A sound Bible doctrine will harmonize with all the Scriptures, otherwise the interpretation is wrong and that teaching will be false.
In St. John 10, verses 27 to 29, is a passage of Scripture often quoted by people who believe that when a person is once saved, he always will be saved, regardless of what he or she will do, or how much they may sin.
This is the quotation: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
If we claim this passage of Scripture, then we must keep the conditions which go with it, and we find them right at the beginning of that passage, which reads, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” God’s promises are conditional. We can claim the rest of the passage only if we do the first part of it. When we obey God’s voice and follow Him, we are truly God’s people. Otherwise when we sin and are disobedient to God, we are not His sheep, even if we have professed that we were once saved.
It is sin that separates us from God. The following Scripture passages convince us that we must obey the Lord and follow Him to be called His sheep. And when we love the Lord, that is, obey and follow Him, then there is no power on earth which can separate us from God.
The Lord Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” John 15:5-6. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 7:21.
Apostle Paul: “. . . Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches [Israel], take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” Rom. 11:20-22.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Rom. 6:16.
Apostle Peter: “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (II Pet. 3:17-18).
Apostle James: “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20.
Apostle John: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” II John 9. (See also I John 3:4-8.)
Prophet Ezekiel: “. . . The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.” (See Ezek. 33:12-19.)
Besides these given passages, the Bible is full of exhortations and warnings to live godly in this present world, that we may receive the reward of the just.
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. . . .” Isa. 59:1-2. “REPENT ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, . . .” Acts 3:19.