The following article is an excerpt from "A Study of the Teachings of Jesus Christ"
by Joseph F. Harwood.
The book may be downloaded in PDF format by clicking on the “Download” button below.
Jesus taught about the eternal certainty and security of our salvation in several passages. Beginning in John 6, He said:
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37-40, emphasis added).
This passage speaks very clearly to the issue of the eternal security of the believer. Jesus said that all of those who have been given to Him by the Father, or God’s elect, will in fact come to Him. Then Jesus said in this same verse that those who do come to Him will certainly not be cast out, and He said this with no mention of any added conditions whatsoever or any mention of their performance after they are saved.
Jesus emphasized the same point again in the following two verses when He said that He had come down from Heaven not to do His own will, but the will of His Father who had sent Him. Jesus then revealed that it is the will of His Father that He should lose none of those who had been given to Him, but He would raise them up at the last day. So here is the same teaching of the eternal security of the believer, given again in this same passage, in clear language.
In the final verse of this passage Jesus reiterates this same message of the eternal security of the believer yet a third time, when He said that everyone who looks to Him and believes in Him will have eternal life together with Him in Heaven. Jesus did not say that some of those who look to Him and believe in Him will have eternal life, depending on what they may do after they are saved. However He did say clearly, and with no added conditions or any mention of a believer’s performance after they are saved, that everyone who looks to Him and believes in Him will have eternal life; He will raise them up at the last day. So we see that three times in this passage of John 6:37-40, Jesus emphasized that our salvation in Him is an eternal certainty.
Going just a few verses further in John 6, Jesus said: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44). In the first part of this verse, Jesus taught that no one is able to come to Him unless the Father draws them, and then in the second part of the verse, Jesus taught that those individuals whom God does draw will be raised up at the last day. Again, in John 6:44, we see no mention of an individual’s actions or performance being necessary in order to obtain their salvation or maintain their salvation.
Jesus stated clearly in John 6:44 that those whom God draws, or calls, will be raised up at the last day, meaning that all who receive God’s calling to faith in His Son will be saved, and none will be lost. So we have in John 6:44 the same message of the eternal certainty and security of our salvation that Jesus communicated in John 6:39.
In John 10, Jesus again spoke of the eternal certainty and security of our salvation when He said: “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. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30, emphasis added).
Those whom Jesus referred to as His sheep are those whom the Father has given to Him (John 6:37). These are the elect, whom God foreknew from before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4-5) and predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). God’s elect have, or will at some point in time, be called by Him to faith in His Son Jesus Christ, and they will all manifest this calling by their belief in Christ and their love for other believers.
Jesus said clearly that He has given His sheep eternal life, and they will never perish. Jesus did not say that they will never perish unless they disobey to some degree after they are saved, but He did say succinctly, and without any added conditions whatsoever, that they will never perish.
Jesus concluded His teaching in John 10:27-30 by saying that no one is able to snatch one of His sheep out of His hand, or His Father’s hand. Neither we ourselves, by our own actions or failings, nor any other created being, is able to snatch any believer out of God’s hand. Jesus is coming for His sheep, every one of them, and not one of them will be lost (Matthew 18:10-14).