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Separation from God

Jimmy Akin

DAY 326

CHALLENGE

“We know we can’t lose our salvation by committing mortal sin because Scripture says we can’t be separated from God (John 6:37, 39, 10:27–29, Rom. 8:38–39).”

DEFENSE

None of those biblical passages show that we cannot separate ourselves from God.

John 6:37 states: “All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out.” Jesus will not cast us out, but that doesn’t mean we can’t leave Jesus voluntarily.

John 6:39 states: “this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day.” It is God’s will that Christians not be lost, but it’s also God’s will that they not commit adultery, and some do. Later in John, Jesus refers to the Twelve as those God “hast given me” (17:11) and says, “none of them is lost but the son of perdition [i.e., Judas Iscariot]” (17:12)—indicating it’s possible to once be given to Jesus and yet be lost.
John 10:27–29 states: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall 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.”
This doesn’t say the sheep can’t leave voluntarily. We’ve already

seen Judas was once given to Jesus and then lost. Further, Jesus tells the disciples later in John: “Abide in me. . . . If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned” (15:4–6). This indicates it’s possible for the disciples to fail to abide in Jesus.

Romans 8:38–39 states: “I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

As with the other passages, this doesn’t say we can’t separate our- selves from God. Paul elsewhere indicates we can (see Day 302).

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