I grew up in an once saved always saved (OSAS) home. Lukewarm, worldly, hypocritical Christianity was all I knew. When I wanted more of "real Christianity," my Mom called me "legalistic" and other not so nice names. I found it impossible to have deep, spiritual conversations with her. When I pointed out to my Dad that my brother was living in drunkenness and fornication (pornography) like the world, my Dad said that I "didn't understand true grace" like my brother. (Almost a decade later, my brother finally became saved and acknowledged-- to my parents' surprise-- that he wasn't saved like they thought as a kid.)
At age __, right after I was determined to "live for God" as His disciple, a fellow "missionary" and "Christian" brother date raped me. I didn't know what to do. (I always wanted to be with only one man my entire life), so I gave into his request for more sex the next three days, making me a fornicator. (I thought that I had to "submit" to him, since he was now "my headcovering". I hated the sex, but didn't think I was allowed to say "no" as a "loving" wife would always do what her husband wants"--according to all those Christian self-help books.) When I came to my senses and realized what had really happened-- I had been deceived like Eve-- I began two years of crying non-stop. Literally. It became like a full-time job.
In between crying bouts, I began to ask God "Why?" and "What was going on?" I was very, very confused. When I challenged this man over our sin, his response was "There are no consequences. Grace covers it." At first, I believed him. Why would he lie to me? He was a Christian, in love with God, right?... However, over time, it became apparent that he was a liar, a swindler, and a "murderer" in his heart.
As I pressed further, it became apparent that we believed in two different gospels. Though he called Jesus his "Lord," it was obviously lip service. He was still living for himself. He told me that I was going to hell for believing a works gospel. He also told me that he would "trample all over me," if he could, especially if he married me. Knowing I only wanted to be with one person my entire life did not deter him from taking my virginity and then trying to boot me away from him when I was no longer willing to have sex anymore with him. I remembered the verses in Scripture about "trampling on Jesus' blood" and wondered if he treated Jesus' body (me, a fellow believer) this way, could he be saved?
I got into the Bible and started looking for answers. I was very scared that maybe I was not going to inherit the kingdom because I was a fornicator. I read many opinions. I was very confused. Things did not make sense. Most "teachers" with PhDs from seminary contradicted themselves. During this time, at one Sunday School class, the teacher made us very confused about salvation. At the end, he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Now that I have thoroughly confused you, you are dismissed!" (Yes, his exact words!) I was indignant, but no one seemed to notice how strange it was that man with a PhD didn't know what the Bible said about salvation. That made me realize that something wasn't right with this version of Christianity, even though my parents told me my entire life that we were "right" and everyone else was "wrong."
I taught myself Greek as I read the New Testament interlinear Bible, and also I learned Hebrew from friends. (God had told me not to go to seminary when I had graduated from college, though I didn't understand why at the time.) God slowly but surely brought the puzzle pieces together. I understand now how these "false gospels" came about, and what the true gospel is.
And I am living it out. No more depression or suicidal thoughts. My heart is pure. I don't crave things of the flesh or things of the world-- not only is sin not an issue, but selfishness has also been defeated. It's all about God.
After considering the implications of different "frameworks" for reading the Bible, I am convinced OSAS is a doctrine of demons. I have read The Believer’s Conditional Security, and agree with it. The Bible does not make sense any other way. I have looked at different interpretations, and all of them fall short except conditional security. The framework we believe will influence how we live and what we do. That's why it's important to have the proper framework. In the past, when I believed in OSAS, I would skip over any verses in the Bible that didn't make sense to me. I understand God better-- His unchanging character, His personality, His values, His love. Things make sense now. No more confusion!
How I wish that I knew this as a kid. It would have saved me much heartache and pain! I could have spent 20 plus years living for God, not wasted on selfish pursuits. How much time I lost! I regret it! Moreover, the sins I sowed have reaped mental illness, heartache, and pain which I could have spared myself if someone had shown me the power in the Cross for overcoming sin, self, and Satan. I am still healing, and perhaps may not be completely healed until I die-- how I long for that day to come!
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