A friend of mine wrote a rather long post on Facebook all about OSAS doctrine. A particular paragraph in his post really grabbed my attention. This post contains the text of his post and my response, for what it’s worth. Although the Bible contains much (to say the least) that teaches the eternal security of the true believer, my response revolves around a small portion of my friend’s post and the text of John 10:28 – 29, which I believe is more than adequate to refute my friends position on the matter. I also included a couple of good commentaries. I was not trying to win an argument, but I did want to encourage searching scripture, which he also recommended.
Without any further banter on my part, here is the text of my friend’s FB post and my response. Your thoughts and comments are welcome.
My friend’s FB post:
The passages below all deal with the doctrine of once saved always saved. Every teacher needs to be questioned and checked. If we just accept what we are told by someone then we are doing that person and our brothers and sisters a huge disservice. Please pray over and go through the word with anything that is fed to you. If it is from God then the Spirit will make that clear and will bring you to an even deeper understanding of the teaching. If it is not from God then the Spirit will make that clear as well and you will learn still more about God. Checking what a teacher feeds us can only bring us closer to Jesus. That said………
It is a deliberate choice for us to repent and follow Jesus. Salvation is not something that we stumble into one day by doing good, being good enough, or somehow balancing the scales between good and evil toward good.
Neither does one lose or reject the salvation given to us by Jesus by stumbling out of our walk with Him. It is a deliberate choice. It is not the result of simply sinning, committing a certain amount of sin, or somehow balancing the scales between good and evil toward evil.
Jesus died once for our sin. He did not die twice or more. Those who choose to repent and follow Jesus die with Him. Those who choose to deny Him will be denied by Him. There is no separation shown between Christians and Non-Christians in this. At no point is the ability to choose or the will of a Christian removed. Having the desire taken from us is not the same as having the choice taken from us. Being a new creation does not mean that the creation cannot be warped or contaminated. Adam was a new creation that walked physically with God and he turned from God.
Romans chapter six dwells specifically on choice. Telling us that our master is the one we choose (current action) to serve. It does not say that our master is the one that we chose (past action) to serve.
Over and over throughout Scripture we are told to endure (current action) and when Jesus told us that anyone who takes their hand off of the plow is not worthy, He did not limit or specify a point in the work at which that applied.
In the parable of the seeds/soils we are given a powerful message. In all four cases it was the same seed that was sown. In three of the four examples the seeds grew and had life. Apple seeds do not grow into pecan trees. The same type of seed grows the same plant. Only the soil is different.
In the case of scripture saying that we cannot be taken, separated, or snatched from the hand of God it is often stated that this would apply to us as well. In the passages where such terminology is used it refers to something outside of the person that would be taking them from God and not the person themselves. Nowhere does it say that we cannot walk away.
At the end of the Revelation there is a penalty listed for taking away from the prophecy. Suffice it to say that one cannot lose something they do not have. We are told in Hebrews that those who were partakers of the Holy Spirit and turn away from Christ cannot repent again. It is in effect crucifying (a cursed death) Jesus a second time and it is cursing the Holy Spirit (which Jesus said is unforgivable).
Scripture tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of God. He loved us so much that Jesus suffered a cursed and painful death to shed His blood for our sin. That sacrifice was for the entire world. That love is so great that Jesus gave Himself up even for those that He knew would deny Him. His love is not limited to Christians.
Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23
Matthew 18: 21-35
John 5:24-25, 10:28-29
Hebrews 6:4-6, 9:20-28
2 Timothy 2:11-13
“In the case of scripture saying that we cannot be taken, separated, or snatched from the hand of God it is often stated that this would apply to us as well. In the passages where such terminology is used it refers to something outside of the person that would be taking them from God and not the person themselves. Nowhere does it say that we cannot walk away.”
There was a time when I agree with you concerning being able to snatch oneself out of the double fisted hand of God, however I had to change my opinion after careful study. Here are the relevant passages.
Joh 10:28 “and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
Joh 10:29 “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.
The key words are “no one-(NASB), or “no man” (KJV)
“no on/no man” in the Greek (Strong’s):
From G3761 and G1520; not even one (man, woman or thing), that is, none, nobody, nothing: – any (man), aught, man, neither any (thing), never (man), no (man), none (+ of these things), not (any, at all, -thing), nought.
Total KJV occurrences: 233
“No man” means exactly what it says – no man, woman, or thing (NOTHING)
One has to read into the passages (eisegesis) the notion that “no one” refers to that which is outside of the believer.
None is able – None has power to do it. In these two verses we are taught the following important truths:
1. That Christians are given by God the Father to Christ.
2. That Jesus gives to them eternal life, or procures by his death and intercession, and imparts to them by his Spirit, that religion which shall result in eternal life.
3. That both the Father and the Son are pledged to keep them so that they shall never fall away and perish. It would be impossible for any language to teach more explicitly that the saints will persevere.
4. That there is no power in man or devils to defeat the purpose of the Redeemer to save his people. We also see our safety, if we truly, humbly, cordially, and daily commit ourselves to God the Saviour. In no other way can we have evidence that we are his people than by such a persevering resignation of ourselves to him, to obey his law, and to follow him through evil report or good report. If we do that we are safe. If we do not that we have no evidence of piety, and are not, cannot be safe.
BIBLE KNOWLEDGE COMMENTARY
My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. That is, no one is strong enough to snatch any of Jesus’ flock from the Father’s hand (or from Jesus’ hand, Joh_10:28). As the NIV margin states, Joh_10:29 in many early Greek manuscripts reads, “What My Father has given Me is greater than all.” The thought of the verse in either case is that the Father who is omnipotent secures the flock by His power and protection. God’s plan of salvation for Jesus’ flock cannot be aborted.
Also, I must ask, what does “never perish” mean in verse 28? If it means wake up in hell (and it does), I then have to ask another question. “If you walk away from / ‘take yourself away from God’ (your expression), would you eventually wake up in Hell?
There is much more to say from scripture concerning the eternal security of the believer that makes it abundantly clear that He who began a good work will bring it to completion. I sometimes use the phrase “Those whom God saves, God keeps.”
I’ll leave it right there.