Does John 6:39 Teach Once Saved Always Saved?

Last week I was talking to the host (Matt) of a radio program loyal to Calvinism. We were discussing on air the issue of Once Saved Always Saved, and Matt brought up what I think is his favorite verse in defense of the Once Saved Always Saved theory. Here is how that verse (John 6:39) reads “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing ….”

On the surface the verse might appear to teach what Matt was contending for, but Jesus’ prayer in John 17 shows it does not. John 17:12 reads “… those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition …” Matt cut me off two or three times to keep me from reading John 17:12 on the air, because he knew the verse would quickly and conclusively prove to all honest truth seekers that his use of John 6:39 was unsound. Finally I was able to blurt out and read the verse when Matt took a pause.

Matt’s use of John 6:39 ignores the difference (that even Calvinists recognize) in God’s predestined will and God prescribed will. “God’s predestined will is unconditional and therefore, unstoppable.” That is mentioned in passages like Acts 2:23. God’s prescribed will is what God wants, but does not necessarily force to happen. A good example of God’s prescribed will is found in passages like Mark 3:35 and I Thess 4:3 (“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye abstain from fornication” – ASV). I Thess 4:3 doesn’t mean it is impossible for Christians to commit fornication; instead it means God desires that Christians not commit fornication. It should be obvious John 6:39 is talking about God’s prescribed will since Judas is mentioned as an exception to the rule stated.

Which leads into my next point. Matt’s use of John 6:39 also ignores the fact that general rules often have stated exceptions. For example Luke 16:18a (“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery”) expresses God’s general rule that all divorce and remarriage constitutes adultery, but Matt 19:9a (“…Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery”) states the only exception to that general rule. I am sure Matt would agree with this “general rules sometimes have exceptions” concept demonstrated by Luke 16:18 and Matt 19:9, so why can’t he see the same thing might be going on with John 6:39 and John 17:12?

There are hundreds of Bible verses that conclusively prove Once Saved Always Saved is a false doctrine. Drop me an email and I will send you a long list of them.

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