One of the saddest occurrences in this life is to witness the falling away of a Christian. Sadder yet is the death of a Christian who has failed to walk worthy of his calling and stepped into eternity separated from the gift of God’s love he once held to be precious. Peter wrote “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:20-22).
This is why I have taught that the most important word in all of Scripture is the word ”faithful.” It is my deepest desire to hear the Father of our souls say to me “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord” (Matthew 25:21, 23). Seven times in the King James Version the phrase “hold fast” is used (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 3:6, 4:14, 10:23; Revelation 2:25, Revelation 3:3). This teaches us at least two things:
- The Calvinistic doctrine of “once saved, always saved” is erroneous!
- If we hope to spend eternity with God we must be faithful!
So I want to share just a few thoughts about the idea of “holding fast” to our salvation:
- Remember Why You Became a Christian! You obeyed the gospel in order to be cleansed from your sins, not to continue in them (Romans 6:1-9). You were baptized to be delivered “from this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) so we should keep ourselves “unspotted” from it (James 1:27). You came to the cross to obtain salvation (2 Timothy 2:10). Hold Fast!
- Remember What Lies Ahead! When Jesus gave us a glimpse into the Day of Judgment he stated unequivocally that there would be only two options: One for the disobedient and one for the righteous, “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). Paul reminds us that “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Plus, hell is to horrible of a place for anyone to ever have to go and was not a place intended for the souls of men, but for Satan and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Hold Fast!
- Remember We Have Not Yet Attained! While the blood of Christ has saved us through our obedience to the gospel we have not yet been perfected (Philippians 3:12), and will not be until the Lord shall come. So Paul said, “I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” So we run with certainty “that ye may obtain” the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24). So we must be faithful; we must… Hold Fast!
Have you obeyed? Do you have the hope of what lies ahead? Have you held fast? Why not?