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Perseverance

Below is a response I sent out to an email that I received. The question was whether or not I believed in the concept of “once saved, always saved.”

Dear _______,

Let me start off with a few verses. My opinion doesn’t count for much, but Scripture counts for everything.

Psalms 97:10    Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

John 10:28    And I (Jesus) give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

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:

1 Peter 1:3-5    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Jude 1:24    Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

And also the same verse that I gave you earlier.

John 6:39    And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Notice first that every verse above points to God and His power and authority. Everything is in God’s hand and under His control. God’s people were chosen in Him from before the foundation of the world. When Jesus was here on earth this is what He said concerning his death on the cross.

John 10:11   I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

He made it abundantly clear that he was not going to shed one drop of blood for anyone else but His sheep. His sheep are the ones that were chosen before the foundation of the world and they are the ones that were given him from the Father (John 6:39). Since Jesus paid the price for His elect, and secured their salvation, then it is also Him who is preserving and will present them as a pure bride before the Father. If it were up to us, then no one would make it to heaven because we fail God miserably on a daily basis. It is only because God looks at us through His Son’s sacrifice, that he sees us as clean. It is impossible for a true believer, one who was elect from the foundation of the world, to lose his salvation because that salvation is not in his hands or control but God’s. In 1 John it says this about those who appear to be part of the church but in time depart.

1 John 2:19    They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

What this verse is saying is that if someone leaves, that just shows that they were never truly a believer and brethren.

Also, the true believer in grace will not take this and run with this. Look at Titus chapter 2 verses 11-14 with me.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness, and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Notice that from these verses it is again God using his grace to teach us these things above. Without his grace, we are unable to truly have any of these characteristics in their pure form.

Tom Adams