The Eternal Security of the Believer In Christ [John 17]


Once you are saved are you always saved? If you are struggling with the idea that you can lose your salvation, consider Christ’s prayer for all believers in John 17.

In chapter 17 of the Book of John, Jesus prays for Himself, His disciples and all believers who have ever lived and ever will live. Though this chapter is rich is confirming the believer’s eternal security in Christ, let’s focus our attention on verse 24.

John 17:24 NASB “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

Questions to consider:

  • What does Jesus desire?
  • Would God not answer the desire of Jesus?
  • If Jesus prays to the Father that He not lose any believers, how then can He lose any?

Supporting Scripture:

John 15:7 NASB “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Here, Jesus is telling us that if we abide in Him to ask whatever we wish and it will be done for us. How much more for Him who, in John 17:24, asks for those whom God has given Him to be with Him where He is – the very definition of Heaven?

Now, let’s look at verse 16.

John 15:16 NASB “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

If we who bear fruit are told to ask of the Father in Christ’s name, how would the Father not answer Christ, who in John 17:24, asks in His own name that all believers be saved?

The believer is secure in Christ.

Categories: Apologetics & Philosophy, The Eternal Security of the Believer In ChristTags: , , , , , , ,

8 comments

  1. You asked the question: “If Jesus prays to the Father that He not lose any believers, how then can He lose any?” This does not in itself guarantee that no believer will ever be lost because one of Jesus’ own disciples was lost – Judas, the son of perdition. Jesus himself acknowledges that despite his guarding them, Judas was lost – Jn 17:12.
    John 15:7 is not an unconditional promise; instead it is conditional because it contains the qualifier – “IF.” Therefore this verse does not apply to those who do not abide. Similarly in vs 10 “IF you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” Logically, if we do not keep his commandments, we do not abide in his love.

    • Jesus summed up the OT law by saying:

      And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
      [Matthew 22:37-40 NASB]

      what’s the difference? if you have to keep His commandments for your salvation, why not just keep all the Old Testament commandments and forget about Jesus?

      • Because it is absolutely crucial that one be able to distinguish between works that are associated with the keeping of the OT law with its observances and rituals which we know cannot save anyone, and works which we were created to do [Eph 2:10] and are an outward manifestation of our inward faith. Throughout the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul condemns the former but he never condemns the latter. We are not saved by keeping the OT law but our works done out of obedience to the Spirit are the evidence of true saving faith.

        • “We are not saved by keeping the OT law but our works done out of obedience to the Spirit are the evidence of true saving faith.” so, it’s our faith that comes first which produces our works. that’s exactly my point. if you say that we can lose our salvation, suddenly Christianity becomes works-based.

          what do you have to do to lose your salvation?

          • You would have to point out to me where in the Bible is works equated with obedience. We would agree that works done in our own flesh do not merit anything and works done by following the OT law do not merit anything. But what about works done out of obedience to Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit – the Bible never condemns those kinds of works. After all, we were created in Christ to do good works (Eph 2:10) and eternal life is given to those who obey Him; not just believe in Him (Heb 5:9).
            You ask what does one have to do to lose one’s salvation. My suggestion is study the book of 1st John. In 1st John 1, the apostle makes it clear that we all sin and to those who ARE WALKING IN THE LIGHT, occasional sin is forgiven when we repent (1 Jn 1:7-10). However later on in Chapter 3, John makes a crucial distinction between those believers whose lifestyles are characterized by walking in the light and fellowship with God versus those believers who walk in darkness by engaging in the PRACTICE of habitual sin.
            “Everyone who makes a PRACTICE OF SINNING also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother” (1 Jn 3:4-10).
            John makes it clear that we are not to presume that our sins are automatically forgiven when we refuse to turn away from habitual sin. His message is perfectly consistent with the rest of Scripture where we are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling and to persevere and overcome.

            • John says,

              My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. [1 John 2:1-2 NASB]

              Why do you think we need an “Advocate with the Father”?

              How much sin do you have to commit before you lose your salvation? One? Two? Ten? 1,000? One was good enough for Adam. It affected all of Creation and all the rest of us after him.

              We’re saved because of Christ’s finished work on the Cross and if we sin, and we do often, then we have an advocate with the Father. That’s the whole reason why Christ came, brother. To redeem people who couldn’t redeem themselves.

              So, liked I asked in the post, if Jesus prays to the Father that He not lose any believers, how then can He lose any?

              • As I said, 1 John is very clear; Jesus is indeed our advocate provided that we are walking in the light (1 Jn 1:7-10). And 1 Jn 3:4-10 is equally clear regarding those believers who practice sin. John refers to those who do so as children of the devil. While Jesus is an advocate for the children of God, no where in all of Scripture is Jesus depicted as an advocate for the children of the devil as they remain dead in their sins.
                Your question as to how many sins one has to commit before losing one’s salvation is really not germane to the discussion because the Greek word “poieo” in 1 Jn 3:4 is a present active participle translated as “continually doing.” Therefore it is not a question of “how many” sins one does but the fact that one continually does or practices sin that puts one in danger of condemnation and losing one’s salvation.
                If you still question John’s warning, perhaps Paul’s warning to the brothers and sisters in Rome will suffice:
                “Therefore, BRETHREN, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For IF you live according to the flesh YOU WILL DIE; but IF by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, YOU WILL LIVE” (Rom 8:12-13). We know that Paul is referring to spiritual death here because everyone dies physically regardless of how we live our lives. So believers who continue to sow to the flesh must face the consequences of spiritual death which is consistent with John’s warning to those who practice sin.
                Consider also Paul’s warning to Timothy concerning the selection of a church overseer. “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Tim 3:6). It is apparent that Paul is writing about a believer as he refers to him as a CONVERT. Paul warns that a convert is susceptible to the sin of pride if selected to hold office in the church and receive the SAME CONDEMNATION OF THE DEVIL.
                Lastly, your comment about Jesus not losing any believers he prays for is contradicted by the example of Judas’ betrayal and its consequences. Judas was one of the elect since the Father gave Judas to Jesus (Jn 17:9). Acts 1:17 confirms that Judas was a genuine disciple: “He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.” Yet in spite of all this Judas was LOST. “While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been LOST EXCEPT THE SON OF PERDITION, that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (Jn 17:12).

                • brother, a believer doesn’t remain dead in their sins. i’ve never heard of such a thing. Scripture doesn’t teach that, either. otherwise, what is the point of believing Christ? i encourage you to take up your concerns with Christ. i already have. Jesus is clear when He says,

                  John 6:37-40 NASB “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. [38] “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. [39] “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. [40] “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

                  and i just showed you that Judas was not saved. so, indeed, Jesus is right.

                  But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” [John 6:64-65 NASB]

                  you can’t take verses from the Bible and use them against other verses from the Bible.

                  i don’t have anything more to add. if you’re not going to believe Christ, you’re certainly not going to believe me. blessings to you on your quest of discovery.

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