John 10:28

English
John 10:28
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

 

Problem:
This passage is cited by Evangelicals to prove that those who "accept the Lord as their personal Saviour" are eternally secure, their future salvation being assured.

 

Solution:
  1. This passage applies to those who are Christ's sheep, but who is to know before the Day of Judgment who is a "sheep" or a "goat"? (Matt. 25:33).

     

  2. Many who think they are "sheep" will find that they are really "goats". (Matt. 25:41-46; 7:21-23; Luke 13:26-27).

     

  3. "And they shall never perish" does not mean "they shall never die." For the disciple, death is not a perishing, but a sleep. (John 11:11-14; 1 Cor. 15:6, 18; 1 Thess. 4:13). It is the unbeliever who is consigned to perish. (John 3:16; Luke 13:3, 5; cf. Jer. 51:53, 57).

     

  4. Note the steps Christ outlines. The sheep:
    1. "hear my voice" (vs. 27) - response
    2. "follow me" (vs. 27) - discipleship
    3. "I give unto them eternal life" - resurrection1
    4. "They shall never perish" - security in the kingdom
    5. "neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand" - security from false prophets2
    Evangelicals make the mistake of placing step d) before c).
Footnotes:
  1. Disciples alive at the return of Christ will be transformed to immortality without experiencing the sleep of death. (John 11:26; 1 Cor. 15:51; 1 Thess. 4:13-17). Return

     

  2. The same Greek word "harpazo" translated "pluck" (vs. 28, 29) is translated "catcheth" in verse 12. The "wolf" represents false teachers. (cf. Acts 20:28-30). Return
Literature type
English only