Our word for this month is perseverance. That English word (in various forms) is used (as translated in the NASB) two dozen times in the Bible, all of them in the New Testament. Perseverance is a grand and encouraging word, when understood rightly.
The Bible is clear in stating that the person who has truly been born again, who is truly a Christian, will persevere in his faith until the end of his life. This doctrine constitutes the “P” in “TULIP”: the Perseverance of the Saints. (We covered the “T” for Total Depravity a few months ago.) We persevere, not because of our own strength or fortitude, but because of the keeping power of Jesus Christ. God, who began the work of salvation in us, will bring it to completion (Phil. 1:6).
Our future glorification is so certain that it is spoken of in the past tense in Romans 8:38-39. (For you Greek students, that is called a proleptic aorist.) Our inheritance is spoken of as imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-5).
No one can snatch us from the Father’s hands (John 10:27-30). The Lord is able to guard our salvation (2 Tim. 1:12). We have moved from death to life. The outer man, the body, will someday die, unless the Rapture comes first. But even the dead body will some day be resurrected and reunited with the Christian’s spirit, which goes immediately to be with Christ at death (2 Cor. 5:8). We have eternal life (1 John 5:13), and that life will never end.
The Christian isn’t off the hook, however. He must be diligent to run the race and serve Christ and persevere by the strength of the Spirit. Romans 5:3-4 is clear that tribulation begets perseverance, which begets other good Christian virtues.
Perseverance is a command, a virtue, and a promise. The true Christian will persevere – not perfectly, of course – but he will endure to the end, for it is the one that endures to the end who will be saved (Matt. 10:22). Rejoice in the saving and the keeping power of our Lord. He saves, He sanctifies, and beloved, He will glorify all those who have come to faith in Christ.