“They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented”. . . . – Hebrews 11:37.
“That is the penalty for being steadfast!” It is not true that if you run well the galleries will resound with applause. The reward on this earth for the faithful as presented in Hebrews 11 is certainly not a beautiful prospect. Yet, Jesus says ‘He that shall endure til the end shall be saved.’ Continually we are called to endure. We must dare to be steadfast.”
So the Rev. Gritters began his address to delegates and visitors gathered in the auditorium of the South Holland Protestant Reformed Church that afternoon of the second day of our Young People’s Convention. Further developing his subject, “Steadfastness and Truth,” or steadfastness in the truth, by calling our attention to the fact that we must have the Spirit of Jesus Christ Himself in order to have courage to be steadfast, he showed us that there is a definite calling implied. We are not asked to be merely steadfast. Many people are steadfast in wickedness. The world is steadfast in its worldliness; it lives out of the principle of evil. We must be steadfast in the Truth, in the Gospel. We must be loyal to the truth as Scripture gives it to us. And this implies three things. First of all, we must absorb the truth, not only hearing it, but absorbing it so that we take it into our souls. In the second place, we must love it so that we think of it as something very precious. If we hold it dear we will not easily let it go. And in the third place, we must have a will made of iron that will never bend or turn, for we know that we will be mocked and laughed at, that for all our steadfastness we will receive a crown of thorns. Christ had these three things: He had the truth rooted deeply in his soul, He held it dearer than anything else, and He had the iron will to withstand all temptation.
In heaven we will no longer speak of steadfastness, but here with a whole world filled with liars we are called upon to be steadfast. And if we run well we must pay the penalty. This requires diligence for we will meet all kinds of temptation. The world will hang before us all its wealth and accomplishments. The cost of the ticket for the love of the world is apostacy so we can have none of it. Then, too, the whole world is turning religious. We must hold to our truth as we see it in the face of undenominationalism. We are going to look very foolish opposing that world of religion. Our steadfastness will be tried. Sometimes our steadfastness is tried right close in. A young man is tempted to pay the ticket of apostacy to get a wife and vice-versa. Are we ready to give up everything for the sake of the truth?
Rev. Gritters briefly pointed out that our enemy is not flesh and blood but the spirit of evil. To combat the enemy we need strength. This is of God alone. And God gives strength only to those who pray for it. He awakens in us the desire for strength first of all. Then, too, He is this strength. Christ has fought the battle for us. Christ has won the victory! We fight and win through Him. Even when we are stoned or sawn asunder, we have the victory. In closing Rev. Gritters fittingly voiced his desire that God give us that necessary strength to keep us steadfast till His coming.
The message was not long. It was interesting and of a practical nature. It was the kind of talk which, I would say, all young people at a gathering of this kind could enjoy, understand and seriously take to heart.