If we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us.
2 Timothy 2:12 (ESV)
In verses 3 and 9 of 2 Timothy 2, Paul mentions suffering for the sake of the gospel. He then says he is in chains (in prison) and endures all things for the sake of the elect that they would come to Christ (believe the gospel). So, it seems that the context where Paul writes If we endure, is referring to suffering for the sake of the gospel (Christ’s name).
Jesus often spoke to his disciples of the suffering they would face for the sake of the gospel and the reward they would receive should they endure. On one occasion, after telling them that they would be persecuted and some of them put to death, he made this statement, But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives. (Luke 21:10-19 ESV) On another occasion he told his disciples that even their own families would betray them, But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:21-22 ESV)
Paul wrote, The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:16-17 ESV) Our inheritance is intrinsically linked with the glorification of Christ’s name through our suffering.
Jesus commended the church of Thyatira for their patient endurance. To those who conquered he promised a place of authority over nations to rule as he himself ruled (Revelation 2:19-29). Our endurance during times of persecution brings with it a great promise—we will reign with Jesus. Jesus has prepared a kingdom for those he has ransomed by his blood and they will reign with him on the earth (Revelation 5:10). Their reign will not be temporary but will last for eternity (Revelation 20:6, 22:5).
Not only do we need endurance during times of persecution, we also need endurance in putting away all sin that causes us stumble in the pursuit of our inheritance. The writer of Hebrews wrote, Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV) Like Christ, we are to look with joy toward the reward of the resurrection from the dead and our eternal reign.
Let’s begin to prepare our hearts now for the time to come by setting our minds on things above and not on the earth and making Jesus our most satisfying treasure. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. (Hebrews 10:36 ESV)
Do you want to reign with Christ?
Scriptures for meditation: