Biblical defense of why I believe in OSAS. As always Acts 17:11 and 1 Thessalonians 5:21 everything in it.
I have seen some who strayed into incredible darkness and we would say they never were saved, but when they returned, they said they always knew and truly believed who Jesus the gospel, and that he never left them even in their attempted rejection. This is an incredible video of Randy Spears https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-SjJNT_fiw His story is so amazing because it shows that even though he was in willing sin for 25 years, the Spirit was still there convicting and working to bring him back. I’ve listened to interviews with scientologists who state that their belief and acceptance of the gospel as a child is why they fully believe they came out of scientology. I have seen the opposite though, and the people said they never truly believed. Only God knows a person’s heart. For the believer and the question of eternal security I respond with the following.
The tenses of salvation must be addressed. Salvation or being saved is a very generalterm. The technical terms are justification, sanctification, and glorification.
Justification is a past tense event for the Christian and is a gift of God received by faith alonein Christ (Eph 2:8-9; Rom 10:9-10). Justification is for the believer and declares us righteous in God’s courtroom; it removes the guilt and penalty of sin.
Sanctification is a present work in progress that involves both faith AND works. Sanctification is not for, but in us and should remove the growth and power of sin. The believer now has a choice, sin does not need to reign in the believer’s life.
Glorification is future and is the result of justification because all believers will be glorified, but the amount of glory and rewards will be based on one’s work during the sanctification process
If we can lose our salvation, we lose assurance of salvation. That may seem like circular reasoning, but it is a very important point. This is actually one of the biggest losses because we will have to live in fear that one of our sins, we commit is going to cost us our justification. And as long as we are on this earth in our flesh still, each of us every day is going to not only sin, but sin willingly, so how can we press on towards maturity and our destinies if we are constantly in fear of losing our salvation?
In 1 John 5:11-13 John writes to his readers, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” First who is it that has the Son? John 1:12 makes it clear that it is those who have (past tense) believed in Him. In 1 John 5, John wanted them to know that they have eternal life, not in the future, because the passage is present tense in Greek. We have eternal life now. He did not want us to suspect, or ponder or question, it was written so that we may know eternal life is ours at this time. If we can lose our salvation, we cannot know that we have eternal life because one of our sins could forfeit our justification, and it is therefore not eternal, nor could we presently have it.
Hebrews 7:23-25 is during is the part of the book which the writer is methodically pointing out that Jesus is higher and better than each pillar of Judaism: Angels, Moses, and the Priesthood. At this point he is showing How Jesus is better than the Aaronic/Levitical priesthood,
There have been many priests, since each one of them had to stop serving in office when he died. But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.Therefore, because he always lives to intercede for them, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him.
Jesus is alive right now interceding for us continuously. Why? Because we have an accuser in God’s courtroom and we still sin. Verse 25 makes it clear that not only does He continuously intercede, but HE IS ABLE to completely save. It goes on to state that He offered a better sacrifice once and for all when he sacrificed Himself.
Ephesians 4:30 after going through what we are not to do as believers gives the command, “do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” We have been sealed and set apart for the day of redemption in Christ.
The question must arise from this, is my justification based on works or is it a gift? Either my sins were paid for or they were not, and my justification is based on my works or it isn’t. When I come to Christ am I justified, and stamped innocent by the blood or not? If I can lose my salvation based on my sin, then I am not truly justified in God’s court and salvation is works based and try as one might to argue against the statement, logically that is truly what we must declare if one of my sins can forfeit my justification. I did nothing to merit my salvation, therefore I can do nothing to demerit it; it is solely based on what Christ did on the cross. All my sins were in the future when Jesus paid for them. This in part is why it is an issue of sanctification and not justification.
Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly states that justification is a gift from God, not based on any of my works. Galatians goes very strongly against works being required in order to maintain one’s justification. This was the exact issue Paul was hammering because even though they were justified in Christ, Jewish men had snuck into the fellowship and started teaching they still had to keep the law and their continued justification was works based on their keeping of the Law. Paul states,
You foolish Galatians! Who put you under a spell? Was not Jesus the Messiah clearly portrayed before your very eyes as having been crucified? I want to learn only one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the actions of the Law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, would you now attain your goal by the flesh (3:1-4, ISV, emphasis added)
Paul’s concern was not his loss of salvation, but his loss of inheritance. He is very clear about his stance, and since he was writing the words of the Holy Spirit, I would say that God is very clear on His stance about assurance of salvation. 2 Timothy 1:12, “I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” What had Paul entrusted to the Lord? His life, His soul, everything. God is doing the keeping, not us.
John 10:28-30. Jesus is speaking with the Jewish religious leaders and accusing them of not being His sheep, then He states,
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. I and my Father are one (KJV).
From where does the sheep’s eternal life come? Jesus, and again this is a present tense, it does not state they will be given, but actively gives in the present and the word δίδωμι didomi which is translated as give fully which means in its usage, “give of one’s own accord as a bestowed gift.” Then he makes an even greater declaration, “they shall never perish (οὐ μὴ ἀπόλωνται – ou may apolontee) οὐ μὴ oo may is a double negative. In Greek double negatives are not a cancellation, but an exclamation of emphasis. Dr Daniel Wallace states of the double negative, “This is the strongest way to negate something in Greek, (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, p. 468). So, when it states they will never perish it is saying “It will never happen! It’s unthinkable! There is not even the slightest possibility that it will ever happen!”
Jesus then continues stating that no man shall pluck them out of either His hand, nor shall any man pluck them out of the Father’s hand. To state that I could pluck myself from this grip actually goes against what is stated because I am a man; therefore, I cannot pluck myself out of either hand. There is a picture of 2 hands clasped together
This brings us to the troublesome passage of Hebrews 6, which when approached in the Greek not only removes the difficulty and what is stated becomes quite clear. The book of Hebrews is not a dissertation on justification, but as one scholar stated, “The burden of Hebrews is not the rescuing of sinners from hell—it is the bringing of sons to glory.” What is in view is being kingdom minded about the Millennial reign of Christ and our inheritance in it. The writer of Hebrews makes clear it the focus of the book is the “world to come” about which he is speaking (Heb 2:5).
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame (Heb 6:4-6, KJV).
This is a very technical sentence using participles to form a very complex tense.
There are 5 points about the people discussed: Once enlightened; tasted the heavenly gift; partakers of the Holy Spirit (which means they were saved because an unbeliever cannot have the Holy Spirit); tasted the word of God; seen powers of the world to come. The string of participles that modify the adjective “impossible,” Ἀδύνατον, are described as leading to an impossibility of being renewed (or restored) to repentance (anakainizein eis metanoian).
It is impossible “If they shall fall away.” We must define the term fall away. In the Greek it is παραπεσόντας, the second aorist active participle meaning (to error or deviate from the right path). The “if they” is regarding the lack of time constraints of second aorist, and could be better stated “if at any point in time past, present, or future, they are erroring or deviating from the right path (which we would call sin), then it is impossible.
The impossibility continues during the present act of “crucifying” and “ridiculing” which occurs during the time of error/deviation/sin. The main verb “to be” in the form of “is,” in the phrase “is impossible” and the modifying aorist participles in vs 4-5 are ALL LIMITED by the PRESENT TENSE of the participles in verse 6. Therefore, it is impossible to be renewed to repentance during the present tense act of “crucifying” and “putting to an open shame;” however, once these actions have ceased, the impossibility no longer exists since they are no longer present activities and are now past. If the aorist tense had been used for “crucifying” and “ridicule” that means our first willing sin after salvation negates us forever from being able to repent. But the author uses the present. It also must be pointed out that the author uses the word repentance not saved. What this literally is stating, is that while we are actively and willingly sinning, we cannot repent of that sin. But once the sin ceases, we can repent. And I think we would all agree that lines up with scripture.
We know that we all still sin because even John states in 1 John 1 that if we state we are without sin we are deceiving ourselves, but he makes it clear that, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Hebrews 6 strongly backs up passages such as Psalm 66:18, “Were I to cherish iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not listen to me.”
In 1 Corinthians 3, 9; 2 Cor 5:10 it clearly states that all believers will be judged with 1 Cor 3 giving the details, and their inheritance is based on this. Romans 5:17 gives the condition of suffering with Christ in order to rule and reign with him. Paul’s concern never was his loss of salvation, but his loss of rewards and disqualifying himself from his placement in the kingdom and inheritance.
So in regard to eternal security I fully believe that a person who has put their faith in Christ is eternally secure. They may forfeit their inheritance and, in a sense, make it into the Kingdom as a refugee versus those who rule and reign, but they are still saved.