“This is on the condition that you continue in faith without being moved from the solid foundation of the hope that the Good News contains. You’ve heard this Good News of which I, Paul, became a servant. It has been spread throughout all creation under heaven” (Colossians 1:23 GW).
As we consider Colossians 1:23 and the question of eternal security, we can look to an important passage of Scripture found in Hebrews 3:15: “Never forget the warning, ‘Today if you hear God’s voice speaking to you, do not harden your hearts against him, as the people of Israel did when they rebelled against him in the desert” (TLB).
The incident referenced in Hebrews 3:15 is recorded in chapters thirteen and fourteen of the Old Testament book of Numbers. That portion of Scripture involves Moses and the people of Israel amid their exodus from Egypt. During that journey, God instructed Moses to conduct a reconnaissance mission in the land where He was taking them. Unfortunately, most of the scouts who conducted that survey returned with a frightening report concerning the people who lived there.
Their assessment generated a great sense of fear among the Israelites. They subsequently decided to return to Egypt and kill the only two scouts who encouraged them to trust in God. That reaction prompted the following response from the Lord: “…How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to trust me in spite of all the miraculous signs I have done among them?” (Numbers 14:11 GW).
This historical reference illustrates the “condition” given to us here in Colossians 1:23. For instance, we shouldn’t exhibit the same kind of “faith” shown by these ancient Israelites. Although they saw God perform many miraculous works, they were unwilling to place their trust in Him. On the other hand, a God-honoring faith is demonstrated by a willingness to trust God even when the circumstances seem too big to handle.
Unlike the Israelites in our example, a faithful person is honest with God about those areas of life where he or she may be fearful. People of faith are also characterized by their willingness to seek God’s help in trusting Him to accomplish His will for their lives. Finally, a person with genuine faith is not afraid to ask for God’s continued assistance in living the kind of life that reflects authentic trust in Him.
A person who is distinguished by these characteristics will never have to worry about losing his or her salvation because that kind of faith doesn’t reject God in fear or unbelief.