Hold Fast

Hold Fast (Hebrews 10:19-25) *Verses in NKJV*

– The last few chapters of Hebrews have been explaining the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and the connection between Christ’s death, and the old sacrificial system for forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 10:19-21, Therefore, brethren, having boldness (confidence) to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near…

– Now, because we know and understand what the death of Jesus means for us, and the forgiveness of sin that it brings to us, we can boldly and confidently enter into God’s presence personally.

– Now that we have access to God Himself, through Christ Jesus, “What are we waiting for?” 

– You don’t need to “wait outside” or stand at a distance. You can draw near!

1. Rest assured, through Christ you are made worthy.

Example: My father led my grandfather to Christ. (My dad in his 40s, Grandpa in his 60s.)

– He invited him to some church events, then when grandpa wanted to know more, my dad walked him thru a study for understanding salvation. (My dad had a process for bringing others to Jesus.)

– My dad would always end these studies with this question, “Considering what we have been talking about, is there any reason that you can’t believe, repent, and be saved right now?”  

– After my dad asked “the question”, my grandfather looked up at my dad with tears in his eyes and said to him, “I am not worthy”.

– My dad chuckled at him and said, “That is exactly the point”. Then he showed grandpa his favorite bible verse.

– Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  (Verse 6 says, “While we were utterly helpless…”)

– Grandpa was right, he was not worthy, but Jesus has made us worthy through his sacrifice!

Draw near to God in confidence that you will be accepted into His presence, because you have been saved and forgiven by the blood of Jesus.

Hebrews 10:22, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

– My father walked in full assurance of his salvation, until the day he died. 

– He wasn’t saved my whole life, but that’s the only version of my dad I remember. There is hope for you and your kids. You can still turn everything around!

– Hebrews 4:16, Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

– If you have been forgiven, start believing it. Walk in it with confidence, assured by your faith.

– Don’t let anyone talk you out of your assurance in your salvation. If you have, with a “true heart”, accepted you are a sinner, repented and were forgiven, and received the Holy Spirit, you are saved!

– Don’t listen to a Non-believer who wants to poke holes in it, or plant seeds of doubt.

– Don’t listen to a believer that wants to add a yoke of bondage, and create fear and doubt.

Psalms 118:8, It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

2. HOLD FAST, so you won’t be swept out to sea in the storm.

Example: “Hold Fast” is a traditional sailor tattoo, basically a tribal tattoo. A tribal tattoo, at its core, is one that is specific to a culture and has deep meaning, and usually represents life’s journey.

– Tattoos have been around for 1,000’s of years and found in cultures around the world.

– Each tribe has their own patterns and meanings… even the Yakusa, prison, gangs, military…

Sailor tattoos:

– swallow on chest = 5,000 nautical miles, one on each side = 10,000 miles.

– fully rigged ship = travelled around deadly Cape Horn (South America).

– a rooster and a pig on feet = a talisman against drowning. (These animals shipped in crates that floated, so often they were the only ones to survive a shipwreck.)

– A nautical star so a sailor could find his way home.

* HOLD FAST on their knuckles: a reminder to hold tight to the riggings and the ship and that you can endure any storm or trouble at sea.

Hebrews 10:23, Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 

– Be unwavering, persevere, show some grit! Believe your Bible. God’s word does not change. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Job 2:9-10, Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

– The storms WILL come, so tattoo God’s promises on your heart, and you will emerge stronger!

Psalms 91:1-2, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Psalms 57:1, Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.

– God has saved you, and you know this. Hold fast to your confession and your testimony!

3. Selfish sailors sink ships!

Hebrews 10:24-25, And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

– Sailing a ship, or serving the Lord in a church, takes teamwork for us to survive the storms. You can’t pilot the ship alone. 

– Eccles. 4:9-12, Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Selfish sailors sink ships means that if you don’t do your part and help others do theirs, as they are swept away by the sea you will be alone, the ship will sink, and you will drown too!

– Don’t become isolated! They need you as much as you need them. 

1 Thess. 5:11, Therefore [b]comfort (encourage) each other and [c]edify (build up) one another, just as you also are doing.

Eph. 4:29, Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary [h]edification (building up), that it may impart grace to the hearers. 

Proverbs 12:25, Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.

– BUT… there is a sailor axiom that says, “One hand for you and one hand for the ship.” This means that for you to help you shipmate, you must be holding fast to the ship first.

– Think of a “human chain” used to save a drowning victim. Any solo individual would be swept away, but as a group they are anchored to the shore.

– First, YOU must be grounded in the truth, reading your bible, and staying in church community.

Hebrews 10:19-25, Therefore, brethren, having boldness (confidence) to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

– Jesus is coming back soon. Are you ready?

* “Considering what we have been talking about, is there any reason that you can’t believe, repent, and be saved right now?” – prayer –

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