John 6:44 and Eternal Security


#1

Hi all. I’m Catholic, but have been having some problems with the issue of eternal security and John 6:44. Here is the quote:

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).

This passage seems to suggest that all those drawn by the Father will be saved. The Greek tense used for “come” is the aorist tense, referring to a point action. The tense used for “draw” is also aorist. So those who “drawn and came at one point” to Jesus will be raised at the last day. But as Catholics we believe that there are certain people who are drawn and come to Jesus, but fall away later due to their own sin. If I’m wrong about the Greek, please correct me.

I’ve heard some Catholic apologists say that the tense used is inceptive aorist, denoting a point where the coming begins and continues to take action. But I’ve also heard some Protestant apologists claim that the inceptive aorist is not used here due to the grammatical structure. So the a point action is still denoted here.

Also, some try to say that what is being spoken of is the elect, and not born again Christians that fall away. But the language of the passage seems to suggest that all Christians who are drawn and come will be raised up. Could anybody offer any help here? :confused:


#2

<< But the language of the passage seems to suggest that all Christians who are drawn and come will be raised up. Could anybody offer any help here? >>

It is a pet text of 5-point Calvinists (James White, etc). You can find any number of responses on the net. The two texts that seem relevant

John 6:44
No-one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 12:32
But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.

This second text implies “all men” will be drawn, but of course not all men will ultimately be saved. Calvinists interpret this meaning men of all nations, kindreds, peoples, etc. Just as they do “God desires all men to be saved” and “Christ died for all” (1 Tim 2:4,6; 1 John 2:2) means all types of people to them, etc.

John 15:6
If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

Also seems to be relevant. Just throwing a few texts out, haven’t done a detailed study on this. Some sites

Discusses John 12:32

Calvinist deals with John 6:44 and replies to John 12:32

Non-calvinist deals with John 6

The best full length book against “eternal security” is probably the one by Robert Shank (a baptist) titled Life in the Son (1989). Sungenis (Not By Faith Alone) and Akin (Salvation Controversy) deal with the relevant texts including John 6:44 also.

Also this guy is pretty sure eternal security is unbiblical :stuck_out_tongue:

Phil P


#3

I do not know the Greek, Latin, Heb, or the other languages to get into a discussion on their use so I would have to defer to someone else.

A question I have for you though is this: Is the thought you propose in line with the rest of scripture? There can be no contradiction as it is the Word of God and if there seems to be one it is our understanding that is off, not God’s word. That is why we have the gift of the Church she helps us avoid that trap.

Another question early on the Bible did not have chapter and verse and I do not say that it is a bad thing but do believe it requires caution as it is easy to take one line and get out of context with the whole story. I don’t want to confuse but I think part of the point Our Lord was trying to get across there was 1. He is God, 2. We need to eat his Body, 3. The faith to believe this comes as a gift. I do not however see where he takes away free will by the gift of faith, so to me you could believe and then be like the seeds sown in Mt 13:3 - 8

If it seems to be a contradiction with another part of scripture I ask God for guidance as I do not believe that He would contradict himself, and if I still do not get it straight I understand that I may have to wait until I see him face to face, to understand the beauty of His gifts to us.

Hope I have not confused anyone.

God Bless and Be Safe


#4

The issue of eternal security should be addressed by the entirety of scripture which clearly indicates that such a concept is erroneous. I have personally researched and have compiled over sixty New Testament verses that clearly contradict the teaching of “Once Saved Always Saved.”

If you feel that these verses would be helpful I can email the file.
I have successfully persuaded believers in this teaching that it is indeed unbiblical, but they still remain members of their respective churches. Nudging people off of the idea of eternal security can, however, be a first step in their converion.


#5

Thanks all! And by all, I mean all the people, and not just the elect… :bounce:

Just in case anybody was confused, that referred to the usual Calvinist dodge to John 12:32.

I just found an answer also. John 6:44 says that people are drawn, but it doesn’t say that all that were drawn will certainly come to Christ. It definitely leaves open the possibility that certain people will resist the drawing of the Father, thus not come to Christ.

And those that are given are the elect, who will not be cast out and will be raised up. These are the people who come to Christ. But v. 44 clearly allows that all people will be drawn while certain people will resist, coupled with John 12:32. Thanks again!


#6

[quote=Pax]The issue of eternal security should be addressed by the entirety of scripture which clearly indicates that such a concept is erroneous. I have personally researched and have compiled over sixty New Testament verses that clearly contradict the teaching of “Once Saved Always Saved.”

If you feel that these verses would be helpful I can email the file.
I have successfully persuaded believers in this teaching that it is indeed unbiblical, but they still remain members of their respective churches. Nudging people off of the idea of eternal security can, however, be a first step in their converion.
[/quote]

I’d love to see it:

webmaster@saintmichaelcenter.com


#7

[quote=FrancisDeSales]I just found an answer also. John 6:44 says that people are drawn, but it doesn’t say that all that were drawn will certainly come to Christ. It definitely leaves open the possibility that certain people will resist the drawing of the Father, thus not come to Christ.
[/quote]

–John 6:38-39

So you are saying that Christ can fail in his mission?

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

God bless,
c0ach


#8

[quote=c0achmcguirk]–John 6:38-39

So you are saying that Christ can fail in his mission?

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

God bless,
c0ach
[/quote]

No, but we people, who have free will can!


#9

[quote=Rae]No, but we people, who have free will can!
[/quote]

So Christ can’t fail in his mission…but humans can make Christ fail in his mission?

There’s a contradiction here. If Christ says that he shall lose none (JN 6:38-39), and you say he can’t fail in that mission, why then do you insist in the same breath that “we people” can make Christ fail?


#10

We may be called…but that doesn’t mean we’ll stay the course. Following Jesus’ call is something we must perservere our entire lives. There is ALWAYS the chance that we could be tempted and fall away from Jesus. It’s His call…but it’s our choice!!


#11

[quote=DVIN CKS]We may be called…but that doesn’t mean we’ll stay the course. Following Jesus’ call is something we must perservere our entire lives. There is ALWAYS the chance that we could be tempted and fall away from Jesus. It’s His call…but it’s our choice!!
[/quote]

So Christ fails in His mission, then? The one He was sent by the Father to do? (cf. John 6:38-39)


#12

[quote=FrancisDeSales]Hi all. I’m Catholic, but have been having some problems with the issue of eternal security and John 6:44. Here is the quote:

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).

This passage seems to suggest that all those drawn by the Father will be saved. The Greek tense used for “come” is the aorist tense, referring to a point action. The tense used for “draw” is also aorist. So those who “drawn and came at one point” to Jesus will be raised at the last day. But as Catholics we believe that there are certain people who are drawn and come to Jesus, but fall away later due to their own sin. If I’m wrong about the Greek, please correct me.

I’ve heard some Catholic apologists say that the tense used is inceptive aorist, denoting a point where the coming begins and continues to take action. But I’ve also heard some Protestant apologists claim that the inceptive aorist is not used here due to the grammatical structure. So the a point action is still denoted here.

Also, some try to say that what is being spoken of is the elect, and not born again Christians that fall away. But the language of the passage seems to suggest that all Christians who are drawn and come will be raised up. Could anybody offer any help here? :confused:
[/quote]

Wrong assumption. This verse assumes that the person will stay a good chistian and run the race and attain salvation at the end.

Its like someone saying that “wow I’m going to Notre Dame when I grow up” and you say sure you are. The unspoken assumption is that you will finish high school, score high on your SAT and do everything necessary to get there..


#13

[quote=cmom]Wrong assumption. This verse assumes that the person will stay a good chistian and run the race and attain salvation at the end.
[/quote]

The assumption is there because Christ says that is what will happen:

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
– John 6:37

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day
–John 6:44

Notice how Jesus says that He will raise up (save) all who come to Him? If you say that people can fall away from being saved then you are saying that Christ can fail in his mission:

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
–John 6:38-39

Can Christ fail in His mission and lose some of those who have been given to Him?

NOTE: I am not saying that all that call themselves Christian are saved, there are those who appear to fall away (from our perspective). But that’s because they weren’t drawn by the Father anyway:

They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
–1 John 2:19

The true elect will persevere to the end.

God bless,
c0ach


#14

[quote=c0achmcguirk]–John 6:38-39

So you are saying that Christ can fail in his mission?

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

God bless,
c0ach
[/quote]

That is indeed His will, and IF only humans would ALL follow His will this would be heaven on earth. We do ALL however sin, which is NOT His will. He has given us our own “free will” we can choose, and often choose poorly, and do not follow His will. Scripture does tell us His will, not necessarilly what IS done. No He doesn’t fail, we do.


#15

[quote=c0achmcguirk]The assumption is there because Christ says that is what will happen:

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
– John 6:37

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day
–John 6:44

Notice how Jesus says that He will raise up (save) all who come to Him? If you say that people can fall away from being saved then you are saying that Christ can fail in his mission:

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
–John 6:38-39

Can Christ fail in His mission and lose some of those who have been given to Him?

NOTE: I am not saying that all that call themselves Christian are saved, there are those who appear to fall away (from our perspective). But that’s because they weren’t drawn by the Father anyway:

They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
–1 John 2:19

The true elect will persevere to the end.

God bless,
c0ach
[/quote]

lol
How convenient. If somebody turns back to sin, you say he wasn’t saved in the first place.

God gave us free will, not some eternal security blanket.


#16

Hey coach, I’ve seen you on other boards (Julie Staples, and the Envoy board). Welcome. It seems there are many disagreements among Protestants on this issue:

Eternal Security Refuted by the Book of Hebrews Part I of IV

The Believer’s Conditional Security book by Dan Corner

Life in the Son book by Robert Shank

Thoughts on the Endless Debate

Just a quick search produced these links. Is it right to be so “dogmatic” on eternal security when so many of your fellow Protestants disagree?

I do have Shank, but haven’t studied the issue in depth.

Phil P


#17

matt1618.freeyellow.com/fallaway.html

catholic.com/library/Assurance_of_Salvation.asp

cathinsight.com/apologetics/myth.htm


#18

Christ dosn’t fail in His mission…we fail in ours. Chirst’s mission isn’t to lose those who are called. Christ doesn’t make us fall away from Him. We fall away from Christ thanks to our own God-given gift of free will.

The fact that we are constantly being called – everyday of our lives – means that Christ isn’t failing us in his mission. He’s always there waiting for us to answer. We are the ones who fail Christ by not answering the call.


#19

[quote=Tom]That is indeed His will, and IF only humans would ALL follow His will this would be heaven on earth. We do ALL however sin, which is NOT His will. He has given us our own “free will” we can choose, and often choose poorly, and do not follow His will. Scripture does tell us His will, not necessarilly what IS done. No He doesn’t fail, we do.
[/quote]

So why does Christ fail in HIs mission? Is it because He *won’t * follow God’s will, or because He can’t obey the Father’s will?

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
–John 6:38-39


#20

[quote=cmom]lol
How convenient. If somebody turns back to sin, you say he wasn’t saved in the first place.
[/quote]

Convenience and what I say have nothing to do with this. We must ask ourselves, what does the Bible teach on this?

[quote=cmom]God gave us free will, not some eternal security blanket.
[/quote]

Where does the Bible teach of this free will?


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