Lloyd Wilson - Things that Help Us to Endure - Menominee, Wisconsin Convention - 1972

Hymn 292: In Times of Deepest Darkness

Matthew 24:12-13, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end that same shall be saved." It seems to me that it is a very serious thing to attend these conventions, a very serious thing, because we are expected to have a message from the heart of God to the hearts of His people, and it's a very serious thing. I expect the Lord will ask me on another day, "What did you say to those people and what did you mean by what you said?" Therefore it is a very serious thing, serious because we are making some kind of impressions on one another by what we say and do. We are sowing some kind of seed and that seed will take root and spring up and produce some kind of fruit, either good or evil. That is why it's a very serious thing. I would like to tell you, for the few remaining moments, about some things that are to come, and some things that will help us as God's children to endure. Probably you have noticed these 2 verses I have read, and probably it caused you to stop and think. I hope it did. Jesus in His faithfulness was looking down through the years ahead, and He was not overlooking the period in this history of the world we are living in, and He was not overlooking the condition that you and I are surrounded by and, because of that, He in faithfulness could tell His own people for their benefit and also for our benefit that the time would come when iniquity would abound and this iniquity that Jesus spoke about, another word for it is lawlessness. Because lawlessness shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

I noticed in the few verses connected prior with this, at least 14 times the word shall is used. That carries a very positive meaning. This is something that does not have to happen to either you or I, but it could happen. Jesus said it will happen to many; it will happen to many, but it doesn't have to happen to you and me. There is a way of escape, if we will take it. Because iniquity, or lawlessness shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. This is a positive statement. It doesn't have to happen to you, but it will happen to many of God's professing people because iniquity, or lawlessness shall abound and we would be very blind indeed not to recognize that we are living in an age of lawlessness, where authority is not much respected.

Is authority respected in your home? Is it respected in the home where you live? Do you recognize there is an authority that governs that home? And do you respect that authority and appreciate the restraint and authority in the home? I hope you do. There is an authority in the home, in the testimony and amongst His people also. Do we respect and appreciate and cooperate with it cheerfully? I hope you do.

If the few remarks that I may have this afternoon have any importance or value to them, there is one thing I would like to do, and that is to give support to the effort that God's servants and handmaidens who labour for and among you, I would like to say a little to lend support to their efforts. Whether you realize it or not, they have a heavy load on their shoulders and minds. They have a heavy load and oftentimes they have a lot of grief. Sometimes they have some joy too, I believe. You would like to help them, wouldn't you?

Would you like to learn something that you can do, either old or young? There is something you can do to make the heavy load lighter. To be a great help in this way of God, it's very simple. Will you make it your business to live this truth and live it so true and so right that you will not add one thing to the load upon the hearts of God's servants and maidens, that you will not create any problems for them and add anything to their burdens, that you will not put any grief in their minds or hearts. Is that asking too much? Not at all. When we leave this convention, will we assume that responsibility and say, "As far as I am concerned, I will be very careful that I won't make any problems for God's servants and make it necessary for them to lay awake at night worrying about me and make any long prayers for me, making it necessary for them to make long journeys to come and see me and try to help me out of some troubles." Regardless how it was in the past, will you go from this convention purposed that as far as you are as an individual, that you will see to it that you walk the straight line and live so true and keep so right with one another that you will not make any problems for God’s servants? If you will do that, you will be doing something that will be a great help, you really will. Any worker who assumes the responsibility to look after the affairs of the kingdom in any state, I know he has tackled a job that is very far too much for any one person, and we can be mighty thankful to God that there are those who are trying to fill those responsible places, and will you, as the children of God, try to cooperate with them cheerfully and gladly? If they find it necessary to speak to you about some matter, will you accept that with a cheerful attitude? Will you? If you will, you will be helping this effort more than you think.

Jesus said iniquity shall abound. This is a message from the heart of God intended for the hearts of His people and because of the spirit of lawlessness, and it is so evident everywhere you go; you see lots of evidence of the spirit of lawlessness. In the home, there is intended to be a government, authority, discipline. In the church, at the convention, among the Lord's people there is authority. I wonder, do we recognize it and appreciate it and prepare to cooperate with it wholeheartedly and cheerfully? I hope so. But because it shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. That's serious in any case. It had happened, and it will happen to many but it doesn't have to happen to you. But it will happen to many.

They who endure to the end shall be saved. Before I mention some things that will help us endure unto the end, I would like to tell you of some things that will come. Psalm 50: 3-5, Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people. Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice. When the time comes that our God shall come, He will come to those who have made and maintained a covenant with Him by sacrifice. The saved people of God are covenant-keeping people. They have entered into a covenant with Him, a covenant that calls for self sacrifice, maintained by self sacrifice. We are exhorted to present our bodies a living sacrifice every day, otherwise the covenant is broken. Can you begin the day without presenting yourself to God? (prayer, meditation, reading). If you can, you have broken the covenant with the Lord that day and if the Lord shall come that day, He will not come for you. He will come for those who are maintaining the sacrifice of themselves. Acts 1:11,and this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven. When this same Jesus comes, He will be the very same, and have the very same marks in His life and will come looking for the very same kind of believers and followers as when He went back to the Father in Heaven. He will not recognize any other kind, just as He didn't identify Himself with any others after His resurrection. He didn't appear to any other kind then, and when He comes again, this same Jesus, He will only come looking for and accept and identify with the very same kind of believers.

Do you think the Christianity of the New Testament is an old fashioned religion and outdated by modern religions? Do you think people who have gotten away from what is in the original have advanced? If you think that is a mark of progress, you had better think again. A mark of progress is becoming more like Jesus. That is progress. Any getting away from that is not progress, it's degenerating, going down and backwards.

Luke 13:29, "And they shall come from the East, and from the West, and from the North, and from the South, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God." They are covenant-keeping people. Not all who profess will be there, not by any means; only those who make and maintain a covenant with Him by sacrifice are the ones who will come and sit down.  To just profess and believe the truth is not enough, it’s something more than that.

There are two ways of believing truth. It's possible to believe truth in vain and possible to believe truth to the saving of the soul. Believing truth with the head only is believing in vain, but believing with the heart is unto the saving of the soul because that kind of belief will change the life and make it like the Lord Himself. But before this same Jesus comes, there are some other things that are to come. Turn to 1 Thessalonians 5. Paul in this epistle is writing about the coming of the Lord.  In chapter 5:2, "The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, 'Peace and safety; 'then sudden destruction cometh upon them. Then sudden destruction cometh upon them." It says people would be saying, "Peace and safety." Would it not be because they have a feeling of security? Our leaders in the nation and world are trying very hard to work out a solution where they will have security and peace and safety, and the Lord will allow that to happen to get things worked out in such a way and manner that people will feel safe and secure, and when they get it worked out to their own satisfaction and they can relax and go to sleep and take it easy, then it is when sudden destruction shall come. This is to come before this same Jesus comes.

2 Thessalonians 2:2-3, "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."

It seems like some people had written letters to these Thessalonians and signed Paul’s name, and it contradicted the truth that Paul preached. Suppose you got a letter from a worker and you believed it because his name was signed, but it was contradictory to what he had preached to you. Some had forged Paul's name to a letter to the Thessalonians intending to upset their faith and put them against Paul. Therefore, he found it necessary to write such a letter.

This day of the Lord will not come until there comes first of all a falling away. I don't mind telling you some of the thoughts I have about this falling away. As far as I can understand, this falling away begins way out there in the world. You know, there was a time when even religious people in the world, in the denominations of religions,  tried to live up to something and teach the best they knew about right living and had some standards, but what is it now? Nothing but using religion on a commercialized basis, so religion in the world has fallen down. You see the people come out of the popular churches and they are just as worldly looking as you would find at any other place. From the social element, you find a lot of corruption there; socially it has fallen. Look at it from a moral standpoint; where have they gone to? They are fallen in a terrible degrading manner. Look at it in a political way. It's fallen. This falling away happens first in the world, but it doesn't stop in the world. What gives any thinking person concern is when we are faced with the fact that just about anything that goes on in the world can be found amongst the professing people of the Lord. Does that startle you? It ought to. Can you see how the fall is coming? It doesn't have to happen to you, but it will happen to many. There could be a falling away in the interest. Is your interest burning just as strong? Is the zeal of the Lord eating you up like it once did? Are you anxious about the little meeting? Do you put just as much time into your prayer meetings or can you miss a mid week meeting and not feel like you have done anything wrong? I mean without a justifiable excuse. Can you do those things and still feel like you did nothing wrong? If so, you better watch out; it might be some of that falling away taking hold and treating some things that are looked upon as serious, treating it now with indifference. Can you treat with indifference some things that are serious, which gives any godly person great cause for great concern, and you pass it off for nothing? And indifference? If you can, you better watch out! This falling away, a cooling off! Because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold. Slacking of the interest, cooling down, passing over serious things without giving much thought or concern - this is something that He said will happen before this same Jesus comes again. This falling away shall happen.

We do not count success in numbers. We don't say we have had a good convention because we had 700 people present; that is not what makes a good convention. It's our rightness that makes us strong. In regard to the story of Israel, you know how Israel lost a whole army without a battle in the space of 38 years, a whole army of soldiers, except two. It was their army which fell in the wilderness. Why? Because of wrongness. After awhile another generation arose, and there was another numbering, and that army conquered mighty nations stronger than they. It wasn't numbers of strength that made the difference; it was the rightness. Wrongness brought the defeat in the wilderness without a battle. It was the rightness that gave them victory in Canaan. It's going to be our rightness in our relationship with Heaven and with one another, keeping inwardly right; it's not the muscle on the arm, the long testimonies, or anything else, but just keeping right. It’s such a simple thing and yet it goes so far and means so much.

2 Timothy 3:1, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." That is something else that is to come before this same Jesus comes and perilous times. Ok, we do have them. What are the marks and what is bringing them? 2 Timothy 3:2-5, "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power there of."  Who is to blame for the perilous times? Some say the President, but that is not what the Bible says.  The Bible says those who are lovers of themselves. Did you ever love yourself? I expect we all have. In that measure we have contributed to the perilous times on the earth today.

This reminds me of a pack of hungry wolves. Wolves like to prowl at two different times, just after sundown just before sunup. We are living in the night time, spiritually speaking. We are approaching the dawn of the millennial morning, when Jesus will come and gather together His covenant-keeping people and set up His 1000 year reign on the earth. We are yet in the night season, but approaching the dawn. Did you ever look out some morning before sunup and see the clouds in the east, and before the sun comes up, there is a brightness on the clouds. You didn't see the sun yet, but you know it's not far away. It's brightening up the clouds, reflecting the glory of the oncoming sun bringing the new day. God's servants in particular are like the clouds. Clouds are formed by water that once flowed in the lakes and rivers, but by the process of evaporation it was drawn up into the sky. The clouds would say, We gave up every earthly thing; God's servants would say, "We gave up every earthly thing: business, home, job, everything." There the clouds are softened, purified and carried about by the gentle breeze; God's servants separated from every earthly thing, purified, softened and carried about by the gentle prompting of the Holy Spirit. Talk to the clouds and say, "Where are you going?" "I don't know, wherever the breeze takes me;" God's servants say just where the Spirit leads Maybe the little churches, in a measure, would be something like the clouds reflecting the glory of the approaching sun. We know we are living in the night time season but approaching the dawn of the new Millennial Day, and there is the glory of the coming Son of God that is reflected from the lives who are separated, purified and carried about by the prompting of His Holy Spirit.

In these last days men shall be lovers of themselves - just like a pack of wolves that like to get out and prowl just before the day, maybe get themselves a chicken that got out too early. When at home, we saw a chicken get out when you could hardly see, and a wolf came and got it. We are in that period of time and this pack of hungry wolves prowling. A wolf is blood thirsty and out to get for himself, trying to prowl amongst God's people and do their work just before the dawn of the Millennial Day. This is to come before this same Jesus comes.

2 Timothy 4:3-4, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." This sounds to me just kind of entertaining - fables, no sound doctrine. Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:16, "We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."  We are not teaching people any cunningly devised fable; it's sound doctrine. It's safe, solid, sound, and you can stake your life on it. You shall not be disappointed. The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine and want something to kind of tickle their ears and make a joke. It is far too serious for that, because there is far too much at stake. I know one thing, God means business, and He expects that we mean business too. We'll be doing ourselves a great favour if we mean business and go away from this convention to really work at it. Those are things that are to come before this same Jesus comes.

Now, I’ll talk about the things that will help you to endure. It says in that verse in Matthew that He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. There are three parts to this matter of salvation. You might say you get saved when you make your choice at Gospel meetings, and then as you go along, and then finally saved at the finish and endure to the end, the same shall be saved. We are not preaching once saved, always saved. We don't believe that; it's not according to sound doctrine. One could be saved and lose out and be permanently lost or lose out and if God has mercy could be brought into right standing with Him again. It is not true that if once saved, no matter where they go, they will still be saved. It is a matter of enduring unto the end, until finally saved.

Psalms 30:5 says, "His anger endureth but a moment." There is something that endures for a moment. At times God has been caused to be angry with His people; He gets over it quickly, especially if He sees signs of repentance. Then it says weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Maybe you have had that experience, too, of turning those tears into joy and rejoicing. In the parable of the sower, Jesus spoke about one kind of soil that would endure for a time. The seed sown in stony ground should be typical of people who profess without repentance. Sometimes that happens; people profess without deep repentance and because they do not repent with Godly sorrow for their sins, there wasn't the brokenness and contriteness of spirit and therefore that seed endured only for a time, and when tribulation and persecution arose because of the Word, it withered. They can begin, but will not finish well; they cannot stand when some tests come their way. They will not stand against that because they had professed without repentance and their roots couldn't go down through that stone and therefore, they endured only for a time.

John 6:27 says, "Labour for the meat which endures unto everlasting life." Before that chapter is finished, Jesus spoke some rather strong statements and many of those people walked no more with Him. He said, "Except you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you." When it began to dawn on them what He meant, they said, "It is a hard saying" and they turned back. A few stood, the ones who had been getting the meat because of paying the price of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. In other words, get taken up with Jesus and feed upon His life and nature. Those who have been doing that have endured. In verse 68 Peter said, "To whom shall we go, Thou hast the words of eternal life." Even though it was a hard saying, they took it, because they were getting the meat that endures unto everlasting life. That will help us to endure, to get taken up with Jesus, His spirit, life, and nature. Get more of the mind of Christ, spirit of Christ, love of Christ, nature of Christ, righteousness of Christ, and humility of Christ. Get more of Christ, and when you do, you will have the meat that endures unto everlasting life and it will help you to endure.

Hebrew 11:26, Moses was one who endured. It says of him, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward, by faith he forsook Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward, by faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. He had something that was better than the pleasures of sin. He endured because of He who is invisible; he got his eyes on something other than what this world has to offer and because of that, he endured the reproach and esteemed the reproach. We often hear ones tell about Moses who esteemed the reproach. We wonder why our young people can't stand up under the reproach in the school or where they work. To keep from getting a reproach, they just fall in line so they won't get the reproach.

One young person said, "I am glad I have a reason for being different." I am glad I feel like that, too. When I first professed, they weren't nearly as ungodly as they are now. If you are a young person in this convention, I hope you are glad for a reason for being different. I hope you will not be ashamed to bear a little reproach for Jesus' sake. Look on it as a privilege. People say they want to be a light. You put on the light and the darkness leaves; it's opposite. If you want to be a light, it means you want to be different than those you are surrounded by. Count it a privilege if you want to bear reproach for Jesus' sake. He endured as seeing Him who is invisible. This is another thing that will help us to endure.

We think about Jesus. It says about Him in Hebrews 12:2, "Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross and endured such contradiction of sinners." Sinners tried to put Him away long before the Lord let them. They tried to catch Him in His words. Jesus endured all the contradictions that led Him to the cross. He didn't shrink or draw back. We can thank God that He had the courage to face it. He endured for the joy that was set before Him.

There is something else that will help people to endure. When facing the cross, He was thinking about and looking beyond the cross, to what would soon be His after the cross was over; He was looking to the glory when He would be with His Father, to the joy that would be His for all eternity, and that so far outweighed the terrible agony of the cross and helped to make a straight course. We don't know what we will have to face as we go out from here in the coming year. There will probably be some unexpected experiences and we will be facing things that we feel are far too much, and maybe not know just what to do, but even so, if we will look at what's ahead and keep the goal in view and the glory and joy, they are things that will help us to endure and help us make a straight path with our feet. He that shall endure unto the end the same shall be saved. The people that won't endure are those who will be lacking a broken spirit and contrite heart. They will begin but they will not finish. Get that meat. Feed on Jesus and don't neglect that, and it will help you to endure. Remember the better and heavenly substance, what is laid up for you in Heaven. That will help you to endure. Keep a clear vision of those who have endured, and a clear vision of the joys set before us and pleasures at His right hand forevermore. He that shall endure unto the end the same shall be saved even though many will go down, and the love of many will wax cold. Jesus said it would happen; it wouldn't have to happen to you. It will happen to many. The way of escape is that if you will attend carefully to the things that will help you to endure and you will be mighty, mighty glad of it. Self denial will look mighty small when we get to where all is bright and light in the glory of His eternal presence.

We would like to send you away with the last verse of this hymn, 292:

So struggling soul press onward,
And keep the goal in view;
What God has done in others,
He, too, can do in you.

Fear neither past nor future;
Let love the victory give,
And through eternal ages,
Your soul with Christ shall live.