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God’s Promise of Eternal Security

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, 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 10:27-30)

The preservation of believers is a wonderful truth. Wrapped in this truth is the assurance that what God has started, God will surely finish. The salvation of His people was not only predestined before all time, but is guaranteed for all of time. This is because God Himself is keeping His children through the faith that He has given them. This being said, we cannot talk about the preservation of believers without linking it to the eternal security of believers. Every believer who is preserved by God is also eternally secured by God. Jesus Himself confirms it for us.

In the narrative of John 10, from verse 22, we are told that during the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, Jesus was walking in the temple when a group of Jews who were comprised of religious leaders and their followers, gathered around Him and said to Him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Now, their reason for asking this was not exactly to confirm that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus had already told them about who He was on multiple occasions. Their very objective in asking Jesus about being the Messiah was so they could instigate His death, for these Jews could not accept that any man would claim to be God. Yet in their foolishness, they could not discern from both the word of Scripture and the word of Jesus that the Messiah that God had sent them had come in the form of true man and true God. And so Jesus tells them in verse 25, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about Me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.” What a hard pill this must’ve been to swallow for those who were rejecting the identity of Jesus as the Messiah. The reason for why they could not recognize Jesus as the Great Shepherd was because they were not part of his flock.

What a contrast these Jews were to the sheep that truly belong to Jesus. Jesus says in verse 27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” That is, those who truly belong to Christ, will surely know Him, believe in Him, and follow Him. And they are not only elected, regenerated, and justified, but will also persevere in faith and obedience until they are glorified.

Jesus does not stop there. He continues in verse 28a by saying, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.” Here Jesus Himself reiterates the promise that all who believe in Him will be given eternal life - that is, a life without end in His presence, where we will see the fullness of His glory and experience the fullness of joy. Any possibility that we would perish would outrightly contradict the definition of eternal life. But Jesus clearly says that He gives His sheep eternal life, and so they need not fear of perishing.

And finally, Jesus says in verses 28b to 29, “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.” Herein lies the greatest security that we could ever have: that our lives are in His hands. The security of our salvation is not worked out by human striving, but by God’s keeping. God, who is greater than all, is keeping you. No one lesser than God (and mind you, there is no one greater than God) could ever threaten to pluck you from His hand. It is simply and absolutely impossible for anyone to successfully contend with God. God is infinitely willing and able to work out the counsel of His will. And since He had already predestined you, saved you, and set His love on you thus far, how could we ever think that there could be anything or anyone capable of stopping Him from completing the work He had started in you?

Dear believer, your eternal security is not a matter of your doing, but God’s doing. Jesus Himself tells us that He and the Father are jointly safeguarding our salvation (John 10:28-29). United in essence, they are also united in purpose. And their purpose in all of history is to reveal the greatness of God’s glory in a finished redemption. Take heart, just as your faith is the gift of God’s grace, the preservation of your faith is the result of the same continued grace.

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