Matthew 24:10 (NKJ)
And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Many things have been written about bitterness and unforgiveness which are good and true. But this writing focuses on the times we live in and the need for complete humility of heart, unconditional surrender to the purifying fires of God, and uncompromised obedience to the Lord who taught forgiveness in the most profound way possible – as He was dying upon the Cross.
In Matthew 24: 3-13, Jesus is speaking of the signs to look for just before His return. Right in among the warnings of wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes, we have this picture in verse 10 (above) of how people will conduct themselves who are not surrendered in obedience to the leading and an example of our Lord.
People who were very close to Jesus betrayed, abandoned, denied and cursed Him; and those were His friends and disciples! Others accused, slandered, vilified and finally killed Him. Yet, His prayer was “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” God desires that we should follow his Son’s example.
Though we cannot compare ourselves to our Lord in what He suffered and sacrificed, He is our exemplar model of how we are to live and die.
“Yet he opened not his mouth” to defend himself…. (Isaiah 53:7)
We must die to our need for earthly justification in the eyes of men. When we wait for our Defender to vindicate us, we will see His justice in due time. Persecution will come, we are assured of it and it is for our perfection. We may be slandered, betrayed and abandoned by those whom we love and who profess love for us, but deny it with their words and actions. They do not have God’s heart for us, and their actions and words often challenge our very identity in Him.
Don’t let your offenses cause you to enter into the same camp as your offenders. If we surrender to the fiery processes of God which are clearly outlined in his Word, we will be resurrected in due time and we will live with Him forever and ever in the beauty of His holiness.