Perseverance of the saints is also the doctrine referred to as once saved always saved, also called eternal security.
So is this doctrine right? Is it biblical? If you are into modern day evangelical Christianity, you are on one of two sides. Either you believe we can gain salvation and lose it at a later date due to rebellion, disobedience, or whatnot (Arianism). This one sounds logical, and is what many in a great majority of modern Christianity believe today. The doctrine of perseverance of the saints (eternal security which is how I will refer to it from now on) states the belief that a believer (a true believer) on the day of their new life in Christ will persevere until the end because of God's sanctifying work in them. In other words, they cannot lose their salvation because God will not allow them to fall away to that extent because of the work He started in them.
I want to be up front before I get started in this that I used to be an Armenian in the sense that I thought a person could indeed lose their salvation. However, upon studying the scriptures and leaving all preconceived notions behind and taking the Bible for what it says, I have found that scripture teaches undeniably that God's children can not and will not ever lose the gift of salvation God has granted them. There are far too many verses that support eternal security, and only a handful of verses (taken out of context) that support one can lose their salvation.
The first argument people use to argue against eternal security is the misconception that it teaches a Christian can live a lazy rebellious life that gives a person a license to sin. However this is not at all what it teaches, rather I am aware that Jesus said in John 14:15 "If you love Me you will keep my commandments" When a person is truly saved, they are born again by the Holy Spirit and by nature desire to keep our Lord's commandments and to walk in a manner worthy of the calling from God we have received. (Colossians 1:10, Ephesians 4:1)
Where a lot of people misunderstand this doctrine, is they fall into the modern "easy believeism" where they think that if a person merely recites a prayer, walks down an aisle, or signs a card they are justified and saved. These things are good, but the true point of salvation and the genuine faith that saves is when God's Spirit comes upon you through His calling us, causing a death to our old lives and rebirth into new life unto Him. Many people have walked an aisle or said a prayer, yet in truth they were wrapped up in a moment and truth be told, their voices confessed Him yet their hearts were far from Him. (Matthew 15:8) They are also the rocky soil in the parable of the sower that heard the truth, got excited but when trials and life came they had no root.(Matthew 13) So these people look like they believed and lost there salvation later on. My question is, were they ever even saved? That is the to the heart question of this doctrine, do people lose their salvation or did they never have it to begin with? I am gonna use a phrase from another blog I read that made me laugh: but with all the progressive liberal theology crap out there, God is not their Sovereign Almighty God the Bible makes Him out to be, rather He is their bearded girlfriend the way they make Him out to be. It's actually ridiculous.
God will not give a person a gift of salvation and at a later date take it back because of something you did or didn't do. That is preaching a gospel of works, which as we know the Bible does not teach.(Ephesians 2:8-9) People have told me, well you can give back the gift, God doesn't take it away. Ok. Let me ask you, is God up in Heaven, oblivious to who His children are? Last time I checked He was omnipotent, omnipresence, and sovereign, therefore you can't trick Him, you can't surprise Him by saying, I know you gave me this salvation gift thingy, but I'm good, I don't want it. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? It's because it is. Picture this, you are a father with a four year old. You are walking across a busy four lane highway at rush hour, your child is holding your hand, as well as you holding his. If your child lets go of your hand, will he be able to run out into harms way without you? Not if you have a good grip, as any loving father would, on his hand. Just because the child let go doesn't mean that you will. You will keep your child in the right path and direction, and that is exactly what God does for those who are His.
John 10:27-30 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."I and the Father are one."
Romans 8:31-39 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies;who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED. "But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
This blog has got too long, so leave me a comment for more passages on eternal security if you want to delve into it deeper. This is an important doctrine, and please, I beg of you, don't think it is one that says it gives the believer a license to sin as so many opponents to the doctrine teach. People that do indeed use it as a doctrine to sin, well Jesus said you will know them by their fruits. Just because a cow dresses up like a chicken, it's still a cow. Just because a person claims to be a Christian, if there has not been a transformed life from old to new, a born again experience if you will, then their fruits will not be that of the righteousness of God. Be careful of this, for there are many teachers out there that are not even saved, for they are the ones talked about throughout the entire New Testament, the false teachers/apostates. Remember this, those who He calls He justifies(salvation), He then sanctifies(sets aside as holy), then glorifies(our glorified state in heaven). That is a promise I thank God He gave us, because lets be honest, if it were up us to keep our salvation, no one would ever be saved. Praise God for His power and promises.
May Gods peace and blessings be with you.