Question: I do not believe you can lose your salvation, but John 15:4 is a verse I cannot explain.
Answer: John 15:4 says,
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the Vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
Chapter 15:1-16 is speaking of bearing fruit after you are a Christian. Seven times in these verses Christ mentions “fruit”. The “fruit” here is speaking primarily of winning others to Christ through our witnessing. To be motivated, we need to study God’s word (2 Timothy 2:15), so we can grow in our knowledge (2 Peter 3:18).
“...And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” (1 Peter 3:15)
Get around other Christians who witness, as it will help increase your confidence. God wants us to bear “much fruit” as Christ states in Verses 5 and 8.
Personally, the greatest joy I have as a pastor is leading others to trust Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11)
Some years ago, in a previous pastorate, we had a lady teaching one of our Sunday school classes. After her class she would leave and not stay for the morning church service; nor did she attend our evening service. The children began to question the faithfulness of their teacher. I talked with her about the bad example she was setting for the children. She was highly insulted, resigned the class, and left the church for good. In other words, she was removed out of her position because she was unfaithful.
This teacher fulfilled Verse 2,
“Every branch in me (i.e. the saved) that beareth not fruit he taketh away...”
Not “taken to hell,” she did not lose her salvation; but, lost her privilege to maintain her position of leadership. She was not “abiding in Christ” and yielding to the Holy Spirit (who seals us until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13,14); but, allowing her old nature to control her thoughts and actions. She was not “bearing fruit.”
Sad to say, we have some Christians who desire a position of honor, but will not honor the Lord by being faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2 sums it up,
“Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.”