55. “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.” -Jesus in John 16:1-4
Take Jesus up on the offer to develop an intimate friendship with him. You’re going to need it when tough times come, and they will come. Jesus here indicates to those that do know Him that those who don’t know Him will sometimes make life difficult for true believers. Lest you think this passage teaches that a true believer might really stumble and lose their salvation, check out these next verses…
56. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ Or ‘Look, He is there!’ Do not believe it. For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.” -Jesus in Mark 13:21-22
In these verses Jesus is speaking about being ready as the end times approach. Here He wants those who are truly Christians to be ready for the deceivers that will come pretending to be on God’s side. But despite urging them to be diligent, He encourages them by referring to how God has elected the true believer. Jesus basically says it that it is impossible to truly deceive His elect, or chosen ones, but people will try! Don’t be afraid of the word elect. We elect, or choose presidents, to have both privileges and responsibilities. The one in the office chose to run for the office, and we chose to elect them to it. God elects, or chooses sinners to be His people and this gives us both privileges and responsibilities. Presidents are given daily briefings about potential dangers in the world. Here Jesus gives believers advance warning of persecution and hardship so they will be ready, and not stumble or be deceived.
57. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” -Jesus in John 16:33
What a wonderful promise – not that we can on our own overcome the world, but that Jesus has overcome the world, and He’s the one we’re with! This brings to mind a great little saying – “I can’t, but God never said I could! Jesus can, and He promised that he would!” Jesus is the Hero of the Christian faith! Philippians 4:13 says that believers can do all things they are called to do through Jesus who gives them strength. John 15:5 told us that without Jesus we can do nothing, but through abiding in Him, we can bear much fruit! That includes the perseverance of the believer amidst life’s troubles.