Perseverance – Perseverance is found in the King James Bible once. See Ephesians 6:18. Also see Strong’s numbered word proskartereesei (NT:4343; Strong’s number definition). In real terms it simply means to be persistent or to be earnest towards. In the New American Standard Bible it is translated 22 times, and carries similar meaning in context and is used in place of the KJV word for “patience.” (See Revelation 14.12, 1 Timothy 6:11, 2 Peter 1:6). If followed in the NAS Bible the term is used to express persistent behavior on behalf of the Christian in three areas. 1.) We should be persistent in prayer for others Ephesians 6:18. 2.) We should be persistent in pursuing good fruit or righteousness in our lives, Luke 8:15.) We should pursue perseverance itself as found in First Timothy 6:11.
Perseverance in terms of theological doctrine is used in circles of Calvinistic persuasion. It carries the same weight or end result as the doctrine of eternal security. In this light it is referred to as the “Perseverance of the Saints”. Matthew 24:11-14: “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many. And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.” (NASB) Based on this and other references the doctrine of perseverance is formulated. In Calvinistic teaching the doctrine of perseverance is the fifth in a five point view of man’s salvation from the wrath of God and is represented by the Arcanum “TULIP” where “P” stands for the “perseverance of the saints.” It is taught in this system of theology that it is God who saves, keeps, and gives grace to the end of human life giving the believer the ability to persevere to the end, thus, giving eternal security, from hell, to one’s soul throughout eternity.
In other systems of Christian theology eternal security is not taught, and uses Matthew chapter 24 as an example to show that it is man’s responsibility to persevere to the end and if he should fall away from God he will be lost.
From a Biblicist doctrinal viewpoint perseverance is used in the biblical sense without tying the meaning to a theological position. Eternal security or the perseverance of the saints can be demonstrated through many other scriptures in a systematic way without tying the term “perseverance” to the debate. (See: 2 Corinthians 1:21,22; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30; John 18:9.)
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