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On a forum that was recently closed.  George Anderson, myself and some other brothers in the Lord had been dicussing Calvinism.  George did a great study for us as we eagerly waited and checked his work according to the Word of God.
 
We soon dicovered that there is a thrid group out there.  With Calvinst on one side and Arminianist on the other we soon found that we are in the middle on the solid ground of the Scriptures as they are found in the King James Version of the Bible concerning the great debate between these two shools of thought.
 
My prayer is that you will be a Berean and search as we did the Scriptures to see if these things be true.
 
God bless your time in His word
 
Chettte
 
PS
if any of you find it burdensome to read all of this online please email me via our guestbook and leave your email, and I willbe more than happy to furnish you with a copy in MS Office Doc or PDF format to print and read at your leasure.

A Biblical Look at Calvinism

By George Anderson Jr

Edited and Compiled by Chette Nichols Jr

 

For the last few months I have been doing a study on Calvinism (not yet completed) which is far too lengthy to post in a single Post, and so over the next few days (weeks? ) I shall Post my personal study on this issue in six parts - #1. An Introduction; #2. "Total Depravity"; #3. "Unconditional Election"; #4. "Limited Atonement"; #5. "Irresistible Grace"; and #6. "Perseverance of the Saints". {T.U.L.I.P. - the famous acronym associated with Calvinistic beliefs}

 

Doctrinal matters and differences cannot be settled by a couple of verses and a few comments. Although much of the Bible is "plain to him that understandeth", there "are some things hard to be understood". There is the "milk of the word" and then there is the "strong meat":

 

1 Corinthians 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:1 Corinthians 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

 

When dealing with John Calvin's Doctrines (Calvinism) it is necessary to get into some "strong meat" and those who delve into this issue must - "have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil".

 

Quote:

The Five Points of Calvinism

{THE CALVINIST CORNER <> www.calvinistcorner.com}

There are two mains camps of theology within Christianity in America today: Arminianism and Calvinism. Calvinism is a system of biblical interpretation taught by John Calvin. Calvin lived in France in the 1500's at the time of Martin Luther who sparked the Reformation.

 

The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual, where he is then able and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation.

 

Arminianism, on the other hand, maintains that God predestined, but not in an absolute sense. Rather, He looked into the future to see who would pick him and then He chose them. Jesus died for all peoples' sins who have ever lived and ever will live, not just the Christians. Each person is the one who decides if he wants to be saved or not. And finally, it is possible to lose your salvation (some Armenians believe you cannot lose your salvation).

 

Then there are Bible Believers who do not follow either of these schools of theology but simply the King James Bible alone for their Authority, rule of faith, and practice.

 

Basically, Calvinism is known by an acronym: T.U.L.I.P.

Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)

Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)

Irresistible Grace

Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

 

These five categories do not comprise Calvinism in totality.  They simply represent some of its main points.

 

Total Depravity:

Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.

The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, "In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?" The answer is, "He cannot. Therefore God must predestine."

Calvinism also maintains that because of our fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11; Rom. 8:29; 9:9-23).

 

Unconditional Election:

God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).

 

Limited Atonement:

Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many'; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).

 

Irresistible Grace:

When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that "it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy"; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.

 

Perseverance of the Saints:

You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.

Before we can deal with a particular issue concerning the Holy Scriptures, it is best if we define the issue (or the parameters concerning the issue). I believe that the foregoing description of Calvinism is a fair representation of what Calvinists believe (Please Notice: The above description of Calvinism is NOT what I “think” it is – the definition is by Calvinists themselves.)

 

 

Let me state from the start: I am NOT a “Calvinist”; or an “Armenian”; or a “Ruckmanite”; or any other kind of “ist’, “ian”, or “ite”! I am simply a Bible believing Christian. I do NOT believe in, NOR follow “Calvinism”, “Arminianism”, “Ruckmanism”, or any other man made “ism”! I believe in the Holy Scriptures (the King James Bible), and endeavor to follow them – NOT men!

 

Before we begin a Scriptural examination of John Calvin’s doctrine (Calvinism), in addition to defining Calvinism, it is necessary to define (according to the Scriptures) the “Attributes” of both God and man, in order to establish a Biblical Foundation upon which to build good, sound, pure, and uncorrupt doctrine. Later on in this study, it shall become clear as to why it was necessary to first, establish what man’s “attributes” are, and to discern the distinct purpose each one of them serves.

 

THE BIBLE’S DESCRIPTION OF GOD

God Is a Tri-Part Being: – {Body – Soul – Spirit = God's "Substance"}

 

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

 

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: {NOTICE: “NAME” - NOT “NAMES”!}

 

The Substantive Attributes of God are: God Is Eternal = I AM

 

Self Existing {Without Beginning or End of Existence / Immortal-Perpetual-Unchangeable}

 

Omniscient {All-Knowing - All-Seeing}

 

Omnipotent {All Powerful – Unlimited Power}

 

Omnipresent {Everywhere - Present in all places at the same time}

 

 

God Possesses a Heart and a Mind = {God’s “Faculties”}

 

1 Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.

 

Jeremiah 3:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

 

Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

 

Job 23:13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

 

Romans 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

 

The Moral Attributes of God are: God Is HOLY

 

HOLY{Perfectly Pure – Sacred) {HOLINESS is God’s Primary Moral Attribute}

 

Just {Righteous, Principled, Upright, Equitable, Impartial}

 

Truth {True, Genuine, Faithful, Honest, Veracity, Fidelity}

 

Love {Benevolence, Good Will, Charitable}

 

Mercy {Grace, Pardon, Compassionate, Pitiful}

 

 

THE BIBLE’S DESCRIPTION OF MAN

 

Man is a Tri-Part Being – {Body - Soul - Spirit = Man’s Substance}

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The Substantive Attributes of Man are: Man is Mortal

(With Beginning and End – Subject to Death, Judgment & Eternal Punishment)

 

Man Has:

{Limited Knowledge & Limited Understanding}

 

{Limited Power & Limited Abilities}

 

{A Limited Presence – Confined to His Body}

 

Man possesses a Heart, a Mind, & a Conscience* = {Man’s “Faculties”}

 

1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

 

Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

 

Titus 1:15Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

 

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

 

Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

 

* Adam was originally created in the “Image of God” (Body, Soul, Spirit, Heart, and Mind).

 

It is my belief that Adam acquired a conscience along with his sinful nature (and passed these on to mankind) when Adam and Eve sinned and disobeyed God by partaking of the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

 

The Main Purpose of Man’s Three (3) Faculties

 

The HEART - MOTIVATES

 

The MIND - FACILITATES

 

The CONSCIENCE - REGULATES

 

The Moral Attributes of Man are: Man is Sinful

{All men & women are born with a sinful nature –which adversely affects all of their “Attributes”}

 

ALL OF MAN’S ATTRIBUTES: Man’s “Substance” {Body-Soul-Spirit} and Man’s “Faculties” {Heart-Mind-Conscience} are adversely affected by his/her sinful nature – and as such:

 

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” [Romans 3:23]

 

A Scriptural examination into the nature of the attributes of man reveals that, unlike all of God’s other creatures upon earth, man is a “spiritual” being {soul, spirit, heart, mind, conscience} living within a physical body {our “flesh”}.

 

The following are the Scriptural Definitions of the words body, soul & spirit {our substance} and conscience, mind, & heart {our faculties} Webster’s & Strong’s aren't much help when it comes to "spiritual" definitions of certain Bible words of spiritual importance.

 

THE BODY (FLESH) = Our Tabernacle [2 Peter 13-14]:

The Scriptures describe the body (flesh) as being that substance within which our soul, spirit, conscience, mind, and heart reside.

 

THE SOUL {Approximately 498 Verses} = Our Essence:

According to the Scriptures the soul is that substance within a man or a woman, which is the very essence of their being. The soul within a man or woman is that substance that distinguishes mankind from all of the other living creatures in God’s creation. The soul is that substance which separates an individual from every other individual and makes them unique.

 

THE SPIRIT {Approximately 134 Verses} = Our Life:

The spirit (pertaining only to mankind) is that substance {which is given by God} within a man or woman wherein our very life resides i.e. the spirit is life itself. In the Bible the spirit is separate and distinct from the heart and the soul in purpose, though it may have some similar characteristics.

 

THE CONSCIENCE {Approximately 30 Verses} = Our Regulator:

The conscience is that faculty within a man or woman wherein resides the awareness of right and wrong (good and evil), and which influences the heart and mind as to the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our own affections & actions. According to the Scriptures the human heart and conscience are separate and distinct from each other in purpose and in operation. {Approximately 30 verses}

 

THE MIND {Approximately 108 Verses} = Our Facilitator:

The mind is that faculty within a man or woman wherein resides our intellect or intelligence. In the Bible the mind is separate and distinct from the heart in purpose, though sometimes similar in function and operation.

 

THE HEART {{Approximately 876 Verses} = Our Motivator

 

The heart is that faculty within a man or woman which is the center or seat of our: 1. thoughts, 2. meditations, 3. considerations, 4. perceptions, 5. concepts, 6. reasoning, 7.understanding, 8. beliefs, 9.imaginations, 10. fears, 11. doubts, 12. counsels, 13. intents, 14. desires (affections - emotions), and 15. pride. The heart is where the 16. will resides and operates.

 

1. Job 17:11; 2. Psalms 19:14; 3. Deuteronomy 8:5; 4. Deuteronomy 29:4; 5. Acts 5:4; 6. Mark 2:8; 7. Proverbs 8:5; 8. Romans 10:9-10; 9. Genesis 6:5; 10. Isaiah 35:4, Luke 21:26; 11. Mark 11:23; 12. Jeremiah 7:24; 13. Hebrews 4:12; 14. Psalms 37:4, Colossians 3:2; 15. 2 Chronicles 32:26; 16. Psalms 101:2, Psalms 119:69, Psalms 119:145, Isaiah 32:6, 1 Corinthians 7:37, Ephesians 6:6.

 

It is absolutely necessary to define words and establish parameters when it comes to Scriptural issues in order to demonstrate that ALL of the attributes of man (Substance & Faculties) are clearly different from each other and serve a separate and distinct purpose, although at times, some may be similar in function and operation (for instance: the soul & spirit, or the mind & heart).

 

The problem is, that for all of these years (since the time of Calvin and before), most of the “scribes” and “scholars” have failed to DEFINE the “ATTRIBUTES” of man {according to the Scriptures}, and in failing to do so, they often confused (i.e. mixed up) the “soul” & the “spirit” (of man). Most of the Reformers believed that man was a “dichotomy” (that man’s “Substance” consisted of just a body and a soul/spirit – believing that the soul & the spirit were one and the same thing!)

 

And not only that, they either failed to recognize the importance of our “Faculties” (Heart, Mind, & Conscience); or to distinguish between the “heart”, the “mind” and the “conscience”; or they thought that they all were the "same" - which they are NOT! (Psychiatrists and Psychologists make the same mistake today – thinking that our physical brain = our heart, our mind, and our conscience – which it does NOT! [1Corinthians 2:16 & Philippians 2:5]

 

We are now ready to examine the doctrine of John Calvin (Calvinism) in the light of the God’s Holy Scriptures {The King James Bible}:

 

Firstly - I do not accept the premise that: “There are two mains camps of theology within Christianity in America today: Arminianism and Calvinism.”

 

There is a “THIRD CAMP” (that most Calvinists refuse to recognize), of which I am a member. I will not let anyone “classify” me (or what I believe) in ONLY ONE of two possible camps, simply because they do not believe that a “Third Camp” exists – or because they refuse to recognize it. And herein lays my first “problem” with Calvinism (or more properly – with some Calvinists): When there is a disagreement amongst Christians (over doctrine or issues of importance), the ability to “DEFINE” the issues cannot be controlled by only one of those parties!

 

Let us calmly (& respectfully) examine what has been said about Calvinism (and Arminianism) in the light of the Holy Scriptures and try to see what God has to say about the matter. {Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.} See also:John 5:39

 

According to the Calvinists:

“Calvinism is a system of biblical interpretation taught by John Calvin.” and: “The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word.”

 

Whether the claim that Calvinism honestly - “adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word.” {All Denominations, Sects, and Cults basically make the same claims} is true or not, is not as important as the fact that“a system of biblical interpretation” and “theological formulations” are NOT Scripture – they are “interpretations” and “formulations” about Scripture, postulated and put forth by a man, and therefore subject to error (regardless of a supposed “high view of Scripture . . . . based solely on God’s word”).

 

I do not subscribe to “a system of biblical interpretation” or “theological formulations” derived by a mere man (or men), simply because he may have been “brilliant” or “sincere”, and was able to “codify” or “formulate” the Holy Scriptures into “a system of biblical interpretation” that may, or may not be true, but “makes sense” or “rings true” to some Christians.

 

I am very wary of all “biblical systems of interpretation” – since there are so many “systems” of “theological formulations” out in the world today that are false and contrary to “the Scripture of truth” - Hence my “concern” with all so-called “Systematic Theologies”. {Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.}

 

Calvinism: “focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation.” {To which I believe that all genuine Bible believers would agree with and subscribe to.}

 

Calvinism:“also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual, where he is then able and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation.” {I will deal with each of these points individually, as I proceed with my comments – except to say that, of the supposed “teachings” within the Bible, I can only agree with the last statement - only as stated.}

 

Calvinists Claim: “Arminianism, on the other hand, maintains that God predestined, but not in an absolute sense. Rather, He looked into the future to see who would pick him and then He chose them. Jesus died for all peoples' sins who have ever lived and ever will live, not just the Christians. Each person is the one who decides if he wants to be saved or not. And finally, it is possible to lose your salvation (some Armenians believe you cannot lose your salvation)”.

 

If the above representation of Arminianism is true, then there is a clear difference between what I believe and the doctrines of both “Calvinism” and “Arminianism”:

 

1. Unlike Arminianism (or as Calvinists purportedly report) - I did not “PICK” the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour! I HEARD “the Gospel of Christ” (the same one preached by the Apostle Paul – [Romans 1:16, 15:19, 15:29]; and BELIEVED (in my heart) the word[Romans 10:17] ofGod concerning Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]; and RECEIVED the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour [John 1:12] and became a son of God.

 

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

 

I did not “PICK” Christ as my Saviour – I BELIEVED on Him and He saved me!

 

2. Unlike Calvinism - I believe that The Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death and shed blood are totally sufficient for the sins of the whole world, but are only efficacious for those people who BELIEVE on Him!

 

1 Timothy 4:10For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that BELIEVE.

 

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

 

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

 

3.Unlike the way Calvinist’s explain how I supposedly believe (I just “decide”) or the way Arminianism may actually be - I just don’t DECIDE if I “want to be saved or not” – I must first BELIEVE the Gospel, before God saves me [Ephesians 1:13].

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that BELIEVE on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. {“nor of the will of the flesh” - I don’t DECIDE anything! God determined before the world began that those who will BELIEVE on His son shall be saved!}

 

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through himmight be saved.

18 He that BELIEVETH on him is not condemned: but he that BELIEVETH NOT is condemned already, because he hath NOT BELIEVED in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

Notice - the “operative word” in all of the above testimony is “BELIEVE” (i.e. BELIEF). I believe that before anyone can receive salvation, they must first “BELIEVE” THE Gospel of Christ and then (and only then) will God save them.

 

4. Unlike most Armenians - I DO NOT believe that once a person is saved (born again) that they can “lose” their salvation. And Unlike most Calvinists -I believe GOD PRESERVES His saints – NOT in “the perseverance of the saints”.

 

Psalms 31:23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

Psalms 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Psalms 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

 

Can any honest person say that I am a Calvinist? Does anyone sincerely believe that I am an Armenian? I trow not! I am a Bible believing Christian and refuse to join either “camp”. I guess you could say that I am “outside the camp” (and in good company!)

And now on to T.U.L.I.P. {the famous acronym associated with Calvinistic beliefs} This is my second teaching in regards to the Doctrine of Calvinism. What follows is my comments in regards to the "First Tenant" of Calvinism - "TOTAL DEPRAVITY":

                                                                                                                                   

*T = “Total Depravity” (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)

The very first thing to note is: The words “DEPRAVE”, “DEPRAVED”, or “DEPRAVITY” cannot be found in the Holy Bible. This is always a “Red Flag” for me, since so much of False Doctrine (Psychiatry/Psychology for example) is associated with “words” not found in the Bible.

 

Calvinists state:

“Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.”

 

{Please notice the failure to “rightly divide” man’s attributes:“Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin.” What happened to the conscience; the soul; and the spirit? According to the Holy Bible the “emotions” and the “will” both fall under the purpose and function of the heart – they are NOT separate “parts of man”!}

 

Calvinists state:

“The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick (Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph. 2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3).”

 

The use of the TERM:“The doctrine of Total Depravity” is NOT based on Scriptural words and is introducing a foreign concept not found in the Scriptures. The “claim” that Jeremiah 17:9 says: “man’s heart is . . . . SICK” is utterly false since the Holy Bible says NOTHING OF THE KIND! [Jeremiah 17:9The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?] I have no idea where the Calvinists get the word “sick” from - I just know that the word “sick” (as applied to the heart) is NOT in the Holy Bible.

 

And again - Exchanging the word “slave” for the King James Bible word “servant” in Romans 6:20 is clearly another example of men trying to “prove” something by both ADDING to, and CHANGING the words of God. [Romans 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.]

 

{Please notice the SUBTIL CHANGE in connotation from the words: “DESPERATELY WICKED” to“SICK”. “Desperately wicked” indicates an individual evil act of the “will”; “SICK” indicates an uncontrollable “disease” (hello Freud!). A “SERVANT” indicates someone who “willingly” serves; a “SLAVE” indicates someone who is unwillingly serving against their will. Did you notice – that both CHANGES to the Holy words of God are thinly disguised to bolster the Calvinist position and subtlety strengthened the argument in favor of Calvin’s doctrine of “TOTAL DEPRAVITY”?

 

I believe a more Scriptural description of man’s state would be to say: That all men are born with Adam’s sinful nature. [1Corinthians 15:44-49]; and that all men “come short of the Glory of God” [Romans 3:23] and so - “in Adam all die”. [1Corinthians 15:22]

 

According to the Bible - the state of all men and women born into this world is best described as being “SINFUL” – NOT “Totally Depraved”. All men and women are “Sinners” – NOT “TotallyDepraved”. The Scriptures describe all men and women {without God} as “the NATURAL man” – NOT the “Totally Depraved” man [1Corinthians 2:14]. By describing all men & women as being“Totally Depraved” the Calvinists have changed the parameters (words) of the issue – making a man incapable of even BELIEVING unless he is “regenerated” FIRST! “God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29)”; and “God appoints people to believe” (Acts 13:48); or as the “Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics” puts it: “The unregenerate (unsaved) man is dead in his sins (Romans 5:12). Without the power of the Holy Spirit, the natural man is blind and deaf to the message of the gospel (Mark 4:11f). This is why Total Depravity has also been called "Total Inability”. The man without knowledge of God will never come to this knowledge without God's making him alive through Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5).” But, “what saith the Scriptures”? [Ephesians 1:13In whom ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,]

 

And herein is the first major difference between most Calvinists and myself. In their concern for men having absolutely NOTHING to do with EARNING their salvation, the Calvinist (through the doctrine of “TOTAL DEPRAVITY”) make it impossible for a man (or woman) to even BELIEVE – unless they are “regenerated” FIRST!

 

Now, I believe that there is NOTHING we can DO to EARN God’s Salvation; but there is SOMETHING that we MUST DO to RECEIVE God’s Salvation – WE MUST FIRST BELIEVE!

THE QUESTION IS: . . .Sirs, WHAT MUST I DO to be saved? THE BIBLICAL ANSWER: And they said, BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

[Acts 16:30-31]

 

There is a huge difference between sinful men (and women) being unable (in the flesh) to DO anything to EARN their Salvation, and men and women first “BELIEVING” the Gospel (with their heart) in order to RECEIVE God’s Free Gift of Eternal Salvation!

 

Now the Calvinists (in their concern for man having NOTHING to do with his Salvation) cannot accept that we BELIEVE before we are “regenerated” (for, according to Calvinism, that would be a WORK on the part of man, and since Salvation is:“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” [Titus 3:5] then (according to the Calvinists) we must be “regenerated” before we can believe – since BELIEVING (according to Calvinists) is a WORK. But BELIEF is solely an operation and function of the HEART – NOT the flesh! “WORKS of righteousness” are done in the FLESH. The heart is our “faculty” where our will resides; the flesh is our “substance” that produces WORKS!

 

As I said before - the problem is: that for all of these years (since the time of Calvin) – most of the “scribes” & “scholars” have failed to clearly DEFINE the “ATTRIBUTES” of man {according to the Holy Scriptures}, and in failing to do sothey have confused (i.e. mixed up) “works” that are done in the “flesh”, and BELIEF {an operation solely performed by the heart}. And not only that, in failing to discern between our SUBSTANCE (body, soul, & spirit), and our FACULTIES (heart, mind, & conscience) they have ended up attributing “works” to an attribute of man (the heart) that has absolutely nothing to do with the actual performance or execution of “works”.

 

Remember - The Biblical definition of the Heart: {Our Motivator}

 

The heart is that faculty within a man or woman which is the center or seat of our thoughts, meditations, considerations, perceptions, concepts, reasoning, understanding, beliefs, fears, imaginations, doubts, counsels, intents, desires (affections - emotions), and pride. The heart is where the will resides and operates.

 

Do you see anything resembling “works” in the Scriptural definition of the heart listed above (listed earlier – with scripture references)? The heart “motivates” us to do good or evil, but (I repeat) “works” are an operation of the “flesh” – NOT our heart!

 

WE BELIEVE GOD ONLY WITH OUR HEART

 

Mark 11:23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

 

Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

 

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

 

Acts 8:37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

 

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

 

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

[Genesis 45:26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob's heart fainted, for he believed them not.

 

Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

 

Luke 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:]

 

The Bible record is clear: We believe God with our heart. I cannot find a single verse in the Bible where we believe God with our soul, our spirit, our mind, our conscience, or our body! I cannot find a commandment or requirement in the Holy Bible for us to believe God with our soul, our spirit, our mind, our conscience, or our body! As a matter of fact, the Bible clearly indicates that man believes only with his heart!

 

Out of the approximately 876 verses in the Bible with the word heart or hearts in them – only one verse connects the heart with “work”: Isaiah 32:6 For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. And you will notice - that the “work” described therein are all the “works of the flesh” –“practise hypocrisy”, “utter error against the LORD”, “to make empty the soul of the hungry”, “to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.”

 

Work (“works”) are always connected with the “flesh” – Belief (believing) is always connected with the “heart”. BELIEVING IS NOT A “WORK” (OR “WORKS”)! BELIEVING is an act of our will, which falls under the purpose and function of our heart – NOT our “flesh”!

 

Notice the difference:

 

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

 

Galatians 5:19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

The Scriptures are clear: “WORKS” are clearly connected with the “flesh”. The “WORKS of the flesh” are the result of a blind and deceived heart; a blind, corrupt, and carnal mind; and a conscience that has been defiled and seared. Just like there is a distinction between “works” and “fruit” [Galatians 5:19-23; Ephesians 5:9], there is a difference between “works” (of the flesh) and “belief” (of the heart). We are clearly told in the Bible that there are “divisions” in the word of God [2 Timothy 2:15]; the man (or men) who overlooks or misses those “divisions” will end up believing a lie and teaching false doctrine.

 

In the following verses we have a perfect example of the difference between the operation of the heart and the "works of the flesh”. This difference can be clearly seen in David’s heart desire to build a Temple for God – but never actually doing the “WORK”:

 

1 Chronicles 28:2 Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:

3 But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.

 

2 Chronicles 6:7 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.

8 But the LORD said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:

 

1 Kings 8:17 And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.

18 And the LORD said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart.

 

Please Notice that: Although “it was in the heart of David to build an house for the Lord God of Israel” – He never did the “WORK”! That is – the desire; the will; and the intent were there (In His HEART!), but he never did do the “WORK” (in the flesh)! And yet God commended him because “it was in his heart”. According to the foregoing Scriptures the desire, will, and intent of the heart is NOT the same as actual “WORK”! The two things are clearly NOT the same!

 

The thoughts and intents of the heart are not equal to “the works of the flesh”, although “works” proceed from out of the heart. [Matthew 15:19-20; Mark 7:21-23]

 

When we study the Holy Scriptures we are presented with an apparent dilemma; How to “rightly divide” between the Bible’s record of the obvious “sinfulness” of all men (and women) on the one hand, and the testimony that there were some men (& women) that were declared “good”, “perfect”, “upright”, “righteous”, etc. The Calvinist doctrine of “TOTAL DEPRAVITY” overlooks this clear Bible testimony of men, who were obviously “Sinners”, and yet were also declared to be “good”, “perfect”, “upright”, “righteous”, etc. {NOT – “TOTALLY DEPRAVED”!}

 

The “problem” faced by all students of the Bible is: how does one “rightly divide” between all of the verses testifying to the utter sinfulness of all mankind on the one hand – such as:

 

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

 

Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

 

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

 

Psalms 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.

3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

 

Psalms 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

 

Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

 

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

 

And the clear testimony that there have been some men & women, who, even though they were not “sinless”, were declared to be - “good”, “perfect”, “upright”, “righteous”, etc. Therein lays the apparent “dilemma” or “problem” for those who study the Bible – How do we “square” the two opposing testimonies? For example – The Bible testimony about “a good man”: [2Samuel 18:27; Psalms 37:23; 112:5; Proverbs 12:2; 13:22; 14:14; Micah 7:2; - Matthew 12:35; Luke 6:45; 23:50; John 7:12; Acts 11:24; Romans 5:7]

 

Calvin’s solution was to declare all men and women to be “TOTALLY DEPRAVED” – unable (on their own) to be “good”, “perfect”, “upright”, “righteous”, etc., without the supernatural intervention of God actually “changing” them first - “regenerating” Old Testament saints before “The Atonement”, and turning them into automated “robots”, so that they can do good works, etc. Calvin failed to differentiate (“rightly divide”) between the body (“flesh”) and the heart.

 

I believe that the testimony of the Holy Scriptures presents a very different picture of man’s state than that presented by John Calvin:

 

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: Why is it that Abel willingly offered – “a more excellent sacrifice than Cain”? How is it that because of Abel’s obedience (willingly offering “the more excellent sacrifice”) he obtained witness that he was righteous” - If men are “Totally Depraved”?

 

Abel “believed” God and “acted” (in obedience) on his belief by willingly (there’s the “heart”!) bringing the “right” sacrifice”. [1John 3:12]

 

Genesis 4:26And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: What are they doing - “calling upon the name of the Lord”?

 

Men do not “call upon the name of the Lord”, unless they first “believe” in Him.

 

Genesis 5:22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:

24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

 

Hebrews 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: What is God doing – “walking with” Enoch?

 

If men are “Totally Depraved”: How in the world could Enoch possibly have - “pleased God”? Enoch could not have possibly “walked with God” without first “believing” in Him.

 

Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: How is it that the Scriptures testify that - “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations? How can someone be “Totally Depraved” and “just” & “perfect” at the same time? Hmmm?

 

If men are “Totally Depraved”: What was God doing – “walking with” Noah?

 

Noah “believed” God about the impending world wide Flood and acted on that belief by building the Ark - to the saving of himself and his family.

 

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: How is it that the Bible commends Job and claims that Job – was “perfect”, “upright”, “feared God” and “eschewed evil”? How does a “Totally Depraved” man act that way?

 

Job “believed” in God and he honored God with his lips (his testimony) and sacrificed to God in accordance to God’s requirements.

 

Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

 

Job 2:3 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: How is it that the Lord God commends Job (twice) and states that Job – was “perfect”, “upright”, “feared God” and “eschewed evil”? How does a “Totally Depraved” man act this way?

 

Genesis 18:23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

If men are “Totally Depraved”: Who then are “the righteous”? How can anyone be considered “righteous” and “Totally Depraved” at the same time?

 

The “righteous” are those men (and women) who “believed” God (like Lot).

 

Abraham “believed” God and left his homeland (in obedience to God’s command) based on his belief. And when Abraham was ordered to sacrifice his only son, he “believed” that God was able to resurrect him.

 

Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

 

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

 

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: How is it that Abraham was called – “the friend of God”? Does a Holy and Righteous God make “friends” with “Totally Depraved” men (or women)? I trow not!

 

Abraham was called “the friend of God” based on his “belief” in God and God’s promises.

 

John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: How is it that the Lord Jesus Christ called His disciples “friends”. How can the perfect, sinless, Holy Son of God call “Totally Depraved” (unregenerate) men –“friends”?

 

Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: How is it Possible that David – “was a man after mine (God’s) own heart”?

 

David “was a man after mine (God’s) own heart” because he “believed” in God and in His Holy word, and trusted in God to keep His Promises concerning the Kingdom. It was David’s “belief” (with his heart) that God recognized and honored – certainly NOT some of his “works”!

 

1 Kings 3:6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: How could all of these things that are said about David be true?

 

David “walked before thee {God} in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart” because of his “belief” in God and in His Holy word.

 

1 Kings 9:4 And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments:

 

1 Kings 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

 

1 Kings 14:7 Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel,

8 And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes;

1 Kings 15:1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat reigned Abijam over Judah.

2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Maachah, the daughter of Abishalom.

3 And he walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father.

4 Nevertheless for David's sake did the LORD his God give him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem:

5 Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.

If men are “Totally Depraved”: How is it that it was said of David that he –”walked in integrity of heart and in uprightness”; –or that “his heart was PERFECT with the Lord”; – or that “David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord”? How could God say that about David if men are “Totally Depraved”?

 

In all of these “examples” (and there are many, many more) we see certain principles and precepts that are in play throughout: God’s GRACE (always first and foremost), without which, no one could be saved; man’s “BELIEF” in God and in His Holy words; man’s “Trust” and “FAITH” in God and in His Holy words; and God honoring that “BELIEF” (first), then along with man’s “Trust” & “Faith”, by blessing the man whose heart truly and sincerely “BELIEVED”.

 

When a person BELIEVES the Gospel (in his heart), there is absolutely NO connection to “works” in any way - because the purpose, function, and operation of the heart is not the same as the purpose, function, and operation of the flesh. I repeat: “BELIEVING” is the sole operation of the heart. “Works”, on the other hand, are an operation of the flesh and have nothing to DO with “BELIEVING” the Gospel of Christ, nor can they have anything to DO with our salvation.

 

In this age (under the “New Covenant”) God is engaged in a “WORK”:

 

John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

 

The “WORK” of God (in this age) is to convince people (through His word) to “BELIEVE” the Gospel. The purpose of the Gospel is to bring people to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. IF God “gives” us our “BELIEF”, WHY does He have to WORK at it? If our “BELIEF” is a “gift” from God - where then is there any “WORK” on God’s part? According to the Scriptures, God is now working at getting people to “believe on him whom he hath sent.” [Acts 13:41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.] If our “BELIEF” is a “gift” from God, there would be no “WORK” involved at all (on God’s part). Why would God try to “convince” someone of the very same thing (belief) that He is going to “give” them anyway?

 

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

 

We obtained like precious "faith" (God's precious "gift" to us) by "believing" in our hearts, “after” we heard the Gospel of the Grace of God.

 

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also AFTER that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

 

Please notice the “Chronological Order” that leads up to our Salvation: We TRUSTED, AFTER we HEARD the word of TRUTH (The Gospel). We were “sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise”, AFTER WE BELIEVED– NOT “BEFORE”! [Ephesians 1:13]:

 

Although faith is a “gift” from God (based on the Lord Jesus Christ’s finished WORK on Calvary), our “belief” in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT a “gift” from God, but is instead an operation and function of our heart – God does NOT “BELIEVE” for us, or “FORCE” us to “believe” in Him!

 

From the very beginning of the creation of Adam, and up to the present time, God has wanted people to "believe" Him and obey Him. There have been different Dispensations; and God has required different things of people under the different "Covenants"; but the one constant thread running throughout all of the ages (Dispensations), and under all of the "Covenants" is God's consistent requirement that we "Believe" Him (His Holy words). He does not FORCE us, or MAKE us "believe" Him, but He "REQUIRES" it!

 

God has required of everyone under every Covenant and in every "age" that they "BELIEVE" His words {Oral or Written} and OBEY them. We are very fortunate that under the "New Covenant” - All we have to DO to get saved is to "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, . . . ." {When WE "BELIEVE" in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection and "RECEIVE" Him as our personal Saviour, we have done (obeyed) all that God has required of us (under the "New" Covenant) to get saved.} God never said that we are too “DEPRAVED” to believe Him – He has said that there is nothing we can DO (“WORKS”) to save ourselves {Romans 1:16; Romans 3:19-28; Galatians 2:16}.

 

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God mustbelieve that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 

I could go on and on with this discourse (and I probably will expand on this in my finished study), but I believe I have made my point - there is a clear difference between the Calvinist Doctrine of "TOTAL DEPRAVITY" and the testimony of the Holy Scriptures. And I have four (4) more points to go in T.U.L.I.P. {another day!}

T.U.L.I.P. {the famous acronym associated with Calvinistic beliefs}

U = “Unconditional Election”

 

{The word “election” is Scriptural - The Phrase “Unconditional Election” cannot be found in the Bible! As a matter of fact – the words “conditional” and/or “unconditional” do not appear one time in Scripture!}

 

Calvinists state:

“God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual.”

 

I do not agree with the statement: “God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual.” If the statement is in reference to “works”, I will agree, but if it is in reference to “BELIEF”, then I CANNOT agree. “ANYTHING” would include “BELIEF” – can you see the confusion (again) of thinking that “BELIEF” (an operation of the heart) is a “WORK” (an operation of the flesh)?

 

No one can argue with:“He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual.” All genuine Bible believers would go along with this statement {since MERIT = WORKS}, unless someone lumps in “MERIT” = “BELIEF”! You see how it goes? Can you see how vitally important WORDS are?

 

IF “MERIT” equals “WORKS”, then we can agree with the statement, without any reservations, for all true Bible believers know that God has not chosen the “elect” because of their “WORKS” – that would nullify BELIEF & FAITH & SALVATION by GRACE! But, if “MERIT” includes “BELIEF”, that would nullify the separate purposes of the heart and the flesh, making them both THE SAME–which they are NOT; which would ultimately make “BELIEF” a “WORK”–which it is NOT! {Can you see how TOTAL DEPRAVITY is the “Lynchpin” upon which “Calvinism” relies?}

 

Let’s examine the verses cited [Ephesians 1:4-8] in context and “rightly divide” God’s words:

 

Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

 

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

 

9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 

NOTHING in Ephesians 1:4-8 tells us THE BASIS for God “choosing” us (the elect). It is clear, however, that God has “chosen us in Him - before the foundation of the world” to be “holy and without blame before him in love:” – are ALL Christians “holy and without blame before him in love”? Christians can believe in God “choosing”, and in "calling", "election", "predestination", "justification", and "eternal salvation", "preservation" (NOT "perseverance") without being a Calvinist. We also can believe in "whosoever will" without being an Armenian! It's NOT an "either/or" proposition, no matter how hard some (in either "camp") try to force us into one or the other.

 

The chronological order is: [Ephesians 1:13]In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, God did not look down from Heaven before the foundation of the world and go – Eenee Meenee Miny Moe; nor did He willy nilly just “choose” without “FOREKNOWLEDGE”; and here is where “the rubber meets the road” - WHAT WAS THAT FOREKNOWLEDGE BASED ON?

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

The Scriptures clearly state that the “Elect” are according to the “foreknowledge” of God the Father – But the BASIS of “foreknowledge” is not clearly defined in the above verse.

 

Acts 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

In the above verse - “Foreknowledge” is clearly defined as God “knowing”, ahead of time, about events that were going to take place in the future.

 

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

In the above verse those: “whom he did “foreknow” are “predestined to be conformed to the image of his son”. Are all Christians “conformed” to the “image” of Christ today? Has there ever been a time in church history when they were? This verse is not talking about our “Salvation”; it’s talking about how “whom he did “foreknow” (all those who have been saved - born again) will someday be just like Jesus Christ. [1Corinthians 15:49] The BASIS of God’s “foreknowledge” is NOT explained (or defined) in the verse – only the fact that all those “whom he did foreknow are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” To be “conformed to the image of His Son” is the ultimate destiny of every single person (man, woman, or child) that has ever BELIEVED in the Lord Jesus Christ!

 

Romans 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,

In the above verse: those He “foreknew” are clearly Jews (Hebrews) – NOT Christians! How someone can build a “Major Doctrine” upon so few verses is beyond me.

 

SOME MORE EXAMPLES OF “FOREKNOWLEDGE”

 

John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

 

John 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

 

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. {Please read through to John 6:59}

 

John 6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that BELIEVED NOT, and who should betray him.

65 And he said, THEREFORE said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. {See: John 6:44 – 59}

 

Please notice that the three foregoing examples of “foreknowledge” clearly demonstrate that:

 

#1. The Lord Jesus Christ refused to “commit Himself unto them” – BECAUSE HE “FOREKNEW” AHEAD OF TIME what the people would do. {That is - He based His actions in response to His “foreknowledge” of the people’s intent.}

 

#2. The Lord Jesus Christ MAKES A SPECIFIC STATEMENT – Based on the fact that HE “FOREKNEW” AHEAD OF TIME “who should betray Him”. {That is – He specifically said something in response to His “foreknowledge” of future events.}

 

#3. The Lord Jesus Christ specifically MAKES A STATEMENT – In response to the fact that He FORE -“knew from the beginning who they were that BELIEVED NOT!!! Did you get that? The Lord Jesus Christ makes a particular statement - BECAUSE He knew AHEAD OF TIME, "from the beginning", (BASED ON HIS “FOREKNOWLEDGE”) “WHO they were that BELIEVED NOT, and WHO should betray Him”. Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, based his actions and response on WHAT someone BELIEVED or did NOT BELIEVE!

 

And now let us examine the other verse cited [Romans 9:11] in support of Calvin’s doctrine:

Romans 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,

2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.

10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;

 

11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth

 

12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

 

After examining the Scripture (in context) cited by the Calvinists in support of their doctrine, can any one say that Romans 9:11 has any thing to do with an individual (Jew or Gentile) being “elected” by God unto “eternal salvation”? Who is the “US” in Verse 24? In the context, Paul is certainly not talking about “individual salvation”; he is revealing a “mystery” (unknown to the Jews) - that God’s “calling” is NOT limited to “the Jews only, but also the Gentiles” {PLURAL!}.

 

Calvinists state:

“Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).”

Romans 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

Romans 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

 

WHAT do the two verses cited have to do with being “elected into salvation”? We are “elected” according to the “foreknowledge” of God. That “foreknowledge” is based on SOMETHING and we know that it is NOT on our WORKS (i.e. something we have done in the flesh). Then WHAT is God’s “foreknowledge” BASED ON? That is the $64,000,000 question!

 

Let’s examine a few verses of Scripture and compare the Holy words of God with the doctrines of Calvinism – shall we?

 

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

WHY didn’t God say: “because they received not the ELECTION, that they might be saved.”

WHY all the concern about people having “the love of the truth” – IF they are already “unconditionally elected into salvation”? What difference would it make, whether they loved “the truth”, or NOT - IF they are already “unconditionally elected into salvation”?

 

2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

WHY is God sending them “strong delusion”, so that “they should BELIEVE a lie” – IF “some are elected into salvation, (and) others are not”; WHY bother with sending people “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” – IF “some are elected into salvation, (and) others are not”? What is the point? WHY the emphasis on “belief” instead of election, unless “belief” or “unbelief” (NOT “election” ALONE) is the ultimate deciding factor in determining whether we are saved or lost?

 

2 Thessalonians 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

WHY the concern about people either believing the truth or NOT believing the truth – IF “some are elected into salvation, others are not”? If Calvinism is true - shouldn’t the verse read: “That they all might be damned who are not elected into salvation”? WHY does Almighty God keep emphasizing “BELIEF” – and Calvinism keeps emphasizing “Total Depravity” or “Unconditional Election”?

 

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

WHY do the Scriptures stress “belief of the truth:” when talking about God choosing us “to salvation” – rather than “ELECTION”? IF “some are elected into salvation, (and) others are not” is true - WHERE does “belief of the truth:” fit in? Over and over, again and again, God keeps emphasizing “BELIEF”, “BELIEVE”, “BELIEVED”, or “BELIEVING”; WHAT is the point – IF “some are elected into salvation, others are not”? Isn’t it obvious by now – that Calvinism is a “DEAD END”? IF “some are elected into salvation, others are not” – since it’s all predetermined any way - WHY BOTHER? Some people “are elected into salvation” and other people “are not”! That is, according to Calvinism, “some (us “lucky” ones) are elected into salvation, others (you “unlucky” ones) are not” {or in other words - some have been “ELECTED” to DAMNATION!}

 

But what about “Whosoever Will” (or “whosoever will NOT”) that God has stated in His Holy word {and promised}? Is God a man, that He should lie?

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

 

Does our God make an offer to men (and women) and not mean it? Is Almighty God disingenuous when He says WHOSOEVER WILL? Does “WHOSOEVER WILL” only mean those who “are elected into salvation”? Or is it a General Call to all of mankind?

 

Calvinism has some “major problems” with God’s Holy word, and I for one refuse to follow a man who lived 450 years ago, who although he might have been extremely intelligent, certainly didn’t have all of the answers to God’s Holy word. No man has ever “figured out” all of God’s word. And to think that some man who lived over 400 years ago had all of the answers is absurd! Calvin didn’t even have all of the QUESTIONS – never mind all of the answers! {This is WHY I am “leery” of ALL“systems of biblical interpretation” and “theological formulations”}

2 Thessalonians 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

WHY is a person’s “calling” determined by Paul’s “Gospel” - IF “some are elected into salvation, others are not”? WHAT does “believing” the “gospel” have to do with “the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” - IF “some are elected into salvation, (and) others are not”?

 

1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

WHY don’t the Scriptures state: “the word of God, which effectually worketh in those that are unconditionally elected”, instead of those that “believe”? IF “Unconditional Election” is God’s sole “modus operandi” – WHY the emphasis on “belief”?

 

Unconditional Election (as “Total Depravity” did before) ignores the testimony of the Scriptures about “BELIEF”, “BELIEVE”, “BELIEVED”, or “BELIEVING”.

 

1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

WHY DOES God command us to BELIEVE, IF “some are elected into salvation, others are not” -unless our salvation is “conditioned” on our Believing first, WHY the emphasis on “believing” when we are already “unconditionally elected”? WHY the COMMANDMENT to BELIEVE?

 

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

WHY IS God WORKING at getting people to BELIEVE on Him, IF “some are elected into salvation, (and) others are not”? WHY “WORK” at all to get them to BELIEVE?

 

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

WHY PRAY for someone to BELIEVE, IF they are already “Unconditionally elected into salvation, (and) others are not”? WHY the concern about someone believing on the Lord “through their word”– IF they are already “unconditionally elected into salvation, (and) others are not”!

 

Romans 4:24But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; {& Philippians 1:29}

WHY is IMPUTATION dependent on our BELIEVING on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord” – IF we are already “unconditionally elected into salvation, (and) others are not”? Wouldn’t it (imputation) be based on our “unconditional election”?

 

Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

WHY isn’t there any mention of “Election” in the verse – for example according to Calvinism the verse should have said: For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to“be unconditionally elected into salvation”? Once again WHY does God continually emphasize “BELIEF”?

 

1 Timothy 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

HOW is Paul “a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting”? Is Paul’s Conversion a “PATTERN” of “unconditional election”? Paul’s Conversion is a “PATTERN” {example} of God’s Grace to an unbeliever [“Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious” . . . who “obtained mercy, because” (he) “did it ignorantly in unbelief.” 1Timothy 1:13] The Scriptures did NOT say that Paul obtained mercy because he was “unconditionally elected into salvation”! The Scriptures did NOT say: that Paul was “a pattern to the elect which were unconditionally elected into salvation”! According to the Holy Bible, the Apostle Paul is a PATTERN - “to them which should hereafter BELIEVE on him to life everlasting”! The Apostle Paul’s conversion is the classic “PATTERN” of an unbeliever who “BELIEVES on Him (The Lord Jesus Christ) to life everlasting.”

 

We could go through literally dozens of more verses from the Scriptures and demonstrate from investigation, questions, analysis, dissection, rightly dividing, and sound Biblical reasoning that the doctrine of "Unconditional Election" is contrary to sound Biblical doctrine.

 

Notice how Calvinism ADDS to the word of God? “TOTAL DEPRAVITY” <> neither word can be found in the HOLY BIBLE! “UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION” <> the word “Unconditional” is NOT in the Holy Bible! Does this mean anything to you? Does the fact that John Calvin (1509 – 1564) lived BEFORE The King James Bible was translated, have any bearing on his “doctrine”? WHAT was his “FINAL AUTHORITY”? WHERE did he get his “DOCTRINE” from?

 

WHY would a genuine King James Bible believer trust a man or his “DOCTRINE”, if he never had God’s FINAL AUTHORITY {i.e. AV1611 – King James Bible} in his hands - not even one time; but who, instead, used “eclectic” Hebrew (Old Testament) and Latin Texts (Old & New Testaments); and in addition, possibly a French “text” or some Greek or other language text for the New Testament) in which he formulated ALL of his so-called“systems of biblical interpretation” and “theological formulations”?

 

The following is a list of specific words found in the Scriptures (that are related to Calvinism) and all of the corresponding verses where they can be found. I have listed the words – “elect”, “election”, “elected”, “foreknew”, “foreknowledge”, “foreordained”, etc. and have tried to “rightly divide” WHERE and to WHOM they should be applied. If anyone is interested in searching out these Scriptures, the color code easily identifies to WHOM I believe the verses should be applied. I would encourage you to “search the Scriptures” to see whether those things that I have presented here are true or not:

 

“ELECT”

GOD

Isaiah 42:1; 1Timothy 5:21; 1 Peter 2:6

ISRAEL {Jews - Hebrews}

Isaiah 45:4; Isaiah 65:9; Isaiah 65:22; Matthew 24:22; Matthew 24; Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:20; Mark 13:22; Mark 13:27; Luke 18:7

THE CHURCH {Born Again – Saved}

Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 John 1:1; 2 John 1:13

 

According to the Scriptures, "the elect" can be: THE LORD; or Israel (the Jews - Hebrews); or the Church (Christians) depending on the context of the verses where the word occurs. The word "elect" is NOT always in reference to born again children of God.

 

“ELECTION”

ISRAEL {Jews - Hebrews}

Romans 9; Romans 11:5; Romans 11:7; Romans 11:28

THE CHURCH {Born Again – Saved}

1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Peter 1:10

 

“ELECTED”

THE CHURCH {Born Again – Saved}

1 Peter 5:13

 

“FOREKNEW”

ISRAEL {Jews - Hebrews}

Romans 11:2

 

“FOREKNOWLEDGE”

GOD

Acts 2:23

THE CHURCH {Born Again – Saved}

1 Peter 1:2

 

“FOREORDAINED”

GOD

1 Peter 1:20

 

“ORDAIN”

ISRAEL {Jews - Hebrews}

1 Chronicles 9:22; 1 Chronicles 17:9; Isaiah 26

THE CHURCH {Born Again – Saved}

1 Corinthians 7:17; Titus 1:5

 

“ORDAINED”

GOD

Psalms 8:2; Psalms 8:3; Psalms 132:17; Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31; Romans 13:1; 1 Corinthians 2:7

ISRAEL {Jews - Hebrews}

Numbers 28:6; 2 Kings 23:5; 2 Chronicles 23:18; 2 Chronicles 29:27; Esther 9:27; Psalms 81:5; Isaiah 30:33; Jeremiah 1:5; Daniel 2:24; Habakkuk 1:12; Mark 3:14; John 15:16; Acts 1:22; Romans 7:10; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 8:3; Hebrews 9:6

THE CHURCH {Born Again – Saved}

Acts 13:48; Acts 14:23; Acts 16:4; 1 Corinthians 9:14; Ephesians 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:7

EVIL

1 Kings 12:32; 1 Kings 12:332; Chronicles 11:15; Jude 1:4

 

I am finished (for now) with the so-called doctrine of “Unconditional Election”. This study could easily be much longer if I had the time (and the space) to present all of the verses pertaining to "whosoever will" and/or more examples from the Old Testament. What I have presented should suffice, for I still have 3 “Points” to go

 

We are now ready to examine the third main tenet of Calvinism in the light of God’s Holy word:

L =“Limited Atonement”(also known as Particular Atonement)

 

Calvinists state:

“Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many'; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).”

 

The fact that the word “LIMITED” only shows up once in the Scriptures, and the only use of the word in that one single verse being peculiarly anti-Calvinistic [Psalms 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and LIMITED the Holy One of Israel.] should have given John Calvin (or some of his followers) at least pause in using it to describe the “Atonement”.

 

Before I begin my comments on the third “pillar” (premise) of Calvinistic doctrine - “Limited Atonement” (and as brother Forrest has said: “which I personally think is the most heretical doctrine in the wilting T.U.L.I.P arrangement.”), I believe it is necessary to determine, as best we can, what the “Atonement” is all about.

 

Words are strange and peculiar things. Our Lord and Saviour is described as “The Word”.

 

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

Why would God choose to describe The Son as “The Word”, unless He was trying to convey to us that there is a constant, persistent, enduring, indissoluble, permanent, perpetual, everlasting, and eternal connection between “The WORD” and God’s “words”?

 

God’s words (spoken or written) are powerful:

 

Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

 

Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

 

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

 

John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

 

The Scriptures state that the Lord Jesus Christ spoke all of creation into existence, and that all of creation is upheld “by the word of His power”. They also state that the words that Christ spoke are “life”. Peter said that “thou (the Lord Jesus Christ) hast the words of eternal life!

 

Like I said at the beginning, words are strange and peculiar things. God has used words (spoken & written) to convey His thoughts and His ways to mankind from the very beginning of the creation of Adam up to the present day; and men and women have used words ever since to express their thoughts, feelings, beliefs, ideas, etc.

 

So the question arises – WHAT are words? {Check the Dictionary for the exhaustive definition} I believe that words not only express most of those things that are said about them in the Dictionaries; but more than that – words (spoken or written) paint a verbal “picture” of our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, ideas, etc.; and not only ours, but God has used His words to “illustrate” for mankind His thoughts and His ways.

By now you are probably saying – What’s the point? The point is that God has been “illustrating” to mankind (through His actions and His words) the absolutely devastating and destructive effect SIN has had on mankind from the moment that Adam fell up to today; and the “Terrible Price” that God requires to “Atone” for SIN (Sins). - “THE ATONEMENT”!

 

From the first sacrifice – the shedding of blood and the death of an innocent animal in the Garden of Eden to “cover” Adam & Eve’s sin; to Abel’s “more excellent” sacrifice; to Noah’s offering (of every clean beast & every clean fowl); to Job’s burnt offerings for his children “according to the number of them all”; to Abraham’s “offering” of his ONLY son; to Moses and Aaron and the establishment of the Law and all the “ordinances of divine service” (which included the daily sacrifices for the individual sins of the people of Israel, and the once a year perfect, clean, unblemished male animal sacrifice for the nation of Israel); God was “illustrating” (or painting a picture) that SIN = DEATH; that God required the BLOOD of an innocent, unblemished MALE SACRIFICE to “cover” (not Atone for) people’s sins.

 

Over and over again, as those innocent animals died and shed their blood, God was “illustrating” to all of mankind and to Israel that He required a “Payment” for sin; and only a perfect, unblemished, innocent male sacrifice would do. Over and over again He was “painting a picture” of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Back then, it was the actual shedding of blood and death that “illustrated” God’s point, today it’s the reading (or hearing) of those actual events that “illustrates” for us the same point.

 

Now the question arises, when the high priest went once a year into “the Holy of Holies” to offer the blood of the sacrifice for his sins and the sins of the people of Israel was that offering ONLY for the “saints”, or was it for ALL of the people? Were ALL of the people saints? Read the Books of Moses. Read Judges, 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings, 1&2 Chronicles, etc. Read the Book of Hebrews. How many times did the people of Israel sin? (The testimony of the Scriptures testifies that most of the time it was the “majority” of the people that sinned.) Do you think that when the high priest went into the Holy Of Holies to offer the blood of the sacrifice that that offering was ONLY for the saints of old? Could anyone prove that by Scripture? I trow not!

 

And now we come to John the Baptist, what did he have to say about the Lord Jesus Christ?

 

John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

 

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

 

Now we know: “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” [Hebrews 10:4] So from the time of Adam’s fall up until the time of Christ’s sacrifice, all of the shedding of the blood of all of those innocent animals did was “cover” the sins of those who sacrificed or those for whom the sacrifice was made. In the case of Israel the once a year sacrifice was made for ALL of the people. In the case of “the Lamb of God” (The Lord Jesus Christ), His sacrifice was “for the sins of the WHOLE world”! [1 John 2:2]

 

And so the ATONEMENT for sin was accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ. He fulfilled all of the Scriptural requirements. He is the ONLY ONE that fit the “picture” that God had “illustrated” (by His initial “example” in the Garden and by His word) for mankind for four centuries. He paid the “terrible price” that God required, and which no one else could. “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and NOT for ours ONLY, but ALSO for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD.” [1 John 2:2] The Holy Scriptures unequivocally state that that terrible sacrifice was made “for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD” – NOT just for the “elect”. But in order for that sacrifice (for “the Whole World) to be effective in the life of each individual, they must DO something: They must “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”.

 

So far, every time we come around to examining the various Calvinistic doctrines we come face to face with “BELIEF”, “BELIEVE”, “BELIEVED”, OR “BELIEVING”. And although I am repeating myself for the umpteenth time – the problem with Calvinism is that by not rightly dividing the word of God, concerning man’s attributes, Calvin (and all who have followed him) have confused “WORKS”, which are a function and operation of the flesh, with “BELIEF”, which is a function and operation of the heart. And in doing so, they have ended up with a doctrine which, at every turn, CHANGES the Holy word of God and makes it say something other than what it truly says.

 

Calvinists state:

“Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect.

 

I believe it behooves us to examine what the Bible has to say about WHO the Lord Jesus Christ died and shed His for, and see if God’s words are in agreement with Calvinism:

 

THE WORLD

 

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

 

John 3:17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

 

John 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.

40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.

41 And many more believed because of his own word;

42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

 

John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

 

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

 

John 12:44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

 

1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

 

2 Corinthians 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

 

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

 

The preceding Bible verses are the strongest verses in opposition to the Calvinist doctrine of “Limited Atonement” that I could find. Can ANYONE honestly say (or even claim) that the testimony of the Scriptures agrees with the doctrine of “Limited Atonement”? According to Calvinism: “Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect.”With all of the clear and unmistakable testimony from Scripture, how could ANYONE make such statements that are so unequivocally in opposition to the simple and unambiguous teachings from God’s word?

 

The Scriptures stated nine (9) times that Christ is the Saviour of the “Whole World”; or that He came to save the world; etc.; etc. How many times must God say something before Calvinists will accept it? Read the statements:

 

“Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”; “the world through him might be saved”; “this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world”; “For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world”.; “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself”; “the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world”;

 

And then the three (3) strongest statements from Scripture in opposition to this doctrine – “I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” {Christ didn’t say - ‘to save the elect’!}; “the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world”; {John didn’t say that the Father sent the Son: ‘to be the Saviour of the elect’!}; “he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world”.

 

How can ANYONE SAY: “Jesus died only for the elect." or "Jesus only bore the sins of the elect.”

I listed the verses that I believe are the strongest in opposition to the Calvinist doctrine of “Limited Atonement”. Unlike those that will follow (“all”, “all men”, etc.) the Calvinists cannot CHANGE the word “world” to mean something other than what it means – “THE WORLD”!

 

The following verses present more support against the doctrine of “Limited Atonement”. However, many of these verses will be “turned on their head” and challenged by Calvinists by the use of QUESTIONS: ‘Does “ALL” really mean ALL – Doesn’t it really mean ‘ALL THE ELECT’? ‘Does “ALL MEN” really mean ALL MEN – Doesn’t it really mean ‘ALL THE ELECT’? ‘Does “EVERY MAN” really mean EVERY MAN – Doesn’t it really mean ‘ALL THE ELECT’? You see how it goes?

 

ALL MEN

 

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

 

Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

 

1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

 

1 Timothy 4:10For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

 

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

 

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

 

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

I believe the Bible record that God: “would have ALL MEN to be saved”! Salvation is for ALL – Christ “died for ALL”. But NOT ALL will BELIEVE and RECEIVE! I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ tasted “death for EVERY MAN” – NOT just the elect!

 

I believe that God “is the Saviour of ALL MEN, specially of those that BELIEVE” {There’s that word – “BELIEVE” again!}The Lord Jesus Christ is the SAVIOUR of ALL MEN – But, in order for God’s salvation to be effective (efficacious) in each individual, a man (or woman) must DO something in order to be saved: They must “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ” [Acts 16:30-31].

 

I believe that 2Corinthians 5:14-15 defines ALL - in regards to WHO Christ died for: “that if one died for all, {ONLY THE ELECT?} then were all {ONLY THE ELECT?}dead”. The question arises – are (were) ONLY THE ELECT DEAD? Do ONLY THE ELECT DIE? Don’t ALL (ALL MEN) DIE? If ALL (EVERYONE - Hebrews 9:27) DIE, and Christ “died for ALL” – then WHO is it that Christ died for? ONLY THE ELECT – are they kidding? Christ died for ALL – But ONLY those who BELIEVE are saved – what’s so complicated about that?

 

And now we will move on to “Whosoever”. {And “whosoever” is NOT “Limited” to the Elect ONLY!} If God meant for “whosoever” to be ONLY the “elect”, He would have used the word “elect” in place of the word “whosoever” wherever the word shows up in the Holy Scriptures! If “whosoever” does NOT mean the “elect” ONLY – then Calvinism is guilty of CHANGING the Holy words of God - But that wouldn’t be the first time!

 

WHOSOEVER

 

John 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

 

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

 

Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

 

1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

Did you notice “believeth”? When it comes to salvation, you can’t escape BELIEF! It’s God’s GRACE; It’s God’s LOVE; It’s God’s MERCY; it’s Christ’s SACRIFICE; it’s God’s GIFT; It’s Christ’s FAITH; but it’s our “BELIEF”! A person MUST BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ in order to get saved – it’s that simple. [2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.]

 

Whenever a doctrine gets so complicated and convoluted that it becomes necessary to CHANGE the Holy words of God in order to prove a point, or ADD words that cannot be found in the Bible – I automatically suspect “someone” of subtilty complicating “the simplicity that is in Christ”, and introducing “leaven” into the body of Christ.

 

We now move on to the next set of Scriptures in opposition to the Calvinistic doctrine of “Limited Atonement”:

 

WE - OUR - US – I – ME

 

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

 

1 Timothy 1:15This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

 

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

 

Romans 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

 

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

 

1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

 

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

 

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

 

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

 

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

 

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

 

1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

 

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

 

The preceding verses, if taken out of the context of all of the rest of the preceding verses, can be misconstrued to mean “only the elect”. But a careful inquiry and investigation into the verses will demonstrate that they must all be rightly divided in light of the testimony of all of the preceding verses that I have cited. {Remember: A verse “out of context” = “a PRETEXT”!}

 

For instance: [Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.] Did Christ “give Himself” ONLY for Paul? Of course not! The testimony of 1Timothy 2:6 says:Christ“gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” {Context is everything!}

And what about all of the verses where it says that “Christ died for us”? What about all the US’s? Are they “Limited” only to Paul and to those whom he was addressing in his Epistles? Of course not! Are they “Limited” to US today? I trow not! Are they “Limited” to ONLY THE ELECT? If you were to take the verses ALONE; and separated, or tried to disassociate them from all of the other Scriptures presented here – you might be able to come up with a doctrine that taught that. But that method of dividing the word of truth would be dishonest and deceitful.

 

Christ died for “the sins of the whole world”; “Christ died for the ungodly”; “Christ died for us”; and “Christ died for me” – Can you disassociate or divorce all of the verses where it clearly says he died for “the sins of the whole world” from those where it says He “died for US”? I trow not! If that be the case then to “rightly divide the word of truth”, the teaching taken from ALL of the verses is simply that Christ died for “the sins of the whole world”, of which I, you, me, i.e. “US” are but a part.

 

And now we come to the most difficult verses in dealing with the doctrine of “Limited Atonement”.

 

Calvinists state:

“Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many'; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).”

 

Let's examine the verses given in support of the Calvinistic doctrine of "Limited Atonement":

Quote:

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

FACT: The verse doesn’t CHANGE the testimony of 1John 2:2. [“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”] And since there are no errors or contradictions in the Holy Bible, we must rightly divide the word of truth (spiritual discernment) to arrive at an understanding.

 

FACT: Christ died for “the sins of the whole world” - “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” [John 1:12]. However, only those who have BELIEVED on Him and who have RECEIVED him receive “remission of sins”. Just because the Lord Jesus Christ died for ALL, doesn’t mean that ALL are saved! He made the Sacrifice (for “the whole world) – it’s up to us to “BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” [Acts 16:31]! I will deal with "many" shortly.

 

Quote:

Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

FACT: The use of this verse to “prove” Calvinistic doctrine illustrates the shallow understanding that John Calvin had in regards to the Holy word of God. Let us examine the verses within their proper “CONTEXT” shall we?

 

 

Quote:

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

{This is speaking about Christ’s return to earth to rule.}

 

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, AS a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

{This is NOT speaking about Christ’s “SHEEP”! Do you see the word “AS”? The Lord is using a “simile” to explain what is going to take place (the judgment of the NATIONS) immediately after He returns to the earth, at the beginning of His Millennial reign. On the one hand (the right), The Lord Jesus Christ is explaining that those NATIONS (the sheep) who treated the Jews kindly and helped and supported them, will get to live and go into His Kingdom. While on the other hand (the left) those NATIONS (the goats) who neglected or refused to help or assist the Jews, or those NATIONS who actively opposed them are going to be sent into “everlasting fire & punishment”. Read the verses (in CONTEXT) – these verses are NOT talking about the “atonement”, or New Testament salvation, or Christ’s “SHEEP”. These are in reference to THE JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS, which will take place immediately after the end of the Great Tribulation. This is NOT THE “Judgment Seat of Christ” (for Christians), and NEITHER is it the “Great White Throne” Judgment (for the “dead”); this is “The Judgment of the Nations”! This is “rightly dividing the word of truth” -101! Couldn’t Calvin READ? Can his “followers” READ? Please read to the end of the Chapter. Do you see anything connected to the church, Christians, or New Testament salvation?}

 

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

I will say it again – where is Paul’s “Gospel” (the Gospel of the Grace of God) in all of the preceding verses? The verses clearly state that some NATIONS are going to “inherit the kingdom” (NOT “eternal life”) based on how they treated the Jews (Christ’s “brethren”) during the Tribulation; and some NATIONS are going to be cast into “everlasting fire” & “punishment” based on their mistreatment of the Jews (Christ’s “brethren”) during the Tribulation.

 

Can you see what a mess someone can get in - if they don’t “rightly divide the word of truth”? If John Calvin couldn’t get the rudimentary facts of Scripture straight here, what’s to say he had it right in his ”system of biblical interpretation” and “theological formulations” – better known as the acronym: T.U.L.I.P.?

 

Quote:

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

 

John 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

FACT: The testimony of John 10:11 & 15 doesn’t CHANGE the testimony of 1John 2:2. [“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”] And since there are no errors or contradictions in the Holy Bible, we must rightly divide the word of truth to arrive at a spiritual understanding. The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ gave His life for “the sheep” doesn’t CHANGE the fact that He died for “the sins of the whole world”! He could do BOTH you know.

 

Quote:

John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

FACT: The “them” in the CONTEXT are the Lord Jesus Christ’s DISCIPLES! What has this got to do with “Limited Atonement”?

 

Quote:

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

FACT: The testimony of John 6:44 doesn’t ALTER or CHANGE the testimony of 1John 2:2. [“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”] And since there are no errors or contradictions in the Holy Bible, we must rightly divide the word of truth to arrive at a spiritual understanding. The fact that - “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him”, doesn’t CHANGE the fact that He died for “the sins of the whole world”! A verse dealing with the Father drawing men to Christ does NOT ANNUL verses that clearly state that Christ is the Saviour of the world, and is the PROPITIATION for the sins of the whole world.

 

Quote:

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

AMEN! So what is the point? Does this ALTER or CHANGE what has already been established in the Holy Scriptures elsewhere? Does God’s Holy word have errors or contradictions in it? I trow not!

 

Quote:

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Does the fact that Christ “loved the church and gave himself for it” NULLIFY the fact that He sacrificed Himself to take “away the sin of the world”, or that His sacrifice was made for“the life of the world”? Of course not! He could do both you know. [John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.] At this point - are you getting tired & weary of all this?

 

Quote:

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Does the fact that Isaiah 53:12 states the “he bare the sin of many”; ALTER or CHANGE the testimony of all of the Scriptures that I have posted? - especially 1John 2:2: “he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” I shall deal with "many" in my comments immediately following.

 

I have added three more verses that were not cited, but fall under the same category:

 

Quote:

John 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

 

Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

 

Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

These verses are in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ giving eternal life to “as many as thou (the Father) hast given Him”; and “as many the Lord our God shall call”; and “as many as were ordained to eternal life”. These verses have to do with “predestination” [Romans 8:29-30], which is based on the “foreknowledge” of God [1Peter 1:2], which is based on – God knowing before hand (before the foundation of the world) WHO would BELIEVE on Him and who would Not!

 

But all of this does not CHANGE the fact that: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” [John 3:16]

 

All three of these verses do NOT ALTER, CHANGE, or NULLIFY all of the verses that were presented in opposition to the doctrine of “Limited Atonement”; if they do – then there are “contradictions” in the Holy word of God, which, we know and are absolutely sure, that there are NONE!

 

The solution to an “apparent contradiction” in the Bible is to:

 

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

And the secret to “rightly dividing” is found in Isaiah:

 

Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

 

Isaiah 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

 

Can we identify the “many”?

 

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

 

In this verse the “many” are born again children of God - Who become “the sons of God” by BELIEVING on His name, and which “receive” Him the moment they BELIEVE. [John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.]

 

Romans 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. {The Scriptural “requirement” being - IF they BELIEVE!}

 

The “many” in Romans 5:15 are ALL MANKIND! Because of Adam’s offence – ALL men (and women) DIE [1Corinthians 15:22] – NOT JUST THE ELECT! According to the Scriptures - “many” can sometimes mean “ALL”! We are commanded to study and to rightly DIVIDE; this takes spiritual discernment, understanding, and wisdom, which only God can give – a Bible school, college, or seminary CANNOT provide these things; and neither can any man who you may admire, or who you may be following.

 

16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. {The Scriptural “requirement” being - IF they BELIEVE!}

 

Because of Adam’s offence “judgment came upon all men to condemnation”. ALL men (and women) are under this judgment. “All men” means – “ALL MEN” – NOT JUST THE ELECT! In order to receive “the free gift” many must first BELIEVE. The “free gift” is offered to ALL, but the Scriptural requirement is that only those who BELIEVE can receive it. According to the Scriptures - “many” can sometimes mean “ALL”!

 

19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. {The Scriptural “requirement” being - IF they BELIEVE!}

 

Because of Adam’s disobedience “many were made sinners”. We know that ALL men (and women) are sinners, so according to the Scriptures - “many” can sometimes mean “ALL”!

Does that mean that ALL men & women will “be made righteous”? Of course not! Again, the promise is to ALL, but the Scriptural requirement is that only those who BELIEVE can receive it.

 

Are we done? How about just one more?

 

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

 

According to the Holy Scriptures – the Lord Jesus Christ is not only the “Propitiation” for our sins, but He is the “Propitiation” for “the sins of the whole world”. How do we square that with Hebrews 9:28? It’s very simple really: According to the Scriptures - “many” can sometimes mean “ALL”!

 

In conclusion: God will have “all men to be saved” [1Timothy 2:4] – NOT just the elect; the Lord Jesus Christ “tasted death for every man” [Hebrews 2:9] – NOT just the elect; the Lord Jesus Christ is “the Saviour of the world” [1 John 4:14] – NOT just the elect; “Christ died for my sins, for our sins, and “for the sins of the whole world [Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1John 2:2] – NOT just the elect!

 

The Bible states:

 

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

I believe the Scriptures as they are – NOT as John Calvin perceived them to be. If you want to get saved - ignore all of the complexity of Calvinism (or any other “ISM”) and just “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” The “simplicity that is in Christ” was never meant to be so complicated!

T.U.L.I.P.{the famous acronym associated with Calvinistic beliefs}

 

I = “Irresistible Grace”

 

Calvinists state:

 

Quote:

“When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that "it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy"; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.”

Once again we are presented with another Calvinist doctrine which is established with the aid of another additional word that cannot be found in the Holy Bible, i.e. “Irresistible”. In the course of studying the five (5) major tenets (premises) of Calvinism, it has become perfectly clear that Calvinists enlist “catch words” that are foreign to the Holy Scriptures, (i.e. “Total”; “Depravity”; “Unconditional”; “Irresistible”; “External”; “Internal”) “catch words” that are cleverly used to influence an inquirer, in order to establish their doctrines. Shouldn’t the use of these extra-Biblical words (by Calvinists) be considered ADDING to the Holy words of God? If not – what should it be called?

 

It should also be noted that the Calvinists that I have quoted from the Calvinist Corner are using some other translation (?), other than the King James Bible – their quote:

Romans 9:16 where it says that "it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy";

 

Whereas the Holy Bible says: Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

 

Now, almost all Christians know (or at least they should know) that God has “mercy”. Mercy is one of the five main “Moral Attributes” of God. However, according to the King James Bible, in Romans 9:16 it is “God that sheweth mercy”. The verse is not stating the obvious fact that God POSSESSES the Moral Attribute, i.e. Mercy - WHO doesn’t know that? The verse is talking about God DEMONSTRATING that Mercy! {Just another “minor” difference - amongst thousands of the so-called “minor” differences between the Holy Bible and another imitation bible.}

 

I’m not claiming that all Calvinists have embraced the corrupt modern translations, I know better than that. But it is interesting how, many Calvinists won’t hesitate to ADD words foreign to the Bible in order to establish their doctrines; or they will have no shame in substituting words such as “SICK” for “WICKED”, or “SLAVE” for “SERVANT”; or “HAS” for “SHEWETH”; etc.; etc.; ad infinitum; to enforce their preconceived notions.

 

I believe that Almighty God is “SOVEREIGN” {All Powerful}. I believe that God can do whatever He “WILLS”. After all, the God of the Bible is the ONE TRUE GOD; the ETERNAL “I AM” {Self Existing [without beginning or end of existence] Immortal-Perpetual-Unchangeable}. I firmly believe in God’s substantive attributes: I believe in GOD’S OMNISCIENCE {All-Knowing - All-Seeing}; I believe in GOD’S OMNIPRESENCE {Present Everywhere - in all places at the same time}; and I believe in GOD’S OMNIPOTENCE {All Powerful – Unlimited Power}.

 

I also believe that God WILL NOT (Cannot) do anything that is CONTRARY to His Moral Character. And since Almighty God is HOLY, JUST, TRUE, LOVING, and MERCIFUL; He Will Not (CANNOT) do anything that goes against His basic MORAL “FACULTIES”. For example God CANNOT LIE:

 

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

 

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

 

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

 

I do not question God’s Sovereignty, however, it is abundantly clear from Scripture that there are some things that God either CANNOT do, or WILL NOT do. And recognizing this fact does not, in any way, detract from Almighty God’s Sovereignty. Instead, it establishes all of God’s “Attributes” {Substantive & Moral} – especially His HOLINESS”.

 

There are many verses in the Holy Scriptures that clearly demonstrate men resisting God or God’s Will. I can not cite them all, but I will cite many of the major ones.

 

Please read all of Psalm 78. The whole Psalm is a “Parable” of God continually reaching out to His people (Israel) and their continual unbelief, disobedience, and rejection of His will for them. If there is such a thing as “Irresistible” Grace - whatever happened with His CHOSEN people?

 

The following sample verses from Psalm 78 “illustrate” the point:

 

Psalms 78:40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!

Psalms 78:41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

 

Ps 78:32 For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.

 

Psalms 78:37 For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.

Psalms 78:56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:

57 But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers: they were turned aside like a deceitful bow.

 

What is the “problem” with God’s “CHOSEN” people (Israel)? Is it because they are not part of the “Elect”? If so, WHY doesn’t God say so, instead of inspiring David to state:

 

Psalm 78:22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation:

 

Did you get that? There’s “BELIEF” AGAIN! And herein lays the “PROBLEM”. How many times does God have to repeat something before it “takes”? God’s people (Jews & Christians) have always had a “problem” with BELIEVING. As a matter of fact, the “stumbling block” for ALL people (Jews & Gentiles alike) has always been BELIEF – either in God’s word (written & oral) and in the “WORD” {INCARNATE}! [Matthew 21;42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6-8; Romans 9:32-33]

 

Psalm 78 clearly demonstrates God’s people (Israel) continually thwarting God’s will for them. But how about testimony from the New Testament? What does it have to say about this issue? [Romans 10:21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.]

 

Please read Chapter 7 of the book of Acts. In Acts 7:1-60 Stephen gives a very short “synopsis” of the history of the Jewish (Hebrew) people; from the call of Abraham (the first Hebrew) up to and including the life/death/burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Acts 7:37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:

53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

 

We have David’s testimony that God’s people (Israel) “LIMITED THE Holy One of Israel”. We have Stephen’s testimony that God’s people, (Israel) in the past and up to Stephen’s time, “do always RESIST the Holy Ghost”! What about the Lord Jesus Christ’s testimony concerning this issue? What does the Lord have to say?

 

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

 

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

 

What Did the Lord Jesus Christ say? “HOW OFTEN WOULD I . . . . AND YE WOULD NOT”!

 

How much more do Bible believers “need” to convince them that God’s people can LIMIT God; RESIST the Holy Ghost; and DEFY God’s Will for them? Hmmm? So then, with the crystal clear and irrefutable testimony of the written word of God, and the Holy Son of God - what is Calvinism doing teaching “IRRESISTIBLE”GRACE? Is God sovereign? Of course He is! But, can God’s people RESIST and LIMIT God? According to the Holy Scriptures – they sure can.

 

I don’t recommend it, but I know, from personal experience, that a good portion of my life (since I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour) has been spent resisting God’s will for me. I’m not proud of it, but that’s the plain, unvarnished truth! I thank God for His love, His mercy, and His longsuffering patience. It would be the height of hypocrisy for me to claim that everything that I have done, since I got saved, is according to God’s will – I know better!

 

If Israel (Jews/Hebrews – lost or saved) could LIMIT God [Psalm 78:41]; RESIST God [Acts 7:51]; and RESIST God’s will [Matthew 23:37 & Luke 13:34]; and I, as a born again child of God, can RESIST God’s will, WHY would someone think that a lost person (man or woman) CAN’T RESIST God’s Will – when it comes to salvation?

 

1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

 

The above verse is perfectly clear. GOD “WILL have ALL MEN to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Someone will have to twist the Scripture, and turn it on its head in order to make it say something other than what it just said. Oh, I know: “ALL MEN” doesn’t really “mean” ALL MEN (as in “ALL”), IT REALLY MEANS –“just the elect” . . . . . . But we’ve heard that “Song” before (and it’s getting pretty OLD!)

 

IF God “will have all men to be saved” – then WHAT is the problem? The “problem” is NOT that “some are elected into salvation, others are not”. The “problem” is: “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” [John 5:40]; the “problem” is a REFUSAL to BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ [Luke 22:67; John 4:48; 6:64; 8:24; 16:7-11; 2Corinthians 4:3-4; 20:25] so that they can come unto Him that they “might have life”.. The clear testimony of the Scripture is that there are “some” who “will not come to me, that ye might have life”. WHAT happened to “When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist.” {i.e. “IRRESISTIBLE”GRACE?}

 

Let’s examine John 5:40 in context and see if we can get some “light” on the matter:

 

John 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.

34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

 

40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

 

41 I receive not honour from men.

42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

 

WHY would the Lord Jesus Christ say: “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” [John 5:40] - IF the doctrine of “IRRESISTIBLE” GRACE were true? Wouldn’t He have said: “And (because ye are not among the elect) ye will not come to me, that ye might have life”? WHY does the Lord introduce the word “BELIEVE” 5 times in 4 verses (verses 44-47) in the context, and never mention “elect”, “elected”, or “election” ONCE?

 

What about Titus 2:11:

 

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

 

Since we all know that the preceding verse is true [Romans 3:4], WHY don’t ALL MEN get saved - IF “IRRESISTIBLE” GRACE is also true? Please read the verse carefully over again. The only way you can annul the clear teaching of the verse is if you CHANGE “ALL MEN” to something other than ALL MEN–like ALL THE ELECT; or EVERY KIND OF MAN; etc; etc; I believe the verse (WHERE it stands & HOW it stands). I don’t profess to understand all of its implications – I just accept it without any reservations or changes.

 

Let’s examine Luke 8:11-12 in regards to this issue:

 

Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

 

What about Luke 8:12: “lest they should believe and be saved”? IF “IRRESISTIBLE”GRACE is true, WHAT is Satan doing taking away the word out of someone’s heart “lest they believe”? IF they are the elect, “they cannot resist” anyway, so why does the devil (who knows the Scriptures far better than John Calvin - or any of his followers) even bother, since the elect cannot “resist” God’s Grace? It’s very simple really: Satan KNOWS that the “Key” to SALVATION is when a person “BELIEVES” (in his heart) on the Lord Jesus Christ - that they are SAVED for eternity, and so he does every thing in his power to prevent them from “BELIEVING”! {IF “IRRESISTIBLE” GRACE were true – he wouldn’t waste 5 minutes trying to prevent someone from “believing”, since, according to Calvinism, they can’t “resist” the Gospel of the Grace of God anyway!}

 

It’s impossible (for me) to list even half of the verses in the Holy Bible where people (lost and saved) have resisted God or God’s will. One of the main themes of the Bible is man’s continual defiance, disobedience and rebellion against God and His Holy word. The idea that God “forces” people (against their will) to BELIEVE in Him is absurd! Under the Law the Jews were obligated to OBEY Him (although He didn’t force them to BELIEVE in Him.). Under GRACE, the Lord is seeking those people, who WILLINGLY BELIEVE IN Him; who WILLINGLY come to Him; who WILLINGLY worship Him; and who WILLINGLY obey Him [John 4:23-24].

 

Does the Scriptural requirement of BELIEF in order to RECEIVE God’s salvation negate those verses where it says: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:44] Of course not! But those verses must be understood in the context of: John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. WHO does the Father draw? Why those who “come” to Him BY THE Lord Jesus Christ. And HOW is this accomplished? Why, by believing “on the Lord Jesus Christ” [Acts 16:31]. You cannot separate or divorce Scripture from Scripture or take verses out of context in order to establish a “pet” doctrine to reinforce your “belief system”.

 

Under GRACE there is NO Fear, NO Intimidation, NO Coercion, or “Force”! If God wanted men and women to be like robots, He would have made Himself some more Angels.

 

In 1Corinthians 9:2 Paul is “made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

[1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.] IF “IRRESISTIBLE” GRACE is true, why should Paul have bothered, since the elect can’t “resist” God’s call, and the rest are “plumb out of luck”? Can you see how preposterous this “doctrine” is?

 

What about the following verses:

 

Proverbs 1:22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

 

In the preceding verses we have God’s CALL, and people REFUSING that CALL; we have “no man” regarding, and wanting NONE of God’s reproof; there are people in these verses, who “have at set at nought all my (God’s) counsel”; you have people who “hated knowledge”, and who “despised all my (God’s) reproof”; the Scriptures clearly state that those people “did not choose the fear of the Lord” and “they would none of my counsel.

 

What happened to “IRRESISTIBLE” GRACE? What is going on? WHY do Christians accept and “embrace” such a doctrine that is so contrary to the Scriptural record?

 

Here a few (a very few) more verses demonstrating that people, from Adam up to our present time, have always “resisted” God and His Holy word.

 

Jeremiah 35:15 I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.

 

Jeremiah 35:17 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them: because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.

 

Deuteronomy 1:26 Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God:

 

Deuteronomy 1:43 So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill.

 

Deuteronomy 8:20 As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.

 

Isaiah 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

Jeremiah 29:19 Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but ye would not hear, saith the LORD.

 

Calvinists state:

“God offers to all people the gospel message.”

 

I challenge anyone to find the term “the gospel message” in the Holy Bible. God is very careful not to “combine” the two words – “gospel” & “message” together in His Holy word so that no one makes the mistake of thinking God’s WORDS are just a “message”. The “Gospel” of the Grace of God uses very specific words – NOT the “message” that is being preached on radio & TV throughout the USA.

 

“This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted.” This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that "it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy"; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.”

 

Calvinists state:

“Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that "it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy"

[Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.]

 

All genuine Bible believers believe the preceding verse, so where’s the “external” or “internal call”? What in the world does this have to do with “IRRESISTIBLE” GRACE?

 

Calvinists state:

“Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are . . . . . Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual;”[Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.]

 

Let’s get this straight – According to these Calvinists, Philippians 2:12 says: “God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual;”! Are these people serious? Can they not READ? Philippians 2:12 says NOTHING OF THE KIND! I will remind all Calvinists - The Lord Jesus Christ said “IT IS FINISHED!” [John 19:30] God is NOT “working salvation in the individual” – He’s working in Christians “both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” We’re already saved for all eternity; The Lord Jesus Christ FINISHED the work of salvation on the cross; there’s NOTHING left to do in regards to salvation (on God’s part or ours) period! The only thing left, is for God to work in us, so that we might seek His will and do “His good pleasure.”

 

Calvinists state:

“Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are . . . . . John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God;”

 

John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

 

We are commanded to “rightly divide the word of truth” - Question: Do you see the word “FAITH” in either verse? Someone is CHANGING the words of God to establish their own doctrine! The word “FAITH” is NOT the same as the word “BELIEVE”!

 

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

 

Let’s get the chronology of salvation straight, shall we:

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 

We BELIEVE FIRST, and then we RECEIVE FAITH! Calvinism confuses the 2 words – they are NOT THE SAME! We are NOT “justified” by our BELIEF – we are justified “by the faith of Jesus Christ”. Things that are different are not the same.

 

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

 

The Scriptures cited, plainly say that the “work of God” is to get people (all men) to “believe on Him whom He hath sent” – the word “faith” is NOT in either verse. The way that God goes about this “work” is through His written Holy word; the Holy Spirit (convincing & convicting); and the preaching (by men) of the “Gospel” (NOT some “message”).

 

Calvinists state:

“Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are . . . . . Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe;”

 

Acts 13:46Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

 

Question: Does this one verse [Acts 13:48] “negate” all of the verses on this matter cited previously? Are there contradictions in the Holy Bible? I trow not! Does verse 48 say “God appoints people to believe;”? I don’t think so! So WHAT does it say? It says: “as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” It DOES NOT SAY: “God appoints people to believe”! Instead of CHANGING God’s words or twisting them to make them say what we want them to say - Let’s try to “rightly divide” the verse:

 

Question: WHO is “ordained”? Answer: THOSE whom God “foreknew”. Question: WHO did God “foreknow”? Answer: THOSE whom God did “predestinate”. Question: WHO did God “predestinate”? Answer: THOSE whom He “called”. Question: WHO did God “call”? Answer: THOSE whom He “justified”. Question: WHO did God “JUSTIFY”? Answer: THOSE who received “faith”. Question: WHO received “faith”? Answer: THOSE who “BELIEVED” ON THE Lord Jesus Christ! {That wasn’t so hard – was it?}

 

Quote:

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Calvinists state:

“Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are . . . . . and John 1:12-13 where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.”

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

WHAT Romans 9:16;Philippians 2:12-13;John 6:28;-29Acts 13:48; and John 1:12-13 have to do with “IRRESISTIBLE” GRACE is beyond me. Those verses certainly don’t PROVE the Calvinistic doctrine – NOT by a long shot! And it is even more obvious that the verses have NOTHING to do with a so-called “EXTERNAL” CALL or an “INTERNAL” CALL either.

 

If I had the time (and the space) I could go on (and on, and on) – but why bother? At some point in each of these studies it becomes tedious dealing with the ADDING, SUBTRACTING, and CHANGING OF God’s Holy words, so I’ll close for now, perhaps (some day) I may expand on this critique, and then again I may not.

 

John 6:39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

When I first read the Bible in 1958 the Holy Spirit convinced me that this truly was the word of God. Through the testimony of the Scriptures I “saw” the Lord Jesus Christ (through spiritual eyes only) and I BELIEVED on Him. God never coerced or forced me to BELIEVE – the Holy Spirit called me through the written word, and convinced me of the truth of the Gospel, and it was then – AFTER I BELIEVED, that I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour (everlasting life) and became a son of God. God didn’t BELIEVE for me, and neither did he ever “force me to BELIEVE. I WILLINGLY BELIEVED from my heart. A doctrine that teaches that God “believes” for us, or “makes” (forces) us to BELIEVE (i.e. “IRRESISTIBLE” GRACE), is contrary to the Holy Scriptures, and should be avoided at all costs.

 

The "Simplicity that is in Christ" is far less complicated than Calvinism would have you believe.

 

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

1 John 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

T.U.L.I.P.{the famous acronym associated with Calvinistic beliefs}

 

P = “Perseverance of the Saints”

 

Calvinists state:

“You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.”

 

To begin with, the words “persevere” and “persevered” cannot be found in the Holy Bible. The word “perseverance” shows up only once in the Bible [Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;] and has absolutely nothing to do with the Calvinist doctrine of the so-called “Perseverance of the Saints”.

 

WHY do all of the main tenets (premises) of Calvinism either misuse Biblical words (take them out of context or misapply them) or use words, to bolster their doctrines, which cannot be found in the Holy Bible? [1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.]

 

Calvinists state:

“You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure.

 

Although the preceding statement is true (overall), the way it has been stated leaves a lot to be desired - because it is cleverly worded to emphasize Calvinistic doctrine, and avoids mentioning (leaves out) many important Scriptures applicable to the subject.

 

Let us carefully examine the statement (bit by bit): “You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected,” Is that the ONLY REASON why we “cannot lose your (our) salvation”? I trow not! I am always suspicious of religious people who only use those Scriptures that reinforce there pet doctrines and leave out the rest of the council of God on an issue.

 

We cannot lose our Salvation because the Holy Scriptures have PROMISED us that if we BELIEVE on/in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, we will have (receive - possess) ETERNAL LIFE and NEVER PERISH!

 

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

The Calvinists conveniently LEFT OUT part of the “equation” {BELIEVE} – didn’t they? WHY? Why do Christians do that? Why not give us the “whole council of God”, instead of only those parts that support your “system of biblical interpretation” and “theological formulations”?

 

And please take note: Calvinists have a strong “personal preference” for the word “ELECT” and at the same time, seem to have an aversion to the word “BELIEVE”.

 

FACT: In the entire Bible there are a total of 27 verses with the words “elect”, “elected”, and “election” in them. Of those 27 verses with those words in them – 1 verse is in reference to the “elect” angels; 2 verses are in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ; 14 verses are in reference to the Jews (Hebrews); and 10 verses are in reference to Christians. {Check it out}.

 

FACT: There are approximately 302 verses with the words “believe”, “believeth”, “believed”, “believing”, and “belief” in them (better than 10 to 1 with “elect”, etc., and better than 30 to 1 when applied only to Christians). IF the Scriptures speak 10 times more (or 30 times more) about “believing”, etc., than “elect”, “elected”, and “election”, – WHY do some Christians keep on emphasizing “election”, etc., while practically ignoring “BELIEVING”? Hmmm? {It reminds me of some of our Pentecostal brethren (“Charismatics”) always over emphasizing “speaking in tongues” - after the Apostle Paul’s admonition: “Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.” [1 Corinthians 14:19] Our Calvinist brethren over emphasis on “elect”, “elected”, and “election”, isn’t quite that bad - but its’ bad enough, and out of order (i.e. balance).}

 

Is the sole reason why “You cannot lose your salvation” -the reason that Calvinists supply: “Because the Father has elected,” or is there more to it? I am not going to go over “election” again, except to say that I am highly suspicious of people (especially “religious” people) when they USE the Bible to support a “pet” doctrine, and only emphasize those verses in support of their beliefs, and conveniently fail to supply “the rest of the story” (the whole council of God).

 

According to the Holy Scriptures “election” is part of the reason we cannot lose our salvation. But the other part that is crucial to our not losing it, and the part that God emphasizes far more than “election”, is His PROMISES to us – that is - IF we BELIEVE!

Quote:

[Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?]

 

[Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.]

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

 

Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

 

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

 

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

 

John 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

 

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

 

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

 

John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

 

John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

 

1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

 

11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

 

12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

 

13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

 

There’s more (a whole lot more), but why go on? The written "PROMISES" of God are sure, and they give us hope. The statement: “You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected” is only PART of the Scriptural testimony - the PART that Calvinists have chosen to emphasize to strengthen their doctrine, to the detriment of the testimony of the rest of the Scriptures dealing with the subject! Remember: “A text without a “context” is a PRETEXT”!

 

Calvinists state:

“You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure.

 

When Calvinists state: “The Son has redeemed”, they will get no argument from me or any other genuine Bible believer [Galatians 3:13]. Our salvation is based SOLELY ON: The Lord Jesus Christ’s life; His death; His shed blood; and His resurrection. Its’ ALL based on GOD’S GRACE - NOT OF WORKS! The ONLY thing that we must DO to receive this wonderful gift from God is – we must BELIEVE! [Acts 16:31]

 

The “simplicity” that is in Christ [2 Corinthians 11:3] is such, that even a child can receive it. Woe to the man (or men) that are guilty of “corrupting” that “simplicity”. [2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.]

 

Calvinists state:

“You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure.

 

I have looked throughout the Scriptures for the phrase “the Holy Spirit has applied salvation” (or something close to it). It may seem a moot point, but – WHY not USE “Scriptural Terms”, if you’re going to teach Bible doctrine? The following verses are the only verses that I could find, out of all the verses in the Bible, with the word “apply” or “applied” in them.

 

Psalms 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

 

Proverbs 2:2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

 

Proverbs 22:17 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

 

Proverbs 23:12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

 

Ecclesiastes 7:25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:

 

Ecclesiastes 8:9 All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt.

 

Ecclesiastes 8:16 When I applied mine heart to know wisdom, and to see the business that is done upon the earth: (for also there is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes)

 

Every single verse has to do with men “applying” their hearts unto “something” (knowledge, understanding, instruction, wisdom, every work) – NOT “the Holy Spirit has applied salvation” unto men (or women). The statement is probably true, but the use of words and phrases that cannot be found in the Holy Scriptures opens up avenues for private interpretation; and it’s hard enough dealing with men privately interpreting the Scriptures – never mind having to deal with words and phrases that are foreign to the Bible.

 

The following are some verses (from the Holy Bible) describing the Holy Spirit’s work in our salvation. In addition to convicting and calling men (through God’s word) - AFTER we BELIEVE the Gospel - the Holy Spirit WASHES, REGENERATES, SEALS, SANCTIFIES, and RENEWS us. IF that’s what Calvinists believe when they say: “the Holy Spirit has applied salvation”, then that is satisfactory to a Bible believer.

 

Ephesians 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,

5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 

I believe that genuine Bible believers can accept the rest of the statement, made by Calvinists, as being true and doctrinally sound; although the use of 1 Corinthians 10:13 “hints” at Christians being UNABLE to FALL into sin – because of the so-called “perseverance” of the saints - a doctrine that would promote “sinless perfection”, with all of its defects and deficiencies.

 

“They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28 where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.”

 

Personally, I do not like the term “perseverance of the saints”, which “hints” at men (the saints) having the power (within themselves) to “persevere”. I do not believe that Christian men or women have the “power” to KEEP their salvation for even one day! If it weren’t for God’s Grace; His Love; His Mercy; His Patience; His Long Suffering; and His PROMISE to KEEP and PRESERVE His saints – none of us would “persevere”!

 

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

 

Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

 

Psalms 31:23 O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.

 

Psalms 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

 

Psalms 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

 

Proverbs 2:8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

 

1 Samuel 2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

 

Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

 

I am done with my examination of Calvinism, or more specifically the Calvinistic doctrines known as T.U.L.I.P. I have tried to compare those doctrines with the Bible and I have found many of them to be contrary to the Holy words of God. You will notice that I have refrained from making any personal attacks on Calvin himself, or any of his followers.

 

If I have differed or disagreed with Calvinistic teachings, I have tried to remain within the confines of the Holy Scriptures in my rebuttal of their doctrines. I don’t profess to know everything, and neither do I think that I have all of the answers. What I do know is that, if someone like me, (without religious “training” or any formal Bible “schooling”) can refute these doctrines, (as I have from the King James Bible) then Christians should not be fearful of contending with Calvinists, just because they may be “educated” (schooled) and “well-versed” in their doctrines.

 

I may post another Post on this issue in the future, where I may examine the person of John Calvin himself; his background; his life; his “conduct” (his “conversation”); his “works”; and some of his other “doctrines”. I have yet to decide whether I will undertake that study or not. Suffice it to say that, from what I do know (and remember) from my studies of church history (back in the 70’s & 80’s), many of the people today, who have embraced John Calvin’s teachings and doctrines, would not have been quite so enthusiastic about the man or his doctrines if they had had to live under his oppressive ecclesiastical RULE!

 

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:

28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.

43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:

44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

Luke 22:25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

 

The Lord of Glory (God manifest in the flesh) set THE EXAMPLE for ALL of His servants to follow:

 

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

 

I am leery and suspicious of any Christian, (regardless of how “godly” he may appear) WHO sets about to “rule”, or “exercise authority”, or have “dominion” over other Christians; or WHO seeks to establish a “reputation” for himself. If the Lord of Glory didn’t seek these things while “serving” on this earth – WHY would ANY Christian think himself better than our Lord? Hmmm?

 

Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

 

Luke 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

 

WHY would any Christian “think” that he could “improve” on that? Or WHY would any Christian try?

Some Points clarified

 

I made it crystal clear that the terms “all” or “all men” must be determined by the CONTEXT, and that “many of these verses will be “turned on their head and challenged by Calvinists by the use of QUESTIONS:”

 

“The following verses present more support against the doctrine of “Limited Atonement”. However, many of these verses will be “turned on their head” and challenged by Calvinists by the use of QUESTIONS: ‘Does “ALL” really mean ALL – Doesn’t it really mean ‘ALL THE ELECT’? ‘Does “ALL MEN” really mean ALL MEN – Doesn’t it really mean ‘ALL THE ELECT’? ‘Does “EVERY MAN” really mean EVERY MAN – Doesn’t it really mean ‘ALL THE ELECT’? You see how it goes?”

 

Loaded question #1: “why would a loving God declare that he "wants all (as you define all) men to be saved", 1 Tim 2:4, when he knew way in advance not every human being is going to hear the Gospel message?”

 

Are you serious? Your question reveals an infantile attempt to “rationalize” WHY God does what He does. Is Almighty God unjust? “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” [Genesis 18:25] Is God "the Judge of all the earth" or just "part" of the earth? Does "all" in the verse mean "ALL" or just "part"? Would He send someone to Hell that didn’t deserve to be there because they didn’t “hear” the Gospel of the Grace of God? Have you not read?

 

Romans 3:23 For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; {Guess what? “ALL” is not just confined to your private interpretation of “All” – IT MEANS ALL!}

 

Psalms 53:2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.

3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. {Are there any exemptions to “every one” or “altogether”? Who does this verse apply to - if not “ALL”?}

 

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. {“all” = ALL – as in “ALL”! I can deal with ignorance – what I have great difficulty dealing with is “duplicity” and outright “disingenuousness”!}

 

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are withou texcuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

 

Job 12:7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:

8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.

9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? {Almost all of "educated" modern day man!}

10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

11 Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat?

 

Do you think, for even a moment, that just because a man doesn’t “hear” the Gospel of the Grace of God, that he will not be held accountable or that he will be declared innocent? The whole of creation and the creatures in it are “witness” enough to the existence of God – all men are “without excuse”, whether they have heard the Gospel or not! [Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.] There’s that dreaded word “BELIEVE” again!

 

Job 9:32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment.

 

Job 4:17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?

 

Job 33:12 Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.

13 Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters.

Without the Lord Jesus Christ, all of mankind is hopelessly lost (that’s why God inspired and preserved His word and instituted the Gospel, and that’s why God calls “preachers” [Romans 10:14-18]) But what if they haven’t heard – are they exempt from the judgment of God? I trow not! [Romans 3:23 For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; {“ALL”, in the CONTEXT, MEANS “ALL”!}

 

Job 16:19 Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.

 

Job 14:16 For now thou numberest my steps: dost thou not watch over my sin?

17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag, and thou sewest up mine iniquity.

 

Job 9:28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that thou wilt not hold me innocent.

 

Job 10:14 If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity.

15 If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;

 

The above words were uttered by Job, about whom, God said: “that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil.” [Job 1:8] If a man like Job couldn’t make it on his own – who can? With the exception of the Lord Jesus Christ, has there ever been a man (or a woman) born of a woman who was (or is) without sin?

 

How about a few more sophomoric questions:

 

WHY? - Would God choose the Hebrews, “above all the nations that are upon the earth” {out of all the people in the world}, to be His people? Doesn’t that seem to be extremely “narrow” and “unreasonable” from your point of view?

 

Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;

 

Deuteronomy 14:1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

 

Isaiah 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.

 

Isaiah 48:9 For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.

10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

12 Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.

 

 

WHY? – Would God choose to commit “the Oracles of God” (the Old Testament) to just the Jews (Hebrews) and no one else? What about the rest of the world? Hmmm? Doesn’t the fact that God committed the Holy Scriptures (His words) to some obscure and little known nation in the land of Canaan “seem” to be just a bit “unfair” to all the rest of the world?

 

Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

 

Acts 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

 

 

WHY? – Are you trying to “rationalize”, or figure out the reasons that God does, or doesn’t do something?

 

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

Loaded question #2 -

Quote:

“Can you explain the meaning of 1 Cor 15:2,"By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have BELIEVED IN VAIN"?”

Let’s clear the air about “Belief Systems”:

 

Everyone has a “Belief System”! Atheists BELIEVE that there is NO GOD; Agnostics BELIEVE that they aren’t sure if there is a God; Hindus BELIEVE that there are thousands of gods; Muslims BELIEVE that “Allah” is the “one true god”; Humanists BELIEVE that man is his own “god” (Humanism has spawned Communism, Nazism, Fascism; and Socialism – all “Belief Systems” within Humanism.)

 

I do not believe that people who have embraced the above religions (and many other religions that do not profess belief in Christ) have “believed in vain”, because what they profess to believe is vanity already. How can someone believe “in vain”, if what they believe in is completely contrary to the Holy Scriptures, and is a total lie?

 

I believe that when a person has “BELIEVED IN VAIN”, that they have “believed” some things ABOUT Jesus Christ, but they haven’t “BELIEVED” IN Him, or ON Him, or RECEIVED him. I will illustrate my belief with the following examples:

 

“J.B.” (Catholic) was a good friend of mine for about 12 years. During that time I and my wife witnessed to him (and his wife) on many occasions. Now “J.B.” was a forthright, honest, and hardworking man, who had a great deal of integrity and always endeavored to keep his word. He was perhaps the brightest and most talented man I have ever met in my life, but he stumbled at the “simplicity that is in Christ”. He believed that Christ was virgin born; he believed that Christ was God in the flesh; he believed that Christ rose from the dead; he believed that Christ performed miracles; and he believed that Christ died for sins.

 

What “J.B.” didn’t believe was that Christ’s sacrifice was completely sufficient for his sins - without “J.B.” having to do something more to earn his personal salvation. What “J.B.” didn’t do, was to BELIEVE ON or IN the Lord Jesus Christ and so he didn’t RECEIVE Him. He believed a whole lot of things ABOUT Christ without ever accepting the Gospel of the Grace of God; without ever trusting the work of the Lord on the cross as being complete - FINISHED. I believe that “J.B.” “BELIEVED IN VAIN”.

 

I have another Catholic friend (“E.S.”). “E.S.” believes that Christ was virgin born; he believes that Christ was God in the flesh; he believes that Christ rose from the dead; he believes that Christ performed miracles; he believes that Christ is coming soon to establish His Kingdom; and he believes that Christ died for sins.

 

He doesn’t believe that the Pope is “infallible”; nor does he think that the Catholic Church is the ONE AND ONLY “Apostolic Church” on earth. This man only gives $1.00 dollar a week to the Catholic Church (because of the Priest pedophile scandal) and the rest of his “tithe” he gives to various charities that support homeless children around the world. When it comes to honesty and integrity “E.S.” would put most Christians to shame, but “E.S.” also stumbles at the “simplicity that is in Christ”.

 

In the 13 years I have known “E.S.” I have witnessed to him dozens of times. Unlike most Catholics, he enjoys talking about the Lord and about the Bible – but he just can’t accept that the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary is completely sufficient for his sins. No matter how many times I have presented the Gospel of the Grace of God (in every way that I can possibly think of) “E.S.” just won’t BELIEVE ON or IN Jesus Christ for his personal salvation. I believe that “E.S” has “BELIEVED IN VAIN”.

 

There’s also was a man I knew (“D.R.”) back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, who installed Sheetrock (Drywall) in several houses that I built. “D.R.” was an EX Pentecostal, raised in Pentecostal churches, and who at one time was very active in “church work”. When I met “D.R.” he was a fornicating, foul mouthed, drug using, booze hound.

 

Because most of the crew that worked on the houses I built were Christians, we would often have some lively conversations about the Lord or the Bible during our “coffee breaks” or at lunch time – which “D.R.” would often overhear. There finally came a time when “D.R.” felt comfortable enough to speak to me about his “Christian” past, and he said to me: “I once was like you. I used to go to church three or four times a week; I participated in the church activities; I was even a Sunday school teacher; but I no longer believe in that stuff”. Of course I attempted to witness to “D.R.” - without any success.

 

Now “D.R.” (at one time) believed a lot of things ABOUT Christ, and at one time he believed in his church, and was very active in church work, but what “D.R.” had never done was to BELIEVE ON or IN the Lord Jesus Christ. He never trusted Christ as his personal Saviour, and so he never RECEIVED him. I believe that “D.R.” - “BELIEVED IN VAIN”.

 

Please bear with me, I have one more example. I met my oldest and best friend (besides the Lord and my wife) - Ray in 1968. Off and on we would work together in construction, and from 1968 through 1973, I would often have serious talks with Ray about the Bible and about the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Ray was raised in a devout Pentecostal home (If you can believe this – his mother was a Pentecostal “preacher/pastor” for a while!). Ray had been around the Bible, preaching, and church practically all of his life, but the one thing that Ray had never done, was to trust the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour!

 

From 1968 up to late 1972 I tried every thing that I could think of to get Ray to understand “the simplicity that is in Christ” – to no avail. He believed everything ABOUT Christ that I believed. He wasn’t an “Apostate” or a “Reprobate”; he wasn’t “insincere” or “disingenuous”; he loved to talk about the Scriptures and the Lord (and still does), he just stumbled at the Gospel, he just couldn’t accept the finished work of Christ on the Cross (Ray thought that there just had to be more to Salvation – that is: "we just had to do something to keep it”).

 

After five years of witnessing and testifying to Ray I was running out of words (which I hardly ever do! ). It was close to Christmas and I finally came up with an idea, (a poor simile to be sure) of how Salvation works. I told Ray that if he would imagine a Christmas tree, and underneath it there was a GIFT marked Ray H.; and I said that GIFT is for you, and you know it’s for you, but unless you BELIEVE that GIFT is for you personally, and unless you RECEIVE it personally, you’ll never get to enjoy it. You can look at that GIFT all you want, and possibly "think" that that GIFT is for me; you can pick up that GIFT and say I'm pretty sure this is for me; you can shake that GIFT and think it must be something good; but unless you really and truly BELIEVE IN that GIFT and RECEIVE it – it will never be yours. It’s there for the taking, but you must BELIEVE and RECEIVE it, in order for it to be yours personally. {Of course I was talking about the GIFT of Salvation that the Lord Jesus Christ purchased for us all.}

 

Nothing happened then, but a few days later I received a call at about 11:00 O’clock at night - it was Ray, and he said: “George, I got saved!” I didn’t “lead” Ray to the Lord, the Holy Spirit did. Ray was sincere; he just didn’t understand “the simplicity that is in Christ”. For a long time Ray had believed practically all of the things ABOUT Christ that I did, he just had never trusted Him as his personal Saviour. Before Ray got saved – he had “BELIEVED IN VAIN” and would have died in his sins if he hadn’t BELIEVED ON or IN the Lord Jesus Christ, and RECEIVED Him as his personal Saviour.

 

Charles Spurgeon was the greatest preacher of the 19th. Century. Spurgeon was a master of the English language and spoke (and wrote) so eloquently that he would put any 50 preachers in America (today) to shame. He also was a "moderate" Calvinist.

 

While Spurgeon was on his death bed, one of the last things he is recorded to have said is: "My theology has gotten quite simple - CHRIST DIED FOR ME"! Now he didn't say 'Christ died for the ELECT' - Charles Spurgeon had honed his "THEOLOGY" down to JUST FOUR (4) WORDS: "CHRIST DIED FOR ME".

 

Whenever Christians depart from "the simplicity that is in Christ", they are treading on dangerous ground. They are either guilty of ADDING to the Holy words of God; or SUBTRACTING from them; or CHANGING them. I, for one, will endeavor to keep it simple, straightforward, and as plain as I can - "and let the chips fall where there may".

Why is Calvinism so popular?

 

Why does the list of popular preachers today (that aren't of the self help persuasion) predominately Calvinists...MacArthur, Washer, Sproul, Packer, Piper, Stanley etc

 

I believe that one of the main reasons that Calvinism is so popular is that Calvinism appeals to the "intellect", so it's real "Big" amongst the "academia" crowd. Everything is worked out ahead of time for Calvinists (i.e. a ”system of biblical interpretation” and “theological formulations”) so they don't have to do their own individual research and study. {Kind of like College - No?}

 

I personally believe that Calvinism appeals to those people who are "academically inclined"; the "scholarly type”; or the "intellectual". Calvinism, as "a SYSTEM of biblical interpretation and theological formulations", appeals to the mind of man and is based on the "intellect", i.e. human knowledge, discernment, understanding, and wisdom - and NOT on the Holy Scriptures and spiritual knowledge, discernment, understanding, and wisdom.

 

Calvin and the Reformers lived in the age when the “University System” was becoming the center of learning and influence in the Western world. All of the Protestant Churches (as the Catholic Church before them) established Universities – ostensibly to teach Christian values and further whatever Denominational beliefs the churches held. And every single one of them (without exception) became corrupt; and then apostate; and eventually reprobate!

 

There is something about the nature of “SCHOOLING” (no matter WHO does it, or for WHAT motive) that eventually corrupts those involved in it - regardless of the purest and very best of intentions! {Harvard, Yale, & Princeton being the prime examples in the U.S.A. – and there are literally dozens more now}

 

I believe part of it has to do with people (teachers), who have had little or no practical experience in life, and who live in an academic world (the world of the “mind”) and apart from ordinary people, and who, because of KNOWLEDGE, get puffed-up and full of PRIDE, and “think of themselves more highly than they ought”, and who are honored and revered by many because of their “learning”. Remember - it was the desire for KNOWLEDGE that was the cause of Eve’s downfall, and which (after she received it) corrupted her “mind”!

 

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, AS the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

 

In our Humanistic culture, SECULAR SCHOOLING has become the predominate way of obtaining knowledge (and practically the only “acceptable” way). As a matter of fact, if a person (in our society) has not gone to college and obtained a college "degree", they are considered (by society) "ignorant" and can therefore be ignored. {Peter, Andrew, James, and John wouldn’t even get "a hearing" in Western Society today, and neither would the Lord Jesus Christ – none of them were “schooled”, none of them held “degrees”!}

 

SCHOOLING (Scholasticism & Philosophy) was the downfall (or undoing) of Origen, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin (and countless others since). A School (College, University, or Seminary) CANNOT teach spiritual discernment, understanding, or wisdom; ONLY the Holy Spirit can teach those things [1 Corinthians Chapter 2]. Schools can only teach the kind of "knowledge" that is directed at the MIND, with an emphasis on a "curriculum" {pre-determined subjects, pre-determined courses of study, modules, syllabus, etc.; i.e. educational programs - all with built in biases.}

 

On the other hand, when a person studies the Holy Scriptures (without the "guidance" of a School, or a pre-determined course of study) the Holy Spirit can teach SPIRITUAL knowledge, discernment, understanding, and wisdom which is directed at the HEART; and the SPIRIT; and the CONSCIENCE of a man - not only the MIND. [Deuteronomy 32:46; 1Samuel 21:12; 1 Kings 3:12; Job 22:22; Proverbs 4:4, 22:17; Isaiah 59:13]

 

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine HEART, that I might not sin against thee.

 

Proverbs 23:12 Apply thine HEART unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

 

Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine HEART: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

 

Jeremiah 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine HEART as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

Ezekiel 3:10 Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine HEART, and hear with thine ears.

 

How can I (or a school) teach the HEART, or the SPIRIT, or the CONSCIENCE of a person? I can’t, and neither can a school (i.e. teachers). We CAN only teach to the MIND - it’s up to each individual to “apply thine HEART unto instruction”. I may appeal to a person’s heart with the Holy Scriptures, but they must “receive in thine HEART” – “ALL MY (GOD’S) WORDS”, I cannot “receive” for them. When it comes to sin – it’s up to each individual to “hide” God’s word in the heart – I cannot do these things for them (and neither can schools (or teachers), although many think they can; or that rules, regulations, and ordinances can.

 

What happens to a child if the courses, subjects, and educational programs that are being taught to him (or her) are not centered on God and His Holy word? What if the curriculum is centered on the values, beliefs, ideals, and morals of the predominate “Culture” in which we live? I will guarantee you, if that child’s mind, heart, spirit, and conscience is not firmly rooted and grounded in the Holy Scriptures, his or her mind will become “corrupt”.

 

People are born with a heart that is naturally “deceitful” [Jeremiah 17:9], but their minds are a “clean slate” (so to speak). Whereas a child’s heart is naturally deceitful, their minds are not naturally corrupt – this is where our culture, entertainment, the media, and “schooling” come in; especially SCHOOLING!

 

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, AS the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

 

How many Christian parents are there (who raised their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” and who trained them up according to the Bible as best they could) have sent their children off to SCHOOL (Secular or “Christian”) only to see their sons (and daughters) turn their backs on God and His Holy word and become reprobates? The number is in the thousands! Just what is going on? The schools (Secular or “Christian”) have become the repository of a Philosophy (Religion) - HUMANISM that is so subtle and perverse, that most of today’s Christians don’t even recognize it for what it is.

 

Along with whatever subject matter is being taught within these schools (Secular or “Christian”) – Humanistic VALUES are unknowingly being inculcated into the MINDS of Christian children. That is - their minds are being “corrupted” by a godless, atheistic philosophy (“belief system”, i.e. religion) while at the same time they are acquiring a secular or religious “education”!

 

The Scriptures state: “Knowledge puffeth up” [1Corinthians 8:1]. You would think that would be warning enough for Christians (especially Bible believing Christians) to beware of Schooling.

 

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches DECEIVE the HEARTS of the simple.

But sadly, most of today’s Christians are so ignorant of the Bible, (God’s words) they cannot discern between good and evil. John Calvin was raised and educated a Roman Catholic. He went to Catholic schools and Universities; and much of his personal philosophy and “belief system” was shaped by the men he studied under (all Catholics); and the written works of the “fathers” (Augustine foremost - Catholic); and without doubt (because of “similarities”) Thomas Aquinas (the greatest Roman Catholic “Theologian”).

 

John Calvin is a perfect example of WHAT & WHO a Bible believing Christian should avoid. We should avoid the kind of “education” he received, and we should avoid the kind of works that he produced - a Persecuting Theocratic Dictatorship! The Apostles are our examples of who we must follow, and ultimately the Lord Jesus Christ Himself; We don’t need to follow John Calvin or his writings.

 

********************************************************************************

 

History and Person of John Calvin

 

The following short condensed biography of John Calvin was gleaned from Philip Schaff’s “History of the Christian church” and various other sources on the net.

 

John Calvin

 

John Calvin was born on July 10, 1509 in Noyon, Picardy, France. Calvin was the son of a lawyer, and developed a love for scholarship and literature at a very young age. Jean (John) Calvin was raised in a staunch Roman Catholic family. The local bishop employed Calvin's father as an administrator in the town's cathedral. The father, in turn, wanted John to become a priest. Because of close ties with the bishop and his noble family, John's playmates and classmates in Noyon (and later in Paris) were aristocratic and culturally influential in his early life.

 

His father, Gérard Cauvin, had a prosperous career as the cathedral notary and registrar to the ecclesiastical court. Gérard intended his three sons—Charles, Jean (John), and Antoine—for the priesthood. Jean (John) was particularly precocious; by the age of twelve, he was employed by the bishop as a clerk and received the tonsure, cutting his hair to symbolize his dedication to the (Roman Catholic) Church.

 

Calvin won the patronage of an influential family, the Montmors. And through their assistance, in 1523 he was able to attend the Collège de la Marche in Paris, where he studied theology, grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music; and where he also learned Latin from one of its greatest teachers, Mathurin Cordier. Once he completed the course, he entered the Collège de Montaigu as a philosophy student. {14 years old!}

 

In 1525 or 1526, Calvin’s father withdrew his son {16 -17 years old} from Montaigu and enrolled him in the University of Orléans to study law. According to contemporary biographers Theodore Beza and Nicolas Colladon, Gérard believed his son would earn more money as a lawyer than as a priest. After a few years of quiet study, Calvin entered the University of Bourges in 1529. He was intrigued by the presence of Andreas Alciati, a humanist lawyer. Humanism was a European intellectual movement which stressed classical studies. During his eighteen month stay in Bourges Calvin learned Greek, a necessity for studying the New Testament. {19 years old}

 

Calvin was pressured by his father to study Law, but in 1531 his father died giving Calvin the freedom to resume his religious studies. {22 years old}

 

By 1532 Calvin finished his law studies and also published his first book, a commentary on De Clementia by the Roman philosopher, Seneca. {At 23 years old – Calvin had spent all of his youth and formative years (9 years a student) in Roman Catholic Schools and Colleges!}

 

At some point between 1528 and 1533 he experienced a "sudden conversion" and grasped Protestantism. "God subdued my soul to docility by a sudden conversion" was how Calvin described this experience. {Somewhere between19 - 24 years old}

 

Another account of Calvin’s “conversion” states:

 

Sometime during this period Calvin experienced a sudden religious conversion. Not much is known of the surrounding circumstances, but he made one reference to it in the preface to his Commentary on the Book of Psalms: "God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame, which was more hardened in such matters than might have been expected from one at my early period of life." Scholars have argued about the precise interpretation of this statement, but it is agreed that his conversion corresponded with his break from the Roman Catholic Church. {For someone who was such a prolific writer – this is the ONLY account that Calvin left of his “conversion” - his only written “profession” of faith.}

 

In 1536 the first edition of "Institutes of the Christian Religion" was published in Basle. It was revised on a number of occasions and the final edition was published in 1559. This book was a clear explanation of his religious beliefs. The later versions expanded on how his church should be organized. {“First Edition” – 27 years old!}

 

For the second edition, published in 1539, Calvin dropped his former format in favour of systematically presenting the main doctrines from scripture. In the process, the book was enlarged from six chapters to seventeen. He concurrently worked on another book, the Commentary on Romans, which was published in March 1540. The book was a model for his later commentaries: it included his own Latin translation from the Greek rather than the Latin Vulgate, an exegesis, and an exposition. In the dedicatory letter, Calvin praised the work of his predecessors Philipp Melanchthon, Heinrich Bullinger, and Martin Bucer, but he also took care to state that his own work was distinct and courteously criticised some of the shortcomings of these three major reformers. {“Courteous criticism” = the hallmark of persons raised in scholastic surroundings; isolated from the real world - living in a “theoretical world”.}

 

In July 1536, Calvin went to Geneva (a French-speaking Swiss city - which actually became a part of Switzerland in 1815), which at the time of Calvin’s arrival, the city was struggling to achieve independence against two authorities who were trying to exercise control over it. But within Geneva itself a struggle took place between those who wanted mild reform (such as no compulsory church attendance) and those who demanded radical reform such as Calvin. The split was deeper than this however. The mild reformers were called the Libertines and they wanted magistrates firmly in control of the clergy. Calvin wanted a city controlled by the clergy - a theocracy. In 1538, the Libertines won the day and Calvin fled the city and went to Strasbourg. {29 years old!}

 

In 1540 a new crop of city officials in Geneva invited Calvin back to the city. As soon as he arrived he set about revolutionizing Genevan society. His most important innovation was the incorporation of the church into city government; he immediately helped to restructure municipal government so that clergy would be involved in municipal decisions, particularly in disciplining the populace. He imposed a hierarchy on the Genevan church and began a series of statute reforms to impose a strict and uncompromising moral code on the city.

{A Theocracy}

 

By the mid-1550's, Geneva was thoroughly Calvinist in thought and structure. It became the most important Protestant center of Europe in the sixteenth century, for Protestants driven out of their native countries of France, England, Scotland, and the Netherlands all came to Geneva to take refuge. By the middle of the sixteenth century, between one-third and one-half of the city was made up of these foreign Protestants. In Geneva, these foreign reformers adopted the more radical Calvinist doctrines; most of them had arrived as moderate Reformers and left as thorough-going Calvinists. It is probably for this reason that Calvin's brand of reform eventually became the dominant branch of Protestantism from the seventeenth century onwards. John Calvin died on 27 May 1564. {54 years old}

 

Philip Schaff’s History states: “John Calvin was, first of all, a theologian. He easily takes the lead among the systematic expounders of the Reformed system of Christian doctrine. He is scarcely inferior to Augustine among the fathers, or Thomas Aquinas among the schoolmen, and more methodical and symmetrical than either. Melanchthon, himself the prince of Lutheran divines and “the Preceptor of Germany,” called him emphatically “the Theologian.”

 

“Calvin's theology is based upon a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He was the ablest exegete among the Reformers, and his commentaries rank among the very best of ancient and modern times. His theology, therefore, is biblical rather than scholastic, and has all the freshness of enthusiastic devotion to the truths of God’s Word. At the same time he was a consummate logician and dialectician. He had a rare power of clear, strong, convincing statement. He built up a body of doctrines which is called after him, and which obtained symbolical authority through some of the leading Reformed Confessions of Faith.” [From "History of the Christian Church" by Philip Schaff, D.D. LL. D.]

 

IF John Calvin truly was: “the ablest exegete among the Reformers, and his commentaries rank among the very best of ancient and modern times”, then many doctrines that Bible believers believe today are “false”. IF, on the other hand, John Calvin was a product of his Catholic upbringing, training, education, and studies - then he isn’t everything that the scholars make him out to be; and he certainly isn’t someone, who modern day Christians should be following.

 

According to the scholars: “Calvin was a tireless polemic and apologetic writer who generated much controversy. In addition to the Institutes, he wrote commentaries on most books of the Bible as well as theological treatises and confessional documents, and he regularly gave sermons throughout the week in Geneva. Calvin was influenced by the Augustinian tradition, which led him to expound the doctrine of predestination and the absolute sovereignty of God in salvation.”

 

Calvin stated: “Augustine is so wholly with me, that if I wished to write a confession of my faith, I could do so with all fullness and satisfaction to myself and to his writings.”

 

“The second part of Calvin’s “Institutes” includes several essays on the original sin and the fall of man, which directly refer to Augustine, who developed these doctrines. He often cited the Church Fathers in order to defend the reformed cause against the charge that the reformers were creating new theology.”

I believe a comparison between Augustine and Calvin is in order:

 

COMPARISON  AUGUSTIINE -------------------------------------------- CALVIN

 

SOCIAL -------------- Middle Class ---------------------------------------------- Middle Class

 

FAMILY ------------ Ambitious Mother ---------------------------------------- Ambitious Father

                            {Social Climber} --------------------------------------- {Financially Driven}

                      {A “Momma’s Boy”} -------------------------------------- {A “Daddy’s Boy”}

 

EDUCATION  Philosophy Major/Teacher ------------------------------ Philosophy Major/Teacher                    {Paid for by “Benefactor”} -------------------------------- {Paid for by “Benefactor”}

 

CHARACTER  Intellectual/Academician ---------------------------------- Intellectual/Academician

                    {Aristocratic Disposition} --------------------------------- {Aristocratic Disposition}

 

STATUS - Philosopher/Theologian --------------------------------- Philosopher/Theologian

                {Extremely Influential} ------------------------------------ {Extremely Influential}

 

CONVERSION  TO: “Catholic Christianity” ------- ----------------------TO: “Protestantism”

        {Personal Crisis – “Unseen Voice"} ---------------------------- {God - “Subdued” his MIND!}

 

CHURCH Roman Catholic (“Mother”) Church -------------------------- Reformed Church

           {Confirmed & Strengthened} -------------------------------- {Confirmed & Strengthened }

 

CHURCH (Polity)  THEOCRATIC ------------------------------------------------ THEOCRATIC

                          {Authoritarian} ----------------------------------------------- {Authoritarian}

 

WRITINGS  Very Prolific Author -------------------------------------------- Very Prolific Author

 

PERSECUTION  Approved of Persecution ------------------------------------- Approved of Persecution

       {Dissenters: Example - Donatists} ------------------------{Dissenters: Example - Ana-Baptists}

BELIEFS  Absolute Sovereignty of God ---------------------------------- Absolute Sovereignty of God

- Predestination of Saved & Lost ---------------------------------- Predestination of Saved & Lost

Israel = the “church” = Israel ----------------------------------- Israel = the “church” = Israel

                    Amillennialism ------------------------------------------------ Amillennialism

                     Infant Baptism ----------------------------------------------- Infant Baptism

 

How about a further look at what Augustine, the “great church father” who was so venerated by Calvin, believed:

 

AUGUSTINE:

 

ACCEPTED Non-Canonical Books of the Old Testament as Scripture, or on the par with Scripture -(Tobias, Judith, I&II Maccabees, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Bel and the Dragon, Susanna, and the Song of the Three Children.) He also believed that the “Septuagint was divinely “Inspired”!

 

In addition to the “Absolute Sovereignty of God” (read - “Irresistible Grace”); “Predestination” (read – “Unconditional Election” & “Limited Atonement”); the church is the same as Israel or visa versa; “Amillinnialism” (no physical return of Christ to rule & reign); and “Infant Baptism” - Augustine Believed and Taught the following:

 

He taught that the “proof” of regeneration could be seen by the “pious life” (works) of the “elect”; and that “perseverance” in “godly living” (works) ultimately “proves” who is predestined to eternal life, and who is not.

 

He believed in, and taught Baptismal Regeneration.

 

He believed that the ONLY TRUE CHURCH was the CATHOLIC CHURCH! {“The Catholic Church alone is the body of Christ, of which He is the Head and Saviour of His body.”}

 

He believed in an “apostolic succession” of Bishops from Peter as “one of the marks of the true church.”

 

He believed in the Catholic “Priesthood” and “Celibacy” for priests.

 

He acknowledged the authority of “Tradition”, and that of the Catholic Church in the interpretation of the Bible.

 

He synthesized Scriptural doctrines and teachings with “Philosophy” (Neo-Platonism).

 

He used Philosophical terms (Platonic) to set forth Christian concepts and precepts.

 

He believed that The Millennium was - “The Age between the First & Second Advents”.

 

He also taught Post-Millennialism. {???}

 

He believed Satan was “Bound”.

 

He believed that the “saints” were reigning with Christ NOW - during his life time (i.e. during the church age).

 

He taught the Mary was sinless and promoted her worship.

 

He allowed for the “intersession” of the saints.

 

He allowed for the adoration of relics and together with the “miracles” attributed to them.

 

He defined the “Sacraments” as “a visible sign of invisible grace”.

 

He added “confirmation”, “marriage” and “ordination” as “ordinances” to the Scriptural ordinances of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.

 

He believed that the “Memorial” of the Lord’s Supper became the spiritual presence of Christ’s body and blood.

 

He is credited with giving the doctrine of “purgatory” its “first definite form”.

 

He was a VEGETARIAN!

 

If I were to dig further I’m sure that I would find more HERESY – but why proceed any further? WHY dig through a DUMP looking for a Diamond – when we’ve got the DIAMOND MINE? WHY go searching through a CESSPOOL trying to find Gold - when we’ve got the GOLD MINE?

 

WHAT was it that Calvin testified to? “Augustine is so wholly with me, that if I wished to write a confession of my faith, I could do so with all fullness and satisfaction to myself and to his writings.”

 

“Reformation theologians such as Martin Luther and John Calvin would look back to him (Augustine) as the inspiration for their avowed capturing of the Biblical Gospel.”

 

“Augustine's formulation of the doctrine of original sin has substantially influenced both Catholic and Reformed (that is, Calvinist) theology.”

 

Remember: ALL OF THE EARLY “REFORMERS” CAME OUT OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH! They had all been trained and educated within the Catholic Church (and nearly all of them had been Priests, or had held official positions within the Catholic Church). Having received a “Classical Catholic Education, they all were heavily influenced by PHILOSOPHY; “Scholasticism” (Thomas Aquinas); and the early church “fathers” (especially Augustine). And before coming out of the Roman Catholic Church, they all tried to “reform” it from within - before finally leaving it. And after leaving the Catholic Church they all still carried a lot of Garbage & Baggage from their Catholic training and schooling; and from their Classical education and studies (i.e. PHILOSOPHY); and from their practice within the roman Catholic Church.

While we can admire the courage of some of these men; and possibly appreciate the fact that they had some of their doctrines correct (for example - justification) – WHY would any Christian today want to FOLLOW them, when we now have the pure, unadulterated, perfect, Holy, and inspired word of God? As a matter of fact – WHY would any modern day Christian want to FOLLOW any man; or any man’s writings, when we have God’s Holy words preserved for us in a single Book, i.e. the King James Bible?

 

Calvin & Servetus

 

“On his way to Italy, Michael Servetus (a Spanish “heretic”) stopped in Geneva for unknown reasons and attended one of Calvin's sermons in St Pierre. Calvin had him arrested and composed a list of accusations that was submitted before the court.”

 

Calvin wrote: “After he [Servetus] had been recognized, I thought he should be detained. My friend Nicolas summoned him on a capital charge, offering himself as a security according to the lex talionis. On the following day he adduced against him forty written charges. He at first sought to evade them. Accordingly we were summoned. He impudently reviled me, just as if he regarded me as obnoxious to him. I answered him as he deserved… of the man’s effrontery I will say nothing; but such was his madness that he did not hesitate to say that devils possessed divinity; yea, that many gods were in individual devils, inasmuch as a deity had been substantially communicated to those equally with wood and stone. I hope that sentence of death will at least be passed on him; but I desired that the severity of the punishment be mitigated.” {By “mitigated”, Calvin meant that instead of Servitus dying a slow death by BURNING – that they should BEHEAD HIM INSTEAD! John Calvin had a “peculiar” sense of the meaning of the word “mitigated”! But then again, as previously stated, Calvin held several “peculiar” doctrines that his followers no longer follow.}

 

“Calvin and other ministers asked that he be beheaded instead of burnt. This plea was refused and on 27 October, Servetus was burnt alive at the Plateau of Champel at the edge of Geneva.”

 

“On 27 October 1553 Servetus was burned at the stake just outside Geneva with what was believed to be the last copy of his book chained to his leg. Historians record his last words as: "Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, have mercy on me."

 

In addition to the false doctrines and heresies that John Calvin believed in and taught, the issue of his intolerance towards dissenters (Christian or otherwise) is an extremely troubling problem that is lightly dismissed by many of his followers today as being “the tenure of the times”; or “you have to take into account the times and the culture that he lived in”; etc.

 

This “spirit of persecution” was INEXCUSABLE – no matter what the time; the culture; or the circumstances were! The Lord Jesus Christ warned his disciples against forbidding those who were not following them from doing a work for God [Luke 9:49-50]. And when James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven to consume some Samaritans for refusing to receive Him He strongly rebuked them with:

 

Luke 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.

56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

 

How is it, that someone who was supposedly such a “great man of God”; who was supposedly at home in the Scriptures; and who, next to the Apostle Paul, was considered the “greatest expositor of the Holy Scriptures the church has ever seen” (“the ablest exegete among the Reformers”); how is it that Calvin didn’t understand this very plain and simple precept from God’s word? [“the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.”]

 

What was this “great man” doing KILLING someone with whom he disagreed? What was he doing trying to build the Kingdom of God on earth by physically joining the church with the government and forming an “autocratic” THEOCRACY (run by him and his cohorts) – when NOT ONE disciple; NOT ONE Apostle; NOT ONE elder or pastor during the Apostles time ever got involved in such a venture? {When was the last time you wanted to "kill" someone (even a heretic) because they had a different opinion or belief than you?}

 

The “spirit of persecution” is a damnable practice, and if the truth be told, there is many a pastor amongst the so-called “Fundamentalist” circles today, who (if they were given the opportunity and the power) would do the same exact thing that John Calvin did 450 years ago! I have personally dealt with some of these men, who personally believe that Christ has appointed them (in His stead) to “head” His church, and to control the saints lives as they see fit. And if they had had the “power” that Calvin had, I would certainly be a dead man!

 

WHEN did James; or John; or Peter; or Barnabas; or Paul; ever set up an authoritarian government? WHEN did these men ever PERSECUTE those who opposed them; or TORTURE them; or KILL them? They NEVER DID – NO NOT ONCE! Paul, the greatest Apostle that ever lived, once said:

2 Corinthians 1:23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.

24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

 

If the greatest apostle who ever lived did NOT HAVE DOMINION over the Christians in his time; please tell me what was Calvin thinking? What is any man thinking when he desires to exercise authority over God’s children, or heretics, or unbelievers, (especially PUNITIVE AUTHORITY) to the degree where they will KILL a man if he disagrees with them? WHAT MANNER OF “SPIRIT” IS THIS? It certainly is NOT the Spirit of Christ! It certainly is NOT following the example that the Lord Jesus Christ, or any of His Disciples and Apostles, left for us to follow!

 

Not all of the “great” men of God before this time; during this time; and after this time had this “spirit of persecution”. Did Patrick? Did Wycliffe? Did Tyndale? Did Roger Williams? Did David Brainard? Did the thousands of ordinary Christians? There is NO EXCUSE for the “spirit of persecution”, no matter what time a man lived in! This “spirit of persecution” was some of the garbage and baggage that many of the Reformers brought with them from the Catholic Church, which had approved of persecuting “dissenters” for well over 1,000 years!

 

The following are just a few of comments about the man John Calvin:

“Calvin wrote commentaries to ostensibly explain scriptural writings, but in reality he, like theologians before him, used the commentaries to argue for his own theology as he believed was present in scriptural writings. They are less an explanation of the Bible than a piece by piece construction of his theological, social, and political philosophy.”

 

“Calvin's writing and preaching provided the seeds for the branch of theology that bears his name. The Presbyterian and other Reformed churches, which look to Calvin as a chief expositor of their beliefs, have spread throughout the world. Calvin's thought exerted considerable influence over major religious figures and entire religious movements, such as Puritanism, and his ideas have been cited as contributing to the rise of capitalism, individualism, and representative democracy in the West.”

 

“In each case those appealing to Calvin have treated his ideas anachronistically (Each of these is discussed in Paul Helm, John Calvin’s Ideas, (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2004)). In writing that book I discovered that if one uses Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae as a kind of template, then there are remarkable coincidences between Thomas’ thought and Calvin’s, even though there are obvious stylistic differences, and very little internal evidence in Calvin of a direct influence.”

 

“What does this coincidence show? At least, that Calvin was thoroughly at home in the thought world of the theology of late medievalism, taking on many of its ideas uncritically in areas where the issues of the Reformation were not at stake. Even though he had, from time to time, critical things to say of that theology, or rather of its speculative tendencies.”

 

I have not had the time (nor the inclination) to search out the “remarkable coincidences” between John Calvin’s doctrines and “philosophy” and that of Thomas Aquinas (called the greatest Roman Catholic theologian – 1225-1274), but after comparing some of Calvin’s doctrine with that of Augustine’s, I would venture to say that an examination of Thomas Aquinas’ “thought” and Calvin’s "philosophy" would produce many “similarities” – and why not? Calvin surely studied Thomas Aquinas’ works during the 9 years he attended Roman Catholic Schools & Universities!

 

John Calvin, along with most (if not all) of the so-called church “fathers” (Origen, Ambrose, Augustine, etc.) employed the “allegorical” method of interpreting Scripture, and relied heavily on the “academic divines” (church “fathers’&“scholars”-the “traditions of men”) in determining the “Truth” (that is - Calvin’s “concept” of “truth”).

 

According to the testimony of church historians: John Calvin was a philosopher, scholar, & academic theoretician; - like Thomas Aquinas,like Augustine, like Ambrose, and like Origen, (before him); in addition, he was a kingdom builder - like Thomas Aquinas, and like Augustine, (before him); and like Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Carl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, etc. (after him)

 

And speaking of Vladimir Lenin, Paul Johnson of Modern times states: * “No man [than Lenin] personifies better the replacement of the religious impulse by the will to power. In an earlier age he would surely have been a religious leader. With his extraordinary passion for force, he might have figured in Mohammed's legions. He was even closer perhaps to Jean (John) Calvin, with his belief in organizational structure, his ability to create one and then dominate it utterly, his puritanism, his passionate self-righteousness, and above all his intolerance.” * [Paul Johnson, Modern Times]

 

I’m not saying (or even intimating) that John Calvin was a communist (which he certainly was not!); but it is interesting that when writing about Vladimir Lenin, the man and impetus behind the Communist Revolution in Russia, that a secular writer compares Lenin’s “passion for force”; his “organizational structure”; his “ability to create one and then dominate it utterly” and his puritanism, self-righteousness, and intolerance - that he is compared to John Calvin!

 

I have examined John Calvin; his life; his work; and his doctrine. I believe that I have demonstrated (with Scripture) that much of his doctrine is in error or is plainly false. When we look at John Calvin’s life, we see a man that was extremely bright, highly educated, and scholarly. We also see a man that was industrious, determined, zealous, and ambitious.

 

But, on the other hand, we also see a man, who was doctrinaire, rigid, despotic and tyrannical. John Calvin was an authoritarian disciplinarian, who set up a Theocratic Dictatorship (with himself at its head), and who would not tolerate any disagreement with his interpretation of the Scriptures. {Does that sound like any "pastor" you have met?}

 

There is not a single example in the whole of the New Testament where a Christian elder or pastor is supposed to do anything other than SERVE GOD; PREACH and TEACH God’s Holy word; and MINISTER to the saints of God. There is not one instance in the whole of the New Testament, where God calls a man of God to RULE over people (lost or saved) through a Theocratic Religious Dictatorship.

 

It is a mystery to me – why any modern day Bible believer would recommend John Calvin’s written works with the words: “Read what Jean Calvin wrote himself. Look at his commentaries on various Bible books. Read his sermons. Enjoy! Feast!”

 

“FEAST”!-On what? Are we to “FEAST” on the speculations of the “allegorical” interpretation of Scripture; or of Pagan Philosophy (Aristotle) mixed in with Bible doctrine; or of Roman Catholic doctrine and practices; or Reformation doctrine and practices? Who needs it, when we have God’s perfect, inspired, Holy, and unadulterated word? WHY would anybody want to return to such a leavened mess?

 

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

 

God’s preserved His words for us, so that we might feast on them -WHY “FEAST” on the “UNINSPIRED” words of a mere man, when we already have every thing that we need to “be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” WHY “FEAST” on the “UNINSPIRED” words of a mere man, when the Lord Jesus Christ said: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” [Matthew 4:4]

 

WHY any genuine Bible believer would want to FOLLOW this man is beyond my comprehension. If he were here today – I WOULDN’T FOLLOW HIM ACROSS THE STREET!