“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28, ESV)
This statement reminds me of a conversation I once had with my best friend in high school. We were arguing about whether or not one could “lose” one’s salvation. I pointed out this verse. He responded: “Well, sure, no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand, but what is to keep us from getting up and walking away?” [Which is a bit ironic because he chose to do just that sometime after college, but I digress].
The question, of course, remains, does this verse teach “once saved, always saved?”
The very basis of the question, I have come to discover, is incorrect. To put it plainly, the Bible is never interested in the question, “can you lose your salvation?” or “is it true that once we are saved, we are always saved?” The Bible’s perspective is that the true saint will persevere in the faith.
The writer to the Hebrews put it this way: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” (Hebrews 3:12–14, ESV)
The perspective of the biblical writers was not to look back to some point at which you “prayed to receive Christ;” it was to look forward and to encourage believers to hold fast in the faith to the end of their lives.
Arminians and Calvinists can (and do!) argue about whether or not it is possible to lose one’s salvation, I don’t really care about the question, I’m more interested in encouraging others (and myself) to persevere in the faith.
Press on, Arminian! Press on Calvinist! Pay attention to your walk so that you may not fall away from the living God.