“And you will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” – Matthew 10:22
Jesus is describing to His twelve chosen apostles just how costly it will be for them to take His message into the world. He is describing a time after His death, resurrection, and return to heaven. He has said that the apostles will be arrested, flogged, and dragged before various courts. Worse, they can expect family members to turn against them or to turn against those who believe their message (Matthew 10:17–21).
Now Jesus says it even more bluntly: because of their association with Christ, these men will experience widespread, open hatred. This does not mean the apostles—or Christians—will be hated by literally every single non-believing person. Some would come to faith in Jesus in response to the gospel of His kingdom. Most, though, would not. It does mean that all kinds of people would hate the apostles: some for the content of their teaching about Jesus and others for the trouble that teaching stirred up wherever the apostles went (1 Peter 4:3–4; John 15:18–20).
History and tradition tell us that each of the apostles sent out by Jesus was persecuted and jailed. Most were killed for bearing His name. Still, Jesus now says that those of them who endure to the end will be saved. He does not mean that they will escape death at the hands of the persecutors. He means that by enduring all the way to the end of their lives in faithfulness to this mission He is giving them, they will enter immediately into salvation in His kingdom.
Hate. Such a strong word but historically we’ve definitely seen hatred for Christians. Christian martyrs still exist today. A study at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary showed that around 100,000 Christians each year die for their faith…
A staggering number.
Prayers for those who suffer for their faith each day. A lesson for each of us.