Verses 9-139“But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to [the] courts, and you will be flogged in [the] synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.10The gospel must first be preached to all the nations.11When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but [it is] the Holy Spirit.12Brother will betray brother to death, and a father [his] child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.13You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. we find only here and not in the prophetic discourse written by Matthew in Matthew 24-25 and Luke in Luke 21. Not only the circumstances are characteristic of that time, but also what will happen to themselves. The hatred of the people will focus on them as followers or servants of Christ. They will be at the mercy of courts of religious systems to be interrogated. The methods of interrogation are cruel, and interrogations will even take place in synagogues, which are buildings where teaching is given from God’s law.
In addition, worldly authorities will call them to account for Who Christ is. It will be an opportunity to make these authorities aware of His Name through which the gospel will also come to these places. Thus Paul testified before the Jewish counsel, as well as before Festus, Agrippa and even the emperor. Also the gospel has sounded and still sounds in penal camps to which faithful witnesses were banished and are still being banished. In all this it was and is important to preserve the character of truth and humility.
Thus the gospel will find its way, for before the end comes, it must first be preached to all nations. God wants His joyous message to be brought to the extremes of the earth even in the darkest times, or perhaps precisely then. God never judges without first giving a complete testimony of the way to salvation of that judgment. It is our task to do so while we see what is going on in the world.
The Lord has great encouragement for His disciples. If they are led away to be interrogated, they need not worry about what they will speak. He will make sure that they will speak the right thing at the right time. He will work that through the Holy Spirit Who will put the words in their mouths.
This is also important for any situation of threat and need that we, as servants, may encounter in order to be aware of it. The Holy Spirit wants to fill us to fulfill our task to testify (Acts 1:88but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”; 4:3131And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and [began] to speak the word of God with boldness.). We do not need to plan tactics or establish an organization to know how to resist the enemy. If we rely on our own insight and skills, our defeat is certain. If we trust in the Lord, He will give us victory, even if it would cost us our lives. We will experience this miracle of speaking through the Holy Spirit every time we speak up for the Lord Jesus when He brings us into situations where He asks us to.
Each service for Christ will also reveal the hatred of the human heart. That hatred will be so great that there will be no security even in family relationships. Authority will disappear and family ties will be torn apart. Where otherwise one brother helps the other brother, now one brother will hand the other over to death. While a child naturally finds protection and safety with his father, there is nothing left of that at that time, and a father will surrender his child when he notices that this child is a disciple of Christ.
The fact that all natural proportions are chilled is also shown by the rebellion of children against their parents and the putting to death of them. Children should honor their parents and not rise up against them. They are without natural love (2Tim 3:1-41But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,). This is the result of the selfishness that prevails in families with the result that lovelessness increases hand over hand. This is how parents raise their children for death because there is no natural love anymore. Children die due to emotional neglect caused by the parents’ desire to assert themselves. The foundations of society are undermined. It’s all insidious, but very certain.
Hate will be general because hatred of the Lord Jesus is general (Jn 15:18-2118“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before [it hated] you.19If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.20Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.21But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.). It is important not to let it stop us, but to persevere to the end. The end is first and foremost to the end of the great tribulation which the Lord will speak of hereafter. Perseverance is the utter fruit of obedience (Jam 1:44And let endurance have [its] perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.). He who perseveres is saved.
This does not mean that it depends on our own effort whether we are saved. Salvation cannot be earned, and he who is saved by grace cannot be lost. What matters here is that perseverance is the proof that someone knows Christ, has chosen Him, and therefore serves Him consistently. And once there is a failure, there is also confession and restoration.