Persevere to the End
James Smith, 1859
This is a good motto — but it supposes that we are in the right path, and have a good object in view. Nothing is worse than perseverance in a wrong course, or in evil practices. And nothing is better than perseverance in the Lord's work, and the Lord's way. Let us see to it that we have started right, and then let us press on towards the mark. The Divine testimony concerning us in our natural state is, "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one!" And the representation of our conversion is thus given, "You have returned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls."
The way to glory and to God — is Christ Jesus.
Receiving his Word, trusting in his blood, and copying his example, leads us
to Heaven — and there is no other way. Not receiving his Word alone, or
trusting his blood alone, or copying his example alone; but all the three.
Thus we began our Christian course, under the gracious teaching of
the Holy Spirit; and thus let us persevere unto the end. The
direction of holy Scripture is, "As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord
— so walk in him." Go on as you began, "Persevere to the end." We began by
taking Christ for a perfect Savior.
His blood alone, was the cause of our pardon;
his righteousness alone, was the ground of our acceptance;
his Word alone, was the warrant of our faith; and
his precepts and example alone, were the rule of our conduct and our lives.
We took him — just as God presented him — to be our prophet, priest, and king, and it will be well for us to end as we began. Do we believe in Jesus? Let us persevere in doing so to the end. Do we love Jesus? Let us persevere in loving him to the end. Do we obey Jesus? Let us persevere in our obedience unto the end.
But we began to work in the Lord's vineyard, to exert ourselves in the Lord's cause — let us persevere to the end. Our work will only be finished with our lives. There will always be plenty for us to do, if we are only willing to do it. But many grow weary in well doing. Some who were active once — are active no longer. The working bees, have become drones! Paul's question to the Galatians, may now very well be put to many, "You did run well — who hindered you?" Who turned you back? Were you justified in yielding to temptation, and forsaking your work?
Look at the world, and remember your Lord's words, "The field is the world." How much there is to be done in the world, and for the world. Surely there ought not to be one idle hand in God's church — all ought to be employed. Brethren, are you now at work? "Persevere to the end." Sisters, are you at work? "Persevere to the end." But if you are not personally and actively employed for God — then begin at once. If you are engaged in his work, ask, "Is there nothing more that I can do?" Many have regretted that they have done so little for Jesus — but we never heard of one who thought he had done too much.
Christian, "persevere to the end." You have a good Master, yours is honorable employment, and you will receive a glorious reward. Work while it is day — and work hard; the night comes, and then you will enjoy sweet and refreshing rest. The Master will soon be here, and then will he reward every one according to his works. O to work for him now, as we shall wish we had done then!
Lost sinner, I beseech you not to persevere to the end, for you are in the wrong road, your path is extremely dangerous, and if persevered in, your end will not only be without honor — but will be dreadful and disgraceful! Persevere no longer. Go no farther. Make a dead stop, and listen to the Lord, who is saying unto you, "Why will you die? Turn, turn from your evil way, and live!" God is willing to pardon your sins, to receive your prayers, and to bless your souls. The atonement is made, the throne of grace is erected, the invitation is sent; yes, more, God in Christ, and Christ by his servants, beseeches you to be reconciled!