The writer gives a command in regard to our confession—“let us hold it unswervingly”. First of all, consider the importance of hope (firm anticipation). Hope in the Biblical sense is not uncertain or a mere wish, but a confident expectation of what will be ours. Some examples are:
- We look forward to seeing Christ return in glory (Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7).
- We eagerly wait to be with Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
- We anticipate that we will be changed to be like Christ (1 Corinthians 15:51-55).
We are to hold our profession of hope firmly; that is, to hold it firmly and not let it go. Perhaps you’ve taken a young child to a zoo or an amusement park. What do you do? You hold their hand tightly. You don’t want them to wander away.
In an age where the prevailing trend is constant change, we need to be reminded of what is absolute and unchanging. Human thought varies like the wind, but God and his truth remains the same forever! Or to change the illustration, it can shift like the tide. May God give you grace to keep you from the numerous deadly riptides that can destroy you. The gospel of grace that gave people good hope when first preached still gives that same hope by God’s controlling grace. How we need to pray that God would raise men up to preach the good news of grace in Jesus Christ. “You can be right with God by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!” And let us pray that God would bless his truth for the salvation of souls. And pray for the young men that are already in the gospel ministry. Preach God’s word, not human opinion.
This confession must be steady. We live in a day in which Christianity has been reduced to merely claiming to be a Christian. Someone says a prayer or “makes a decision” and he or she is counted as a follower of Christ. However, saying a prayer or making a decision does not save you. You are saved when you repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. You then start to follow Christ, and to make other followers of Christ. And a true saving faith in Christ is one that continues or perseveres (Hebrews 10:39; Colossians 1:23; John 10:27; 1 John 2:19).
As we take care to keep our love for the Lord constant (Revelation 2:4f), so we must keep our hope unvarying. Do not waver like the incessantly changing Philadelphia weather forecasts. We may not allow our hope to lessen because of the pressures that seek to consume it.
However, too often, something like the following happens. “It was a day of great trembling, but of great joy, when first we avowed our faith in Jesus! What we said we meant. We salted our words with our tears; but oh! we felt it such an honor to be numbered with the people of God! If we had been promised a seat on the floor, or had been allowed only to hear the gospel in the draughtiest corner of the building, we should then have been fully content. We sang and meant it: ‘Might I enjoy the meanest place, Within thy house, O God of grace! Not tents of ease, nor thrones of power, Should tempt my feet to leave thy door.’ We want soft cushions now; we cannot stand to hear a sermon now, nor yet travel very far, especially in damp weather. It is very strange that we should have become so delicate; but it is so. How many miles we could walk when first we knew the Lord: the miles have grown much longer lately, or else our love has grown much shorter! Those were blessed days—changeful, showery, with little more that the dusk of dawn about them; but still there was a morning freshness about them upon which we look back with supreme delight, and somewhat of regret. Then was it a time of love, a season of buds and flowers, and song-birds and overflowing life and hope. [Spurgeon, “Holding Fast our Profession”, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 32, p. 233]
So then we ask, How unswerving is your hold? Do you change like the phases of the moon? Do you truly have a hope to hold fast? You can’t hold something that you do not have!
Grace and peace, David