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Bible verses about Faithfulness, Exhortation to
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Luke 7:3-4

The centurion gives the messengers the responsibility to go to Jesus, not to sorcerers or pagan gods—He is the One the centurion seeks for help. The messengers are to seek Him earnestly and formally on his behalf. The centurion's approach to Christ is not casual but committed and respectful. He desires a blessing, and to secure it, he knows he has to demonstrate earnest commitment.

To convey the centurion's faithful attitude, the messengers have to present the centurion's request carefully and accurately to Jesus to heal his servant. The centurion does not ask in a general or indirect way that would be unclear; the messengers are to be detailed and clear. They present the centurion's request enthusiastically and promptly, as the Greek text indicates. They were committed and faithful in carrying out their responsibility.

They set an excellent example for members of God's church today. When we are asked to pray for people who are suffering from illness or injury, are we as diligent and earnest as these messengers were? When we ask others to pray for us, are we as faithful as the centurion was?

The messengers, in appealing to Christ to come and heal the servant, highly praise the centurion (Luke 7:4-5). The centurion's attitude shows that he was a man who loved those under his authority. In addition, he loved the Jews, which was quite unusual since the Romans did not normally even like the Jews. His love for the Jews was more than just talk; it was combined with action. He gave generously of his resources to build a synagogue for them in Capernaum.

Likewise, God expects love to flow from His church in generous and caring actions. He sets the example for us in that God demonstrates His love by giving. He gave us the greatest gift of all: Jesus Christ, our Savior (John 3:16). Never has there been a greater love.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part One)


 

Hebrews 11:35

What an important principle "not accepting deliverance" is! But how were these apathetic people—to whom this book was written—accepting deliverance from the trials of life? They ran from them. They did not rise to meet the challenge but accepted deliverance. They took the easy way out. Rather than make the sacrifice to make sure that they were faithful to the message that they had been given, they would simply back away from it, relieving the pressure on them. They accepted deliverance.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Hebrews: A Message for Today


 

Revelation 2:10

Even though He has nothing negative to say, He still exhorts them to be faithful, as in a relationship. When one is faithful, one is remaining loyal to something he had previously been given. This is a common thread among all the letters. Be it a contract or a standard, it was something that they had been given before and had agreed to, and they were remaining loyal to it. There is nothing negative thing said, but He does say, "Hang on to what you have been given before. Be loyal."

John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is the Work of God Now? (Part 4)


 

Revelation 2:10

Daniel and his companions ate vegetables for ten literal days (Daniel 1:12-14), so maybe this persecution will last ten days as well. On the other hand, God sometimes uses a day to represent a year (Numbers 14:34), so maybe Smyrna will face ten years of persecution. Daniel 11:32-35 indicates "many days," "some days" (The Emphasized Bible), or "for some time" (The New American Bible). The commentaries say it could be metaphorical, meaning "a short while." In such a case, we should hope for the best and prepare for the worst! Jesus says those who are His will suffer persecution, but we should not fear, for He has overcome the world (John 16:33). He will see us through it.

Staff
The Seven Churches: Smyrna


 

Revelation 3:10

In Jesus Christ's promise in Revelation 3:10, the core issue is perseverance. The King James reads, "Because you have kept the word of My patience," and "patience" is likewise used in the other verses in Revelation. But "patience" tends to make us think of passive activity, which is not what the underlying Greek word, hupomoné, actually means. Greek scholar Spiros Zodhiates describes it as "constancy under suffering in faith and duty," and commentator William Barclay defines hupomoné as "having the quality to stand, facing the storm, struggling against difficulty and opposition."

Obviously, activity is involved; it is not just passively waiting. It describes active, spiritual resistance—against Satan, this world, and our own carnality. The most succinct rendering of hupomoné may be "courageous endurance." "Cheerful or hopeful endurance" is another good rendering, as it includes a degree of optimism—and when we remember Who is on our side and how this story ends, we have every reason to be optimistic while persevering.

To put this command into perspective, we must imagine what the world will be like at the time when this letter will be most applicable. A great false prophet will be active, and deception will be so widespread that it will threaten even God's elect. A powerful and blasphemous tyrant will encourage or even command worship of himself, and he will institute financial controls, such that commerce will be essentially impossible without paying homage to him. Yet, it will be our responsibility to be constant and unwavering under the suffering imposed by that system.

Further, it does not appear that the church of God will be unified at that time. Given the various prophecies that describe seven lampstands and seven letters to seven churches, it seems that division will be the norm within the church. Some of the letters in Revelation 2 and 3 indicate a low level of faith and a high level of carnality.

As Jesus says in Matthew 24:12, "Because lawlessness will abound, the love [agapé] of many will grow cold." The world does not have any agapé, so He must be speaking of the church! True Christians will have to persevere through encroaching sin and dying love within the church. The temptation may be great to throw in the towel, to withdraw, to separate from the brethren because of offenses, but doing so would be the opposite of hupomoné—of courageously enduring.

The New King James speaks of "the hour of trial," but the King James calls it "the hour of temptation." This is a fitting rendition because during that time it will be tremendously tempting to give up, to give in, to compromise, to let down just a little, to sin (just a little!) in order to make life easier. It will be a time of pressure like never before and thus very easy to become distracted, not just because of the blatant idolatry and religious deception, but also because of the world's increasing attractiveness and pervasiveness.

It does not have to be just a time of fascism and concentration camps. People will be eating and drinking and marrying—having a great time. Revelation 18's description of Babylon focuses on luxury and ease and the avoidance of suffering. Jesus warns in Luke 21:34, "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly." Distraction leads to idolatry.

Whatever the reality of that time, "persevering" or "courageously enduring" without compromising will certainly be no small accomplishment. Yet Christ says that because some of His people have been keeping His command to persevere, He will keep them from the worst of it. They have already proved their faithfulness to Him; He knows where they stand, He sees their track record with Him, and He will not require them to experience everything that the rest of humanity will suffer.

David C. Grabbe
Who Will Be Kept from the Hour of Trial?


 

 




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