REVELATION 14:12-13: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: What do you do when your side is not winning? Have you ever routed for your team during the final game of a championship, only to be disappointed at the end when your team lost? Many are feeling that sense of loss after the recent election and as they look upon a world that is growing more and more anti-Christian. When our side isn’t winning – what do we do?
First, we need to define what winning means. If winning means that our Biblical values will become the values of this world, then we need to have a reality check. We need to remember the words of Jesus in His High Priestly prayer.
- “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” John 17:14-19 NKJV
Jesus emphatically prayed – “I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them…”. When did we ever get the idea that living for Jesus Christ was to be on the winning side in this world? If the world rejected the living Son of God, nailed Him to a cross, and tried to eliminate His followers, what will they do to us? We were deceived for a short time when being a Born Again Christian was cool. Now, reality is wielding its ugly head.
Before we hand out hats, blowers, and throw ourselves a pity party, we need to put this into perspective. The believers who come to Jesus Christ during the Great Tribulation will have it much worse. Those who refuse to take the mark of the Beast will be hunted down, persecuted, and killed. They will have to hide and go underground, much like the First Century believers. And, yet John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes to them,
- “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
What can we glean from this? The real lesson comes in the verse preceding the verse above.
- “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”
The Word of God says – “Here is the patience of the saints…”. The words that follow were written for those who kept the commandments of God, had faith in Jesus Christ and refused to conform to this world (take the mark of the Beast). They were told to take heart and be patient. Their side was not winning. Yet, they were assured that ultimately they would,
- “…rest from their labors, and their works (would) follow them.”
A winner is not someone who is on the winning side. A winner is someone who is on God’s side. While the world rages on, while our culture becomes less and less familiar to one who has faith in Jesus Christ, we need to remember – we are on God’s side. He is watching over us. He remembers our faith, our labor, and our acts of obedience. His grace covers us, will sustain us, and ultimately will usher us into His Kingdom!
All one has to do is continue reading in the Book of Revelation to find the true reality. While it appears in this world that we are not on the winning side – WE REALLY ARE! Satan, the Antichrist, and every ungodly nation and person who opposes the Kingdom of God will be overcome. Jesus Christ will return in His glory to restore the nation of Israel, establish His Kingdom, and present His Bride, the Church, in all of her glory and splendor. Darkness will have vanished once and for all and God Himself will be our light!
- “And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:6-8 NKJV
So, as we look to a world that appears to be winning. As we feel marginalized, persecuted, and rejected. As we wonder if there is any hope. We need to remember – JESUS CHRIST WILL WIN! If we live or die for Jesus Christ we win! Our call is to be patient, to endure, and to walk by grace through faith. As the church awaits for the trumpet call of the rapture, as we see the final curtain rise on the affairs of mankind, we need to be encouraged. Jesus Christ’s return is imminent. His promises will be fulfilled. And…
WE WILL WIN!
In Jesus Name!