“holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” (Philippians 2:16 ESV)
It was incredibly important to the Apostle Paul that the Philippian Church continued “holding fast to the word of life.” If they forsook the word of life, they would have proved that their salvation was not authentic and would cause Paul to believe all his labor towards them was in vain.
Our efforts matter. We, like Paul, feel violated when those closest to us have rejected the word of life for cisterns that do not hold water. If the day of Christ comes upon us and our loved ones are pulled from our sides and cast headlong in the lake of fire, we will feel shame, remorse, and that all our efforts are worthless. If the end result of our labors is not the salvation of our loved ones, what’s the point? I know that Jesus will be glorified in the condemnation of the wicked. And that if a loved one is pulled from my side in the day of judgement, I will not call the Judge of all the earth unjust. But standing alongside the Apostle Paul’s words, he did not feel he would have any reason for boasting or joy in that day if the Philippian Church rejected Jesus Christ the word of life.
Today would be a good day to spend praying for our loved ones that seem to have rejected the word of life. Today would be a good day for us to “hold fast” to Christ so that the person who shared with you the word of life will not feel shame on the last day.