“If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. Revelation 13:10
God revealed to John that there would be a day in which the beast, the devil, would be given power to rule upon the earth. He would be given power to fight against all believers. During this time it is pointed out that anyone destined to captivity or dying by the sword will go into captivity or die by the sword.
Over the centuries many different leaders have led many different countries. Each one is a little different. Some are sympathetic to believers, while others fight believers directly. The world as a whole, however, does fight against believers. While it does appear to ebb and flow some, as a whole it the fight is getting stronger and stronger.
No one likes to hear that they may have to go into captivity or be killed. This is especially true for the believer, who is not doing anything wrong, yet, this is what will happen to many believers.
John is quick to point out that believers must then be patient and faithful during this time. While sitting in captivity, they must have patience in waiting on God’s move. They must be faithful all the way to the point of death.
In the end God and all His people will win the battle. However, until then, times will be rough, persecution and suffering will be great, and death will occur. No believer is to throw in the towel and follow the ways of the world. Nor are they to fear what is happening or could happen.
As you go through or see rough times, you must stay focused on God. He has given the promise to save you. He has shown you how to live your life. He has promised that in the end He will win the battle. There will be a time when all suffering and death will end.
Until that time, stay faithful to God and wait patiently for His timing. Do not be anxious or worried, God will win in the end and if you are following Jesus, you also will win the battle.
Are you being patient and faithful today?
I pray today that you will know the promises of God for you; that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will not fear the evil in this world; that God will fill you with His patience; and that you will be faithful to God.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3
Death is something that most people do not like to talk about. They do not want to think about the fact that some day they must die. Many fear what happens after death.
For the majority of people, death is the end of the line, things are over. When a person is dead, there is nothing more that can be done. It usually brings about sadness and depression, missing the one who has died.
With the exception of a few, most people cling to life. They want to live and keep going for a long time, despite the problems in this life. Yet, there is a death that God wants every person to go through.
God wants people to die to self, sin and this temporary sinful world. Sin had brought death into this world, and it is death that can cast death and sin out of this world.
Removal of sin required a death, which is what Jesus did. Jesus died on the cross to remove sin and death from the lives of all people. He did the work of dying, now every believer needs to follow Jesus in His death. They must also die to sin and self.
Paul said that the believer has died and that his life is now found in Jesus. This death is not the physical death that the world knows of, but death to self and sin. It is getting rid of sinful habits. It is dying to the old way of living in sin.
When a believer has died and is now living in Jesus, he no longer is concerned with the things of this world. He is not concerned with what people think about his beliefs. He is now only concerned with what God wants. It is God who is now moving in him and giving him life.
Allow yourself to die to the old self and sin. Allow Jesus to live in and through you. As a dead person, allow God to move you in what needs to be done and how to do it.
Now that you have died, the world and sin no longer has any control over you. You are a new person found in Jesus. It is Christ who is living in and through you.
You have a new life, live the life God has for you.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow yourself to die to sin; that you will allow Jesus to live through you; and that you will allow God to control every part of your life.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:6-7
Paul had just finished talking about not sinning any more. He talked about how Jesus died to take away all sin. Now he tells believers that they are no longer a slave to sin.
One thing that every person must deal with in this life is sin. Sin has a grip on every person that cannot be individually overcome. Sin is a part of this life for every person. Each person is enslaved to sin, to the point that they cannot help but sin.
However, when a person dies, that changes.
When a person is dead, he is free from the things of this earth. Every concern that a person had when living is no longer a concern. There are no more bills to pay, no more sickness to deal with, no more enemies, no more getting up early for work, no more vehicle breakdowns or anything else in this life. There is also no longer the ability to sin. The person is dead. It is over.
In Christ Jesus, each person who believes in Him, dies. Their character is crucified and dies. With that the old things of this life die with him. The need to sin also dies in the crucifixion.
Once a person dies with Jesus, he is raised again to a new life. That life is no longer bound by sin. There is no longer a reason to sin. All a person has to do is focus on living for God, and the power of sin will go away. Living for God will destroy the need to sin.
Every morning you get up, you must realize that you are rising to a new life in Jesus Christ. Live for God with everything in you. Focus on Him and Him alone. As you do that, the need to sin will go away. You will no longer have the time to sin, because all of your time will be spent on living for God.
You are free from sin. Now all you have to do is live like you are free from all sin. Stay dead to sin, don’t go back into it.
I pray today that you will know the life Jesus has for you; that you will focus on living for God; that you will know the freedom from sin that Jesus provides; and that you be ruled by God alone.