Monday, April 29, 2024

 Hold Fast

Earlene Davis

Rev. 3:11, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” This warning is given by our Lord Jesus Christ to the overcoming Philadelphia saints, who are running to win Christ. So far they are running successfully and He admonishes them, to hold fast that which thou hast, for His appearance is near. The overcomers of Philadelphia along with the overcomers of Smyrna will make up the Bride of Christ. They are fervent in their love for Christ and steadfast in watching for His coming. We by faith identify with this group, so we need to take this warning to heart.

In chapter 2:10, Christ says to Smyrna overcomers, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” So we see that faithfulness wins the crown, holding fast to the end, faithful unto death. Smyrna are the overcoming saints that go by the way of the grave. They will come up first in the resurrection. I Thess. 4:16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Philadelphia overcomers will be  then be called up.

Philidelphia saints speak of those which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord who will be translated. I Thess. 4:17, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Rev. 3:8, the Lord encourages the overcoming saints on, “I have set before thee an open door,” the door to heaven, translation’s door. The best reward, the Prize of the holy calling, Christ Himself is theirs if they “Hold fast.”

To them it is promised, to be kept out of tribulation days. V. 10, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” They will be translated before tribulation (God’s judgment of the world) begins.

V. 12, tells of rewards that are theirs. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God.” A pillar usually stands as a solid massive support in a conspicuous place. They had been pillars of faith in their lives and then they will appear as a pillar in the temple of God. In Eph. 2:19-22, we read that the whole body of believers are growing into a holy temple in the Lord. So their place is prominent among them. It is added that they “shall go no more out,” in other words, they will have that place forever. 

“And I will write upon him the name of my God,” that they belong to Him, His possession. And also “the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem which cometh down out of heaven from my God.” In Rev. 21:2, “John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Her adornment will be living stones (I Pet. 2:5).

“And I will write upon him my new name.” Christ gives His wife His new name that He will have. He has never been a Bridegroom before. The Lamb’s wife will bear the imprint or likeness of her husband (Rev. 19:7). Some saints shall share these high honors with the blessed Son of God.

A crown in certain to these wonderful overcomers, if they continue in the same way they have been going. The Ephesus saints of Chapter 2:1,  started so good, known for their good works, but did not continue to hold fast. They left their first or chief love for Christ. They will miss God’s best except they repent.

Apostle Paul espoused (or engaged) us to be married to Christ that He may be able to present us as a chaste virgin to Christ. But Paul feared lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, that our minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (II Cor. 11:1-3). So there is a danger of loosing that place and crown. Jesus said in Mt. 24:24 that Satan would “deceive the very elect” if possible.

 Some have been deceived thinking because they possess the knowledge that Christ will have a bride, that they are winners. But knowledge is not enough to qualify us. If the things of this life have first place with us, Satan has tricked us. For Christ must have first place with His bride.

Saints, we live in such a time that we may have hope of translation, entering that open door of heaven. Paul was greatly concerned for the saints. I Thess. 3:5, “For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour (among you) be in vain.” So in Vs. 5-6, he  warns that saints could be lulled to sleep spiritually, causing a state of indifference. How sad it would be, having the privilege of this revelation and then be deceived by Satan. 

We don’t want any part of the sorrows coming upon this world. We want to be in the throne room of heaven beholding the enthronement of Christ (chapter 4, starting with V. 2). There is nothing worth more than winning Christ (Phil. 3:8). 

Paul says, in II Tim. 3:14, “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of…”. And in Eph. 6:10-11, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Put on the whole armour of God, counting on His sufficiency. His armour is another sermon for another time.  

Don’t let Satan sidetrack us. Satan can’t take away our salvation, but he can rob us of God’s best. Heb. 10:23, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).” 

Vs. 35-37, “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.” 

We have Christ’s last word to us in Rev. 22:20, “Surely I come quickly.”

God bless you!