“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”
One of the primary rules in all Bible study is to first of all consider the context in which a verse or verses appear. The passage we want to look at is found in Matthew 24 and especially verse 13, “But he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved”. So what is the context of Matthew 24? The whole chapter is taken up with the period of tribulation which will take place at the end of this age, just before the Lord Jesus returns to rule over this earth for 1000 years. It is easily seen by the statements made in the chapter that it is especially Israel or as we shall see a remnant of that nation which are in view. The mention of Daniel’s prophecy in v 15 and the reference in v16 to “them which be in Judaea”, give the setting and the context of the whole passage. Also the fact that the Lord is called by the name “Son of Man”, a title which links Him with the nation, all point to the same unmistakable conclusion, ie. we are not dealing here with the nations but one nation, Israel, and in particular a remnant out of that nation. From these opening comments it will be seen that those addressed are believers who will be alive on earth during that time of tribulation. Verses 3-12 speaks of sorrows, persecutions, wars and famines. Verse 14 informs us that it is “The gospel of the Kingdom” which will be proclaimed. This period is referred to in Scripture as “The time of Jacob’s trouble”, showing that it is a time when the nation of Israel will find themselves under great persecution. Such will be the intensity of the affliction that two thirds of the nation will be wiped out see Zechariah13.8. The next verse in Zechariah tells us that the remaining one third will be preserved through the fire and saved. This brings us to the crux of the matter. The verse we are considering in Matthew 24.13 does not teach that a person must endure to the end to be saved. Even in the O.T. God guaranteed the security of His people, “For the Lord loveth judgement, and forsaketh not His saints. They are preserved forever”, Psalm37.28. In the N.T. the message is the same “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand”, said the Lord Jesus in John10.28, and it is no different in this case. If those in the O.T and those in the N.T. were safe and secure, these believers at the end of the age will have that same security. What we are being told in our text, in accordance with the context, is that they who live through that period will be saved or preserved through it and will enter the Kingdom. These are the one third of the nation that Zechariah was writing about prophetically. It is more than likely that the 144,000 witnesses of Revelation 7.4 are taken from this remnant and it is they who will carry “the gospel of the kingdom” to the nations. This gospel is a proclamation of the coming of the King, and the response to the message and the messengers will be the basis of entrance into the millennial kingdom according to Matthew25.24-46 There is no thought of anyone being lost because they did not endure to the end but ratherly that remnant of Israel who have survived will be preserved through those awful final days and as Zechariah informs us they shall “Call on My (God’s) name, and I will hear them”. Zechariah 13.9. Paul in Romans describes that momentous day that lies ahead for the nation of Israel, we will close by letting him describe it, “There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins”, Romans 11.26-27. Paul tells us that these events will bring about the salvation of that remnant we have been mentioning.