Perseverance: Three Impossibilities

Kept for Jesus: What the New Testament Really Teaches about Assurance of Salvation and Eternal Security I’ve not ready anything by Sam Storms before, but the title/topic of this book got my attention: Kept for Jesus: What the New Testament Really Teaches about Assurance of Salvation and Eternal Security.  It’s a Crossway title, so I’m pretty sure it’s a conservative evangelical exposition of the great truth of Scripture that God preserves his elect (perseverance of the saints).  I’ve not yet finished it, so I can’t say much about it, but I did appreciate the “three impossibilities” Storms listed from John 6.

1) Jesus says it is morally and spiritually impossible for a person to come to Christ apart from the ‘drawing’ of that person by God the Father.

2) Jesus says it is impossible for someone whom the Father draws not to come to him.  He says in verse 37, “All that the Father gives me will come to me.’  In other words, just as it is impossible for people to come to Christ apart from the Father drawing them, so also it is impossible for people not to come to Christ if the Father does draw them.

3) [Jesus] says that when people do come through the drawing of the Father, it is impossible for them to be cast out.  Look again at verse 37: ‘And whoever comes to me I will never cast out.’  The point is that those whom the Father gives to the Son, who therefore come to the Son, will be received by the Son and shall never perish.  The verb translated ‘cast out’ in verse 37 is used several times in John (2:15; 6:37; 9:34-35; 10:4; 12:31) and always means to cast out someone or something already in.  Thus the emphasis here is not so much on receiving the one who comes (although that is true enough in itself) but on preserving him or her.

“Who would suggest that Jesus Christ would refuse to accept what his Father has given him?  If the Father was pleased to make a gift of certain sinners to his most blessed Son, you may rest assured that the Son will neither despise nor deny his Father’s gracious generosity.”

“…How can Jesus say he will raise up all the Father gives him if in fact he will not, because some who truly believe in him finally and forever fall away and forfeit eternal life?”

Sam Storms, Kept for Jesus, p. 21-22.

shane lems