Thoughts On Eternal Security

From Faith Pulpit, Spring 2016. Used by permission.

It has been twenty-four years since the topic of eternal security was last addressed in the Faith Pulpit. In the February 1992 issue Dr. Myron Houghton presented the four major views on security and then explained how Romans 8:28–30 supports eternal security. In this issue Dr. Alan Cole, professor of Bible and theology at Faith Baptist Bible College, extends the discussion by presenting additional evidence to support the view that genuine believers cannot lose their salvation.

I appreciate the article Dr. Myron Houghton wrote in 1992 about eternal security, and I completely agree with his position. The article provides valuable help to Christians regarding this important issue. Since Dr. Houghton’s article examined Romans 8:28–30, I want to explore several other passages that support eternal security.

Psalm 51:12

The context of this psalm is David’s repentance for his sin with Bathsheba. He was guilty of a number of sins, including murder and adultery. He confessed in verses 1–4 that he was a sinner. He used several designations for sin such as “transgressions” (v. 1), “iniquity” and “sin” (v. 2), and “evil” (v. 4). In verse 5 David stated that he was a sinner even before birth. In verses 7–12 he requested to be “purged” (v. 7) and to have his sins “blotted out” (v. 9). In verse 12 he asked God to reinstate the joy of salvation that once was his.

It is noteworthy that David requested to have his joy returned but not his salvation. As terrible as David’s sins were—and they were terrible—he did not request to be “resaved.” In verse 11 David requested that he not lose the special anointing of the Holy Spirit that was given to a king or leader of the theocratic kingdom. This ministry of the Holy Spirit does not refer to salvation but to an empowerment that enables the leader to guide and direct the kingdom of Israel. When David was anointed to be king, the “Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Sam. 16:13). David had witnessed Saul lose this anointing (1 Sam. 16:14), and David was afraid of the same thing happening to him. In Psalm 51:12 David pleaded with God that he have his joy restored. He was not asking to be saved once again.

John 6:39, 40

In John 6:39 Christ stated, “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.” Jesus here affirmed that He will not lose those who have been given to Him by the Father. In other words, He will not lose to condemnation, or hell, those who have received Him as their Savior. If individuals have been given to Christ through salvation, then they will be resurrected. Just as their resurrection is secure, so also is their salvation.

John 10:28, 29

In John 10:28 Jesus declared, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” The expression “never perish” is a strong term. The word “never” is a double negative in Greek (ou ma), showing the strongest denial. This expression then denies the possibility of an individual ever losing his or her salvation. Christ also illustrated the security of the believer by stating that “neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” The believer is kept safe in the hand of the Almighty Savior.

In verse 29 Christ further emphasized this point by stating that the believer is in the hand of God the Father Who “is greater than all.” There is no one strong enough to steal a believer from the Father. At different times I have heard the argument that although one cannot snatch another from God’s hand, we can snatch ourselves from God’s hand. The double negative, however, contradicts such a possibility. Furthermore, Christ denies that anyone, including us, can be snatched from God’s hand. A finite person cannot overpower the infinite God. Genuine believers are safe in the hands of God the Father and God the Son.

Romans 8:35–39

In Romans 8:35 the Apostle Paul asked the following question: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” For the Christian to be separated from the love of Christ would mean that the genuine believer had lost his or her salvation. In the rest of verse 35 Paul listed several misfortunes that might indicate one has lost his salvation. In verse 37 Paul denied that these events can cause one to be separated from the love of Christ. In verses 38 and 39 Paul further denied possibilities that might cause one to think that he or she is outside the love of Christ. Paul strongly contested that one cannot be separated from the love of Christ. In other words, one cannot lose his or her salvation.

Philippians 1:6

Paul expressed in Philippians 1:6 a strong indication of a believer’s security. “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Christ will continue the work of sanctification which He has begun in Christians at the point of salvation until the Day of Christ, which is the rapture. For this work of sanctification to continue, Christ must keep the believer saved. If a person is genuinely saved (initial sanctification—“begun a good work in you”), he will remain saved throughout his life until he reaches final sanctification at the rapture (“will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”).

1 Peter 1:5

Peter declared in this verse that we are “kept by the power of God.” The point is not that a believer must keep himself or herself saved. The point is that it is God who keeps the individual saved. One must ask if God has enough power to do this work. The obvious answer is “yes.” He is all powerful. For a person to be able to lose his or her salvation is to affirm that finite sin can overcome an infinite God. This kind of affirmation is incorrect.

These additional references help support the position that a genuine believer cannot lose his or her salvation. Once an individual truly trusts Christ, he or she is secure in Christ. There is not a sin that can “unjustify” one who has been justified. A person cannot be plucked from God’s hand or Christ’s hand, and a person cannot be separated from the love of Christ.

Conflicting Situations

When I have discussed this issue with my students, I have been asked about situations in which people claim to be saved but their actions deny what they claim to be true. How do we understand cases like these?

First, we must remember that we cannot see into a person’s heart. Only God knows for sure the spiritual condition of the individual.

Second, we should remember that this type of individual is in one of two conditions. He or she is either lost and facing God’s eternal condemnation (John 3:18), or the individual is living a fleshly lifestyle and is facing God’s discipline (Heb. 12:7–11). Neither of these situations is a place where a Spirit-filled Christian should want to be.

Third, we should treat the individuals where they are at the moment. If a person is acting as if he or she is unsaved, then that is how we should regard them. In dealing with the Pharisees, John the Baptist called on them to “bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matt. 3:8). Two verses later he warned them that “every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 3:10). Further, Christ stated that we can discern false prophets by their work (Matt. 7:15–19). “Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matt. 7:20).

Fourth, we should remember that not everyone who claims to be saved is actually saved. Christ warned that there are individuals who will claim to be saved, but in reality they are not (Matt. 7:21–23). In the judgment of the sheep and goats, Christ made a similar statement (Matt. 25:31–46).

These reminders are not cited in order to set ourselves up as judges of another person’s salvation. We should make comments such as these to another individual only after much prayer and with love, grace, and tact. For genuine believers, passages such as the ones discussed here provide great comfort in the confidence that they have eternal security.

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There are 64 Comments

dmyers's picture

Of course, if salvation is monergistic, eternal security necessary follows.

Craig's picture

Eternal security is not dependent on Monergism, but on what saith the scripture.

"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" (Ephesians 1:13)

"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30)

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Yes, it's dependent on what the Scriptures say....  all of what they say (what follows is still not even close to all though!)

1 Pe 1:5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Jn 10:29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

Ro 8:29–34 NKJV 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Php 1:6 NKJV 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

But people mean different things by "monergism." What do you mean by it?

Bert Perry's picture

If indeed monergism comes from scripture--I've linked the definition and it's strongly linked to the Calvinistic doctrine of perserverance of the saints--then dmyers and others are more or less saying the same thing.  Note that the converse is synergism, the collaboration of the Spirit with the person in salvation--which would be pretty much the Catholic doctrine.  

Which would be why many on the "Reformed" side of the equation would suggest that a rejection of perserverance of the saints/eternal security does come close to works salvation/righteousness.  No?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Craig's picture

From what I've read monergism is normally associated with Calvinism while synergism with Arminianism. Not all Christians fall into one of these catagories. Many believe salvation is a work of God, but man must make the choice to believe. Once a person believes they are sealed with the Holy Spirit. I would say preservation of the saints would be a more accurate term.

"Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called"  (Jude 1)

 

Craig's picture

The Christian perseveres because they are preserved in Christ.

Bert Perry's picture

OK, first of all, points well taken that some define monergism/eternal security/perserverance of the saints/synergism differently.  That noted, it strikes me here is eternal security is indeed something of a Baptist distinctive, no?  And Faith does indeed have chapel time pretty much daily, right?

So in that light, it's quite striking that there was a 24 year interval between teaching on eternal security, especially given that they've got a fresh group of students each year for whom that is indeed an important consideration.  Would love to hear from Faith students/constituents about this--am I missing something?   I'm certain it's taught elsewhere, but it's a striking omission if it's not taught from the pulpit periodically.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Craig wrote:

From what I've read monergism is normally associated with Calvinism while synergism with Arminianism.


It would be better for all involved if everyone would stop looking at what ideas are associated with, and instead focus on whether they are true.
Quote:
Many believe salvation is a work of God, but man must make the choice to believe.

This is actually what "calvinists" believe. Nobody teaches that the believer does not make a choice to believe. In fact, Reformed soteriology is often criticized for its teaching that sinners must actually *repent* in order to be saved.

Craig's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

 

Craig wrote:

From what I've read monergism is normally associated with Calvinism while synergism with Arminianism.

It would be better for all involved if everyone would stop looking at what ideas are associated with, and instead focus on whether they are true.

 

Quote:

Many believe salvation is a work of God, but man must make the choice to believe.

This is actually what "calvinists" believe. Nobody teaches that the believer does not make a choice to believe. In fact, Reformed soteriology is often criticized for its teaching that sinners must actually *repent* in order to be saved.

 

Sounds good to me. Maybe you're different, but I've encountered people who taught that God does it all and man has no choice. The real point is one does not have to be a Calvinist to believe in eternal security. The moment a person is saved they are baptized into the body of Christ and indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit. The believer doesn't do anything to persevere, because he is preserved in Christ.

dmyers's picture

By "monergism," I meant what I understand to be the standard Reformed/Calvinist understanding of the mechanics of salvation -- there is no particle of us that will or is able to choose God, therefore God must elect for anyone to be saved, His election is not based on any merit in the elect, He regenerates (enabling a response from one who would not otherwise want or be able to respond), and that regeneration always effects a response of faith.  My use of the word monergistic was simply shorthand for the longer description AND for all the scriptural support for it (i.e., I don't put my faith in the terms or in the system that uses the terms -- I put my faith in the scriptures that, I believe, teach what the system attempts to explain using the terms).

Having journeyed from full-fledged Arminianism (Church of the Nazarene) to Baptist (IFB and SBC) to Reformed (PCA and URC), I would absolutely agree that the belief that you can lose your salvation is tantamount to works righteousness.  I would also say that the non-Calvinist Baptists necessarily teach a less obvious form of works righteousness in insisting that a person must exercise his/her free will to put faith in Christ and to be saved.  I understand that many do not see that a non-monergistic view of salvation necessarily credits them with something that is distinguishable from people who don't get saved, but not seeing it doesn't make it go away.  As my Bible professor for Romans at BJU asked, "Isn't the exercise of faith, or the choice to put faith in Christ, a work?"

Hope this helps.

Craig's picture

dmyers wrote:

By "monergism," I meant what I understand to be the standard Reformed/Calvinist understanding of the mechanics of salvation -- there is no particle of us that will or is able to choose God, therefore God must elect for anyone to be saved, His election is not based on any merit in the elect, He regenerates (enabling a response from one who would not otherwise want or be able to respond), and that regeneration always effects a response of faith.  My use of the word monergistic was simply shorthand for the longer description AND for all the scriptural support for it (i.e., I don't put my faith in the terms or in the system that uses the terms -- I put my faith in the scriptures that, I believe, teach what the system attempts to explain using the terms).

Having journeyed from full-fledged Arminianism (Church of the Nazarene) to Baptist (IFB and SBC) to Reformed (PCA and URC), I would absolutely agree that the belief that you can lose your salvation is tantamount to works righteousness.  I would also say that the non-Calvinist Baptists necessarily teach a less obvious form of works righteousness in insisting that a person must exercise his/her free will to put faith in Christ and to be saved.  I understand that many do not see that a non-monergistic view of salvation necessarily credits them with something that is distinguishable from people who don't get saved, but not seeing it doesn't make it go away.  As my Bible professor for Romans at BJU asked, "Isn't the exercise of faith, or the choice to put faith in Christ, a work?"

Hope this helps.

What verse did your Bible professor present to prove that the exercise of faith, or the choice to put faith in Christ, is a work?

According to Ephesians 1:13 you trust Christ after you hear the word of truth. After you believe you are sealed with the holy Spirit of promise.

Don Johnson's picture

dmyers wrote:

 

 As my Bible professor for Romans at BJU asked, "Isn't the exercise of faith, or the choice to put faith in Christ, a work?"

Hope this helps.

no. Romans 4.5

glad the Bible is true. Faith is not a work

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Mark_Smith's picture

I was just thinking of Romans 4:5 and was debating on whether to post it, when I read Don Johnson's post. Amen, brother.

Lee's picture

Craig wrote:

 

...

Sounds good to me. Maybe you're different, but I've encountered people who taught that God does it all and man has no choice. The real point is one does not have to be a Calvinist to believe in eternal security. The moment a person is saved they are baptized into the body of Christ and indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit. The believer doesn't do anything to persevere, because he is preserved in Christ.

Having the opportunity to minister with/beside a number of young Calvinists over many years now, I would have to say that a likely majority, or at the very least a very significant minority, take the position that salvation (and all its synonyms/descriptors) is a passive experience to those who are saved. Like a  leaf in a stream, so to speak. 

Lee

dmyers's picture

Don and Mark:  I understand how a surface reading of Romans 4:5 ("And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness"), in isolation, would seem to be a rebuttal to my point.  But that is begging the question (I think this is the proper use of the phrase, Aaron!):  where does the ability/decision to believe (in Him) come from?  where does the ability/decision to exercise that faith come from?  In both the Nazarene and (non-Calvinist) Baptist circles, the standard response is that it must come from the individual, because if it comes from God that makes the individual passive or violates the individual's free will.  Alternatively, there is an acknowledgment that the faith itself also comes from God, but there is still a role for the individual to decide or to act on the gift of faith from God -- which others decline to exercise even though the gift of faith is available to them too.  Sooner or later, it still comes back to the belief that to some extent, great or small, the individual plays a role in the decision to believe/exercise faith.  The problem is that that decision distinguishes him/her from those who refuse/fail to make the same (right) decision.  Nazarenes and Baptist are loathe to label that difference -- they generally won't agree that it reflects a difference in intelligence (obviously there are believers of all intelligence levels); they will strenuously avoid identifying the difference as spiritual sensitivity or better character, morals, etc., because they see the "works" problem looming if they explain it that way.  Generally, their ultimate response is something along the lines of "I just believed and that other person didn't, but I'm not better than them."  To me, it's plain that if one person believes and another does not, and if God is not solely responsible for the difference, then the difference has to be attributable to something meritorious in the believer -- call it a disposition, "just a decision," or whatever.  Monergism/Calvinism (based on scripture) solves (or moots) that problem.  Any other approach doesn't.

Mark_Smith's picture

Calvinists frequently use the argument that people who think they believed in Jesus think they are better than others. Well if you are inclined to argue that way, HOW MUCH MORE ARROGANCE would you feel if you think God loved you, but not the other guy? God PICKED ME. Wow, talk about potential for arrogance.

 

Did that prove anything? No.

I'll stick with a clear reading of Scripture, which never says faith is a work.

How do I know? What about 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. When Paul talks about people's works being burned, even if they are all burned up, they are still saved! Faith is not a work.

 

Mark_Smith's picture

Matthew 3:2 John said "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Matthew 4:17 Jesus said "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

 

I don't see Jesus saying "wait to be regenerated, then you can repent and believe..."

Don Johnson's picture

You said "faith = works" (citing an inspired BJU prof, how much higher authority can there be?)

I respond with a verse that clearly says "faith does not equal works"

you respond by sidestepping the passage with the tired old argument that faith is not faith, it's that special zap you get from God, so that he will save you by his own faith instead of your own, because the other way around would be, you know, works...

I could respond back with Rm 4.5 again and ask you to do a grammatical analysis, identifying subjects and objects, but no doubt you would cite some higher authority and deny the plain word of God yet again.

so I'll just get off the merry go round and leave you to go on your merry way. Just one last thought, however. It is way too easy to dismiss the scriptures by calling it's plain meaning "superficial"

 

 

 

dmyers wrote:

Don and Mark:  I understand how a surface reading of Romans 4:5 ("And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness"), in isolation, would seem to be a rebuttal to my point.  But that is begging the question (I think this is the proper use of the phrase, Aaron!):  where does the ability/decision to believe (in Him) come from?  where does the ability/decision to exercise that faith come from?  In both the Nazarene and (non-Calvinist) Baptist circles, the standard response is that it must come from the individual, because if it comes from God that makes the individual passive or violates the individual's free will.  Alternatively, there is an acknowledgment that the faith itself also comes from God, but there is still a role for the individual to decide or to act on the gift of faith from God -- which others decline to exercise even though the gift of faith is available to them too.  Sooner or later, it still comes back to the belief that to some extent, great or small, the individual plays a role in the decision to believe/exercise faith.  The problem is that that decision distinguishes him/her from those who refuse/fail to make the same (right) decision.  Nazarenes and Baptist are loathe to label that difference -- they generally won't agree that it reflects a difference in intelligence (obviously there are believers of all intelligence levels); they will strenuously avoid identifying the difference as spiritual sensitivity or better character, morals, etc., because they see the "works" problem looming if they explain it that way.  Generally, their ultimate response is something along the lines of "I just believed and that other person didn't, but I'm not better than them."  To me, it's plain that if one person believes and another does not, and if God is not solely responsible for the difference, then the difference has to be attributable to something meritorious in the believer -- call it a disposition, "just a decision," or whatever.  Monergism/Calvinism (based on scripture) solves (or moots) that problem.  Any other approach doesn't.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

G. N. Barkman's picture

"But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep."  (John 10:20)

G. N. Barkman

Don Johnson's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

"But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep."  (John 10:20)

Greg, is that verse saying "you cannot believe" or "you are not believing"?

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

G. N. Barkman's picture

Don, I'm not sure I understand your point.  If one does not believe "because he is not one of Christ's sheep," then both "do not" and "cannot" are true.

G. N. Barkman

TylerR's picture

Editor

ἀλλ᾽ ὑμεῖς οὐ πιστεύετε· οὐ γάρ ἐστε ἐκ τῶν προβάτων τῶν ἐμῶν, καθὼς εἶπον ὑμῖν

  • "You are not believing" is in the present tense and the active voice. This means the recepients are doing the action of the verb, and they're doing it in a continuous manner. Their unbelief is a present, ongoing state of affairs that they're doing
  • The conjunction γάρ is causal ("because"), and it explains the reason for this unbelief. Every major translation understands the conjunction to be causal (e.g. KJV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, NET, etc.) 

Therefore, the reason why they do not believe in Jesus is because they are not of His sheep. In a word, unconditional, single election to salvation is the only way a person will believe in Jesus and His Gospel. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mark_Smith's picture

Election is not the same thing as regeneration preceding salvation, or faith being a work.

 

Also, just because an conjunction is grammatically causal does not mean it is the ULTIMATE cause in a theological sense that you intend it to be.

Craig's picture

Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24). The sheep referenced in John 10 are the Jews who have believed on Jesus. 

"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." (John 10:16)

The other sheep could be Gentiles, but most likely are Jews who were not residing in Israel at that time. Gentiles were referred to as dogs in the Gospels (Matthew 15:26).

"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. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you." (John 10:25-26)

The Jews who did not believe on Jesus are not of His sheep. They must believe to become His sheep.

"If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him." (John 10:37-38)

Note Jesus is extending an invitation to the Jews who are not His sheep to believe.

 

G. N. Barkman's picture

Wow.  What a convoluted way to take a clear statement by Christ, and turn it on its head.

"You do not believe because you are not of my sheep" cannot mean, "You are not of my sheep because you do not believe."  These are complete opposites.  Jesus does not say that you believe to become one of His sheep.  He says that you do not believe because you are not one of His sheep.  If you believe, it is because you are one of His sheep.  If you do not believe, it is because you are not one of His sheep. 

 

G. N. Barkman

Craig's picture

[quote=G. N. Barkman]

Wow.  What a convoluted way to take a clear statement by Christ, and turn it on its head.

"You do not believe because you are not of my sheep" cannot mean, "You are not of my sheep because you do not believe."  These are complete opposites.  Jesus does not say that you believe to become one of His sheep.  He says that you do not believe because you are not one of His sheep.  If you believe, it is because you are one of His sheep.  If you do not believe, it is because you are not one of His sheep. 

/quote]

Then why does He extend an invitation in verses 37 and 38?

G. N. Barkman's picture

The Scripture teaches that Christ's lost sheep are brought to faith by the preaching of the gospel, which is applied by the Holy Spirit.

There is no contradiction here.  The Bible has many invitations to believe the word of God.  Those who are Christ's sheep believe, but they have to have a message proclaimed to have something to believe.  This is how God has chosen to identify and draw His sheep unto Himself.

The fact that there is an invitation in verse 38 does not cancel the clear meaning of verse 26 that the reason people do not believe is because they are not of His sheep.

G. N. Barkman

TylerR's picture

Editor

You wrote:

Also, just because an conjunction is grammatically causal does not mean it is the ULTIMATE cause in a theological sense that you intend it to be.

You're quite right. In order to prove unconditional, single election to salvation, I'd have to a whole lot more work than briefly examine one sentence! This is the difference between cookbook proof-texting and biblical theology. 

But, I will say that the single verse of Jn 10:26 does teach that the reason why a person does not believe is because they do not belong to Christ. The greater significance this statement has in a comprehensive soteriology is another story! 

You are also right to point out that the discussion on whether regeneration precedes faith is entirely different from a discussion about election to salvation. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Craig's picture

G. N. Barkman wrote:

The Scripture teaches that Christ's lost sheep are brought to faith by the preaching of the gospel, which is applied by the Holy Spirit.

There is no contradiction here.  The Bible has many invitations to believe the word of God.  Those who are Christ's sheep believe, but they have to have a message proclaimed to have something to believe.  This is how God has chosen to identify and draw His sheep unto Himself.

The fact that there is an invitation in verse 38 does not cancel the clear meaning of verse 26 that the reason people do not believe is because they are not of His sheep.

The passage is dealing with God's dealing with His chosen nation Israel. The church is not in view here. The flock are those Jews whom the Father gave to the Son; those that believed. God desired for all to come to Him.

They resisted the Father

“ I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;  A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick” (Isaiah 65:2-3)

 

They resisted the Son

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matthew 23: 37)

 

They resisted the Holy Spirit

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” (Acts 7:51)

 

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