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Does Matt. 24:13 conflict with free grace salvation and the believer’s security?

“But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved” (Matt 24:13).

The word “saved” must always be understand in its context. Saved from what and by what means? “Saved” is the Greek sozo which may refer to any kind of deliverance and should often be simply translated “delivered.” It can refer to physical deliverance or to some kind of spiritual deliverance, but the context is the determining factor. In point of fact, this passage is speaking about physical deliverance or the survival of those who last through the judgments of the tribulation. Note the comments below from the Bible Knowledge Commentary.

24:9-14 (Mark 13:9-13; Luke 21:12-19). Jesus began His words (Matt. 24:9) with a time word, Then. At the middle point of the seven-year period preceding Christ’s second coming, great distress will begin to be experienced by Israel. The Antichrist, who will have risen to power in the world and will have made a protective treaty with Israel, will break his agreement at that time (Dan. 9:27). He will bring great persecution on Israel (Dan. 7:25) and even establish his own center of worship in the temple in Jerusalem (2 Thes. 2:3-4). This will result in the death of many Jews (Matt. 24:9) and many people departing from the faith. Believing Jews will be betrayed by nonbelievers (v. 10), and many will be deceived by rising false prophets (cf. v. 5; Rev. 13:11-15). Wickedness will increase, causing the love of most people (for the Lord) to grow cold.

Those who are believers and who survive until the end of that period of time will be saved, that is, delivered (Matt. 24:13). This does not refer to a personal self-effort at endurance that results in one’s eternal salvation, but to physical deliverance of those who trust in the Savior during the Tribulation. The endurance, then, is physical survival. While many will be martyred, a few will make to the end. Those who endure through the awful events of the Tribulation will be alive or delivered by Messiah when he returns to earth. This is not a reference to eternal salvation from sin, but rather the deliverance of survivors at the end of the Tribulation as stated in Romans 11:26 where the Deliver will save the nation Israel from its persecutors. Many will not endure to the end in that they will be martyred for their faith as described in Revelation 7:9-17.

Related Topics: Scripture Twisting, Assurance, Law