This Sunday, we will be looking at Colossians 1:23. I thought of entitling the sermon “the Big IF” but ended up entitling it Gospel Perseverance. Here’s the issue, from Spurgeon’s sermon Stand Fast on the same text…
But, Brothers and Sisters, the battle does not end when, by a desperate rush, a man has come to Christ. In many it assumes a new form—the enemy now attempts to drag the trembler from his refuge and eject him from his stronghold! It is difficult to get at the hope of the Gospel, but quite as difficult to keep it so as not to be moved away from it. If Satan spends great power in keeping us from the hope, he uses equal force in endeavoring to drag us away from it—and equal cunning in endeavoring to allure us from it. Hence the Apostle tells us not to be moved away from the hope of the Gospel. The exhortation is necessary in presence of an imminent danger. Do not think that in the moment when you believe in Christ the conflict is over, or you will be bitterly disappointed! It is then that the battle renews itself and every inch of the road swarms with enemies.
Between here and Heaven you will always have to fight, more or less, and frequently the severest struggle will be at a time when you are least prepared for it. There may be smooth passages in your career and you may, for a while, be like your Savior in the wilderness, of whom it is said, “Then the devil departed from Him, and angels came and ministered unto Him.” But you may not, therefore, cry, “My mountain stands firm, I shall never be moved,” for fair weather may not outlast a single day! Do not grow secure, or carnally presumptuous. There is but a short space between one battle and another in this world. It is a series of skirmishes even when it does not assume the form of a pitched battle. He that would win Heaven must fight for it! He that would take the new Jerusalem must scale it and if he has the wits to take Jacob’s ladder and set it against the wall and climb up that way, he will win the City. “The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.”
The Christian life isn’t for the faint of heart. It involves a struggle to continually lay hold of the Gospel. I hope you are encouraged to that end this Lord’s day.