FF Chong—London, U.K.
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to
you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are
saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed
in vain. (1 Cor 15:1–2)
During the time of the apostles, the
believers were often fiercely persecuted. While the persecution did not cause
the church to crumble entirely, it did give rise to irreversible damage,
especially towards the turn of the first century. Satan made use of man—false
teachers, to be precise—to undermine the church.
There were two types of false
prophets. One type comprised people from outside the community of faith; the other
was from within (Acts 20:29–30). Concerning the latter, the deceivers disguised
themselves in order to infiltrate the church with their destructive heresies. They
went on the offensive, using trickery and deceitful plotting (Eph 4:14),
causing the church to be scarred (cf. Gal 1–2; Col 1–2; Rev 2–3) and the believers
to be unsettled (Acts 15:24; Gal 1:7). The greatest challenge for the apostolic
church became a test of faithfulness to God’s word.
The moral from history is the need
to stand firm. It entails being rooted in Christ and in His word. God is more
than able to save us to the end—to grant us the salvation of our souls.
However, we must do our part: we must continuously yield to the word that we
received in the beginning and keep it to the end (1 Cor 15:1–2). Standing firm
becomes all the more pertinent as we know that Satan has been thrown down from
heaven and is attacking the church of God (Rev 12:12) prior to the second
coming of Christ.
Aside from Satan’s attack, secular
influences also pose a similar, if not equal, threat to the church. The effect
is corrosive and has the potential to corrupt the mind of simplicity we have
for Christ Jesus. We therefore need to create a godly environment for ourselves
and our children, and preserve ourselves with the word of God and constant
Imagine how sad it would be for an
athlete on course for a hundred-meter victory to stumble at the last hurdle. It
is for good reason, then, that Paul says that our faith journey would be in
vain if we suddenly turned our backs on God; we would be the most pitiable of
We thank the almighty God for touching
many members to put their thoughts into writing for the edification of the
church. Their articles, which appear in the themed section, exhort believers to
hold on to the truth that was given to the church once and for all, and remind
them to resist subtle worldly allurements.
Let us pray for the Spirit’s empowerment so that we can hold on to our initial
faith to the very end.