My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:27-29)
I believe in the eternal security of the believer and in the insecurity of the make-believer. If a shepherd called his sheep one morning and out of five hundred sheep in the sheepfold one hundred came out and followed him, then I would conclude that those one hundred were his sheep. And I would also conclude that the other four hundred were not.
Friend, when He gives to them eternal life, that means they don’t earn it and they don’t work for it. He gives it to them. Note that it is eternal life. It is forever. If it plays out in a week, or in a year, or until they sin, then it is not eternal life after all. They are not really His sheep if the life does not last forever. The sheep may be in danger, but the Shepherd will protect them. They may be scattered, but He will gather them up again. May they backslide? Yes. Will they perish? No. The sheep may get into a pigpen, but there has never yet been a sheep in a pigpen that stayed there. Sheep and pigs do not live together. The sheep is always a sheep. No enemy, no man, no created being can pluck them out of the Savior’s hand. This is wonderful!
One time a fellow gave me the argument that one can jump out of His hand because we are free moral agents. Listen to the passage. It actually says “no created thing shall pluck them out of my hand.” He is the Shepherd. He is God. If you think you can jump out, the Father puts His hand right down on you, and you can’t do any jumping. Brother, He’s got you and you can’t get loose.When I say to you that He gives me eternal life and I shall never perish, you may accuse me of bragging. No, my friend, I am not bragging on myself; I’m bragging about my Shepherd. I have a wonderful Shepherd. He won’t lose any of His sheep.
The exciting story of Joseph and his brothers continues as Joseph (still unknown to them) demands his brothers go home and bring Benjamin back with them. Leaving Simeon behind as insurance they would return, the brothers arrive home and tell their father of the demand for Benjamin in return for food. Unsure, Jacob has no choice, because they are starving.All Sermons by Dr. J. Vernon McGee