We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. (Hebrews 3:14)
A few years ago, I owned a lovely Victorian house. The place had been marvelously restored, repainted, and refreshed. No one could complain about the price I paid for the joint, and I stood to make a pretty nice pile of dough when I sold it. I listed it for sale at a very reasonable price. Within a few days, I had not one but two fine offers. We negotiated and reached an agreement. Who could complain?
I shrugged. “Well, the place was empty when I moved in, and nobody ever came around who seemed to own it, so…” Need I explain that the sale did not go through.
It seems that you can’t cash in on something that you don’t actually own. Who’d have thunk it?
When reading today’s verse, we might be tempted to understand it to mean that we can lose our salvation if we don’t hold on “to the very end.” But notice the verb tense. We “have come” (now) to share in Christ. It doesn’t say that we “will have come” (at the very end).
Some of us might appear to belong to Christ today, just as I appeared to own that house. It wasn’t as if I actually owned that house until my fraud came to light. I never owned the house. The Christian-in-appearance-only will be found out at some point. It might be next week when adversity washes aside the pretense of belief. It might be next year, when some squabble in the home causes true colors to shine forth. Perhaps the truth will not come out until “closing.”
My story of the lovely house is a fiction, but each of us has a genuine story about ownership by Christ. Today is the day for each of us to be sure he has a clear title to our souls.