It is my opinion that the typical person who believes that one can lose one's salvation bases his/her opinion on logic rather than Bible. It seems human logic can support either view, and is not the key to finding truth.
As to logic....I personally do not like the simplicity of the phrase once saved always saved, but I do think the Bible clearly teaches the doctrine that salvation is wholly dependent upon God, and therefore a person who is saved cannot be lost. If salvation is wholly dependent upon God, it cannot be lost, however, if salvation is in any way dependent upon me, I can lose my salvation, in fact, I would say it is likely I will.
If you would I would like for you to answer two questions I have concerning OSAS. One, Romans 8.28-39 seems to strongly represent that a person in Christ (Romans 8.1), cannot ever be separated from Christ. I note that the Apostle goes through an extensive and comprehensive list of those things that might be seen to separate a person in Christ from Christ, but in fact, the Apostle argues that nothing, absolutely no created thing (that would include the person in Christ) can separate that person from the love of God in Christ. That seems to leave the person denying eternal security with the proposition that those in hell are included in the love of God. Such a view seems to misrepresent love, and particularly the love of God. Further, if there were an exception, that is, a case where a person could be separated from the love of God, the Apostle would be required due to honesty to include it in light of the strength of his argument against one being separated from the love of God.
The second Bible area I think a person who denies eternal security must deal with is, the issue of a person being adopted into the family of God (Ephesians 1.5 and Romans 8.15-17 et al). As I have looked at 1st century Roman adoption, as well as modern adoption I note that one may disinherit a child born to a family physically, but legally one may not disinherit a child who has been adopted. Paul therefore, uses a strong, and I presume clearly understood word, to refer to the security of a believer in God's family. I see no verse that speaks of a child, adopted into the family of God that may be disinherited. Why would the Apostle use such a strong word in reference to our salvation if our salvation were not as strong spiritually as the legal step of adoption is physically?
My response is in Green:
I will address the points you made, but you have done what every OSAS person I have spoken to has done. That is misrepresented my position. You start out by saying what you think the person who believes you can lose your salvation thinks. Fine, but I don't believe you can 'lose' you salvation. This is not just word games, this is what I believe. I do believe that a person who was once saved may again come under God's wrath, but not by losing their salvation. I don't believe that a sin or any thing else can separate me from God's love. Now having said that I do believe that I still have free will and that if I choose some time in the future not to believe or not to follow God that I may give up my salvation, but that is not the same thing as losing it. What I mean by not following God is going back and deliberately living in sin.
You made the statement: "If salvation is wholly dependent upon God, it cannot be lost, however, if salvation is in any way dependent upon me, I can lose my salvation, in fact, I would say it is likely I will." Now my question is how did you obtain salvation? By God's grace, yes, by faith, yes and whose faith was it? It was your faith, so in a way it was dependant on you, if you had not believed you would not have been saved. That is all I am saying. If that is true at the beginning why can't it be true at the end?
I will address your passages of Scripture but I will tell you first that there are many passages which tell us to continue in the faith. I will just give you a couple: (2 Peter 1:10 NIV) Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall... I think the Bible is clear and I think logic is also clear here. If you do these things you will never fall, but if you don't you might. Why would Peter bother to write that if it were not possible?
(1 Corinthians 15:2 NIV) By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. If you don't hold on, you have believed in vain. It says what it says. Only someone who refuses to take what the Bible plainly says can come up with a different interpretation of that verse.
Now on to the two you want me to look at. Here is the first passage: (Romans 8:28-39 NIV)  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-- more than that, who was raised to life-- is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now here is my question and yes I know I am asking you to think which implies using logic, but just try; who is this passage referring to? The very first verse tells you; those who love him (God). Now if a person decides to walk away from God they no longer love Him, so this whole passage would not apply to them. And if they decided to quit believing or loving God, they were not separated by any of the things mentioned by the Apostle. But be careful, you can't take one passage of Scripture and get a clear picture of Christian doctrine by it. You have to take Scripture as a whole. The whole of Scripture teaches that we must follow Christ.
Your second point is okay but you take it too far. I will agree with you that a person who believes in Jesus Christ is adopted into God's family. But your point about never being able to be put out of the family does not ring true. The very first place I will go to show you how wrong you are is a parable that Jesus told, I am sure you are familiar with it. It is a pretty long passage so I won't quote it all, just three verses: (Luke 15:21 NIV) "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'"
(Luke 15:31-32 NIV)  "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"
Notice that the natural son says that he is no longer worthy to be called son. Now notice what the father tells the other son. He says that the son who walked away was dead and lost but is now alive and found. Was this son a son before he left? Of course the parable makes that clear. Was he dead and lost while he was gone? Of course, again the parable says he was. Was he again alive and found when he returned? Of course it plainly says so. Now under your understanding of the adoption process this parable is impossible, so why did Jesus bother to tell it?
I may use logic in my thinking, but you are reading the Bible through the lens of your theological stand and that will cause you to misinterpret passages because otherwise they would debunk your stand.
Let me go further on this subject of being sons of God. Would you agree that when Adam and Eve sinned they came under God's wrath? Would you agree that their sin and rebellion towards God caused them to be damned to hell for eternity (if it were not for the death of Jesus Christ)? I am pretty sure you will agree with those statements, because if their sin did not bring them under God's wrath, then the Bible is a lie and none of us need a Savior in the first place. So I will go on assuming that you agree.
Look at the genealogy of Jesus as given in Luke's gospel. Again it is long and I am only concerned with one verse so that is all I will quote here. (Luke 3:38 NIV)  the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. Notice God (who inspired Luke to write this) calls Adam His son. So again we see that being a son did not keep Adam from God's holy wrath.
Now let me ask you a question. Did Judas walk away from his salvation? Oh, I am sure you will give the OSAS line that Judas was never saved, but if you do, you better look closely at the Bible. Judas was called a disciple of Jesus, he was also made an Apostle by Jesus, Himself. Look at this passage: (Luke 6:12-16 (NIV)  One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.  When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:  Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,  Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot,  Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. Notice at the beginning that Jesus called His disciples and chose twelve of them to be Apostles. One of those twelve was Judas. That means Judas was a disciple. Jesus then chose him to be one of the twelve Apostles, not a position for an unbeliever.
Now look at this passage: (John 13:12-18 NIV)  When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them.  "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
 "I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.'"
We know that Jesus is telling them that Judas would betray Him, but there is much more here. In verse 18 we see Jesus refer to the fact that He must be betrayed to fulfill Scripture, so let's look at that Scripture and see what it says. Here it is: (Psalm 41:9 NIV) Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. Wow, if you think about this verse Jesus is saying that Judas, in spite of what OSAS teaches, was a trusted friend up to this point. If he is a disciple and chosen to be an Apostle and was a trusted friend, then how can he have never believed? To believe that a disciple and Apostle was never saved is to ignore the plain reading of Scripture. So is Judas in heaven? That is a normal question. If he was saved and if a person can never come under God's wrath after salvation then Judas has to be in heaven, right? Well he is not as we see in this passage: (Mark 14:20-21 NIV)  "It is one of the Twelve," he replied, "one who dips bread into the bowl with me.  The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born." Wouldn't being in heaven with no rewards be much better than never having been born? No Judas is not in heaven, he is in hell, although he was a true believer at one time.
In closing, I would agree that our salvation is wholly dependant of God's grace and mercy, but it is also only given to those who believe. If it is only given to those who believe than why couldn't a person who quits believing forfeit that salvation?
To believe OSAS you have to believe that a person who once places their faith in Jesus Christ and then goes back to a sinful lifestyle will still go to heaven. Now my last question is this what would you call a person who is a homosexual, or an adulterer, or a liar, or a murderer? If you would call them sexually immoral, or liars, or murderers then they have to go to hell. Period. I did not say that God Himself says that: (Revelation 21:8 NIV) But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. A believer follows the commands of God, or he is a liar and all liars will be in hell. It does not say nor imply that liars who once believed will be saved. A liar is a liar and will spend eternity in hell.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)