Security of Salvation
Is there such a thing as security of salvation? Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone 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 My Father’s hand” (John 10:27–29).
Jesus declared, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (John 6:37). It is certainly true that when people hear the Shepherd’s voice and come to Christ, they are secure in His hands. No one, not even the devil, can take away this assurance.
Security of Salvation is conditional
If we examine the doctrine of the Security of Salvation in the full light of the Bible, we find that the eternal security of believers is dependent on their continued abiding in Christ (John 15:1-6; Matthew 24:13; 1 Corinthians 9:27). Therefore, if a person chooses to disconnect himself from Christ, he will be cut off like a branch cut off from the tree (2 Peter 2:20, 21; 1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 2:4, 5).
The whole emphasis of the Scriptures is on the freedom of choice that God gave man. And it teaches that man will continue to have free will even after they’ve accepted salvation. The Bible gives many examples of people who have fallen away from God after they had accepted Him (Philippians 3:18; 1 Timothy 6:20-21). And it is prophesied that there will be many more such individuals in the future (2 Thessalonians 2:3).
The fact that the Bible warns believers from falling into sin means that they can fall if they are not on their guard (Matthew 7:24-27; 10:33; Luke 6:46-49; 14:34-35; Romans 11:17-23; 1 Corinthians 10:6-12; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 3:6-19; 10:35-39; 2 John 1:8-9). The Scriptures show the necessity of an active effort in holding onto faith (1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7).
In addition, the Bible teaches that salvation is conditional upon a believers’ continued faith in the Lord (Colossians 1:21-23; 2 Timothy 2:11-13; 1 Corinthians 15:2; Hebrews 3:6,14) and urges believers to protect their faith lest they lose it (2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 John 8-9; John 15:5-6).
There is only one way in which the sheep may be removed from the Security of Salvation in the shepherd’s hand, and that is by their own voluntary choice. The Bible doesn’t teach the wrong doctrine of “once a man is saved it is impossible for him to be lost.” There is nothing to prevent the sheep from wandering away from the shepherd’s care if they choose to do so.
The Lord wants us to have security of salvation. He said, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13). But the condition for knowing that we have eternal life is to believe and abide daily in the Lord following His steps.
In His service,