The Doctrine of Eternal Security
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” – John 10:27-29
Salvation is a beautiful thing. Once someone has sincerely surrendered their heart and life to Jesus Christ, then they are eternally saved forever. But some people do not believe this, and instead believe that a person can lose their salvation. Let’s consider this further.
In the verse above, Jesus explains the wonderful security a believer experiences when they are securely saved in Him; for they are securely held and preserved in the precious hand of God the Father forever, and nothing or no one can snatch them out of the Father’s hand. Those who believe that a person can lose their salvation quickly respond back to this verse by saying that nothing hinders someone from choosing to slip out of the hand of God. They believe one can choose on their own free will to fall from God’s grip. But there is a flaw in their proposed argument, and it is found within the verse itself. Notice that Jesus says, “no one” is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. Wouldn’t it make sense that the phrase “no one” would also include that person? If no one is able to snatch them from the glorious and gracious grip of God, then that would include everyone and anyone; even themselves!
Another common verse to express loss of salvation is Matthew 7:21-23 where Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.” By use of these verses, it will be quickly pointed out by those who believe one can lose their salvation that the people described in this passage must have fallen from the grace of God at some point, thus, no longer saved. But again, the verse itself refutes such a theory. Notice that Jesus says, “I never knew you.” He does not say, “I knew you at one time, but I do not know you now.” He does not say, “You were mine once, but no longer.” He says, “I never knew you!” Never is never, and Jesus is clearly speaking to people that never knew Him in the first place.
I will admit that the doctrine of the security of the believer has been abused. Many people have watered down this doctrine to the simple phrase, “once saved always saved.” I prefer “once genuinely saved, always genuinely saved.” Why? Because unfortunately there are many people out there today that are walking around with a false sense of security pertaining to their salvation when they have never been saved in the first place. They think that because they walked an aisle and prayed a prayer that they are saved forever. But a prayer does not save you. Christ saves you. You see, salvation is genuinely and sincerely surrendering your heart and life to the Lord Jesus, and evidence of your sincerity will be a life that bears fruit for the Lord (Matthew 7:20, Galatians 5:22-23). So when someone professes Christ and appears to resemble a believer, and then seems to “fall away” so to speak from what they claimed to have initially believed (Luke 8:6), then I do not believe they lost their salvation. Instead, I believe that they were never saved in the first place!
– Pastor Eric