with the Church. Always! When the Church fails in its duty to stand up for righteousness, corruption always follows. As goes the Church, so goes the Culture.

Back in November, a prophetic word came forth in my church. The message was, “Prepare for the fire of persecution!”  The same prophetic message has come forth from other places in the Body of Christ. It is a warning from the Lord to get ourselves ready to face severe persecution for following Him.

As goes the Church, so goes the Culture.

How do we do that?

Here are some steps we can take to ensure that when full-blown persecution comes to Christ-followers here in the United States, we will be able to stand against it:

1. Cultivate your relationship with Jesus Christ. Be intentional about doing so. Cultivating a relationship with Jesus Christ means spending time in His Presence, worshipping Him, communing with Him, studying His Word. 

2. Obey what the Holy Spirit tells you to do. Hearing the Word without obeying it leads to deception. James 1: 22 makes this clear: “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.”

3. Pray continually. Prayer is an ongoing conversation with God. It is the means by which we remain in contact with the Lord, the means by which we abide in Him. When we commune with God throughout the day, we receive a continual supply of all that we need to remain strong in the face of persecution.

Persecution is not a pleasant topic, but it is a topic we must address and a situation we must confront. We often quote Philippians 3: 10, that we want to know Christ and to experience His mighty power, the same power that raised Him from the dead. Yet, we often overlook the second part of that verse that speaks of suffering with Him. In order to know Christ, we must suffer with Christ. Indeed, how can we expect to reign and rule with Christ if we have not suffered with Him?

In order to know Christ, we must suffer with Christ.

To be persecuted for Christ is a great privilege. So great, in fact, that it carries with it a special crown in Heaven called the Crown of Life. This is the crown reserved for those who have undergone severe tribulation and even physical death for the cause of Christ. It is sometimes called “the martyr’s crown.”

Jesus Himself speaks of this crown in Revelation 2: 10: “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” 

What a privilege and an honor it will be to receive the Crown of Life from the very hands of our Savior! 

Yes, suffering persecution for Jesus Christ is a great privilege, the greatest of all privileges. As persecution against Christ-Followers increases in our land, I pray that you will count yourself worthy to suffer for our Lord Who paid the ultimate price of suffering for us so that we might live eternally with Him.

If you do not yet know the Lord, I urge you now to receive Him as Your Savior and Lord. Pray this simple prayer with me now:

Lord Jesus, I want to become like a little child so that I may enter Your Kingdom. But I know that I can do so only through You. So, I choose now to receive You as my personal Savior and the Lord of my life. Forgive me of my sins. Cleanse me of all unrighteousness. Give me Your grace to follow you as a little child all the days of my life. In Your Precious Name, I ask and receive. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer sincerely, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a free e-booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He teaches you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers. It is critically important in these last days to fellowship with other believers who are mature in Christ and can guide you as you grow in Him.

If you are not yet a subscriber to the Winning with the Word blog and podcast, I urge you to click on the link below to subscribe now so you won’t miss a single weekly episode:

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Now it’s your turn: How are you preparing for the coming persecution of the Church? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you.

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Please tell your family and friends about “Winning with the Word,” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. I encourage you to visit my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table . 

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Until next time, remember that God loves you just as you are and just where you are and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word! 

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Photo Source: Michael Schwarzenberger, Pixabay

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Featured Book of the Week:  THE IRON SAINT by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

The Church in America is on the verge of a tremendous spiritual awakening, an awakening that will first be fueled by persecution unlike anything we have ever seen before in this land. Indeed, a prophetic word given in my home church during the month of November gave this warning to the Church: “Prepare for the fire of persecution!”

But the Church is not ready for this persecution. For the most part, the Church in America has been weak and lukewarm. Flabby and lazy. Consumed with the world and not with the things of God. As a result, the Church has been deceived and has subverted the divine order of things.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. MaryAnn Diorio seeks to help equip the saints for the work of true, integritous, and effective ministry. As a teacher in the Body of Christ, it is her burning desire to help correct this devastating error.

In THE IRON SAINT, Dr. Diorio has outlined a plan of action for strengthening the Church through uncompromising obedience to the Word of God. This plan of action is based on her own 50 years of walking with the Lord and being led by His Holy Spirit.

If you are a born-again believer and member of the Body of Christ, make this book a top reading priority.

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Check out these popular Winning with the Word podcasts below. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top of the sidebar on this page. 

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 Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

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Copyright 2000-2021 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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“How to Endure to the End”

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio


WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, October 5, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #37 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Endure to the End”.  

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Jesus warned us that in the last days, perilous times would come upon the earth. We are living in those times now.  For the past seven months we have endured lockdowns, masks, financial setbacks and loss of livelihoods, not to mention constant reminders of a deadly virus that has wreaked havoc everywhere we turn.  People have grown weary, disillusioned, and hopeless.

But we who are the Body of Christ must stand strong in these challenging times. We cannot afford to grow weary or hopeless because our Lord is depending on us to keep shining the light of Truth to an increasingly darkening world.  Jesus in us is the Hope of the world.  Without hope, there can be no faith, and people need faith in Christ.

So, how are you enduring? If you’ve slipped behind in endurance, here are a few tips to get you back on track:

1. Pray. To endure to the end, we need to stay connected to God. One of the best ways we do this is through prayer. Prayer is a two-way conversation with our Heavenly Father in which He should do most of the talking and we should do most of the listening. Prayer is not a laundry list of what we want or need from From. Prayer is asking God what He needs from us.

2. Immerse yourself in God’s Word. God’s Word is our daily bread. We need to eat of it in order not only to survive but also to thrive. To immerse ourselves in God’s Word means to read it every day, to memorize it, to meditate on it. We need God’s Word so to permeate our hearts and minds that it becomes our automatic response to every situation. 

3. Renew your mind according to the Word. Perilous times require straight-thinking. There isn’t much of that these days because people have abandoned the Truth and received the lie.  But we Christ-followers must stand strong in the truth. We are admonished to put on the “belt of truth”.  Truth protects us from deception and keeps us thinking straight so that we make wise decisions.

4. Stay in close fellowship with other Christ-Followers.  Now more than ever, we need one another. To go it alone is to court danger and deception. Let us stay closer than ever before to Christ and to one another. 

The Lord is counting on us to fulfill the Great Commission in these last days. If you need to be reminded of what that is, read Mark 16: 15-18.  This is the work that we as the Church are called to do in these perilous times.

If you do not yet have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I urge you to start one now. Pray this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I desire to have a relationship with You. I invite You into my life. I receive You now as my Savior and as my Lord. Forgive me of my sin. Cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Give me Your grace to follow you, to deny myself, and to obey you all the days of my life. I ask and receive in Your precious Name. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. I encourage you to visit my website bookstore at maryanndiorio.com/book-table

Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word.

PLEASE TWEET: “How to Endure to the End” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

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Now it’s your turn: What are you doing to endure to the end? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you.

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Previous Posts:

__Are You Living on the Level?

__7 Signs That the Tribulation Is at Hand

__Are You Thinking Straight?

__How to Deal with the “New Normal”

__Is the World Coming to an End?

__The Coming Global Cataclysm

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Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

How to Endure to the End

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

WINNING WITH THE WORD

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that will help you to be a winner in life by applying God’s principles for living the abundant life as found in the Bible, God’s manual for life.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here. 

If this blog has blessed you, please encourage your family and friends to subscribe as well. Thank you!

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Do you prefer listening instead of reading? Then click below to listen to today’s blog post:

 

 

 

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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, April 13, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #15 in Series 2020 and is titled “How to Endure to the End”.

Tough times show us what we’re made of.  The world has been going through a very tough time recently. Many are calling it unprecedented, and I agree. At least, unprecedented in our life times.
 
So, how are you holding out?  Are you holding out?
 
Jesus said that only he who endures to the end will be saved. That means if we quit along the way, we won’t be saved.
           
Photo by Yiannis Papanastasopoulos. Freelyphotos.com
Are you on the verge of quitting?  If so, let me encourage you with these tips on how to endure to the end:
 
1. Cling to Jesus through study of His Word. Only the Word of God will sustain us in these difficult days. Jesus said that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4: 4). The Word is our spiritual food. Without nourishing ourselves on it every day, we will die spiritually.

2. Stay closely connected to fellow believers. We are the Body of Christ. We all need one another. When we are being tempted to quit, a brother or sister in Christ can encourage us to hang on.

 
3. Pray without ceasing. Maintain a running conversation with the Lord throughout the day. Constant communication is essential between a soldier and His Commander. We are soldiers of Christ, and we need to hear continually from our Commander.
 
“Tough times show us what we’re made of.”
 
Dark days are upon us, dear ones, and they will grow darker still. The Apostle Paul described these days in 2 Timothy 3: 1 as “perilous times.” Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we apply the three tips above to endure to the end. For, oh, what glory awaits those who do! (1 Corinthians 2: 9).
 
There is only one way to experience God’s glory. We must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. If you have not yet done so, I urge you to do accept Jesus Christ now by praying this simple prayer with me:

Lord Jesus, I come to You just as I am. I need You to save me. I cannot save myself. I repent of my sins and ask You to forgive me. I invite You into my life to be my Savior and my Lord. Make of me what You created me to be. I pray, believe, and receive in Your Name. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com. I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your relationship with Jesus Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day, starting in the Gospel of John, which is in the second half of the Bible. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In it He reveals Who He is. In it He reveals His infinite love for you and instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about some of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast. As a token of my deep appreciation for all of you who follow this blog and podcast, I want to give you a FREE ebook copy of my popular novel, The Madonna of Pisano, the first book in my trilogy titled The Italian Chronicles. To receive your FREE ebook copy, please go to the link listed at the end of this post. For those of you who are listening, the link is: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/705659

Note that this offer is valid only until April 30th, so get your free ebook copy now before you forget!


I also invite you to visit my website at https://www.maryanndiorio.com/book-table. There you will find a complete list of the novels, novellas, and short stories I have written about characters with problems like yours.

On my website, you will also find many additional resources to help you grow in your walk with Christ.

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And to all of you wonderful listeners out there, thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on winning with the Word.

To subscribe to “Winning with the Word”, click here.

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Listen to the podcast here:

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Now it’s your turn: What do you do to endure in tough times? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

PLEASE TWEET: “How to Endure to the End” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

Please tell your family and friends about “Winning with the Word,” and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

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__WHY the Corona Virus?

__You Are ALREADY HEALED!

__The Dangers of the Enneagram

__Is the World Coming to an End?

__The Coming Global Cataclysm

__Is Your Tongue Ruining Your Life?

__A Parent’s Promise from God

 Are you new to this blog? If so, what is the “Winning with the Word” blog and why will it bless you to read it?

“Winning with the Word” is a weekly blog that helps you to deal with the daily problems of life by using the Bible as your guide to solving them. The Word of God will make you a success in life!

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To subscribe to Winning with the Word, click here.

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Copyright 2000-2020 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

THE PATIENCE PRINCIPLE

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

“Matters of the Heart” is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to examine your heart and how to program your heart for success.

AN INVITATION TO YOU: To follow this blog, click here 

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By nature, I am an impatient person. I like things done yesterday, and the day before is even better. 🙂

Because God knew I needed to develop patience, He has generously given me countless opportunities to do so.

The Greek word for patience used in the Bible is hypomonē, meaning steadfastness, constancy, and endurance. The Hebrew word for patience, ὑπομονή, means to hold fast to one’s faith, to persevere under trials; not to run away.  We notice in Scripture that the word patience is sometimes translated as endurance and perseverance

Strong’s Concordance describes patience as the quality of a person “who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.” A patient person endures under trials and keeps pushing forward despite all obstacles. 

Perhaps you, too, struggle with impatience. If so, let’s take a short walk together through some of the reasons that patience is so very important to our growth in Christ and to living the Christian life in all of its abundance.

Why do we need patience? 

1–Patience plays a key role in our becoming spiritually mature. Without patience we will remain spiritual babies. The more spiritually mature we are, the more we can receive what we need from God. James says it like this: “Let perseverance [patience] finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1: 4; brackets mine).

2–Patience undergirds faith and is essential to it.  Strong’s Concordance states that patience is “a steadfast waiting for.”  Scripture instructs us to “continue steadfastly in prayer….” (Colossians 4: 2). There are many times we must wait in faith for answers to prayer. We need patience to do so.

3–Patience builds the kind of character that results in hope, and hope is essential to faith. “And endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (Romans 5: 4). “Faith is the substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11: 1). 

4–Patience is a fruit of love. “Love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13: 4). Patience grows out of love and depends on it. If we are not patient, we are not acting in love.

Being patient involves crucifying the flesh. It means dying to the temptation to be impatient. We cannot be patient in our own strength and power.

When a situation tempts us to be impatient, we must turn to Jesus and let Him be patient through us. This is how we live the Christian life in the face of every temptation. This is what it means to follow Christ.

My Prayer for You Today: Lord Jesus, as we face daily temptations to be impatient, let us remember that You live in us and that, as we turn to You, You will live out patience in us and through us. In Your Name we pray. Amen. 

Now, it’s YOUR turn: What have you learned about the consequences of being impatient? Please share your insights in the Comments box below. Thank you!

TWEETABLE:  “THE PATIENCE PRINCIPLE” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio @DrMaryAnnDiorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

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Need a break? Read my latest short story, “Fire-Engine Love.” Only $1.99!

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THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES TRILOGY

 Book 1: The Madonna of Pisano    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“Is Fear Quenching Your Faith?”

“Is Regret Stealing Your Joy?”

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

“Sex and Soul Ties”

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

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A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

Winning with the Word Podcast Series

Write Your Heart Out! – Podcasts for Writers

Please tell your family and friends about this blog and my other resources, and please pass this post on to them. Thank you!

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Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at info@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

Amazon.com Required Disclosure: MaryAnn Diorio is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: This site uses cookies. Your continued use of this site constitutes your consent to our use of cookies. 

 

 

ENDURING TO THE END

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines 
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

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NOTE TO MY READERS:  This will be my last blog post for the time being. I am seeking God as to what direction to take in the future and will notify you if I resume writing this blog. Thank you for your prayers.

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In Matthew 24: 13, Jesus said this: “…the one who endures to the end will be saved.” What did Jesus mean by these words? How should we apply them to our lives today?

The word “endure” comes from the Latin word “indurare” which means “to harden.” What Jesus was saying here is that the one who hardens himself against difficulties and stands firm in the midst of them, that one will be saved.

This verse is part of what is called Christ’s Olivet Discourse, the famous sermon He gave on the Mount of Olives in which He explained to His disciples details about the end times.  Jesus was warning that persecution would arise and many so-called professing Christians would turn away from the faith, thereby revealing the true condition of their hearts. 

So, what does it mean to endure to the end? Here are some considerations:


1–To endure to the end means to stand firmly for the Bible in the face of false teaching. 
Apostasy is alive and well in our country and throughout the world. Many denominations that were once bulwarks of Christianity have now turned traitor to the Bible and its inerrancy and have subscribed to false doctrines straight from the pit of hell.

2–To endure to the end means to stand firmly for Christ in the face of a brazenly sinful society.  What was once considered shameful is now brazenly practiced openly as our world falls ever more deeply into depravity. He who endures to the end will remain pure in a culture that reeks with sin.

3–To endure to the end means to stand firmly for Christ in the face of ridicule, hatred, and persecution. Day by day, we are witnessing increasing opposition to Christianity and Christians. Whether it be in our governmental system, our educational system, or our societal system, Christians are being marginalized at an alarming rate. Many have been persecuted to the point of death. 

In these last days, Satan is pulling out all the stops in his vicious attempt to get Christ-Followers to give up and quit. DON’T DO IT!  Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Let me encourage you with these words from Galatians 5: 1: “Stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”  How do we stand firm? Ephesians 6: 10 tells us how: “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”

It is only by the Lord’s power that we will be able to endure to the end. Remain in Him. This is His promise to us in 1 Corinthians 1; 8: “He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus! Come soon!

Now, it’s YOUR turn: What struggles are you facing in your journey to endure to the end? Please leave your valued comments in the box below.

TWEETABLE:  “Enduring to the End” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET).

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 Book 1: The Madonna of Pisano    Book 2: A Sicilian Farewell    Book 3: Return to Bella Terra

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If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you! You may also be interested in reading the following popular posts:

“Sex and Soul Ties”

“Don’t Let Satan Play Your Pipes”

“How to Recognize a Controlling Spirit”

Please check our archives in the right sidebar for older posts on a variety of topics. You may also search for a particular topic in the search box at the top right. 

For additional encouragement, check out my podcasts at the following links:

A Moment with MaryAnn – Podcasts on Living the Good Life

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Copyright 2018 by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be published or printed in any form whatsoever without the written permission of Dr. MaryAnn Diorio. You may contact her at drmaryann@maryanndiorio.com to request permission.

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