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Perseverance of the saints (verse list)

Can true Christians lose their salvation?  How can we know if we are truly born again? The following verses are those used to support the reformed view of perseverance of the saints. 

All who are truly born again will persevere to the end

Luke 22:31 (ASV) Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat: 32 but I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, establish thy brethren. 

John 6:38 (ASV) For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the will of him that sent me, that of all that which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 10:27 (ASV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who hath given [them] unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand.

John 3:36 (ASV) He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 5:24 (ASV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life.

John 6:47 (ASV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth hath eternal life.

Rom 8:30 (ASV) and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Eph 1:13 (ASV) in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,– in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of [God’s] own possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Phil 1:6 (ASV) being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Heb 13:5 (ASV) Be ye free from the love of money; content with such things as ye have: for himself hath said, I will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee.

1Pet 1:3 (ASV) Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1Joh 5:13 (ASV) These things have I written unto you, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, [even] unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God.

Only those who persevere to the end have been truly born again

John 8:31 (ASV) Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, [then] are ye truly my disciples; 32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Colo 1:21 (ASV) And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, 22 yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him: 23 if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister.

Heb 2:3 (ASV) how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation? which having at the first been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard;

Heb 3:6  (ASV) but Christ as a son, over his house; whose house are we, if we hold fast our boldness and the glorying of our hope firm unto the end.

Heb 3:12 (ASV) Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God: 13 but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day; lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin: 14 for we are become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end:

Heb 4:1 (ASV) Let us fear therefore, lest haply, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.

Heb 4:11 (ASV) Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, that no man fall after the same example of disobedience.

Heb 10:35 (ASV) Cast not away therefore your boldness, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise.

Heb 10:26 (ASV) For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries. 28 A man that hath set at nought Moses law dieth without compassion on [the word of] two or three witnesses: 29 of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Heb 10:38 (ASV) But my righteous one shall live by faith: And if he shrink back, my soul hath no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them that shrink back unto perdition; but of them that have faith unto the saving of the soul.

Heb 12:3 (ASV) For consider him that hath endured such gainsaying of sinners against himself, that ye wax not weary, fainting in your souls.

Heb 12:15 (ASV) looking carefully lest [there be] any man that falleth short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby the many be defiled; 16 lest [there be] any fornication, or profane person, as Esau, who for one mess of meat sold his own birthright.

1Joh 2:19 (ASV) They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us.

Those who fall away may give many external signs of conversion

Matt 26:21 (ASV) and as they were eating, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began to say unto him every one, Is it I, Lord?

John 6:64 (ASV) But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who it was that should betray him.

John 6:70 (ASV) Jesus answered them, Did not I choose you the twelve, and one of you is a devil?

Gal 2:4 (ASV) and that because of the false brethren privily brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

2Cor 11:15 (ASV) It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.

2Cor 11:26 (ASV) [in] journeyings often, [in] perils of rivers, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils from [my] countrymen, [in] perils from the Gentiles, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren;

Mat 7:21 (ASV) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

John 15:1 (ASV) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh it away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he cleanseth it, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already ye are clean because of the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Mark 4:17 (ASV) and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, straightway they stumble.

Heb 6:4 (ASV) For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, 6 and [then] fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Heb 6:7 (ASV) For the land which hath drunk the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them for whose sake it is also tilled, receiveth blessing from God: 8 but if it beareth thorns and thistles, it is rejected and nigh unto a curse; whose end is to be burned.

Summary

All who are truly born again will persevere to the end.

  1. This is the only way a true Christian can have assurance. 
  2. A Christian can have no assurance if it were possible for them to fall away.
  3. God’s power will keep them as Christians until they die.
  4. Eternal life (as promised to true believers) is not a quality of life but a ‘duration’ of life.

If a person does not persevere then they were never truly born again.

  1. Continuing in the Christian life is one of the evidences that they are truly born again.
  2. God guards us through our faith so that he enables us to continue to believe in Him.
  3. Those who continue to trust in Christ gain assurance that God is working in them and guarding them.

Eastons Commentary on Perseverance of the saints

their certain continuance in a state of grace. Once justified and regenerated, the believer can neither totally nor finally fall away from grace, but will certainly persevere therein and attain everlasting life.

This doctrine is clearly taught in these passages, John 10:28, 29; Romans 11:29; Phil. 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5. It, moreover, follows from a consideration of (1) the immutability of the divine decrees (Jeremiah 31:3; Matthew 24:22-24; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:30); (2) the provisions of the covenant of grace (Jeremiah 32:40; John 10:29; 17:2-6; (3) the atonement and intercession of Christ (Isaiah 53:6, 11; Matthew 20:28; 1 Peter 2:24; John 11:42; 17:11, 15, 20; Romans 8:34); and (4) the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (John 14:16; 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:14; 1 John 3:9).

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