Saturday, 26 September 2020
But hold fast what you have till I come. Revelation 2:25
Jesus just noted that He would place no other burden on the faithful of Thyatira other than no longer tolerating the horrific woman Jezebel. They needed to clean that up in their church and continue on in their works, love, service, faith, and patience mentioned in verse 2:19. With that understood, He now next states, “But.”
The Greek word is an adverb, plen, that is less commonly used than other conjunctions. It gives the sense of “except,” or “nevertheless.” This is its only use in Revelation. With this fixed in the reader’s mind, He says, “hold fast what you have.”
Those would be the positive qualities mentioned above. They have those favorable traits. The Lord is pleased with them. And, if they will simply cut out the tolerance for Jezebel and those who would participate with her, the Lord will add no other burden on them. The church will continue on, standing approved in His presence. And that will be, as He says, “till I come.”
The Greek reads, “until which (time) I might come.” The words are accentuated by an untranslated particle, an. The inclusion of this particle stamps the time of His coming as indefinite. His return will be whenrever it will be, and the church is not privy to when it will be. But the fact is that the promise of His coming remains. As He said in John 14 –
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2, 3
Life application: Short and to the point… to the faithful in Thyatira, Jesus – who has already acknowledged their good points – asks them to “hold fast.” When an individual or a group is doing what is right, it is often difficult to continue on as things deteriorate around them or attacks come against them. But Jesus is aware of our weaknesses and limitations, and His words here show that He isn’t there to place additional burdens on those who are doing the right thing. Instead, He asks them to simply “hold fast,” even if the time is indefinite – He will come.
In this, there is a time for the works to end and the relief to come. The beauty of what Jesus did was to leave that moment unknown to His children. By promising to return, but by not giving us the date, it could be at any moment. The anticipation of His return, therefore, should be on the minds of all who have called on Him in two ways:
1) They should be of the mind that what they are doing is of eternal effect in the lives of others. This is because if they don’t go about their business and the Lord comes, then those they neglected will never have the knowledge which leads them to salvation.
2) They should be aware that if what they are doing is inappropriate or disobedient, then their last deeds before the judgment will be open and exposed as insufficient for commendation.
Jesus is coming and, though we are hindered by the knowledge of when that that will be, we are also bolstered by that same fact. The masterful plan of Jesus is that He is coming, and therefore we should all be about His business every moment of our lives. Should He tarry, all we can do is praise Him for His patience in dealing with the wayward sons of Adam. Let us remember the words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10 –
“For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
How good it is to know that we could be in the generation that experiences Your return for the church. May this be a motivating factor in our wanting to continue on despite trials, setbacks, and frustrations! O Lord, may You be pleased with the conduct of our lives as we hold fast to doing the good works which are pleasing to You. Amen.