No One Can Snatch You Away

John 10:27-30, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

If you are a Christian, take Christ’s words here to heart. None can snatch you out of His hands–none can take your salvation from you. Calvinists think this is proof of their “perseverance of the saints” false doctrine–that a Christian cannot fall away from the faith; but Jesus is here describing being snatched by someone, such as the Devil and unbelievers. He is not describing here a sheep who leaps out of Christ’s hand, which sheep certainly do, as Christ explains in two parables (Luke 15:1-7; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23). Christ seeks after His sheep who have gone astray, but they either continue running or they are found dead if they refuse to take comfort in Christ’s hand.

Fear not! If you love Christ, no one can snatch you away, but be careful where you walk lest you fall. If you stumble, do not fret, for Christ’s invitation is always freely available (Matthew 11:28-30). If you are ever worried if you have fallen from God’s grace, this is proof that you have not, for one who has fallen from God’s grace does not care if he has. If this still is not comforting, seek out your pastor and receive Absolution and/or the Lord’s Supper, and remember your Baptism. For in these sacraments God’s promise is delivered to you–that you are forgiven and belong to Him.

This promise is certain, for it is God who effects this promise. He does so through His Word, which brings about reality. Luther: “If He were not Himself present and watching, the devil would have long ago torn us all away and blotted us out, along with God’s Word and Christ’s name” (Church Postil, sermon for Easter 2 on 1 Peter 2:20-25, LW 77:171).

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