let me preface my response by saying that if you don't believe in assurance of a believer or osas, we are not going to agree on this, so I really don't want to drag this out.
I have made a distinction because I think of apostates and how the osas camp sees them.
I'm not sure how you believe the osas camp sees apostates. I see apostates as those who were never saved. Maybe some others who hold to osas believe differently. I'm certainly not dogmatic on my belief about who an apostate is. Maybe you could explain how you think the osas camp sees apostates.
But regardless of that, I believe that there are people who had faith in Christ, and then they left faith. I am also sure that is true for nominal Christians too as you have defined them. But I also think that there are those who had faith, knew Christ and then left. This is my opinion, you may disagree and I assume you would.
I believe that once someone trusts Christ(or had faith as you put it) he is saved. Period. If someone continues to trust Christ, his faith grows. Or, if he stops trusting Christ for whatever reason, he is still saved, but he may not grow in faith. And this is just my basic osas/assurance beliefs. The assurance of salvation is in God's power to keep a believer. Not in the believer's power to keep salvation.
Now, if a man is saved and he dies, he is saved... But what if a man is saved, knows Christ and then left faith... Now whether this man is saved as the osas camp holds, or he was a nominal Christian as you hold, my point is that in both instances, this man can be called an apostate or a saved person but what he can't be called is a Christian.
I see a nominal Christian as one who isn't saved. And since I believe once someone is saved, he can't lose salvation, then a nominal christian was never saved. So no, if a believer "falls away", or "loses faith", it doesn't mean he loses salvation. It means he probably stops trusting Christ, and he may not grow
in faith, or mature as a Christian.
So yes, I do disagree. I say anyone who has ever trusted Christ is a Christian. Even if he stops trusting Christ at some point. But he may be viewed by others as a non-Christian, because of his actions.
That is how I wrote previously that such a person who has left faith, even if he is saved as osas holds because he once trusted Christ... He can't be called a Christian. Therefore we can't judge his salvation.
If someone tells me he has trusted Christ for salvation, I judge that person as saved. Period.
Of course if a Christian trusts Christ as his lord and Savior , he is saved.
What I think you're saying is if a person trusts Christ, and continues to trust Christ, he will be saved when he dies.
And if that's what you believe, you don't believe in assurance of salvation, and I'd have to disagree and leave it at that.
If you want to continue this discussion, I could start another thread. I don't want this to get too off topic.
Rick, let me make simple points here.
1. I lean towards osas, but I fully don't agree with it, i am still looking into it. Lets just say i ha e one foot in one foot out.
2. I see apostates as both people who never believed but also people who did believe and now don't.
3. Many osas see apostates as people who are now not Christians but will be saved, nonetheless because and if they once believed Christ truly.
4. I don't like tbe word trust, I like believe and faith. It expresses the concept somewhat more clearly.
5. I agree that the assurance of salvation is with God, not man.
6. I also concede that I find it a possibility that yes if a person falls away he is still saved, that is he truly believed Christ... I am looking into but still not fully convinced of this position. May be its true, maybe its not, I am not sure of this. I do find it a worthy conclusion and I am willing to see this as a possibility.
7. I think you have misunderstood me here, I didn't put this argument that a person believes Christ, and continues to believe Christ until he dies, is saved. That is just the wrong way to focus on what I merely remarked, could have been a case.
8. I repeat myself, salvation, isn't the issue here. Being saved is not the issue. I am willing to concede that such and such person is saved even if he falls away. Fine.
9. My contention is the you can't call a person a Christian who denounce jesus Christ as god, even if that person is saved according to your osas beliefs.
10. Being saved, is not being Christian. A believer who is saved and calls Christ God can be called a Christian, a person who is saved but has left Christ, can't be called a Christian, even if he has assurance of salvation.
11. If you opt to say this, that being saved is always being Christian, I would certainly like to see any source you cn point me to. Which could explain this.
12. If you allow people to be called Christians when they don't even presently call Jesus as Christ, god and savior , then you have plenty to explain.
I think the confusion is...according to the scriptures, being a christian is when you come to Christ and put your faith in him as God's son, your redeemer, that is what makes someone a christian...and the assurance of salvation is the gift of God to you (as a consequence of coming to Christ) as you are now in Christ, his child.
But the assurance of salvation does not make anyone a christian. It is the consequence of being a christian. Being a christian biblically is not gauged by seeing if the said person has assurance of salvation, on the contrary it is based on if the person believes Jesus Christ is God's son, the redeemer. In other words you can't define a person christian based on something else than faith in Christ.