Does John 10:28 prove “Once Saved Always Saved”

Does John 10:28 prove “Once Saved Always Saved”

John 10:28 has become one of the most widely used verses to back up the doctrine of "Once Saved Always Saved". In this article, we will look closely at that verse in its context to see whether the interpretation OSAS believers come up with is true.

As always done on, we will look at their objections and then respond. May God open our eyes to the Truth.


Bible Study

First, let us remember that to our brothers from the “Once Saved Always Saved” camp, after one is born again, there is no way they can lose their salvation and that is even if they go back willingly into a lifestyle of sin. 

I know some OSAS believers say “well if someone keeps sinning deliberately that means they were never saved to begin with”. To this my answer is simple, if you will honestly apply this to yourself and say “if I keep sinning deliberately then I have not really been saved”, then God bless you and go in peace dear brother. My issue is not with this camp of OSAS believers (even though it’s not biblical). My issue is with the camp of OSAS believers who say “we will never lose salvation even if we sin deliberately” and my biggest issue is with any preacher who teaches this.

So, let’s dive right into the passage in John 10 (King James Version).



John 10:24-30

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one.


“Once Saved Always Saved” objection

Let’s look at the objection they use for verses 28 and 29.


Objection: Nobody can pluck me out of Jesus’s hand including me and my willful sins

Here is what I usually hear from “Once Saved Always Saved” believers concerning verse 28:

“Once a person is saved–He can never be taken out of the hand of Jesus. A saved person will always be bound to Christ”.

And this is an excerpt from another known website:

“In my humble opinion, no passage of Scripture gives the believer more assurance and security than this one. We find here an unconditional statement from Christ himself that those who belong to him are his forever. This is true because we see they are in the Father’s hand and under His protection and care. It is the power of God the Father that provides the guarantee of the believer’s safety and security.” (taken from


The general idea behind the objection is this: “As part of Jesus’s sheep (whom God has chosen before the foundation of the world and given to His Son), Jesus gives us eternal life and we shall never perish and no man is able to pluck ut out of His hand because God is greater than all. Since God is greater than ALL and since NO MAN can pluck us out of His hand, that means this includes us and our own will.”

That was the philosophy of John Calvin. Look again at what The Presbyterian Westminster Confession of Faith states:

“By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and other foreordained to everlasting death” (Article III).

Now, let’s dive into the context of these verses.


Response 1: Who are the Sheep that can’t be plucked out?

Firstly, we all agree that these verses designate born-again Christians since it’s talking about the sheep of our Lord. We also all agree that God is greater than any man and no man will be able to pluck us out of God’s hands. This indeed is a beautiful promise from our Lord to keep us in His protection, Glory to Him!! However, does that include us? Does that mean we can go back to sin and not lose our salvation? This is the real question we should ask.

So, to ask this question another way, is verse 28 saying that once we are part of the sheep of Christ, we can never lose our salvation even if we go back to sin willfully? The answer is a simple no. But “Once Saved Always Saved” believers imply that this verses does say that.

Now, in order to remove any human responsibility and accountability, OSAS believers must ignore parts of the verses that pertain to any action or response from believers. 

Let’s see how this is happening by looking at the verses again, this time with comments:


John 10:24-30

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. (So the sheep of Christ believe in Him)

27 MY SHEEP  hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (the sheep also hear His voice and follow Him)

28 And I give unto them (who is this “them”? It is the same sheep who believe in Jesus, hear His voice and follow Him) eternal life (1st promise); and they shall never perish (2nd promise), neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand (3rd promise).

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one.

Do you notice the characteristics of who the sheep will be? The Word of Truth is great! The apostle John told us what Jesus said about His sheep. Notice also the threefold promise: first, we are promised eternal life, second, we are promised that we should never perish and thirdly we are promised that no man will be able to pluck us out of our Father’s hand.

These three promises are given, as clearly shown, to the sheep who:

  • believe in Him
  • know Him (John 10:14)
  • hear His voice
  • follow Him


You see, my friend, to have these promises apply to us, we have to be part of the sheep of Christ. Our Lord used that analogy for a reason: the sheep in a fold have a shepherd, they hear His voice and follow Him wherever He goes. This act of following is continuous: a sheep that starts with the shepherd (Jesus), has to hear His voice and follow Him always. If that sheep no longer hears the voice of the shepherd and no longer follows Him, that sheep is lost and no longer part of the fold of Jesus Christ. 

Of course, there are always some who can say “Well if that sheep is no longer following Christ, that means they were never a true sheep to begin with”. As I said, to this camp of believers I say “If you will honestly apply this to yourself then God bless you and peace be with you” even though this is not biblical (to see this check response 2 below).


Response 2: Judas Iscariot was part of the sheep of Jesus and he got lost

Now, I am speaking to you if you are a “Once Saved Always Saved” believer. I think we should agree that if we find one person who was part of Jesus’s sheep and got lost, that should convince us, my friend, that a sheep can indeed lose their salvation if they deliberately stop following the Lord. If there is such a sheep, will you be honest with yourself and see that it does not make sense? 

Let’s now turn to John 17:5-12


John 17:5-12

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word (notice here that the men the Father gave to Jesus keep His Word).

Now they (now follow the words “they”, “them” and “these” which designate the same men which the Father gave the Son) have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10 And all (speaking of all the Father gave Him) mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, BUT THE SON OF PERDITION (so you see that the son of perdition, Judas, was one of those the Father gave to Jesus and he got lost); that the scripture might be fulfilled.


Now, my friend, you can try and twist verse 12 and say “Jesus did not mean Judas was really part of those who were saved” but scriptures are clear. When you have an exception (which is also clear in the original Greek), that means Judas was indeed part of the ones the Father gave to Jesus.

Judas obviously had the Spirit of Christ, otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to cast out demons with the other 11 apostles as we shall see in Mark 6 below. 


Mark 6:7-13

And He (Jesus) called unto him the twelve (which obviously include Judas), and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them POWER over unclean spirits (so Judas Iscariot was given power over unclean Spirits)

And commanded them (now follow the words “they” and “them” which designate the twelve including Judas) that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:

But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.

10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.

11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

13 And they CAST OUT MANY DEVILS (and using the power given by the Lord, Judas Iscariot whom was sent as one of the twelve cast out many devils), and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

Therefore, Judas was clearly given the Power of the Holy Ghost which enabled him to cast out many devils. If that’s not someone who had received the Spirit and was born again, I don’t know what can be qualified as born again, dear friend. To those who will say “if someone has the power to cast out demons that doesn’t mean they were saved or born again”, let’s look at these other scriptures.


Matthew 12:22-29

22 Then was brought unto him (Jesus) one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.

23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God (Jesus is clearly saying therefore that it is by the Spirit of God in Him that He is casting out demons), then the kingdom of God is come unto you (Why? Because the Spirit of God was operating in front of them through Him).

29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man (the Spirit of God is obviously stronger than this strong man who was in that temple)? and then he will spoil his house.

Noone can drive out demons out of any man unless they have the Spirit and the Power of God operating through them. That is what the Lord Jesus said, do you believe Him? That means Judas did that by the Power and Spirit of the living God. This consequently means that Judas was indeed saved at that time. That backs up the fact that he was one of the sheep that the Father gave Jesus as we clearly saw in John 17:12.



My friend, if this article doesn’t eliminate John 10:28 from the list of verses used for Once Saved Always Saved, that means there is obviously bias. Please dear brother, reconsider your position and free yourself from this lie. The devil is a crafty master deceiver, do you see how by doing this, he is trying to get us to be easy with sin? Do you believe that Jesus can truly sets us FREE from deliberate sin? 

Don’t let the devil deceive you. Your soul is on the line. May the Lord guide His children into His Kingdom for His glory!

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