Stu: What about the fact that God says he will spew you out of His mouth if you are lukewarm?
Stu, you cherrypick verses and either read into them or out of context. So, let's look at the "lukewarm" passage, to see what it's really about.
15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
First place, works do not save - but they ARE often an indication of a person's spiritual condition.
"17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked."
OK, so now verse 17 reveals an unbeliever it is addressing: This is directed at a church whose members are not saved, as they are merely playing a meaningless game of religion! They think they are wealthy and sufficient of their own doing and need nothing - not God or anything, due to their conceit and trust in their wealth and materialism. And God asserts them to be in a wretched state AND in total denial about it - meaning it is a church filled with unbelievers who need to turn to Christ instead.
And then God counsels these church members to "buy from me gold refined by fire" - in other words, to embrace the Lord in faith - to enable a way out of their wretched spiritual state - as they were never saved:
"18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see."
God wants these unsaved religious game players to truly commit themselves to Him - or else they'll suffer the consequences. But He still, nonetheless, loves them. And awaits their response to Him - because at this point, they are unsaved and uncovered by Christ's righteousness:
19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
Stu: What you are essentially saying is that God would force salvation on a person. What happened to free-will? God gives us the choice, yet you are saying that, no, once we become a Christian we no longer have free-will, that we are locked in to Christianity even if we choose to walk away from God and become, for instance, a Muslim.
Stu, ALL who come to Christ do so freely. But not of their own power! John 6:44 tells us that NO one can answer God's prompting without His help: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." So, God must prompt us FIRST! Would you suggest that God's drawing FORCED you to embrace Him? There IS an action of desire, IN RESPONSE, To obey God's prompting that WE must do - and freely. Similarly, we could not maintain our own salvation just of our own free will. God's prompting is irresistible to the WILLING heart. And God will help us remain steadfast in that - which is why the Apostle Paul had confidence that Christ would protect our status in Him by bringing those saved all the way to "The Day of the Lord." And without God's help in that, EVERYONE would fall away. Stu, you don't think you are maintaining your own salvation do you? If so, you should be VERY fearful!
Stu: And what of 1 Timothy 4:1?
1 Timothy 4:1 King James Version (KJV)
4 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
To depart from something you have to have been IN something. So if some will depart from the faith, instead following seducing spirits and doctrines of devils how can OSAS be true?
This passage is about not getting deceived by false teaching inspired by demons. "Depart from the faith" refers not to abandoning one's faith, but to the dangers involved in abandoning the truth and true teachings of the Apostles / Christ, found in Scripture - the essentials of the faith. If you'll spend some time reading various commentaries, you'll see this to be the prevailing view. In fact, verse 7 punctuates the contrast: "7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths." As does verse 16: "16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching
. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers." Stu, it's all about not abandoning Scriptural teachings as opposed to false belief and doctrine - that is the abandonment being talked about.