Unconditional Security and John 10:28-29

A favorite scripture of a those who defend u conditional security or once saved always saved is John 10:28-29.

Is that really what that passage teaches? No. Not at all.

Proponents of unconditional security also make an issue of the “no one can snatch” phrases in John 10:28-29. Here again it is very helpful to look at the original language.

The word translated as “snatch” or “pluck” comes from the Greek harpazo. The same term is also translated “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17,which relates the rapture of the church. It is in fact the source for the word “rapture” (Greek-harpazo- Latin Rapere = English rapture).

This sheds light on harpazo as used in John 10:28-29 which means “TO BE CARRIED OFF BY FORCE,” to be snatched up or caught up INDEPENDENT OF ONE’S ABILITY.

As it appears in 1 Thes. 4:17 it explains that we will be snatched into the air by Jesus,not by our own power.

Harpazo has the same meaning in John 10 indicating that we cannot be taken away independent of our ability or power. In other words,no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand against our will. We are indeed safe because we “through faith are shielded by God’s power” (I Peter 1:5 NIV).


Rather,we are assured that NO ONE CAN TAKE US BY FORCE from God’s hand as we sit helplessly. So again John 10:28-29 articulates the believer’s CONDITIONAL assurance.

The Believer’s Conditional Security by Daniel Corner Evangelical Outreach; PO Box256,Washington,PA 15301-0265 Third Edition: 2000; pg ii-iii

Unconditional security or once saved always saved is not a scriptural teaching. It never has been a scriptural teaching.

No one in the early church believed in unconditional security for the first three to four hundred years. This is a new development in modern Christianity.

Can a person who is a true Christian and live the holy life yet believes in this unconditional security teaching still make heaven? Of course.

But many will not. This is a dangerous doctrine that excuses sin and makes little of holy living.

Why is this an important difference? People who believe in unconditional security also believe that a Christian will sin everyday; all the time.

People who are taught once saved always saved are also taught that a Christian can never overcome the flesh in this life.

People who believe in unconditional security or once saved always saved believe the only difference between an unsaved person and a born-again person is the born-again person is forgiven while the unsaved person isn’t.

There are hundreds of scriptures that teach the exact opposite.

So can a person who believes in once saved always saved live a holy life and make heaven. YES!

But most will not because they don’t even think holy living in this life is possible let along required.

It is a dangerous teaching.


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