“Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.
“But be ready to run for it when you see the monster of desecration set up in the Temple sanctuary. The prophet Daniel described this. If you’ve read Daniel, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you’re living in Judea at the time, run for the hills; if you’re working in the yard, don’t return to the house to get anything; if you’re out in the field, don’t go back and get your coat. Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Hope and pray this won’t happen during the winter or on a Sabbath.
“This is going to be trouble on a scale beyond what the world has ever seen, or will see again. If these days of trouble were left to run their course, nobody would make it. But on account of God’s chosen people, the trouble will be cut short.” (Matthew 24:13-22)
Winston Churchill once gave a commencement address that consisted of one sentence: “Never give up.” That thought had kept him going during the darkest days of the Second World War. The destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the Romans was one of the major turning points in history.
In 66 AD the Jewish people revolted against Rome, established a revolutionary government, and kicked the Romans out of Jerusalem. In 70 AD the Romans returned in force. When the Roman army under arrived in Jerusalem bearing the banners and standards of Caesar—idols of the emperor—Christians made the connection to Daniel’s prophesy about a “monster of desecration.” Because Jesus warned his followers to flee, all the Christians ran away from Jerusalem.
Thankfully, the events Jesus foretold did not happen in the winter. And the Romans did not attack on a Sabbath. But thousands of people were slaughtered and those that survived were scattered. Persecutions arose against Christians with ever increasing ferocity. But the church grew in the face of that persecution. So much so, that within a couple of hundred years, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire that had once persecuted it. Jesus had told his followers to never give up and in the end, they triumphed. It’s the same for us today. Sticking with it, regardless of what we face, is all Jesus asks.