Q. My pastor and I were discussing the issue of OSAS. He doesn’t ever want to push this to find out, but he wonders if one could walk away from what God has done for them. The Bible does say that no one can snatch us out of God’s hand, but what does it say in relation to us throwing away God’s gift? Can we willingly walk away from God’s grace and lose our salvation? Just curious to your thoughts.
A. There are several verses that if taken literally tell us that once we agree to be saved the matter is out of our hands and God accepts responsibility for keeping us that way. You mention John 10:27-30 which is one of them. Common sense tells us that the words “no one” are all inclusive and pertain to us as well. Romans 8:38-39 is another such passage where Paul said that nothing in all of creation can separate us from God’s love. Since we’re part of creation, that means us. Some people like to add the phrase “no one but us” but the Scriptures don’t support that, in fact they seem to clearly include us among those who can’t get us away from God.
In John 6:38-40 Jesus said that it was His father’s will that He should lose none of us. We may not always do His fathers will, but surely Jesus always does.
My personal favorite is 2 Cor. 1:21-22 where we’re told that it’s God Himself who makes us stand, having put His seal of ownership on us. Earlier in 1 Cor 6:19-20 Paul said that we’re not our own, we were bought with a price.
All these statements tell me that once we come to the Lord we have no further say in the matter. We become His children and He accepts responsibility for keeping us in the family. The more you understand the sin nature, the clearer it becomes that He had to do that. We simply cannot be trusted to always act in our own best interests. Like the sheep we are, we’d wander right into the open jaws of the lion if the Shepherd wasn’t there to prevent it. In summary, there is no Scriptural support for the idea that we can hand back our salvation.