John 3:36; 6:47
1 John 5:11,13
- John 3:36
- "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not1 the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
- John 6:47
- "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life."
- John 6:54
- "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my flood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
- 1 John 5:11
- "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."
- 1 John 5:13
- "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
- These verses are stressed by the Gospel Hall groups, Pentecostals and Evangelicals. Since the past tense, "hath eternal life" is used by John, it is argued that believers have eternal life as a present possession - their eternal security assured.
- Almost without exception, those who claim to have "eternal security" also believe in the immortality of the soul. But if believers and nonbelievers alike have immortal souls, what is the eternal life that Jesus said he would give to believers?
- If it is argued that by "getting saved" one is immune from hell-fire and the lake of fire, where is this taught in John's Gospel or Epistles?
- What objective evidence is there that a "saved man" is really saved? He may say that he is saved, but how is one to know for certain that his profession is true?
- The "saved" arguments in the above passages rest on a mistaken understanding of the use of the tenses in the writings of John. The past tense is used by John of future events, to emphasize the certainty of their outcome. Consider the following examples:
- "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." (John 3:35). But the writer to the Hebrews explicitly states, "But now we see not yet all things put under him." (Heb. 2:8).
- "I have overcome the world." (John 16:33). But Gethsemane lay ahead.
- "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." (John 17:4). Jesus had yet to die "for our sins according to the Scriptures." (1 Cor. 15:3).
- "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them . . ." (John 17:22). But believers are not ultimately glorified until the return of Christ and the granting of immortality. (Col. 1:27 cf. 2 Tim. 2:10-12).
- ". . . That they may behold my glory which thou hast given me . . ." (John 17:24). Jesus was not glorified until after his resurrection. (Luke 24:26; 1 Tim. 3:16).
- See also: Rom. 4:17-21, Isaac was not born at the time of the promise; 2 Tim. 1:10, but people still die. Not until the end of the millennium will death be abolished cf. 1 Cor. 15:24-28.
- Similarly, eternal life is spoken of as a present possession, when it is still future - to be given "at the last day." This is proven in two ways: A) by showing that John refers to eternal life to be given at the last day and B) by citing other references in the New Testament which show that eternal life and ultimate salvation are still future. The following is the evidence:
- Eternal life is to be given at "last day":
Eternal life is promised, (1 John 2:24, 25) but resides with the Son (1 John 5:11) until the "last day" when it will be given to the faithful.
- "And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." (John 6:39)
- "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:40).
- "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (John 6:54).
- Other passages which indicate that eternal life is not a present possession of believers:
- "In hope of eternal life which God, that cannot lie, promised before the word began." (Titus 1:2).
- "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.'' (Titus 3:7 cf. Rom. 8:24, "hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth why doth he yet hope for?").
- "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matt. 25:46 cf. Dan. 12:2). The context of this passage indicates the righteous are first judged and then invited to enter into life eternal. (Matt. 25:31-46). This implies that the righteous do not have eternal life before entering into life eternal.
- Salvation is an ultimately future experience:
- ". . . for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." (Rom. 13:11). If salvation was nearer than when saints believed, it was obviously not a present possession.
- "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." (Heb. 1:14). An heir is not a present possessor.
- "For a helmet the hope of salvation." (1 Thess. 5:8). One does not hope for that which he already possesses.
- "Believeth not" should be translated "does not obey" as in R.S.V. and Nestle Greek Text, (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons Ltd., 1967). Return