“The Word of My Endurance” (3)
Satan is far more subtle
in his efforts to make us
deny the Lord’s name
than we realize
In the book of Revelation, the Lord admonished the church in Sardis in this way:
“Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and keep it and repent! Therefore, if you will not watch, I will come as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”
— Revelation 3:3
As G.H. Pember points out, the church in Philadelphia, which came just after Sardis, gave heed to this word, whereas the church in Laodicia, which came after Philadelphia, did not; that is why the latter church became so utterly degraded.
Because Philadelphia did receive the Lord’s word, He gave her the strength to endure (Rev. 3:8). In the previous Note in this series we considered how the Lord appreciated that church for enduring in keeping His word. (See “The Word of My Endurance” • 2.) But the Lord also appreciated her for enduring in not denying His name. How wonderful it is for us today if we can follow the positive example of the church in Philadelphia!
In contrast, regarding those who do deny the Lord’s name, Pember writes:
Such a denial is not necessarily made in express terms: we may put an earthly Church in His place; we may deify human intellect; or perhaps, the denial may rest in an ignoring of Christ’s Name….
— Great Prophecies, volume 4, page 600
So, we should not think that to deny the name of Christ is something that happens only in the face of intense persecution, such as when the False Prophet will demand that people receive the mark of the Beast (Rev. 13:16-18). Satan is much more subtle than that, and he is always working, in ways both great and small, to cause us to deny the name of the Lord.
Sometimes it may be more obvious, such as when we miss the opportunity to share the gospel with someone; we all know how easy it is to fail in that regard. But it may also be in the small, daily interactions we have with people, or in the simple choices we make regarding how we live our life; quite often, in fact, it is these small decisions which show whether we are truly living for Christ or not. I read a comment someone made once along the lines of, Many Christians feel they would go to a firing squad for Christ, but we can’t quite get them to go to church for Christ! It is really so.
May we always be on the alert, asking the Lord for His grace, so that we may be faithful to His name today in matters both great and small:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him;
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him;
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful,
He cannot deny Himself.
— 2 Timothy 2:11-13
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— 9 August 2023 —