Christ says: I give [my followers] eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:28-30)
From “Christ is Everything to His Followers.” Used counseling and prison work.
“Come and take it” is a patriotic slogan used during the American Revolution and in 1835 during the Texas Revolution. Since I am now a Texan, it’s those latter events I remember. In 1831, Texas was part of Mexico, a colony of Spain. Anglo Texans received a cannon from Mexico to defend Gonzales, Texas from Indian attacks. In 1835, when Texans sought independence, Mexico demanded their cannon’s return. Defiant Texans wrote back, “Come and take it,” and this led to a battle. The disputed cannon fired the first shot in the skirmish and Texans created a flag with the phrase “Come and Take It” plus a black star and a cannon’s image. I saw that flag again today. The battle is sometimes called “The Lexington of Texas,” or “The Texas Shot Heard ‘Round the World” and each year, the battle is re-enacted.
Some Biblical Observations:
1. Jesus defends and preserves His believers in an infinitely more powerful way than Texans guarded their canon. Christ gives us eternal life as a present possession (present tense in Greek) and a permanent inheritance that cannot be taken away.1 No human being, no sin we commit, not even Satan himself can snatch us away from the Lord. Jesus gives us pardon for sin and peace that endures, plus His almighty presence to cheer, guide, and sanctify us. Our eternal security depends on the Lord, not on us, so true believers are eternally safe. Praise God!
2. When Christ says no one can snatch us away from Him, He implies that Satan and other enemies try to pluck away Christians and lead us back into sin and selfishness. Jesus says: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak….Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”2 The Lord commands and equips us to not let our guard down.
3. Jesus never guarantees that His sheep (believers) will be exempt from pains and problems. Christ warns us, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”3 Believers can and do often lose life, liberty, and happiness as we follow our Savior in this hostile world. But our eternal souls and our eternal salvation in Jesus cannot be lost because He holds us in His impenetrable hand. Our sovereign Protector delights to defend us.
4. Our security does not depend upon our hanging on to Christ, but on His holding us. King David asserts, “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.”4 We must persevere in following Jesus (that’s our duty), but we do that because He preserves us (that’s His promise). The Lord is 100% sovereign in saving us, in all stages—beginning, middle, and end. And we are 100% responsible to follow after our Shepherd.5 God works in us to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.6
5. God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work together to guard His believers. Jesus mentions the Father’s care in the verses above and the Spirit’s care in John chapters 14-16. Our salvation hinges on us belonging to God the Holy Trinity. Three distinct persons, yet one in essence and eternity; one in dignity and divinity; one in plans, purposes, and power. A child is usually safer with multiple parents and/or grandparents and/or custodians caring for them. Christians are infinitely safer in the arms of God—the Father, Son, and Spirit.
If you are not yet a Christian in the Bible way, ask the Lord to make you Jesus’ follower today. He promises, “I will put a new spirit within you. I will take away your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart, so you will obey my decrees and regulations. Then you will truly be my people, and I will be your God….Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”7
If you are a true, but imperfect Christian (there is no other kind!), and have wandered from Christ in any way, come back to Him. He graciously promises, “Return to me, and I will return to you….Come near to God and He will come near to you….Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”8
C. S. Lewis remarks: No amount of falls will undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up and coming back to Christ, beginning again to follow Him. We shall be muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home (Heaven). But the baths are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the cupboard. The only fatal thing is to give up following Christ. When we notice the dirt of our own remaining sins. Jesus is most present in us. It is the sign of His presence.9 The Lord promises, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”10
Should all the hosts of death, and powers of hell unknown, put their most dreadful forms of rage and malice on, I shall be safe, for Christ displays superior power and guardian grace. (Isaac Watts)
All of life illustrates Bible truth and the “Come and Take It” flag reminds me of Jesus’ guarantee to keep us safe. We are well kept, brother and sisters, because Christ keeps us. Since He has His kingdom ready for us, He will take care of us along the way and bring us home. Hallelujah! What A Savior!
Go in peace, beloved. Walk with King Jesus today and be a blessing to others!
Notes: 1 see 1 Peter 1:3-5. 2 Matt 26:41;1 Peter 5:8. 3 Acts 14:22. 4 Psalm 63:7,8. 5 see John chapter 10. 6 Phil 2:13 7 Ezek 11:19,20; Rom 10:13. 8 Mal 3:7; James 4:8,10. 9 adapted from Letter to Mary Neylan (Jan. 20, 1942). 10 Jer 31:25.