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OSAS -The Other Side

We finished our last article and made the claim that OSAS is a doctrine of demons and worthy of complete rejection. We do recognize, though, that they also utilize scriptural references to support their position. So, to avoid confusion, and hopefully add some balance, we are going to look at, and try to explain, some of the most commonly used proof texts which are said to support OSAS. Please keep in mind that the Holy Bible should not contradict itself..

The most common passages an OSAS proponent would immediately point to are the numerous passages which seem to tell us that if we simply believe, then we are assured of attaining eternal life. These would include John 3:16 and, in addition, others such as: John 3:36; 5:24; 6:35; 6:40; 11:25-26; 1John 5:13 and so on. OSAS teachers are quick to quote these verses but are not so quick to tell you that the word “believe” in these passages was written in the present, continuous tense in the Greek. The literal rendering of John 3:16 would be, “For God did so love the world, that His Son -the only begotten- He gave, that every one who is believing in Him may not perish, but have life age-during.” (Young’s Literal Translation) The promises in any of these passages are conditional. One must be presently believing for these promises to apply to them. They do not simply say that if we believe one time, or for one moment, that we will attain eternal life.

Another favorite, oft-quoted proof text is John 10:28-29. Here Jesus is speaking about His sheep and He says, “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.” When pulled out of the Bible and taken out of context it sure sounds like this proves OSAS. What does Jesus say about these sheep, though? Let’s go up just one verse and read verse 27, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” This word “follow” was also written in the present, continuous tense. So here we see a condition attached to those wonderful promises of, they shall never perish, and no one will pluck them out of My or My Father’s hands. These awesome promises are only for those sheep who are presently following Jesus. They are in no way guaranteed to those who once were following but who are following no longer.

Next, we will take a look at my all-time favorite, the one I used most often when I was ensnared in this deceptive teaching. Ephesians 1:13-14 reads, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest (or down-payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” What this passage is clearly saying is that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit the moment we first believe. The seal is defined as a mark or a stamp that God puts on us which conveys a meaning of ownership, security, and destination. This seal or stamp shows that God has purchased us, that we are secure in Him, and that we are now destined to receive an eternal inheritance, of which we have already received a down payment. I must admit this seems to make a pretty strong case for OSAS.

We need to remember, though, and any good Bible teacher would tell you, that whenever we attempt to understand what the Bible is teaching we must always focus on the context in which it was written. The book of Ephesians was originally written as a letter to the church at Ephesus. When a letter is written it is meant to be read in its entirety, from beginning to end. The Apostle Paul who wrote chapter 1 also wrote chapters 2-6. Does Paul tell us anywhere in this letter of any responsibilities we might have which could nullify, or which would exclude us, from receiving our inheritance and thereby having this seal removed, so to speak?

If we move ahead in this letter we see Paul in chapter 4 switching his focus from the wondrous things that God has done for us to the things that we are now responsible to do. He writes in verse 1, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called.” He then begins describing how we are to walk and in verse 17-20 he writes, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through (or because of) the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness (or much sinning), to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ.” Paul has just went on to tell us that we must not walk or live as the Gentiles, who sin willfully and often, and who work all uncleanness with greediness.

Why does he tell us this if we have been sealed and therefore eternally saved? He gives us the answer in the next chapter, in verses 3-7. This reads, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient (or proper): but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” Here we see Paul attaching conditions to the receiving of our inheritance. We must abstain from fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, and jesting because NO, NONE, NADA, not one person who does any of these things will have ANY inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain (or useless, untrue) words. If you, Christian, disobey God and do these things, you have no inheritance any longer and the wrath of God will surely come upon you.

So can this seal or mark be removed? If a Christian lives to please their sinful nature, absolutely! Are there any other passages which support this? Romans 8:12-13, written also by Paul, says, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh (or sinful nature), to live after the flesh. For if ye (brethren) live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Here Paul says that we have a debt to pay. We must not live by the sinful nature or we will die. Paul, again, writing to the church at Galatia writes in Gal 6:7-9, “Be not deceived (sound familiar); God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh (sinful nature) shall of the flesh reap corruption (or destruction); but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Here we see Paul warning these believers also, “Be not deceived.” Whoever of you sows to your sinful nature will reap destruction and whoever sows to the Spirit of God will reap (notice the future tense here) eternal life. Then he says again, if we continue in well doing we will reap (or attain to) eternal life, if we do not stop. Hebrews 10:26-27 may be the most frightening passage of all. It reads, “For if we (the Christians) sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

The Bible is very clear. God does give those who have been born again responsibilities that they must uphold. He supplies His grace which allows us to fulfill those responsibilities (Titus 2:11-12) but we can choose to utilize His grace or not. We can receive the grace of God in vain or to no effect. Paul, himself, tells us this in 2Cor. 6:1, “We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.”

Dear Christian, do not believe the lie that you can believe once and forever be eternally saved no matter what you do, while expecting God to do it all. As God gave Adam and Eve the choice to obey or disobey Him in the Garden, He gives us the same choice today. When we repent of our sins and turn to Him, He changes our hearts so that we want to follow Him. He frees us from the power of sin (Rom. 6:17-18,22) that once controlled us. He gives us the grace to live righteous, godly lives in this present world (Titus 2:11-12). He gives us everything we could possibly need to attain to eternal life. He then simply asks us to walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit which He gives to us also. But the Bible says that He has given us the choice to either walk with Him in His ways (live by faith) or choose to live by our old, sinful natures (Rom. 8:12-13), sow to please our flesh (Gal. 6:7-8), sin willfully (Heb. 10:26-27) and choose to receive the grace of God in vain (2Cor. 6:1). Be not deceived, God is not mocked. He has a perfect track record concerning sin. If he did not spare the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and if He did not spare the old world, but utterly destroyed them with a flood in the days of Noah, and if He did not spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, but overthrew them in ashes for their wickedness, (2Peter 2:4-6) and if He did not spare the nation of Israel (Rom. 11:21), but cut them off, and if He did not even spare His own Son, (Rom. 8:32) but had Him crucified for the sins of the world, why do we think today that He will spare us if we do the same? I’ll end with Romans 11:19-22 which reads, “Thou wilt say then, the branches were broken off, that I (notice the individual tense) might be grafted in. Well; 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.” OSAS is a lie from the pit of hell. Don’t fall into its deadly trap.

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