“They shall never perish!”
Our Lord Jesus Christ says, concerning his sheep, those who were chosen and redeemed by him, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:28). This sentence has in it three clauses. Each clause provides us with a gracious assurance of the believer’s eternal security and preservation in Christ.
A Divine Gift
Here is a divine gift: —“I give unto them eternal life.” Eternal life comes to men as a matter of grace. It is the gift of God. There was nothing in our hearts or in our conduct which caused God to bestow eternal life upon us. He loved us with an everlasting love. Therefore, in lovingkindness he bestowed upon us the gift of life. And there is nothing in the believer’s heart or conduct which can cause God to take away his gift of life. “The gifts and callings of God are without repentance.” When our Lord says, “I give unto them eternal life,” he uses the present tense. His meaning is, “I give and continue to give unto them eternal life.” We know that this gift of eternal life is entirely the work of God, in no way earned by or dependent upon the goodness of man; and, therefore, those to whom eternal life is given are eternally secure in Christ. The work of God cannot be destroyed (Ecclesiastes 3:14). Eternal life must be eternal.
A Divine Promise
Here is a divine promise: — “And they shall never perish!” Our Lord here makes a blanket promise. It takes into consideration all times, all circumstances, all events, all contingencies, and all possibilities. He says concerning all of his sheep, “I give unto them eternal life, and,” because they are my sheep and because I give them eternal life, “they shall never perish!” What if they are babes in Christ and their faith is weak? “They shall never perish!” What if they are young men and their passions are strong? “They shall never perish!” What if they are old men and their vision grows dim? “They shall never perish!” What if they are tempted? “They shall never perish!” What if all hell breaks loose upon them? “They shall never perish!” What if they sin? “They shall never perish!” What if they fall? “They shall never perish!” What if they sin again? “They shall never perish!”
This promise takes in all the flock, “They shall never perish!” Not one of Christ’s sheep shall ever perish, no not even one! This is not the distinctive privilege of a few. It is the common mercy of all God’s elect. If you are a believer, if you trust Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as your Lord and Savior, if you have received eternal life from him, you shall never perish! It is not possible for the child of God to sin away the grace of God bestowed upon him in the gift of eternal life.
A Divine Security
Here is a divine security: — “Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” We are preserved in the heart of his eternal love; and we are preserved in the hand of his omnipotent grace. “All thy saints are in thy hands.” We are in the hands of Christ our God and Savior, always in his hands. What a blessed place to be! Because we are in his hand, we shall never perish!
I know that this blessed doctrine of the believer’s security in Christ draws a strong response from men. The self-righteous religionist will say, “We cannot have such a doctrine. It will lead men into sin.” The presumptuous professor of religion will say, “Let us sin that grace may abound. Since we are saved by grace, it does not matter how we live.” But the true believer will say, “Such marvelous grace compels me to give myself wholeheartedly to Christ in love, praise and service.” Every true experience of God’s saving grace in Christ produces gratitude in the heart, and gratitude produces dedication to Christ, who promises, “They shall never perish!”
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