It felt as if I’d been punched in the stomach. I suppose I speak for numerous others when I say this revelation of a dual life has hurt me to the core. His work as a Christian apologist was often referenced and much quoted.
What in the world are we to do with this?
Maybe the best response would be to renew our own commitment to hold fast to the end. Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” That should be our goal, as well.
A Bible Study teacher I’ve learned much from has said because she made sinful choices early on in her life, she walks around with a target on her back. It’s a weak spot and she knows she is vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks in that area again. More so than others who do not have that history. That resonates with me. Oswald Chambers wrote, “Unguarded strength is double weakness.” I have my own weak places from early in my life as well and walk in the fear of God. Finishing well is something I often think about.
Here are six reasons to hold fast to the end.
1. Our legacy will be about the best thing we did rather than the last thing we did. When a revelation of impropriety comes out, it often obliterates a lifetime of words and work as what people hold in memory will often be the fall.
2. Our lives will bear character and integrity. This goes hand in hand with the first reason. Duplicity erodes integrity. Though words spoken may be true, moral failures make others question the things said. And character always matters. How are we to teach our children that if we do not model it?
3. Duplicity causes others to stumble. Unbelievers will look at a life’s mixed message and wonder what’s true, what can be counted on, and ask why they should consider Christianity. And when leaders fail to live out their words, it gives license for others to follow.
4. Loved ones won’t have to clean up after a train wreck. I’ve heard talk about sin before, as if the person speaking thought what they did didn’t affect anyone else, but sin has a way of going out in ripples to the edge of the earth. There’s hardly a way to contain it. The Bible says, “What you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” If there’s a skeleton in the closet, it’s almost always going to come out. And loved ones will pay a price.
5. There is a reward for holding fast. The verse that follows Timothy 4:7 is “And now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” It’s important to remember that finishing well will be rewarded.
6. That God will be honored. He bought us with the precious blood of His Son, Jesus, and deserves all our praise and glory. Holding fast to Him to the end gives tribute where tribute is due.
None of us can do this in our own strength. Every day, we need to pray and call on the Lord to give us the power to spend our days with integrity. “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.” This includes living a life that will bring honor to Him both now and after we’re gone.
Friends, here's to holding on to the Lord.