When I was a young Christian, I was encouraged to learn and memorize verses of scripture that were significant for a Christian walk. I remember being struck by a particular verse that has stuck with me, Matthew 24:13 (NKJV), which says, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

From this came the need for “endurance.” It is the idea that it is not sufficient just to make a good beginning. You needed to have the commitment, the stamina, and the endurance to see it to the finish.


Scripture has many challenges for us to endure, besides the one already mentioned about “enduring to the end.” Paul told his spiritual son, Timothy, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Paul himself also shared his own experience with the need to endure, “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Timothy 2:8-10, NKJV).

James also wrote, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12, NKJV).

I also like Hebrews 12:1&2 (NKJV) where it says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”


In 1973, when Dorothy and I began a ministry in Australia called The Temple Trust, one of the first things we did was to start a new magazine called Vision Magazine. I well remember, soon after it was printed, I took a few copies with me to a Full Gospel Business Man’s Breakfast. It was there that I first met Ian Jagelman, who later joined our ministry. When I showed him the magazine, he pointed out to me that it was one thing to produce the first edition of the Vision magazine, but it would require much effort to keep turning it out on a regular basis. In other words, it would require endurance. I found that out as we set about publishing it regular. Now, this was a simple illustration, but it impacted me. I realized what was needed to provide many editions, not just the first one.


As many of you know, I had an accident in early December. I fell on the tiled floor of our kitchen and broke my hip. I didn’t realize what I had done at first. When the police arrived, they soon realized I had done something serious because I couldn’t get up. The next thing I knew, the ambulance arrived, and I was taken to the hospital. Following X-rays, it was determined I needed a hip replacement.

Well, I was totally unrealistic. I thought it would be just a few days before I would be back on my feet again. However, after I was in the hospital for a week, I then spent three weeks in a rehab center, where I spent Christmas. Finally, at New Year’s, when I came home, I was confined to using a walker. People told me that, given my age, it would be at least three months before I was anything like normal again.

As a result, I have had to be patient and realize I needed a dose of endurance to get through this present situation. It was then that the verse I had learned years before came back into my mind. “But he who endures to the end shall be saved,” or as someone else puts it, “he that hangs on.”


At this time, I also read a story by well-known Bible teacher David Jeremiah in his book The World of the End. It is a story of endurance.

Flying across the Sahara Desert of North Africa is an incredible experience if you have a window seat. For hours and hours and hours, the only thing you’ll see is scorching expanses of sand. The undulating dunes can reach six hundred feet deep. This is the hottest, harshest desert on earth—and it’s as big as the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii). Along with sand dunes are gravel-covered plains, salt flats and barren plateaus.

The eastern boundary of the Sahara is the Red Sea, and the western edge is the Atlantic Ocean. It’s like America between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans—except it’s all Death Valley.

One November morning, three men dipped their toes into the cold waters of the Atlantic in Senegal. Then they began to run. Their goal was the Red Sea, some 4,300 miles away.

Charlie Engle, Ray Zahab, and Kevin Lin were attempting something never before conceived in history: to run across the Sahara Desert. They were doing it to raise awareness of the millions living in Africa without access to clean water. But according to Charlie Engle, he and his friends were also driven to be pioneers. “The challenge of doing something that has never been done before really appealed to us,” he said.

Their journey was plagued with challenges, some of which were geographical. Their route ran through six different nations: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, and Egypt. They endured blazing temperatures, sandstorms, government corruption—and sometimes they had to run on two-lane highways where cars whizzed by at more than one hundred miles per hour.

The physical challenges were even greater. The three friends averaged almost forty miles a day, and there were several days in which they ran the equivalent of two marathons back to back—or longer. Each runner had to work through more than fifty blisters on his feet. They lost weight, faced dehydration, and slept no more than five hours each night.

But the biggest obstacle for the runners was mental. “It was much more of a mental exercise than physical,” said Engle. “It was much tougher on the mind than it was on the body.”

Near the end, the runners were seriously breaking down. Two suffered from severe tendonitis. All three were dealing with intestinal viruses. Their feet had swollen into another shoe size. Their youngest runner, Kevin Lin, began to talk openly about giving up and going home. As expedition leader, Charlie Engle encouraged him to stay the course—to keep trying as hard as possible until the last moment.

“It’s something I learned from adventure racing,” Engle said. “Don’t ever pull yourself from the course. Go until you [can’t] go because something might change… you keep going.”

And they did! They dipped their toes in the cold waters of the Red Sea after 111 grueling days. It was an unequaled feat —or feet—of endurance.(Jeremiah, 2022).

As David Jeremiah pointed out, “You probably could not find a better definition of endurance that Charles Engle’s statement ‘you keep going'” (Jeremiah, 2022). That’s what Jesus is calling us to do “to endure to the end.”


Maybe you are facing situations in your life that require that you endure – that you just keep going. There may be negative situations in your life that are truly difficult, such as an illness or something financial. It could be many things.

It could also be a positive situation, such as a task that needs to be completed, a project that you have undertaken, or a ministry that you have been called to. Whatever it is, either negative or positive, you will need endurance to see it through. Don’t give up. Accept the challenge to “keep going.”

It will be worth it if you do. Remember the words of Jesus, “But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13, NKJV).


Jeremiah, D. (2022). The World Of The End: How Jesus’ Prophecy Shapes Our Priorities. HarperChristian Resources.