In light of another conversation I thought this was a worthwhile focus: The word “persevere” has a certain meaning. Unfortunately in this day of theological obscurity, vague distinctions abound. Some wish to define “perseverance” synonymous to “preservation”. They are NOT the same nor are they historically treated the same regarding Christian doctrine, never mind their meaning and use outside of a theological context. Merriam-Webster: Perseverance is to persist in a state in spite of opposition and contrary forces. Merriam-Webster: Preservation is to be kept safe from harm or destruction. Even their common definitions, outside of their theological context, clearly make the distinction. An object that perseveres persists in whatever state it is, in spite of forces opposing it. The view in its definition is that of the OBJECT acting. This is echoed in John MacArthur’s words here: An object that is preserved, has acted upon it from an outside agency, its protection from destruction. The view in its definition is that of the object being acted UPON. Theologically the application of the distinctions between “perseverance” and “preservation” are a point of magnified debate within Evangelical circles. Stemming in large part from the P in Calvinism’s TULIP, perseverance is the view, as stated atapuritansmind, is: Before continuing, it is noteworthy and important that most proponents of PERSEVERANCE will state emphatically and correctly, that is it “the power of God” by which we are kept. That is NOT being argued here. The argument is the END of what erring doctrine of perseverance teaches; that we can know we are saved and the certainty of our salvation will be manifested by perseverance. And make it clear, perseverance has a very definite expectation of “persisting” in the state of a life of faith and an end of fruit bearing. The Calvinist view regarding this FRUIT BEARING expectation as a true measure of perseverance and that which is a MUST in the life of every single believer if they are "truly" or "really" or "genuinely" saved and this thinking and belief is well reflected by George Bryson: So this brings me to the parable in Luke 8 that was interpreted for us by our Lord for our benefit. What does it say about the guarantee of a fruit bearing life? What does our Lord have to say about those who fall away, whether they were really saved or not? Let’s look at Luke 8:4-8,11-15 Now let's examine the 4 cases. 1.Did not come to life. 2.Came to life, "SPRUNG UP" but did not progress beyond infancy. 3.Came to life, "SPRANG UP" came to life but did not grow beyond adolescence and bore no mature fruit (fruit to perfection). 4.Came to life, "SPRANG UP". Mature and Scripturally ideal believer. 1. The word believe used in case #1 is pisteuō and clearly is talking about faith in the gospel which results in salvation (believe and be saved). But that never happens In case #2 again the word believe is pisteuō, and it would require an incredible dismissal of all things hermeneutically sound to suddenly contend this is no longer belief in the context of salvation since the context hasn’t change a bit. And in fact it clearly shows that as a result of this belief case #2 “sprung up”, i.e. came to life. 2. The one that withered (#2), the one that got choked (#3) and the one that bore fruit (#4) are treaded identically (SPRINGING UP) regarding having come to life. Case #1, the one that had the seed removed is the only one that is treated as never coming to life lest they believe and be saved. So if the 2nd one "SPRUNG UP" and the 3rd and 4th one "SPRANG UP" as did the 2nd one, you have a problem claiming two are believers with life and the other isn't when they are all three treated identically regarding their coming to life and only the 1st is treated otherwise. Summation: 1. Never came to life. Did not believe and be saved. 2. "SPRUNG UP"(phuō). Came to life but did not progress beyond spiritual infancy. 3. "SPRANG UP"(sumphuō-compound word means the same as the root word phuo but to come up together with something else as the text noted it came up with the thorns). Came to life but did not progress beyond spiritual adolescence (immature fruit). 4. "SPRANG UP" (phuō). Came to life and bore mature fruit. It is clear that some believers do not grow beyond spiritual infancy. One cannot spring up and be characterized as coming to life and then somehow not have really come to life. These contradictions aren’t only unreasonable but defy truthfulness.What stands as a betwixting dilemma for so many is the phrase, “for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away” in verse 13. It is clear that the context of “believe” is believing (pisteuō) the gospel. Secondly, they are differentiated from those who are not saved and designated in the same category of the adolescent and mature believer as one that springs up(phuō). Believing for a while makes it clear that not only did they hold to the gospel but had some brief period of post-salvational nutrition, “for a while”. Rooting is not ANALOGOUS to coming to life, it is analogous to GROWTH. What is pictured here is not someone failing to come to life, but failing to grow. The only guarantee is our preservation, not our perseverance.