Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Joy of Christian Perseverance

Jude 24 -  Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,

For the past few days we have been discovering the link between Christian joy and Biblical Eschatology (that is - the study of last things or prophecy).  Yesterday we looked at how God's purposes for the future in Christ's return provides the power source for Christian joy.  Today we want to notice how Christian faith, focused upon the Word and the WORD, results in perseverance unto joy.
The Joy a Christian has in knowing that they will make it.
Does the Christian have certainty in this life that they are going to make it?  When we come to the written Word – we find a resounding yes.  In the book of 1 John we discover dozens of declarations related to the area of salvation's assurance. 

The significance of what it means to stand confidently before God on the day of judgment
We must remember that to stand confidently before Christ on the day of judgment is no small thing.  Throughout the Old Testament the prophets wrote about the astonishing inability of human beings to stand on their own before God in any sort of judgment:

A. 1 Samuel 6:20 The men of Beth-shemesh said, "Who is able to stand before the LORD, this holy God? And to whom shall He go up from us?"

B.  Psalm 76:7 "You, even You, are to be feared; And who may stand in Your presence when once You are angry?"

C.  Indeed Hebrews 10:31 tells us - "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

The joy a Christian has in knowing that in Christ they have the confidence to stand before God on the day of judgment
So with that knowledge, what then of the Christian?  What do we discover about our future before a Holy and Just God as we focus upon the Living Word Jesus Christ? Consider these texts:

A. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 "For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ"

B. The Apostle Peter draws the link between the Divinely-given ability to persevere to the end and the Christian's present joy in 1 Peter 1:5-6a – “who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice….”

Perseverance isn't just our duty, it is our delight, since in Christ every Christian will prevail to the end
When we center upon the written and Living Word in the current age, we gain joy to persevere into the age to come.  Romans 15:4 reveals - "For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."  1 John 3:2-3 states: "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. (3) And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."

So by centering on the Word and the WORD I can increase my future joy because of Christ, my Power source for joy, who enables me to persevere unto joy

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