OSAS, ESOB, TULIP, and Arminian Theology.It is definatly confusing. I get more emails and questions about this topic than all others combined. Some people are seeking answers, some to justify themselves, some to pick a fight. The question comes down to this: can a saved person ever be lost? Let me give you a brief overview of these four main schools of thought on this topic as I understand them:
The Armenian school of thought goes something like this: Once God has saved us we must keep ourselves saved by following the law. If we do not and we sin, we lose our salvation. I have the following questions for those who believe this:
- At what point do you lose your salvation? For this to make sense to me you would have to lose your salvation each time you sin and need to be saved again. You tell a lie, have an adulterous thought, disobey the powers that be by going 26 in a 25 speed zone, oops you lost it and need to be saved again.
- This leads me to my second thought on this topic. if God can save me and not keep me saved, He is not a very powerful God.
- A third thought because of this, does this not make this a works based salvation? (cf Romans 11:6) and cuts us off Christ and fallen from grace (Galatians 5:4)?
Sometimes refereed to as the graces of Reformed Theology. The one that pertains to our disussion is the P, perseverance of the saints. The thought that God will keep only the elect (those who Jesus died for, as Jesus died only to save the elect) and keep them till the end so they will be saved.
While I am not a reformed theologian, a friend of mine, Dr. M. Keith Foskey, a local pastor at a reformed church just did an excellent series of sermons on the Graces of Reformed Theology and I encourage you if you are wanting to learn more about them, you can listen to his sermons online here. Or you can visit James White at Alpha and Omega Ministries.
OSAS or Once Saved Always Saved is really one of the most damnable heresies to me. It says in brief that once you say a prayer and accept Jesus as your Saviour you can never be lost no matter what you do or how you live. This spits in my Saviours face and tramples His precious blood under your feet if you believe this lie. Here is a hard fact: if you live like the devil, you are going to Hell. This belief twist the trths of Romans 10:9 and 10:13 and ignores other plain teachings of the Bible.
Let me tell you on the authority of the Bible, if you live in sin and you have no conviction, no chastisement then the Word of God calls you a bastard and not a son (see Hebrews 12:5-8).
Eternal Security Of the Believer is the last of the four views we will be looking at, and no it is not the same of OSAS, in fact it is a near cousin of Perseverance of the Saints in Reformed Theology. It goes something like this:
Once a person is saved by the grace of God, God keeps him saved, securing his salvation and when a person strays, reaches a difficult point in his life, or has a major decision, keeps him on the right (narrow) path. God does this through the tools of:
- His Peace, which should rule as an umpire in our lives. (Col. 3:15, AMP version) if we do not follow the peace of God then,
- He brings conviction, that feeling of guilt. Do not just ignore this but act on it and repent to God for the wrong. If we do not act upon this, then we are..
- Chastised of God (see Hebrews 12:5-8) to bring the fruit of repentance in our hearts.
In this last passage it tells us if we do not have chastisement of which ALL are partakers we are bastards and not sons. We did not lose our salvation, we never had it. (Remember Jesus in Matthew chapter 7:21-22, He said that He NEVER knew them. Also that the gifts and calling of God is without repentance? Salvation is a gift according to Ephesians 2:8-9, o God is nt an a person that He would renege on His promise).
The difference between this and Reformed Theology is that God is free to save whosoever, and salvation is available to the world, not limited to the elect.
And this is an important difference (to me anyway) between OSAS and the Armenian thoughts about salvation.
- Unlike OSAS, it does not support the abuse of the liberty we have in Jesus Christ.
- Unlike Armenian Theology, the responsability to keep us saved lies with God. God is far more able to keep me saved than I am by my own efforts.
I know I did not use much of the Bible in this post. Each view uses/misuses scripture and has their favorite verses on their own favorite views on salvation and if there is a need to go deeper, if you have questions, I would be happy to try and answer them for you. Just keep e-mailing or posting responses and I’ll try to help. I am hopeful now that you will see what the differences is in each position on this topic and why ESOB just may be the best choice in this confusing alphabet soup.