Eternal Security – An Introduction
Recently I made a new friend in a Christian forum who goes by the name of Zerich. Zerich has been trying to convince his friend that Eternal Security (aka Once Saved; Always Saved) is a doctrine that is faithful to scripture. To help Zerich out I am reproducing part of the Introduction to Lloyd A. Olson’s book “Eternal Security: Once Saved Always Saved.” Dr. Olson doesn’t have much use for those who say that a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ can lose their salvation so his language is strong. I wouldn’t recommend that Zerich show this excerpt to his friend but he may find this enlightening for his own study.
Here is Dr. Olson:
This is an apologetic refutation of the abuses perpetrated upon God’s Word by Modern Day Sadducees (MDS). These heretics demonstrate an alarming confusion of the requirements of justification with the requirements of sanctification.
Those against OSAS make many serious mistakes. Perhaps the worst of their mistakes is the confusion of the requirement of justification with the requirements of sanctification. One cannot properly understand the totality of scripture unless one can understand this parallelism. Keep referring to the following picture. It will help you understand the two different theological systems before you throughout this book.
[NOTE: This figure is important but this is as large as I can make it. If you would like a closer view I recommend following the link above which will take you to the description of Dr. Olson’s book on Amazon. You can then “Look Inside” and get a good view of the diagram.]
Note that salvation is the broad overarching term used for Once Saved; Always Saved (OSAS) view. Salvation refers to the total package. Sometimes, the word salvation is lazily used without reference to either the forensic or filial nature being addressed. It is also lazily used without reference to the temporal (past/present/future) aspect thus creating even more confusion. Correct biblical analysis must use both dimensions. Utilization of both dimensions results in four possible concepts: Initial Justification, Initial Sanctification, Repetitive Justification, and Repetitive Sanctification. The NOSAS heresy is based on the confusion of these four concepts.
Thus, a correct understanding of terminology is a critical feature of the confusion amongst denominations. Discussions must be able to keep the following dimensions straight: justification/sanctification, past/present/future, forgiveness of sin/forgiveness of sins, destiny/rewards, faith/faithfulness and grace/works. My defense of OSAS invariably highlights saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Terminology is of critical importance!
Originally this was to contain all of the original passages typically used by both sides of this important controversy. I started with Shank’s text from the 1960s. His work used many errors of modern day Sadducees. Then, I was shown Dan Corner’s Internet site. I made a list of verses that typically are used to support the NOSAS view and started answering their claims in light of proper biblical exegesis and context.
It quickly became apparent that the list of verses used by the NOSAS crowd had the same few patterns of scriptural abuse in virtually every mishandling of scripture. Worse, their “proofs” in any given section all seem to regurgitate versions of the same few twisted lies. They hold rightly to these “proof passages” in complete disdain of the great weight of scripture that affirms eternal security: Once Saved; Always Saved.
I’ve written this book to be used as a handy look up reference on confusing Bible verses. Each chapter is written so that you can skim the entire book in 10-15 minutes simply by reading each chapter’s Précis. Then, if you want to see more, each chapter has a Short Discussion that provides the key points from each view. Finally, each chapter has a Theological Tidbit that demonstrates a deeper aspect of biblical unity that affirms Free Grace and OSAS.
It is my deepest hope that the Lord will use this book to strengthen the knowledge of your secure position in Jesus Christ so that His mighty grace will flow through you and into a lost and dying world—all for God’s glory!Eternal Security