I have been trying to determine in my own mind if someone who accepts the gospel with the OSAS assurance attached to it, if they have actually been saved and if they are following the true Jesus. I think that this is a question that we, as Christians, need to answer for the sake of those who embrace that theology.
I know that it is a difficult matter to contemplate because there are SO many in the church today that hold to that teaching and there is no doubt that we would be labelled judgemental and perhaps legalistic for even considering it. But the Bible clearly states that if we accept a gospel other than the one that Jesus and the apostles taught us we have accepted no gospel at all.
If someone says "Yeah, I will take that salvation that says no matter what I do I can not lose my salvation." Are they accepting the gospel even if they are living lives that have the appearance of godliness. Afterall, there are many Mormons and JW's that live godly and righteous lives but neither you or I would say that they are saved because they have accepted a different salvation than the one that Jesus came, died and rose again for. I look forward to your response.
My response is in Green:
I agree but maybe not in the exact way you stated it. I will try to explain. I agree that there are so many in the church, and for that matter so many churches, which seem so lost. They chase after every thing under the sun that will tickle their itching ears.
But back to salvation. I think salvation is a matter of the heart. Now, I agree that you have to have the right gospel, but let me explain my point. As long as a person hears that they are a sinner, under judgment by a holy God, who sent His Son to die in their place and rose again and if they will confess and repent of their sins and ask Jesus to forgive them; then I think they have the right gospel. But this is where it comes down to a matter of the heart.
If they 'accept' Jesus as their savior all the while thinking that once they do, they can go back to a life of sin, then I am like you, I don't believe they are truly saved. However, if they are truly repentant and want to follow Christ for the rest of their lives, but yet believe that if they don't they will still be saved, I think they are still saved.
I think the same things can be shown with someone like us who believes that we have a responsibility to continue in our walk. Say you have a person who again truly understands who they are in relationship to God and repents of their sins and follows Christ. Of course they are saved. But now take a person who hears all of that, but the reason they come to Christ is because they believe He will give them their heart's desires, health, wealth and wisdom. They even believe that they have to continue to follow Him to obtain these things. I question if they are truly saved, because their heart was not in the right place.
I guess what I am trying to say, is that only God knows what is in the person's heart at the moment of salvation. The true travesty I see in eternal security teaching is that those who are truly saved, but who like all of us stumble along the way, never come back to God because they think they are still eternally secure. God will convict us and draw us back when we sin, but if we are convinced that we no longer need His forgiveness because we have it already (past, present and future) then we grieve the Holy Spirit and in effect walk away from our salvation. That is what I see as the danger. Not only that some people will come to Christ for the wrong reasons and thereby miss salvation, but that some will truly come to Him but be lead astray later with this false teaching.
I hope that makes sense.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)