To one involved in that discussion, I pointed her to a verse from 1 Timothy 4: the last verse in that chapter, and here is what I would ask of her and of you.
Here is what you need to consider concerning this verse. Paul here is telling Timothy, who I’m sure considered himself as being saved just as we consider ourselves to be, but Paul said, that if he (Timothy) didn’t teach right Doctrine (meaning truth) that not only will it impact the salvation of the hearers of his wrong doctrine, but it will even jeopardize his own salvation as a result. Now consider how many “saved teachers” don’t agree on Doctrine, and you begin to see the seriousness of this warning. Some of them don’t even teach right Doctrine on just this one verse in question. So what is the warning’s meaning? For one to reject what this verse states means that God is not really agreeing with Paul on this statement; therefore making this word suspect in terms of its truth. If this be so, can we really rely on any word of scripture? God does not create confusion, Satan does.
So what does Jesus mean when He promises to not let any man pluck us from His hand, does He with that promise remove your own free will to run the race of which Paul spoke in 1 Cor. ? James says: James 1:12 Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial [and] perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test [and] been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which [the Lord] has promised to those who love Him. (AMP)
We walk by faith in Christ, but He even tells us that many will fall from the faith. Is that just a warning or is it a fact? Paul learned this he argues from Jesus Himself. If you then remove free will from man you make God responsible for everything including man’s sin. God knew the dangers to His creation of granting us free will, because He knows the end from the beginning. No one else can claim to know the end of anything that they create from its beginning except God Himself.
I know that some of you are strong in the belief in predestination, but everything that God has predestined is based on His word which is based upon His knowing the end of our life before it ever began, not because He forced us into a mold, but because He saw how we followed Him, and loved Him and how we persevered throughout our race, because we were determined to abide in Him, and live in the house of the Lord forever—To believe His promises, and stand firmly upon them. It’s the Holy Spirits work to lead us into all truth, it’s our job to believe Him. The word is the source for the messaging between two spiritual forces. One being Satan, as he is creating doubt in our thinking, but the other source is God creating within us a faith which will withstand all that Satan can throw out against us in his attempt to distort the truth (God’s Word), when it is rightly divided.
One way to look at this is to consider the Olive Tree. Why were some Jews cut off? Unbelief. They were there just as we are; and then they were cut off for only one reason. Belief or faith comes from hearing the word of God. What we hear or how we hear it can effect our future faith or belief. Think about it.