Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

I Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

I Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

I Timothy 6:12a Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.

II Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

I Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

9 Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

MEMORY VERSE: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. —I Corinthians 15:58

CENTRAL THOUGHT: A closing reminder that, having put on the full armor of God, we must not only fight with fervent prayer, but watch, persevere and endure steadfastly unto the end.


Matthew 24:12 “Iniquity shall abound”: lawlessness shall increase; wickedness will multiply; sin will be rampant. “Wax cold”: originally, “to breathe or blow; and the picture is that of spiritual energy blighted or chilled by a malign or poisonous wind” (Vincent’s Word Studies). “The tendency of all such times, as seen in the histories of famines, and pestilences, and revolutions, is to intensify selfishness, both in the more excusable form of self- preservation, and in the darker form of self-aggrandisement” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers).

Matthew 24:13 “Endure”: to remain under the load; bear up; persevere. Matthew 26:41 “Watch”: stay awake; be vigilant; be on the alert.

I Corinthians 16:13 “Quit you like men”: behave like a man; act manly; be responsible and courageous; be brave.

Ephesians 6:18 “Perseverance”: persistence; steadfastness.

II Timothy 2:3 “Hardness”: suffering; affliction; painful hardship.

I Peter 5:8 “Be sober”: abstain from wine; circumspect; discreet. “Vigilant”: on the alert; keep awake. “Walketh about”: prowls at large. “Devour”: drink down; gulp entire; destroy; swallow up; consume.

I Peter 5:9 “Steadfast”: stiff; firm, rigid; will not budge; sure.
I Corinthians 15:58 “Stedfast”: well seated; solidly based; morally fixed.


The disciples asked Jesus to prepare them for the destruction of Jerusalem; they also wanted to know the signs for the end of the world. Jesus included instructions for both events in Matthew 24. Today, we may understand verse 12 to mean the horrible conditions surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem, but we may also apply them to the time of the end, which is certainly the time in which we live. Both conditions apply, both then and now. Adam Clarke quoted from Eusebius: “It is very remarkable that not a single Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem.” That may have been a literal salvation, in that none lost his life, but at the end of the world, He is speaking of saving our souls from eternal damnation, the second death.

Likewise, His warning to His disciples to watch and pray while they were in the garden with Him before His crucifixion can also be applied to all Christians, at any time. Their temptation was to deny Him, which Peter regrettably did; and flee when He was in peril, as all the rest of them did when they forsook Him and fled into hiding. Our temptation is to become lukewarm and sleepy when the dangers of falling into the enemy’s power are most keen.

Paul issues the warning to the Corinthians that losing our footing at a dangerous spot is most likely when we become self-confident and not as alert as we should be. He also encourages us to be manly and responsible in our steadfast vigil. Our text from Ephesians sums up his message about Christian armor by reminding us that by prayer and watching persistently we will, through the Spirit, gain the victory.

In the first epistle to Timothy, Paul spoke in chapter one about fighting a “good warfare,” and continued in the sixth chapter charging Timothy to fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life. In the second epistle he again refers to Christian warfare, encouraging Timothy to join with him in enduring the sufferings of the gospel “as a good soldier.” He ended his letters to Timothy by saying that he had fought a “good fight” and had “kept the faith,” adding that the Lord had stood by him and strengthened him, and he was certain that He would preserve him unto the heavenly kingdom (II Timothy 4:7; 17-18).

Peter closes his first epistle with the warning to be sober and vigilant because our adversary, as a roaring lion, walks at large, seeking those he could consume. The way to combat him, Peter said, is to resist him “steadfast in the faith.” Paul also encourages steadfastness in our memory verse.

Steadfastness, perseverance, and endurance are key to being successful in our Christian warfare all the way to the very end.

—Angela Gellenbeck


  1. What is the danger of being surrounded by abounding iniquity, and what did Jesus promise those who endure that danger?
  2. What is the danger of becoming self-confident in our stand? Why is that, according to Matthew 26:41?
  3. About what danger did Peter warn us to be vigilant?
  4. How do we combat this adversary, and why?
  5. Name the keys to successful Christian warfare.


In literal warfare, even the fully equipped soldier isn’t a successful soldier if he is not on the alert, if he becomes over-confident and careless, if he goes AWOL, or if he surrenders to the enemy. In this final lesson in the series, we are warned to stay vigilant. There will always be temptations to our flesh, and we must remember that the flesh is weak. Only through daily watchfulness and prayer can we be victorious.

We are also to be on guard against evil spirits who attack the mind, the emotions, the affections. We are to gird on truth to stabilize and protect these vital areas. Let us remember the word meanings when we consider the power of these enemies. If we sympathize with a spirit, or lag behind when we should resist steadfastly, or give in “just a little bit,” Peter writes that satan’s intent is to “devour” or consume. We’re thinking it’s a little matter, but the adversary says, “Finish him off.” Have you ever observed someone whom the enemy has “finished off”? It is a tragic end.

I want to end with a reminder of our majestic hero, the Captain of our salvation. Psalms 24 has a scene which others have applied to the time of the ascension, and also to the end of the final battle. In it, Jesus is ascending up on high. He has conquered death and sin. He is leading a train of battle spoils and triumphant warriors. As He nears the portals, a voice rings out, “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in!” Another voice responds, “Who is this King of glory?” The triumphant answer is, “The LORD of hosts, He is this King of glory”! A description in the book of Revelation adds to this scene, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever”! I want to be there, don’t you? When they hand out the crowns. When we cast our crowns of victory down before the King, and join with the white-robed throng in jubilant praise. Hallelujah, hallelujah!

—Angela Gellenbeck


I will tell you of how I learned about faith and availing prayer and how these have helped me to begin to get miraculous results in my walk with the Lord.

Well, while growing up in church and also during a time when I was a little newer in my walk with the Lord, I used to hear people say that God spoke to them. I wondered why He did not speak to me. I also used to hear about faith as well. Like, “What was it? Did I have to be really up in age to have it?” Well, going along in my walk with the Lord where I learned to pray more, I soon began to experience God talking to me. Specifically, many times when I would wake up I would have a song of Zion or a line of one going through my mind already, when I knew that I had not read or referenced these at any time during the prior day or week.

Also, sometimes there would be a fresh feeling in my room when I woke up, as if a chorus of angels had been hovering above my bed near my ceiling, singing songs. What a peace that the world could not give me! A couple of other saints witnessed that they have felt things like that too, and said that it was God. Then, sometimes at a point during the day, as in when something trying was happening or I would see a request of mine being answered, a line of a song or a scripture itself would come to my mind. I began to recognize these as Jesus speaking to me, encouraging me. What a comfort.

But now, back to that question about having faith and what it actually is. One time a problem loomed before me and I knew I needed an answer of “yes” to this problem; I had to have it, but every avenue was being shut to me. I took hold of what two older saints had said before. Specifically, one minister had said, “When you have a problem, just keep mentioning it to God in prayer all day, every time you think about it.” Another elder and mighty prayer warrior, when major obstacles or impossible-looking situations would arise in her path, was known to say, “That’s alright, I know how to pray.” And I would see this saint testify time and time again about how this or that major obstacle had come up and how she had prevailed with a miraculous overturning of the situation through prayer and not letting go!! So I said, “Hmm.” And taking those examples and exhortations in mind, I began to plead my case about the problem I was dealing with before the Lord. And, as you might have guessed, I did get a miraculous answer to prayer in that situation.

However, it didn’t stop there. I learned because of that positive result to apply that same tactic over and over to many other obstacles that came my way (and still do!). In fact, I have seen countless answers to my own prayers this way and have also come to learn that a request may not be answered right away, but that it may take some time, praying across months (“…the battle may be long and hard to win!”—a line from the song, “On the Winning Side”). I know this formula works. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” (II Corinthians 10:4).

—Victoria Edwards, FL