This topic is similar to last day prophecy views, in that its “sticky”.
In every case where I’ve seen it discussed, it’s ended with those on both sides (of the issue) staying firmly planted where they began, with no change.
One thing we can all agree with…one belief is correct and one is wrong. And this is where it differs with last day prophecy; for if one is wrong concerning salvation, the results may be eternal.
My reason for putting this up is because I saw another post/topic which appears to be heading into a discussion of OSAS. I believe its best it has its own post in order to give those who want to discuss it, an opportunity to do so.
My belief is we are eternally secure in Christ…ONLY as long as we continue to abide in Him. If we depart from the faith, we are no longer abiding in truth–in Christ:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” (I Tim. 4:1).
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (I Tim. 4:16).
Two words in these passages are especially important “depart” and “continue”.
Clearly we cannot depart from something we never had, nor can we “continue” something not begun. Therefore, we can be sure Paul was speaking to Timothy about converted people.
Below is something I posted at a discussion board some years back concerning this topic, “Is There a Possibility of Falling From Grace”-
In the last days, there will be believers who will be convinced to turn away from Christ and return to sin. There will also be those who grow impatient for Christ’s return. They will be deceived and will try to convince others that the promises God made about Christ’s return to claim his bride, the Church, are false. “…there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Pet. 3:3-4).
We must patiently continue to “hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown’ (Rev. 3:11).
In the Book of Revelation, John wrote about those who at one time had placed the Lord first in their lives but had allowed themselves to grow careless and were very much in danger of losing their place in God’s favor.
“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and remove thy candlestick out of his place…” (Rev. 2:4-5).
We take great comfort in the promise that
“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,…” (Rev. 3:5).
This would certainly indicate that the faithful, the overcomers, will retain their place in the Book of Life.
The importance of this is emphasized when John wrote
“…and another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books,…” (Rev. 20:12).
Jesus explained to His disciples of the dangers and deceit that His followers would face before the end times.
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:11-12).
The only way for love to wax cold is for it to exist.
Again, clearly Christ was speaking of those who once loved the Lord but allowed sin to intervene and their love for Christ grew cold.
Jesus Christ did not leave His disciples without hope. He promised them
“But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13).
This beautiful promise would not have been needed unless there was a danger of falling away.
Not only do we need to be careful that we are not deceived by others, we must be careful that self-confidence does not cause us to grow careless.
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Cor. 10:12).
“First it startles him, then it becomes pleasing, then delightful, then frequent, then habitual, then confirmed; then the man is impenitent, then obstinate, then resolved never to repent, then damned” (Jeremy Taylor (1613-67) – description of the downward progress of the apostate: Strong, Systematic Theology, p. 651).
What security is promised to God’s children?
John, chapter 10:
“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.”
What do these verses teach us?
That God is greater than any adversary of our souls, and therefore we are safe while we remain in His care.
In other words, does it mean once we become God’s children, we are then eternally secure?
Only if we meet the conditions. We must give heed to the Good Shepherd’s voice and follow him.
What of those who claim to be Christians, yet do not follow Christ in their daily lives?
If they do not obey His commandments, we must conclude they are not Christ’s sheep. (John 14:15, 23; 1 John 2:4; Luke 6:46, etc.) Therefore, those who do not follow him are not secure.
If Jesus said no man is able to pluck His sheep out of His hand, or out of his Father’s hand, how is it possible to fall away from God?
By refusing to meet God’s conditions, or by backsliding into unrepented of sin.
We can liken this to a man caught in a storm. God has provided a shelter, and if man by the drawing of God’s Spirit is willing to enter that shelter and remain there, the rain and wind can do him no harm. But as a creature of free will, he can choose to leave the shelter and walk out into the storm.
Are there any examples in the New Testament of believers who fell away from the true faith, or voluntarily turned back to a sinful life?
There are. We will list several here:
(1) “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (II Tim. 4:10).
(2) “Holding faith, and a good conscience, which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme” (I Tim. 1:19, 20).
(3) “But now, after that ye [Galatians] have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?. . .I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain” (Gal. 4:9, 11).
What things are not able to separate us from the love of God?
“For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38, 39).
What however can and will separate us from God?
“But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have made him hide his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:2).
“He that committeth sin is of the devil” (I John 3:8).
“Any man see his brother sin . . . . There is a sin unto death” (I John 5:16).
What warnings are given us to beware of apostasy?
Here are a few:
(1) “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62).
(2) “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Heb. 3:12).
(3) “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32).
(4) “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Heb. 4:11).
(5) “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Cor. 10:12).
(6) “Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness” (II Pet. 3:17).
What emphasis did Jesus place on abiding in Him?
“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 . . . If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned . . . If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love” (John 15:4, 6, 10).
Others insist that a child of God cannot fall from God’s favor, no matter what kind of life he leads. They say that “Once born, it is impossible to be unborn.” Are they right?
This is a dangerous teaching. Even the analogy is distorted — the opposite of birth is not unbirth, but death.
A child may die, and it is likewise possible for a child of God to fall away from God and die a spiritual death.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Rom. 8:13).
What does the writer to the Hebrews declare is impossible?
“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).
What is even worse than to never have known the way of righteousness?
To have known it, and then turn away from it. (See II Pet. 2:20, 21).
What did Paul write to Timothy on this subject?
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (I Tim. 4:1, 2).
It is not God’s will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9), yet He will not force His will upon anyone. Man is given a free will to choose whom he will serve, and therefore he has his part to do to avail himself of God’s free gift of salvation.
Our eternal destiny is conditional not only on our becoming a child of God, but on remaining one –persevering in the faith unto death.
“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (II Cor. 7:1).
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 1:10, 11).
“..because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” – Romans 11
One who has abandoned one’s religious faith, a political party, one’s principles, or a cause.
A person who has defected: defector, deserter, recreant, renegade, runagate, tergiversator, turncoat. Informal: rat.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin apostata, from Greek apostats, from aphistanai, to revolt; see apostasy.]
Apostasy: Definition: – Turning or falling away from true gospel teachings as individuals or as a people.