I’m not wanting this to turn into a debate thread, just answers “from the other side” (so to speak). This is mainly directed towards non-Catholic Christians who hold to the “Once Saved Always Saved” belief. I just want your opinions as this thought has been going through my mind for a little while now since having a conversation with a close friend who is a Protestant pastor of an interdenominational campus ministry I used to be a part of, before I came back to the Catholic Church.
I know among some, if not most, of those who hold to the OSAS belief that anyone who falls away and rejects God after having been “saved” is said to not really have had faith to begin with, otherwise he wouldn’t have fallen, and therefore, he was not really “saved” to begin with. Faith being a “you have it or you don’t” kind of thing. Which brings me to my thought experiment.
A guy confesses Jesus as his Lord and Savior (and maybe even says the sinner’s prayer) and thereby becoming a Christian. This guy a few weeks later gets into a car accident and dies. Being a Christian, in your view he would have been “saved” and therefore went to Heaven, correct?
Now, assuming the same events happened to this guy, but he didn’t die weeks later. Let’s say instead that due to traumatic events in his life (like loved ones dying, or something else that causes him to question his faith) leads him to lose his faith and renounces God, thereby removing his status as a Christian. Then he would eventually die. In this case, you would say (in assuming the belief I mentioned earlier holds) that he never really had faith to begin with, and thereby would not make it to Heaven, correct?
Okay, so now comes the fun “thinking” part of this thought experiment. If this same man that would have lost his faith like in ‘B’ died before he lost his faith (like in ‘A’), would he be considered “saved”?
Remember, he would have died while he was known as a Christian, but had he not died, would have lost his faith, thereby meaning he never really had faith to begin with. Would he have been saved? Why or why not?
Thanks in advance for your answers!