By Mike Ratliff
5 v Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house w as a servant, x to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as y a son. And z we are his house if indeed we a hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.  (Hebrews 3:5-6 ESV)
From the time God saved me in 1986 until just a few years ago I was convinced that I was a Christian because of my own actions on that cold January Sunday evening. I was also convinced by what was taught in the churches I belonged to that my salvation was sealed by what took place that day and I was a Christian regardless of how faithful I was through the years. Of course what I was being taught was a doctrine called Once Saved Always Saved. This doctrine states that people are saved by saying a sinner’s prayer and acknowledging that they believe certain doctrinal things and it does not matter how they live after that, their salvation is certain. Is this biblical?
14 For we have come to share in Christ, h if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:14 ESV)
Perseverance is the proof given to us in Sacred Scripture as the one and only proof of the veracity of one’s salvation. God saves His people. He regenerates them, changes them, and grows them in His grace. Their eternal destiny is in His hands and according to His will. Those whom He saves have the responsibility to believe, repent, and walk in that repentance until God takes them home to be with the Son forever. The evidence that this is the destiny for any Christian having partaken of Christ’s salvation involves endurance to the end. It is also true that all who have this destiny awaiting them in eternity cannot lose it.
27 n My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 o I give them eternal life, and p they will never perish, and q no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, r who has given them to me,  s is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of t the Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29 ESV)
This is only one passage that shows us that our salvation is in God’s hands completely along with our sanctification through which we grow in holiness and become more and more Christlike. Other passages you may want to look up on your own which teaches this is Ephesians 1:3-14; John 6:39-40; Romans 8:35, 38-39; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:3-5). Also, in reference back to Hebrews 3:14 above, we must always study scripture in context; therefore, v14 should be understood in the context of vv12-13.
12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from e the living God. 13 But f exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by g the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV)
Do you see the concern of the writer of Hebrews that Christians continue in the faith by fighting the good fight to not fall into unrepentant sin? The hardening done to the heart through the deceitfulness of sin is evidence of a person not being truly saved. All sin and most Christians do find themselves at times with hearts that are not as tender towards God as they should be because of sin. However, the real Christian will respond to the exhortation from other believers to walk in repentance and draw near unto God for cleansing and renewal in the Spirit. On the other hand, many professing Christians do walk away because they love their sin more than the promises from God. This is evidence of their disingenuousness (1 John 2:19).
11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance c of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but d imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:11-12 ESV)
I also exhort all reading this to not be sluggish in their walk. Some reading this are struggling with doubt and this is bringing them to despair. They are fighting off the accusations from the enemy that they are not real Christians because they committed sin XYZ. Well, if the truth of that sin has broken your heart and you have a deep desire to repent and walk the walk by faith then please do not despair, but draw close to God in prayer by coming boldly to the throne of grace. Confess your sins to Him and ask Him to grant you repentance. Then with your eyes of our heart firmly fixed on the Son move into obedience by imitating those believers around you who exhibit their faith through their godly patience and trust in the promises of God. Turn from what your flesh wants. Learn to deny your flesh and gain the victory over the sin your flesh desires by mortifying it. Ask God to help you kill it.
Yes, pray to God that He teach you His ways and what you are to do in the Kingdom as you learn to walk in obedience by faith to the end.
26 b The one who conquers and who keeps my works c until the end, d to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and e he will f rule them with a rod of iron, g as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him h the morning star. 29 p He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Revelation 2:26 ESV)
All genuine believers will endure to the end. Those who fall away were “not of us” (1 John 2:19). The promises to those whom God takes to the end are beyond our comprehension. I heard a sermon today as I drove to work in which the preacher said that the genuine Christian has an inheritance awaiting him or her that we cannot understand in our current state. All in Christ will be “like Him” some day and the mark of a person being one in that number is that they endure to the end. Perseverance is the marker of genuineness, not works, or religiosity. No, this perseverance is a continuing in walking in repentance by the power of the Holy Spirit until the end.
Soli Deo Gloria!