John 10:25-30 - IMHO, Nothing can snatch us out of God's hand. but we can choose to leave. Since salvation is not an irrevocable contract we enter into we can't force ourselves into gods hand or force him to hold on. This verse just reminds us that God is in control here and Satan cannot take by force what God has determined as his own. I think however we can choose to freely walk away and embrace Satan.
i think the verse in Revelations pretty much says the same thing. There were a few people who were worthy of being saved (not defiled their garment) and they indeed will walk with Him forever. but this is at his bidding.
I guess I wouldn't even bring the whole "once saved always saved" thing into the equation because it is still looking at salvation as a moment in time. a line in the sand. which is very much how I viewed it. and that leaves you with only two options. Retaining that salvation forever (Assuming you really did achieve salvation) or losing it. But we don't really view salvation as something you possess. You don't just stick your flag in the ground and claim it. you can't lose it because it was never something you had to begin with. it is something you are doing an something that is being done in you. However we believe God is infinitely merciful and his grace is sufficient for all. bigger than walking the isle the sinner prayers or anything else that people use to stake their claim on salvation. I think it is far better to be a little unsure and always walking with God, growing in our salvation, than to be think we are sure and then hear him say "depart from me. I never knew you". and even one can be sure of their own salvation I think it is highly presumptuous and dangerous to assure someone else of theirs. we do not know a mans heart and mind and we certainly do not know Gods. it makes me weak to think of all the time I heard people assuring others of their salvation. What if they are wrong? what if they convinced someone not to worry about their salvation when they very much needed to?
its kinda tricky but if you can let go of thinking that you have to be sure and just believe and trust that God loves you. if you can let go of thinking that salvation is a line in the sand but rather a choice we make every moment of every day. Stop thinking that salvation is an irrevocable contract you trick God into by saying some magic prayer. then it kinda makes sense. It was good for me that I hit a sort of spiritual rock bottom. Struggling with what looked like a very easy salvation and cheap grace around me and rejecting that really left me a clean slate in this area when I was introduced to the orthodox church. being blank helped. having already rejected the "you pray this prayer and then you are good to go forever" mentality really made it easier to accept.
and you would think all t his lack of assurance would leave people panicking. but I don't see it. I know I certainly feel more secure than I ever did. funny isn't it. But I figure God loves me. He wouldn't have sent his son if he didn't. And if at the final judgment he wants me I will be thankful. If he doesn't, my own fault. But I trust that he loves me and wants me, probably more than I want him. I believe that he is just and wiling to forgive my sin if I am willing to repent. I sincerely believe that God is good and merciful and just. and whatever his eternal plans and final judgment are for me they will be exactly what they ought to be.
As for grace and works I did not forget you asked. I have been stewing. Its a tough question and I am not sure of the answer. I am not sure the two are really related. . . . I am going to do some more research. . . ask some questions
and get back to you.