Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come. Revelation 2:25
Jesus asked, “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8 Sometimes, as we look around us, we wonder if He will. There are so many – individuals, congregations, denominations – who haven’t held fast anything, but have piece by piece or wholesale given away the most precious truths in the universe, exchanging the Word of God for a bowl of weak, watery, unsatisfying something.
Jesus has called us to hold fast what we have. We don’t know everything about God’s will, His plan, His purpose, or His activity, but what we do know, we are to cling to. We have His Word – I could reach out my hand from my chair right now, and touch or pick up 15 separate copies of the Bible, plus what’s on my computer – and we are to hold fast to it. And this isn’t merely the physical printed Book. As wonderful as it is to be able to own 15 copies of the Bible (there are places in the world where a single copy, or a single book of the Bible, has to suffice for an entire congregation), it’s not enough to own them, or even read and study them. Someone who’s drowning in Bibles, yet lets what it says slip through the fingers of his mind as water slips through the fingers of his hands, might as well never have seen a Bible in his life.
We must hold fast to the Word of God. It must be what we believe, what we rest our faith on, what we base our lives on. Nothing must move us from that foundation. As beneficial as creeds, confessions, sermons, lessons, and other things are, they must all stand on Scripture or they are worthless. And they must be subject to the Scripture – we must always judge the pronouncements of our church or denomination by what God has already revealed, for anything which contradicts the Word, is wrong by definition. I value my copy of The Creeds of Christendom, but it isn’t the Word of God – the Bible is. I value my church’s doctrinal statement, but if it differs from what the Bible says, it’s wrong.
We must hold fast to the truth. “[L]et God be found true, though every man be found a liar.” Romans 3:4 The church of God must never substitute error for truth. It must never toss the truth out the door, and import human ideas. Even if those human ideas are true and valuable, they can never be as true nor as valuable as what God has said.
We must cling to the truth with both hands. We must never let go of it. We must stand on it permanently, no matter who else departs from it, and no matter what storms of scorn and antipathy fall on us for doing so. Let hordes walk into hell on their own two feet, but let us forever hold fast to what we have.