How would this passage be interpreted by someone who believes that salvation can be lost?

John 10:27-30 ESV

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.”

  • "polemicist (n) a person who argues in opposition to another; controversialist." Wouldn't it be better to hear from someone who is able to explain the view thoughtfully and rationally? Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 15:19
  • I couldn't find a better word for non-apologist. "Argue" doesn't mean heated. I was thinking from a structured debate. Hopefully we can be mature enough to do this... Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 15:22
  • StackExchange isn't really a good place for a debate. I'll suggest an edit to make it a question and not an invitation to debate. Please revert if you don't like. Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 15:28
  • Supporting answers with scripture to hold up their position is what I'm looking for. If I do NOT define it then we'll have people FOR and people AGAINST posting answers which IMHO is more difficult to find the "right" answer and causes tension. I accept your edits if you feel that they would meet the goal of my question. Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 15:44
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    This is a very controversial point of contention among many Christians, and I have found no Scriptures to definitively decide this question one way or the other. I have found Scriptures which can be interpreted either way. I have come to believe that it is something we need to pray about and seek the Holy Spirit's guidance on. Perhaps the reason it is not defined is because the Lord wants us to fear the second death so greatly that we need to continuously evaluate.
    – BYE
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


I would argue that the passage has no direct implication that Salvation cannot be lost.

The verse simply says "No one can snatch them from the hand of God". It could have different meanings such as

  1. No one can take them away by force
  2. No one can steal them
  3. No one is strong enough to fight with the hand of God
  4. No one can throw them down to Hell once they are in Heaven

It seems to indicate that there are no outside forces strong enough to fight against God.

It also seems to imply indirectly that anyone can walk away from the hand of God with their own freewill. Anyone can choose to believe in Jesus and later choose to deny Him again.

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 overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 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. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:20-22, ESV)

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