There is a broad spectrum of beliefs and positions when we talk about “Calvinism.”
While few, if any, would ever accept the label of being a “hyper-Calvinist,” such a category exists! There are those who are theological-ideologues and are on the EXTREME edges of Calvinism.
Typically the “extremes” revolve around the “L” and the “P” of “T-U-L-I-P” — “Limited Atonement” and (more damagingly) “The Perseverance of the Saints.”
The damage is caused by a fogging of the biblical truth that one is secure in Jesus. That fog is the result of stating that one cannot lose their salvation, that they are secure, and then implying that one can lose their salvation.
The damage is that God’s people are continually shaken in their confidence that the Lord saves and keeps them!
Here is an example of just that from one of the most prolific writers of our day, and an extreme Calvinist.
“It follows from what was just said that the people of God WILL persevere to the end and not be lost. The foreknown are predestined, the predestined are called, the called are justified, and the justified are glorified. No one is lost from this group. To belong to this people is to be eternally secure.”
That statement is followed by this . . . .
“Our faith must endure to the end if we are to be saved. . . . Nevertheless, we must also own up to the fact that our final salvation is made contingent upon the subsequent obedience which comes from faith.”
(If you want to read these statements in their full context,
here is the link to the total statement of faith.)
How does he put together “eternally secure” and the words “if” and “contingent?“
(If you read the whole statement of faith,
you will see that fog & tension throughout!)
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones does a masterful job of revealing the extreme nature of this Calvinistic position and, as he states, the ridiculous nature of such a position!
Here is an audio clip taken from Lloyd-Jones’ message on eternal security.
As Lloyd-Jones indicates . . . .
“The main purpose of salvation is the glory of God, the vindication of His glory, and the sovereignty of the character of God. This ultimate purpose, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, changes everything, namely the assurance of the outcome of God’s glory. Moreover, there are opportunities for pride as those who deny the final perseverance of the saints are forced to deny that it is ultimately God who causes endurance until the end, and instead must affirm that there is some quality inside those who are received into glory that is different from those who fall away.”
“The glory would have to go to you for holding on!”
It is to our glory if holding onto our salvation is up to us!
Link To Lloyd-Jones’ Full Message
External Link To Lloyd-Jones Full Message
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Eternal Security . . . .
“If this doctrine (Eternal Security) isn’t true, well then if you ever find yourself in glory, the glory will have to go to you for holding on.
The position would be this — that you like a number of other people, have been given the same gift of salvation and eternal life — They foolish didn’t hold on it, but that you did. And therefore the glory goes to you for holding on.
But that’s a blank contradiction of the teaching of the Scriptures everywhere. . . . Man has nothing to boast of at all. And when you and I arrive in heaven — my dear friends — we realize that we are there not because we held on while others gave up — but because He held on to us. . . . and we’ll give Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory.”
4 thoughts on “Perseverance of the Saints”
Well said. Personally I refuse to be a self stated theologian on the grounds that it might incriminate me. Experientially, following Jesus has two sides: I follow the best I can and Jesus guides, holds hands and sometimes carries me. I readily admit I’m a child.