The Sin of Non-OSAS
Hi, Troy. Your
God is constrained to Scripture --- He is not different than as He revealed
Himself in His inspired-Word. I cited many verses in my response to you; if I am
wrong, show me. Show me with Scripture.
If either you or I could not answer all of the verses that the other gives, then it cannot be the verses that are wrong --- it must be our own understanding.
I did not save a copy of my previous reply to you; if you have not deleted it, then please answer the Scriptures. If you have, then at least answer 2Pet1:5-11 and 2:20-22, and James 5:19-20. There are only three possibilities that OSAS uses to accommodate verses such as these:
1. The described person wasn't ever REALLY saved (in the first place)
2. He didn't really FALL from SALVATION
3. It's hypothetical, fanciful story --- designed to teach or admonish or "keep us in line" --- but it can't REALLY happen
...and I submit that none of these "devices" can withstand scrutiny in regards to many passages; the three afore-mentioned for instance.
Calvinism says, "God ELECTS and REGENERATES and gifts BELIEF and MAINTAINS/PERSEVERES us" --- which casts us as passive recipients of EVERYTHING.
Antinomianism say "salvation is BELIEF, but not belief that causes HEART-CHANGE --- you can still be sinning willfully all you want but have no fear you're GOING TO HEAVEN --- casting us as careless irrresponsible mirror-images-of-the-reprobate (somehow the WORRY of sin is GONE, but without repentance)...
Eternal-Security asserts that "Jesus died for ALL, and everyone CAN believe; but from then on it is GOD'S job to KEEP us saved" --- it again casts us as passive (even sleeping) participants in salvation, ignoring verses such as, "Be not only HEARERS of the Word, but doers ALSO".
And I do not see the substance of the True Gospel in any of these.
If I am wrong, then teach me with Scriptural exegesis. If what you believe is wrong, then be willing to be taught of the Holy Spirit.
May God bless and mature both of us.
In Christ, Ben.
My Response -
We need not concern ourselves with Calvinism since as you well say, we become passive recipients of everything. How then do we reconcile the problem of antinomianism with preservation? For in antinomianism there is no accountability, consequence, nor rewards and place that would be for loss of rewards. Under preservation (eternal security) we also can be soporific and dull if God keeps us saved. No doubt non-OSAS would solve all of these problems. But there is no confidence in faith under non-OSAS to really trust in God’s all knowing ability to foreknow all things and keep us even when we are faithless.
James 5.19-20 He Fell, But Not Fallen
There is only one solution to solve all these various problems which has always been God’s original Word made so clear to the patient reader who reads by the Holy Spirit.
Jam 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
Jam 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (Sins that otherwise would have been committed.)
In James 5.19 “converteth simply means to “turn him back” in NASB. Again we do not assume he lost salvation. We only accept that he erred from the truth. Now I do not know if the “death” pertains to the effects of the “second death” on believers burning off of dead works, or if it means an early physical death, but either way the consequence is a negative one. This believer that would be so turned back will then be back on the road of overcoming and may yet receive the reward of reigning with Christ in the millennial kingdom, no longer able to be hurt by the second death. Let’s compare some verses to see this matter more clearly. “He shall never see death” (John 8.51,52) is actually “he shall not forever see death” in the original, and “he shall never taste death” is “he shall not forever taste death” in the original. “They shall never perish” (John 10.28) is “they shall not forever perish” in the original. “Shall never die” (John 11.25,26) is “shall not forever die” in the original (that is, receives death according to what is due him).
2 Peter 1.9-11 He is Blind, But Not Fallen
2Pe 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
2Pe 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
2Pe 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
In 2 Peter 1.9-11 we are told that some believers will be blinded, and will forget, so you are to work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. In reading the Bible never let ourselves assume anything for the minute we fall by assuming, we are blind. Our election is fact, now it needs to be made sure. The RSV version says “confirm your call and election”. In other words strengthen that which you already have. Therefore, you shall never fall. NASB says “shall never stumble”. Fall does not mean to lose what has been given. Rather, it means to fall down. Even so, now get back up for you have the life of Christ in you. If you do not, and stay down, you most certainly will lose the rewards of the kingdom. Where do you go if you lose the rewards of the kingdom as a good many Christians will lose such reward in reigning with Christ during the millennium. It has been mentioned 3 times by name in the Scriptures. It’s name is "outer darkness". We need to humble ourselves to this recognition because this is the piece of the puzzle many simply are not willing to accept-as Christians. God has a way of putting them outside of glory – outer darkness – without any part of the kingdom. This is what Matt. 25.30 means. If you say to yourself “I will not legalize this term to be hell” then you can accept it for it no longer becomes such a monumental term.
2 Peter 2.20-22 Came So Close, But Was Never Saved To Begin With
2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
2Pe 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Why are those in worse condition and their end worse with them than in the beginning (a superficial believing-not new birth)? 2 Peter 2.20-22 say emphatically that it would have been better if they did not learn anything than to gain this knowledge of God which is dead faith (never were born-again). I know the question you want to ask me next, which is a very reasonable question–why is it worse? The Bible says why in Heb. 6.4-8. We are not to return to first repentance (actual Christians who backslide). As Christians, we would be saying to God take us back to first repentance. Let's start over the basics again. Just as no one can go back to his mother’s womb and be born again after he has lived a bad life for several decades, so spiritually he cannot go back to lay again the foundation if he ever falls away (losing rewards, not life). But what if he really continues doing bad things? There will be three consequences; namely, (1) rejected, (2) brought nigh to a curse, and (3) be burned. These three terms in Hebrews 6 show us 3 things: (1) loss of rewards – outer darkness, (2) judged, for that is being brought near to a curse, and (3) your works shall be burned up as all for naught and of no value.
Just as it is a terrible thing to contemplate returning to first repentance and basic foundation of our faith in Hebrews 6, it is also a preposterous to come so close to God (2 Pet. 2.20-22) and yet turn away like the disciples did when Jesus said to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood. You will be treated like a dog (worldling) for being like a sow (false Christian).
What stern warnings God gives to Christians so that Christians can see the rewards of the kingdom, have them assured now, and no longer able to be hurt by the second death (Rev. 20.4)! Many Christians we know will yet be burned by the second death (lake of fire), a burning of their dead works at Bema judgment seat before the 1000 years. After judgment seat, not having rewards, they will be made ready in outer darkness. Is this hard for you to stomach? Your flesh will fight this exact reading of the Word tooth and nail. Just know, whenever this phrase is used, there is never any mention of fire or furnace about it!