As the Apostle Paul came to the end of his list of qualifications for the ministry, he closed by insisting that pastors should always be
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9).
Here we know that Paul is talking about the faithful Word of God that Pastor Titus had been taught of him, for he told Pastor Timothy to “hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me” (II Tim. 1:13).
How “fast” should pastors hold the “sound doctrine” that Paul taught Titus, and the rest of us, in his epistles? Well, after God allowed Satan to take away Job’s health, his wealth, and his family, God used that same phrase to say of Job, “still he holdeth fast his integrity” (Job 2:3). Pastor, will you hold the truth of Paul’s gospel that fast? Will you say with Job’s degree of conviction,
“…I will not remove mine integrity from me. My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go…so long as I live” (Job 27:5,6).
Is that how fast you’ll hold to Pauline truth if you lose everything you hold dear?
Will you hold the truth as fast as Tribulation saints, whom the Lord warns, “hold fast…if therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief” (Rev. 3:3). Those believers will have to hold fast to their truth, and endure to the end of the Tribulation to be saved (Mt. 10:22; 24:13). You don’t have to hold your truth fast to be saved—but you should hold it fast as if you did, as if your very eternal life depended on it. After all, the eternal life of your hearers will depend on how tight a grasp you maintain on the truth of Paul’s gospel.
God promised the people of Israel, “I will give you pastors according to Mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:15), and He will make good on that promise in the kingdom of heaven on earth that He went on to describe (v.16-18). What’s a pastor according to God’s heart? Well, God said of those same pastors in the kingdom, “I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more” (Jer. 23:4). Thus a pastor according to God’s heart will hold the truth fast, and not allow fear to cause him let it go.
That’s the kind of pastors God will have in the kingdom of heaven. And if the pastors of our grace churches will hold fast to Pauline truth without fear of what it will cost, all of God’s people can experience a little bit of heaven on earth now, in this dispensation. We have God’s Word on it. If you’re not a pastor, why not encourage your pastor to stand firm with all the pastors who are “holding fast the faithful word?”
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.