“hold fast till I come… keepeth my works unto the end”
by Randy Amos
We live in a changing world – and church. Truth once held is being let go in the name of liberty. And in our technological explosion things are changing almost monthly. We let go of what was the “newest and greatest” to further upgrade to something more exciting.
Is it easy to hold something fast for a long period of time? Try holding a 3-pound book in your hand while standing. For a few minutes it’s easy. But could you do it for even a week? Tiredness, hunger, inconvenience, time demands, peer pressure to move on, and even boredom would make it a monumental task.
There are things the Lord asks His children to hold fast (not let go of) until He comes. But that can be hard because of relativism, results, reputation, relationships, and regression (small at times). If 20 people were standing side-by-side in a straight line and eventually 19 stepped back, the one who didn’t move now looks strange and out of unity with the others. Yet we are exhorted to be “steadfast, unmovable,” 1Cor. 15:58.
Seven Areas the Lord asks Believers to “hold fast” Until the End
1. HOLD FAST THE GOOD
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” 1Thess. 5:21.
This is in the context of prophesying. Things that don’t match the Scriptures are not to be held. These become man’s traditions, which Jesus the Lord condemned, Matt. 15:3,8,9. But as you search the Scriptures, as the Bereans did, then what is truly proven to be good and of God in a bad world is to be held until He comes, Acts 17:11.
2. HOLD FAST EPISTLES’ TRADITIONS (ORDINANCES)
“Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions [ordinances] which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle [written Word],” Thess. 2:14,15.
Now we come to the Lord’s traditions, not mans. A tradition or ordinance is something to be done continually by every generation of churches and Christians. Unlike a cultural, convenient or circumstantial happening that was good for the moment (like Paul shaving his head for a vow, or preaching on Mars Hill, or the disciples using an upper room to meet in), an ordinance (tradition) is to be done always. Putting a pacifier in a baby’s mouth is a temporary action but putting good food in a child’s mouth is for a lifetime and becomes a tradition that answers to a biblical tradition.
For instance, the memorial of the Lord’s Supper is to be done often till He comes, 1Cor. 11:26. The early church did such on the first day of the week, Acts 20:17. Different roles for men and women with the head covering are in the context of ordinances, 1Cor. 11:2-16. Other examples are not forsaking the Christian assembly, using your gift in the body, and the liberty of a plurality of gift in an assembly meeting – where the women are to be silent, Rom. 12: 3-8, 1Cor. 14:23-40. These as well as loving one another also fall into written orders that are to be done continually and universally by all the churches, 1Cor. 4:17.
The pressure is enormous today to let these go.
3. HOLD FAST PAUL’S SOUND WORDS
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” 2Tim. 1:13.
Paul’s gospel of grace by faith, not works to obtain it, is called “my gospel”. Not because Paul was the author but the receiver of it for it came to him by revelation of Jesus Christ, Gal. 1:11-12. Therefore, it is to be held and never culturally changed, Gal 1:8. Also Paul’s written instruction for the churches was not Pauline opinion but “the commandments of the Lord,” 1Cor. 14:37.
4. HOLD FAST CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST
“But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”…“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end,” Heb. 3:6,14.
The evidence of true faith is that it continues believing, 1Jn. 2:19. The fruit of the Spirit is faith, Gal. 5:22. Doubts from Satan and depressions from the world will come. In spite of a time delay, in the words of Hebrews: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul,” 10:35-39.
5. HOLD FAST THE PROFESSION OF OUR FAITH
“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession… Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised),” Heb. 4:14, 10:23.
In spite of our own weaknesses and failures we don’t have to let go of our confession of being the Lord’s. For in Jesus we have a high priest who lives forever. He is faithful and able to save completely. We can come to His throne of grace for “mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” 4:16. As a hymn says; “Tell it to Jesus…Tell it to Jesus alone.”
6. HOLD FAST THE POSITIVE YOU HAVE
“But that which ye have already hold fast till I come… Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown,” Rev. 2:25, 3:11.
When many are failing around you don’t buy into their failure for peace or unity’s sake, 2:24-25. Two wrongs never add up to one right. What you do have don’t let it go. Keep a flicker of truth burning in the darkness. It still gives hope. While man can’t take your salvation, he can take your crown by intimidation or distressing you with his failings to cause you to let go. But still hold fast for the Lord Jesus Christ never failed you and is coming quickly, 3:11. Hold fast to what? – His Name alone and keeping His Word, 3:8.
7. HOLD FAST TRUTH YOU RECEIVED IN THE BEGINNING
“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die…Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.,” Rev. 3:2-3.
In our zeal for renewal we look for something new. “Ask for the old paths,” Jer. 6:16. The way forward is backward – to the truth of “the faith in Christ” and “the apostles’ doctrine.” The truth has once been delivered to us, which is the completed Spirit-inspired Bible. Now “if it’s new, it’s not true – and if it’s true, it’s not new.” Rather than start some new thing, “strengthen the things which remain.”
“Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end,” Psalm 119:33. In the NT words of Jesus our Lord: “hold fast till I come…he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end…will I give power over the nations,” Rev. 2:25, 26.
If you have let go, it’s not too late to pick up (repent) and hold fast again, Rev. 3:3. When He comes you’ll be glad. The Lord will be pleased and glorified in you, 2Ths. 1:10.
Are you holding fast to the End?
Scripture taken from the KJV