And they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.
Over the past few years, I’ve seen people come and go in the church. They hear the word and are excited for a short time, but fall away from the faith quickly when real change is required of them. These have no root, it’s a surface-deep profession of faith that withers when tribulation and persecution comes.
This is also the effect of a sugar-coated gospel, one that does not aim for a changed heart, but targets the affections of people. They remain faithful only as long as what they hear is pleasing and the perceived benefits continue to be poured out. These same people followed Christ for His healing touch, His ability to provide food and the perception that He would overthrow the current government and reign as King. These same people rejected Him, called Him a blasphemer and called for His crucifixion. They are those who, when the word became too difficult for them, left Christ and went away from Him (John 6:66).
If you are not fully committed, if you have not surrendered your life completely to Christ, you will not stand in the coming days. As persecution and tribulation rises, the lukewarm will wither in the sun just as surely as a plant with shallow roots withers during the drought, but the faithful will persevere. There will be more trials, more testing, more sifting of the wheat and the chaff, but those deeply-rooted in the Lord will endure.
But he who endures to the end shall be saved.