John 5: 38


John 5: 38
“And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.”

Does this passage imply that one can have faith and then not have faith?


This verse alone would be our Lord Jesus informing the Jews who were opposing Him that they do not believe what God has passed down (Scripture) because they don’t believe in Jesus Christ. The following verses clarify this:

John 5:39-40

You search the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf.

But you do not want to come to me to have life.


Jesus is telling them that they have no faith. If they don’t recognize and hear God when they encounter Jesus, then they’re opposing God.


God’s word is that he is agape love. The Jews instead believed in the picture of a god shown them at Mount Sinai. That was not a true picture of God, but rather the one the Jews would accept. If you read Psalm 78 it tells in detail how the Jews would not accept the loving God that took them out of Egypt. Jesus came to show the real picture of God and rebuked many of the things that god said. Unfortunately today’s Christian church still follows that god, the one shown at Mount Sinai. So if you follow what the Christian churches teach you do not have the word dwelling in you. A God of agape love would never throw his children into an eternal place of suffering. God said in Isaiah 8:20 that if anything was said about him that went against the law of love there was no truth in it. So do you have his word dwelling in you?


This is heresy. Our Lord did not rebuke what was taught at Mt. Sinai, He fulfilled what was spoken at Sinai. His Sermon on the Mount corrects the misinterpretations the Jews had taken them to mean.

The Lord Jesus Himself talks of Everlasting Suffering.

Matthew 25:31-46

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne,

and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,

naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,

a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’

He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’

And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

– Note the last verse, “And these will go off to eternal punishment”.


God can not, has not, and will not change. God has always, forever in the past and forever into eternity, loved His children. This does not by any stretch mean that He removes all rules He has laid out for us. Nor does this mean that there is no punishment. An Agape Father desires only what is best for His children, and sometimes this means that His children must be punished…but we Catholics, and indeed most all people who adopt the title of Christian, understand that we, as His children can indeed choose to disobey Him. This is called sin, and Scripture, OT and NT alike, make it quite clear that choosing sin over the will of God will cause us to be separated from Him in eternity…I am struggling to see how you could be well read enough to offer an interpretation on Psalm 78 but not well read enough to see the volumes of references regarding eternal damnation? Hell is very real and we should constantly be looking away from it and instead be seeking God.
Jesus in no way rebuked Himself, nor did He rebuke His Father. Rebuke the scribes and Pharisees? Certainly. But not because of the law, and certainly not because of their image of who God was, but because of their twisting of the texts to apply the Law that God Himself had laid before them so that the Scribes and Pharisees could elevate themselves. Jesus even instructed the people to listen to the Scribes and Pharisees IN SPITE of them acting as hypocrites. He fulfilled the Law rather than abolish it.

I will pray that Our Lord will open your heart and mind to see that ALL of His promises are real and Truth…including the ones where He gives us fair warning that NOW is the time to turn away from sin and repent. I will ask you to read all of Matthew 25. The entire chapter lays out a number of different scenarios whereby God explains that those who choose Him are welcomed into Heaven, and those who choose to not do His will are sent away from Him…forever. Hell = eternal separation. Heaven = eternal communion with God.

Peace in Christ


A generally fair question Jim, and while I believe the answer to be a solid ‘Yes’, I am not so certain that this verse alone “proves” the concept out. Are you seeking a ‘proof-style’ verse to Scripturally support the idea that someone who once believed can fall away into un-belief?

Peace in Christ


I was looking only at this verse.

I see it as a unique verse and that perhaps not too many people have used it.

I will always take help, if you have additional passages.


God indeed won’t change. As a God of unconditional love he gave the Jews the only god they would follow.

DEUTERONOMY 19 : 21 "Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth

This was the instruction given to the Jews.

MATTHEW 5 : 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.” This was Jesus response.

The Mount Sinai god allowed them divorce.

MALACHI 2 : 16 “I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.”

If you know the story of Elijah hiding in the cave in 1 KINGS 19 : 11-13, Elijah didn’t come out when the wind shattered the rocks or when the fire came or at the earth quake, but he came out at the coming of a gentle whisper. He came out then because he knew the character of God. Now if you compare that to the picture at Mount Sinai you have just the opposite. You have smoke rolling off the mountain top like a furnace. A trumpet sound grew louder and louder and the entire mountain shook. If God doesn’t change only one could be the picture of God.

Moses told the Jews: “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you” (Ex 20:20)

He was testing whether they would obey this sort of god and their answer was we will do anything this god says.

In Hebrews 12 Paul tells us we do not have this type of god as shown at Mount Sinai.

This is what God said about what happened at Mount Sinai:
EZEKIEL 20 : 25 “I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by”

Phillip asked Jesus: Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." JOHN 14:8

He said this because Jesus was nothing like the god they had been led to believe in.

A Samaritan village did not welcome Jesus, so James and John asked if Jesus wanted them to call fire down from heaven. Jesus turned and rebuked them. They only asked because that was the picture of God they had been led to believe existed. If the Jews even complained the Mount Sinai god would rain fire on them or open a hole and swallow them.

Before Mount Sinai God asked Moses: "How long will you(the word is plural) refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?(Exodus 16:28)

After Mount Sinai there was no patient loving God, because that God they would not accept.

HEBREWS 2 : 8-11 “do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, WHERE YOUR FATHERS TESTED AND TRIED ME and for forty years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, 'THEIR HEARTS ARE ALWAYS GOING ASTRAY, AND THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN MY WAYS”

They were testing God and didn’t understand him as the Christian church doesn’t today.

HEBREWS 4 : 2 “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.”

The gospel is that we have a God of unconditional love and not that Jesus had to pay some kind of penalty. There was absolutely nothing said about paying any penalty, just that they refused to believe in this God that was agape love. In Luke 9:6 we have Jesus sending the disciples out to preach the gospel. If the gospel was that Jesus was going to die to pay some kind of penalty, why did they hide when he was being crucified? They should have been standing there saying we told you this would happen. There is much more


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