Perseverance of the Saints
Irresistible Grace: This just means that if you are lucky enough to be one of the number of elect, then God will give you the Grace to live the Christian life. This Grace is not resistible by the elect. It is forced upon you just like your election. The doctrine holds that this purposeful influence of God's Holy Spirit cannot be resisted, but that the Holy Spirit, "graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ." This brings us finally to:
The good news is that no one before Augustine (400 ad) ever believed or taught this doctrine. The cultic Manichaiens (a Gnostic cult) taught and believed this doctrine, which is where Augustine borrowed it from. John Calvin later refined it and because there was an attempt to refute the five points of Armenianism, the Five Points of Calvinism were created.
Why not Unconditional Election? Because Romans 9 through 11 doesn’t teach that God is choosing individual people, it teaches that God chooses Christ and that anyone who is in Christ is saved. If you are in Christ then you are “elect” because you are part of the Body of the Chosen One who is Jesus.
The election Paul is talking about in Romans 9 to 11 is simply the identity of the Israel to whom God made His promises in the Old Covenant. Paul is clear to point out that not every Jew is truly Israel and he explains how God has the right to choose some Jews to carry the promise and others not to carry the promise. Again, this is not about salvation – it is simply about being the chosen or not being the chosen of God to carry the promise of God.
Why not Irresistible Grace? Because God doesn’t treat us like robots. We can choose to follow Christ or we can chose to embrace our sin nature. This is why the New Testament scriptures urge us over and over again to guard our hearts, work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and not to fall away from Christ – because if we’re not careful we certainly can. Yes, you can turn from the faith and fall away from Christ and salvation. No one is “once saved, always saved.” If they are following Christ then they are saved but if they are not following Christ then they are – of course – not saved. It’s that simple.
*NOTE: Obviously this is a very hotly contested topic among Christians. If you have questions or disagreements, I'm open to your comments. Please play nice.