The carnal mind is unable to comprehend this doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, and the certainty thereof; which God hath most abundantly revealed in His Word, for the glory of His name, and the consolation of pious souls, and which He impresses upon the hearts of the faithful.
Preservation and Perseverance—what a truly wonderful subject! It is wonderful from a threefold point of view. It is wonderful, first of all, because of that whereunto’ we are preserved and persevere. This is nothing less than a glory so great that “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (I Cor. 2:9).
In our preceding article we presented the Arminian grounds for their conception that we are preserved because we persevere. In the Arminian scheme of things MAN is always first. Salvation is either of God or of man; it is dependent upon God and determined by God or it is dependent upon man and determined by man. It is either conditional or unconditional and sovereign. A third possibility is inconceivable.
In our preceding article we were calling attention to the Reformed and scriptural view of this subject: Preservation and Perseverance. In the first place, we noted that the preservation of the people of God is rooted in God’s eternal and sovereign election. This is clearly held before us in passages such as Ephesians 1:3-5 and Romans 8:29-30.
We concluded our first and preceding article on this subject with the observation that as citizens of the kingdom of heaven we must be pilgrims and strangers in the earth, ever seeking to promote the cause of God and of His Christ. Doing this, however, we will experience the trials and afflictions of this present time. These trials are unavoidable. This means that we must fight, witnessing of Christ and of His Cause, and oppose all the unfruitful works of sin and darkness. And this means that our survival in the midst of the world will become, humanly speaking, impossible.
In our preceding article on the subject of Preservation and Perseverance, we called attention to the fact that these truths are confessional. As one might expect, the preservation and perseverance of the saints are set forth particularly in the fifth head of our Canons, although we also read of them in Heads III and IV of these Canons. However, also the Scriptures, of course, emphasize the certainty of the everlasting salvation of the church of God. We say “of course” because these Canons, we know, are based upon the Word of God.
We concluded our preceding article with the remark that, to preserve, we must hold fast that which we have, and this means that we must hold fast to life and doctrine. How important this is, especially in our present day and age when so many cults and other departures from the truth make it increasingly difficult to maintain our calling in the midst of the world. May our churches and especially our homes continue to be true and faithful in this only way to persevere even unto the end, that no man may take our crown. How urgent it is that...