John 10:28

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."


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.


  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).
  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