OSAS and John 10:27-28

“The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, THEY WILL NEVER BE LOST and no one will ever steal them from my hand.”

This verse is used to defend the heretical doctrine of OSAS. I have heard previous interpretations about what “no one will ever steal them from my hand” means but I would like to focus on the part where it says “they will never be lost”. What is the Catholic interpretation of this? I ask because a Protestant told me it’s clear that they will never be lost means they will never be lost (in other words they will never be condemned).

Thank you and God bless

It’s all in the translation. :wink:

The Greek here is “καὶ οὐ μὴ ἀπόλωνται εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα” (‘and they shall not perish in this age’).

The NAB renders this phrase as “and they shall never perish”. Nearly all translations use ‘perish’; the ISV, however, renders it as “they’ll never be lost.” It’s this modification from ‘perish’ to ‘be lost’ that enables the passage to be mis-interpreted. The force of ἀπόλωνται here is “to perish and be utterly lost.”

In context, Jesus has just asserted that He gives eternal life, and this clause qualifies that assertion – it’s the kind of eternal life that never ends in death. So, I would assert that it’s not talking about our destination so much as it’s affirming that there is no death/destruction of souls, ever.

No one can ever steal them from my hand…this is very Catholic.

But one on their own, through pride and disobedience, can reject God’s love and gift of everlasting life. We have free will to say “no thank you.”

The parable of the vine shows what can happen, an explicit counter to OSAS: a branch attached to the vine (definitely a believer) can be cutoff, bundled, and thrown into the fire.

And for what it is worth, in reading the writings of the early Church - and scripture, one can not find the words “once saved, always saved,” nor the theology itself. St. Paul makes this very clear in his writings as well…to run the race…that he judges himself not…God is his judge.

Very interesting point you brought up!
The point JESUS was trying to make
is that He only can save to the utter-
most, for THOSE WHO follow the Shep-
herd!!

No one can ever steal them from my hand…this is very Catholic.

But one on their own, through pride and disobedience, can reject God’s love and gift of everlasting life. We have free will to say “no thank you.”

I have heard the answer to this before but that wasn’t my question

“The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, THEY WILL NEVER BE LOST and no one will ever steal them from my hand.”

This verse is used to defend the heretical doctrine of OSAS. I have heard previous interpretations about what “no one will ever steal them from my hand” means but I would like to focus on the part where it says “they will never be lost”.

I would like to know the Catholic for “they will never be lost” and NOT for “no one can ever steal them from my hand”.

Fundamentalists and some Protestants often truncate the verse in order to make it say what they wish to believe. However, we understand it as written with all the caveats:
"My sheep hear My voice, and** I know them**, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

Jesus never said that whenever a person makes a commitment to “accept Him as their Savior” that no matter what they do thereafter has no possibility of their becoming lost.
He qualifies it thus: they hear My voice and “they follow Me.” And in THAT sense, He gives them eternal life.

A little earlier Jesus says:

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

So note that there are lots of different kinds of sheep. There are the sheep that belong to Jesus and are part of his pen, and apparently there are other sheep that know Jesus and follow him, but are not part of his pen. I guess that is all the Christians, perhaps non-Jews. There seems to also be sheep that do not know Jesus - not his sheep, since only the sheep that know Jesus follow him.

Anyway, a bit later comes your quote,

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.

So those sheep who follow him never parish. But what about the sheep that turns around and stops following him. I believe Jesus refers to those as the lost sheep.

Remember how Jesus rejoices when the lost sheep return home!?! From Luke 15:
*
‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.*

Why would he rejoice if the lost sheep was once saved always saved?

Who is Jesus talking about? The sheep that belong to him and listen to his voice.

People who stop listening to Jesus’ voice are no longer grouped into that.

It just seems pretty straightforward to me. If you listen and follow Jesus, you will never perish or be lost. I don’t read it as saying “If you have ever listened and followed me…” The listening to him and following him strikes me as a life-long pursuit; it’s an ongoing action, not a one-time event. There are plenty of other passages which affirm this interpretation.

:shrug:

So, they, whoever they were, were apparently never lost. One must consider Scripture in its whole context in any case. And Scripture continously admonishes believers to refrain from sin, be holy, be perfect, invest their talents, strive, persevere, do good, remain in Christ, live in the Spirit, remain faithful, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love each other, etc, etc, generally with the loss of place in the kingdom at stake. We can become those who’ve tasted the heavenly gift and later rejected it, poor soil where the word took root and later whithered and died, branches grafted in but later cut off. All Scriptural.

A few other posters hit the nail on the head. The promise of eternal salvation is for the SHEEP. The verses before describe who the sheep are. Jesus’ sheep are the ones who hear His voice AND follow Him. So long as you remain a sheep, the promise of eternal salvation is for you. If you sin (mortally) and turn away from the Lord, and do not repent, you yourself jump out of His hand, so to speak.

Scriptures that may of interest:

2 Peter 2:20-21- “20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.” So a believer (this was written specifically about believers) becomes defiled in sin once again is in a WORSE state than they were in before they had been a believer.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 26 Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; 27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, **lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
** If Paul could be disqualified, it seems reasonable that any of us could be.

Rev 3:15- 15 Jesus says "'I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,** I will spew you out of my mouth. ** Notice, this is not about believing in Jesus but about their works.

www.defendingthebride.com/mo/salvation.html#question

[LEFT]**Question :

Do the following verses show that we cannot lose salvation ?

John 10:27-28
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

Answer : No

Three reasons.
1.
The perils of private interpretation with there being thousands and thousands of “Bible Alone” churches each contradicting each other should give great caution from adopting an interpretation that contradicts what the Church established by Christ teaches.

The phrases “eternal life” and “they shall never perish” describes a quality of being of a saving relationship, and not the aspect of whether or not a person can later reject that saving relationship.

While on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land I was impressed with just how arid the southern part of Israel is. It looks like a desert. Living so long ago without electricity to keep your food from spoiling or without the abundance of clean running water must have made one constantly aware of one’s own mortality. In Christ we have security, as long as we remain in Christ. We never have to worry about losing our life, of dying, or of being lost as long as we remain in Christ.

In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 Saint Paul lists about a dozen different ways he might have died or been lost (at sea), yet as long as he is in Christ he knows that he will never die or be lost.

**[/LEFT]
[LEFT]**We are saved if we have Christ in our hearts, but we will lose our salvation we lose our faith in Him. Christ holds us in his hand (Jn. 10:28) and no one else can forcibly remove us, but we are still free to leave. When we receive Christ we receive the gift of eternal life, but if we later abandon our faith in Christ and reject He who is Life, then we also reject His gift of eternal life.

**[/LEFT]
[LEFT]**3.
The misunderstanding of “once saved always saved” is clearly contradicted in several other scripture passages.

.
**[/LEFT]

Would the fallen angles be evidence of lost salvation from the osas pov?

Peace!!!

It’s a conditional statement. The conditions must be met or the conclusion won’t happen

there are people that THINK they listen to Jesus voice
there are people that THINK they follow Him

How can people think they do these and aren’t in His Church, faithfully living and receiving His sacraments?

Again it’s a conditional conclusion. The conditions mentioned must be met, and met continuously till the end of one’s life, or that conclusion won’t happen…

Listen and follow Jesus means to do everything He says to do for one’s entire life. Protestants can’t do that while remaining Protestant, outside Our Lord’s Church.

The Shepherd bring the sheep out to the pasture everyday. He calls out everyday to them and they follow him home at the end of day if they listen.

OSAS assumes that if I hear and listen to him today, I will be taken care off forever. And that is not true. The sheep must listen AND follow HIM EVERYDAY. If the next day the sheep listen to the wolves and run off with them, that is the end of that sheep. OSAS is a very dangerous and false teaching. All that bleating goes to nought. It is an insurance scam on one’s soul of the highest order. It gives false security and really you are not covered at all, not even a tiny little bit. If you every bought insurance before, the premiums really reflect the amount of coverage. One sinner’s prayer doesn’t even pay for the first installment, just count it as “indication of interest”.

Salvation implies first being lost. Apparently there simply is no salvation for angels who rebelled against God and fell.

Well… be careful with that. A smartypants might come along and point out to you that, in the Greek text, there’s no conditional statement. In fact, the closest you get is a subjunctive (for the verb ‘perish’) and even that usage is a distinct one: it’s used as emphatic negation (in other words, Jesus is saying that there’s not even the possibility of perishing / being lost).

So, I don’t think you can use the exegesis you’re trying to build here. Your conclusion might hold; but you can’t use this approach to get you there.

Again it’s a conditional conclusion.

Not in the grammar, it’s not. :wink:

Then they show they aren’t so smart when it comes to a shepherd’s voice and his flock.

I’ve been to the holy land where flocks get mixed and they intermingle at night… Shepherds there ( bedoins many of them) can mix their herds at night, and their sheep aren’t marked or branded to tell visually which sheep belongs to which flock or shepherd. When ever it happens, the sheep separate from each other based on the shepherds voice. And they separate perfectly. I saw that demonstrated personally when I was there…

:hmmm:Come to think of it, none of those shepherds spoke Greek.

Here’s another smaller example that I can show visually. Do sheep only obey their Master’s voice? - YouTube

Your point wasn’t about shepherds’ voices; it was about conditional statements. :wink:

:hmmm:Come to think of it, none of those shepherds spoke Greek.

And so, we’d hope that they wouldn’t make claims that they couldn’t support. :shrug:

Previously I failed to clearly distinguish between physical life and spiritual life, so I re-worded it below. I did not use the translation that speaks about
“never be lost” but I indirectly address it below:

www.defendingthebride.com/mo/salvation.html#question

Question :

Do the following verses show that we cannot lose salvation ?

John 10:27-28
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

The phrases “eternal life” and “they shall never perish” describe the gifts given to those who “hear” and “follow” Jesus, the One and only Savior. Only as long as one hears and follows Jesus do we have those gifts. Jesus has eternal life by the very essence of who He is, Life itself. The Christian possesses these gifts of eternal life and of never perishing in a way that is dependent on Jesus and dependent on remaining in a saving relationship with Him. If a Christian later rejects Jesus he then loses those gifts.

The early Christians lived in a time when life was hard. Without electricity to keep one’s food from spoiling or without the abundance of clean running water every individual had to be constantly aware of one’s own physical mortality. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 Saint Paul Paul lists about a dozen different ways he might have physically died or have been lost (at sea).

Without Jesus Christ the pagans were spiritually dead and spiritually lost. The pagans had many gods. It was so hard to tell if they were pleasing the “right god” at the right time. They even acknowledged the unknown god, to cover that contingency, Acts 17:23.

Jesus gives His followers the gifts of spiritual life and spiritual guidance. We never have to worry about losing our physical life, or of being physically lost, because He gives us these more important gifts of spiritual life and spiritual guidance. In Christ we have security as long as we remain in Christ.

Protestants will often claim a spiritual unity based on their claim to “having a personal relationship with Jesus,” and “being saved by Faith Alone” and by “following the Bible Alone.” However, when they start to define what those vague phrases actually mean the end up splitting into thousands and thousands of denominations.

They have no infallible guidance as to how many books belong in the New Testament, the Bible, or to what the names of those books are. They also have no infallible guidance as to what those books mean (according to their theology) unless they arrogantly assume that only they and their small particular group is sincere in listening to the Holy Spirit.

They are spiritually lost in how to answer many questions. How can a Protestant claim to know that the Bible doesn’t really mean that Baptism really saves us even though the Bible says that it does ?

How can a Protestant claim “to know” that the Bible does not really mean that Jesus gives us His flesh to eat and His blood to drink and that we perish if we do not eat and drink His body and blood when the Bible says that Jesus does do this and that we must eat and drink His flesh and blood ?

God does not want us to be spiritually lost in any way. It is by hearing Jesus’ words and following and trusting in His promises that He gives to the Church He started, that we can have infallible guidance to answer all the important questions we might have.

Christ holds us in his hand (Jn. 10:28) and no one else can forcibly remove us, but we are still free to leave. When we receive Christ we receive the gift of eternal life, but if we later abandon our faith in Christ and reject He who is Life, then we also reject His gift of eternal life.

That verse could be speaking of the elect who are or will be given the gift of final perseverance.

From the Haydock Commentary:
Ver. 28. They shall not perish for ever: and no man shall snatch them out of my hand. He speaks of his elect, of those whom he called by a special Providence and mercy, whom he blessed with more than ordinary graces, and with the gift of final perseverance to the end in his grace.

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