Those who followed Christ were secure and "saved" as long as they followed Him. But they had no security and no salvation when they turned away. Just as the prodigal son was lost when he left his father's home and wallowed in the sins of the world, but he was secure and "saved" when he returned and remained with his father. St. Peter followed Christ and professed undying faith in Him, then he turned away and forsook Our Lord, but ultimately he repented and followed Christ to his death on an upside down cross. As St. James writes, "Faith without works is dead," so we see that authentic belief in Christ means actively following Him and continually receiving Him in and through the sacramental life of His Church.