… I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
Historically this truth has come to be known as the doctrine of “Perseverance of the Saints,” however it would be better named “Preservation of the Saints,” as it is God who keeps His sheep saved to the uttermost. Opponents of this truth have no way of explaining away the plain, clear words of this text in John 10, which is emphasized all the more strongly in the original Greek. If I am of His fold – that is if I hear His voice and follow Him – and one day I perish eternally, then Jesus Christ has not kept His word.
Man in his duplicity of mind could never make such an unconditional statement. God has entered into an eternal covenant with His people which is secured by His Word, and described by Jesus in no plainer words than here in our text. The reason that Christ’s sheep (that is those who hear and follow Him) cannot be lost, is because they have been given an irrevocable gift of eternal life. On our own, we cannot merit this gift nor is it within our ability to hold onto it, once it is given to us. If our eternal life were left to our care, we would surely lose it; however, thankfully it is not in our hands, but doubly secure in the hands of the Good Shepherd and His Father, who is “greater than all.” Because God is absolutely faithful to His unconditional covenant of grace, He can promise us eternal life and make good on that promise.