From cover to cover, the Bible is the story of God’s relations with man. From the Garden of Eden to the plagues and destruction in Revelation, I see a God Who is reaching out and calling to man to have a relationship with Him. Though God can change our wills, He rarely does, preferring instead to allow us free will and giving us the choice to willingly come to Him. The same God Who does not force us to come to Him initially does not force us to stay in Him and with Him either. In my previous post, I discussed Christ Is Salvation. Here are some Scriptures which stress necessity of remaining in Him.
“Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, eternal life.” (1 John 2:24, 25)
“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6)
Besides the verses I just quoted there are also exhortations given by the apostles and the calls to persevere that further lend credence to this concept that abiding and continuation in the faith is not automatic.
“Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.” (Acts 13:43)
“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” (Paul speaking to disciples from Lystra)(Acts 14:22)
From these appeals to continue (as well as stated consequences for not continuing), we can see that perseverance is conditioned on the Christian choosing to use the grace that God gives to remain in the faith.