Only The Elect are Lost; The Reprobate are Not

Death of the Reprobate - oil on panel painting by Hieronymus Bosch - Elect

Only The Elect are Lost –  The Reprobate are Not

Elect, Can you Solve this Riddle?   

I assume you already know that the Reformed fraternity is celebrating the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth on 10 July 1509 this year. You don’t? Well, then it’s about time you dust off the cobwebs from your history books.

First off, I must warn you that this is a Calvinistic riddle and they are usually tougher than a genuine South African Boere-toffee. Those of you who do not know the real meaning of the words ‘world, whomsoever, and all men’, should not even try to solve the riddle and rather bow out right now.

OK!  Let’s set the scene with a few very potent quotes from the lips of some of the most famous and distinguished Calvinists.The Elect - by Luca Signorelli 1499-1502 - Elect

Many professing a desire to defend the Deity from an invidious charge admit the doctrine of election, but deny that any one is reprobated (Bernard. in Die Ascensionis, Serm. 2).

This they do ignorantly and childishly since there could be no election without its opposite, reprobation. God is said to set apart those whom he adopts for salvation.

It were most absurd to say, that he admits others fortuitously, or that they by their industry acquire what election alone confers on a few.

Those, therefore, whom God passes by he reprobates, and that for no other cause but because he is pleased to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestines to his children (John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion Book 3, Chapter 23, Sec. 2226)

Scripture clearly proves that God by his eternal and immutable counsel determined once for all those whom it was his pleasure one day to admit to salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, it was his pleasure to doom to destruction. – (John Calvin: Institutes oof the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 7, Sec. 2210)

For he is speaking of the greatness of God, whose pleasure it is to inflict punishment on fools and transgressors though he is not pleased to bestow his Spirit upon them. It is a monstrous infatuation in men to seek to subject that which has no bounds to the little measure of their reason.

Paul gives the name of elect to the angels who maintained their integrity. If their steadfastness was owing to the good pleasure of God, the revolt of the others proves that they were abandoned. Of this no other cause can be adduced than reprobation, which is hidden in the secret counsel of God. (John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion Book 3, Chapter 23, Sec. 2229)

Now, since the arrangement of all things is in the hand of God, since to him belongs the disposal of life and death, he arranges all things by his sovereign counsel, in such a way that individuals are born, who are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction. (John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Sec. 2231) (Emphasis added)

God, according to the good pleasure of his will, without any regard to merit, elects those whom he chooses for sons, while he rejects and reprobates others . . . it is right for him to show by punishing that he is a just judge . . .

The Lord therefore may show favor to whom he will, because he is merciful; not show it to all, because he is a just judge. (John Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Faith, Book 3, Chapter 23, Section 2234) (Emphasis added).

I am particularly thrilled, enthralled, fascinated and spellbound by Calvin’s vast knowledge of God’s Word. I would never have picked up the part in Scripture which says, ‘it pleased God to exclude the reprobate from the inheritance which he predestined to his children’  if I hadn’t been enlightened by John Calvin’s brilliant insights and Institutes.

I’m not much of a Berean, but I really try to check out the things I hear from the lips of people who are most esteemed by other much esteemed scholars in divinity. I searched the Scriptures and came upon the following passages that don’t seem to gel with John Calvin’s view of God being pleased to exclude the reprobates . . . blah . . . blah . . . blah.  Let’s see what they say.

Ezekiel 18:32 ‘For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,’ declares the Lord God. ‘Therefore, repent and live.’

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’ (Emphasis added)

Now! Is there anybody out there somewhere who could point out the liar to me? Calvin said it pleases God to send the reprobate (the irretrievably wicked) to hell while God Himself says He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Someone is lying and I’m pretty sure it cannot be God who said:

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man [such as John Calvin], that He should lie, . . .

Wow! Imagine that. God never tells a lie; He always tells the truth because He is God, the Way, God the Truth and God the Life. There is no shadow of turning in Him (James 1:17). That’s it! Capiche? If God always tells the truth, where do lies come from? Where do they originate? Let’s do the right thing and turn to God who never tells a lie to find out where lies come from. God says:

John 8:44-45 He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. ‘But because?? I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.’

Do you see the problem here? Once you fail to see that Jesus speaks the truth you begin to fall prey to the lies of the father of all lies, Satan himself. Some may ask of me: ‘How dare you suggest that John Calvin, one of the greatest reformers in the history of the church was a liar? Blasphemy! Blasphemy!’

No, no, no, no, my friend, whoever you may be, I am not suggesting that John Calvin was a liar. I’m proving that God who is no liar said something totally different from what John Calvin claimed He said. I am merely juxtaposing God’s words with those of Calvin and making a reasonable choice.

If God speaks the truth, then follow Him but if Calvin speaks the truth, then follow him. You cannot have it both ways. Either you believe God who says that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked or you believe Calvin who said that God is pleased to exclude the reprobate from the inheritance which he predestined to his children.

However, bear in mind that if you choose to believe John Calvin’s doctrine of predestination you are actually making God a liar. And please don’t tell me that I do not understand what Calvin said in the above quote from his Institutes.

Ah! But even when you quote Calvin word for word our dear Calvinist friends would still accuse you of misunderstanding him. If Calvinism is the purist expression of the Bible and if the Bible is not an obscure book, why must Calvinism be so esoteric?

Here are a few more quotes from the elected and sanctified lips of a few elect.

Christ’s redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them. His death was a substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners . . . The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, thereby guaranteeing their salvation (David N Steele and Curtis C Thomas, The Five Points of Calvinism (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co. 196, 17) (Emphasis added)

This is called godly favouritism and partiality although Calvinists prefer to call it divine sovereignty. Once again we must determine who is the liar. Could it be God who said that He shows no favouritism whatsoever to anyone? (Romans 2:11) or is it our two distinguished elected favourites who have no qualms whatsoever to twist and turn and mutilate God’s Word?

The following statement by another favourite of God is a real humdinger.

If Jesus died for every person, but not every person is saved, His death did not actually save anybody . . . . If Christ died for people who will be in hell, His efforts cannot actually be called a ‘saving work’ [and] there is no real saving power in the blood. Rather, the power would seem to be in the will of the creature . . .

These points lie at the heart of the Christian message, for they rest at the foot of the cross. (Michael Scott Horton, Putting Amazing Back Into Grace, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 89) (Emphasis added).

Since when is the efficaciousness and value of Jesus Christ’s blood determined by the amount of saved sinners, in this case every single person? The reasoning here is that if Christ died for all people but all people are not saved, then his blood sacrifice cannot be seen as a saving work. Such a scenario renders his blood sacrifice worthless an a complete failure.

Therefore, to make it effectual ‘all people’ must be saved, but it is not ‘all people’ in the sense of it being the entire world. It is ‘all people within the fold of the elect.’ Voila! All the elect who are and will be saved without exception give the blood of Jesus its efficaciousness and value.

Here’s another one of the elect’s bright and illumined ideas.

Because God has loved certain ones and not all, because He has sovereignly and immutably determined that these particular ones will be saved. He sent His Son to die for them, to save them, and not all the world. (Edwin H Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism (Baker Books, enlarged ed. 20th prtg, 1999, p. 50) (Emphasis added)

And now, at last, we come to the riddle which is tied up with Jesus’ words in Luke 19:10: ‘For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.’ Please bear in mind that in the Calvinists’ world there are two groups of people: ‘the elect’ and ‘the reprobate’ and not ‘believers’ and ‘unbelievers’ as the Bible distinguishes between them.

As we’ve seen from the above quotes Jesus died on the cross for the elect only because they alone have been predestined before the foundation of the world to be saved monergistically. On the other hand, the reprobates have been chosen or elected by God, even before the foundation of the earth, to be cast into the lake of fire because Christ did not die for them.

He only died for the elect. If Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the ‘lost’ and only the elect are saved the obvious conclusion to make is that only the elect were/are lost.

Moreover, if the reprobate cannot be saved because they have been predestined to eternal damnation before the foundation of the world, Jesus did not come to seek and to save them and therefore one must conclude that they are not lost. Allow me to summarize it as follows.

  1. Jesus came to our world to seek and to save the lost.
  2. Only the elect are saved.
  3. Therefore, only the elect are lost and not the so-called reprobates.
  4. If the reprobates are not lost, simply because Jesus came to seek and save the lost (the elect only), it would mean (according to Calvinistic thinking) that every single reprobate will go to heaven because not a single one of them is lost.

The final question that needs to be answered is:

Are the reprobate lost? If your answer is in the affirmative, then you must agree that Jesus came to the earth to seek and to save them as well. If that is true, then Jesus actually died on the cross for them as well. If your answer is in the negative, then it confirms my assertion that only the elect are lost.


The 5 points of Calvnism, acronym: T.U.L.I.P.

  • Total Depravity (or Total Inability and Original Sin)
  • Unconditional Election
  • Limited Atonement (or Particular Atonement)
  • Irresistible Grace
  • Perseverance of the Saints (known in the Word of Faith movement as ‘Once Saved Always Saved’)


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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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todott; the New Testament describes believers as being elect from before the foundation of the world. As Christ was elect; so were all who ever would receive him. They were elect IN him before time began.

The “every spiritual blessing” that believers have according to Ephesians was given IN CHRIST; and election, which is God’s loving choice, is one of those blessings; springing from the eternal love of God.

God has loved his own with an everlasting and eternal love; before they were born; before they were saved. God actually works in the hearts of his people; teaching them to love Him and to hear and obey His son.

Yes God does former our choices; which is why he knows who will reject him; but He knows those who will choose him because He knows his own saving purpose in regard to bring all his people. It was God’s will that Jesus loose none of what was given to him.

To deny that God is the sole and only cause of salvation runs against the whole swath of scripture. Salvation is not Gods eternal option for all men; as for thousands of years he has suffered all nations to go their own way; born into darkness never to see the light of Christ. Rather, it is God’s eternal purpose for some men.
For these; all things work together for their God.

The reason for new testament use of the terms “whosoever will” is because those who are willing are those who are chosen; God’s grace is already at work in their life. It is not an inclusive statement for “everyone”, whosoever will is exclusive of all who have not received a willing heart. This language was introduced to prove that God’s grace is not guaranteed on the base of ethnic descent; or having Ambraham as a father; but rather it is given who whom God chooses to give it.

Election does not occur for an individual at the time of faith, it happened simultaneous with the election of Christ.

I digress


“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. 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.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:29-30‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“For God had promised, “I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” This son was our ancestor Isaac. When he married Rebekah, she gave birth to twins. But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.” In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.” Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it. For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen. Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?” No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles. Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, “Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.” And, “Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’” And concerning Israel, Isaiah the prophet cried out, “Though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant will be saved.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭9:9-27‬ ‭NLT‬‬
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.

The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.”
‭‭John‬ ‭15:16, 19‬ ‭NLT‬‬

I’m not a supporter of any “isms.” I just love the word of God. (:

Deborah (Discerning the World)


>> I’m not a supporter of any “isms.” I just love the word of God. (:

You don’t have to be a supporter of ‘ism’s’ it’s about being a supporter of false teaching and it’s false teachers – the FACT IS if you loved the word of God as you say you would study it correctly and read it correctly because loving the word of God is loving Jesus Christ and not loving false teachers and their false like John Calvin.

Deborah (Discerning the World)


Tell me something, how do you know you are elect and not part of the group chosen to go to hell? You can’t tell me it’s because you accepted Jesus Christ because the P in Calvinism’s TULIP is Perseverance to the end – what happens if you don’t persevere enough? That means you are not elect, you are a reprobate.

You may as well become a Muslim, they too are Elect but never really sure they will make it into heaven.



I’ve read the article awa all of the comments.(Appreciate Toddot and Burning Lamp’s comments)

You know, deception is the traditional christian’s biggest enemy and blinds them totally from the Truth – it makes them believe their own truth because the Holy Spirit is not IN them to guide and teach them about the only real Truth.

I can say this because I have been there – now that I have seen the Light I just want to say to the decieved – as long as you question GOD regarding His Love(John3:16) and intentions(Jer.29:11) and your first priority isn’t to worship Him (because of your rightiousness in Christ Jesus) in obedience and in faith(Heb.11:6) – you should seriously question your salvation.

When you are born again from above you will be lead by the Spirit and everything which does not have eternal value will become unimportant.
The only ‘thing’ you will desire from a thankful heart is to have a relationship with your Savior.

You will be so in awe of GOD and His sacrifice of Love that you will gladly accept that He is God and you are not.

Much love in Christ.

Mike Evans

Hi Deborah,
I like all of the articles exposing Calvinism at DTW. Most of the people who expose it as false will nonetheless not go to the logical conclusion and label it ‘another gospel’ with a different God, Christ and Spirit. They go to some lengths to not offend Calvinists and give the impression that they are true, fellow Christians who just differ on some (minor?) doctrinal issues. I doubt that Paul would have shared this ‘generous’ attitude. I am sure that the Judaizers influencing the Galatians were orthodox in all of their beliefs but just had a ‘minor doctrinal difference’ regarding the necessity of circumcision.
When I fled the insanity and the false Christ and spirit of Pentecostalism, I attempted to ‘overlook’ the Calvinist issues and fellowship with Presbyterians. They saw the heresies in charismatic teaching and appeared so sound in most areas. Yet things troubled me. Calvin was quoted in most of the sermons. A visiting missionary spoke in almost a worshipful tone when he mentioned his name. Prayers were made in which Jesus was thanked for ‘bearing the sins of HIS PEOPLE’ (ie. Limited Atonement). The death blow for me were a series of video lessons on the Reformation in which Calvin, Zwingli and Luther were regarded as gurus and the extremes of reformed doctrine were calmly taught (monergistic regeneration, God as the author of sin due to His ‘sovereignty’) and I had the shocking realization :”I’m in another cult” and headed for the nearest exit.
The doctrinal differences are not minor but are at the core of the gospel. The irony is that people who believe man is devoid of a free will are using theirs to distort the gospel and lead others to apostasy and/or a false conversion.
Spurgeon is held in high esteem by many non-Calvinists, yet he is on record as saying that the Holy Spirit, through Augustine and Calvin, revealed or clarified the gospel and that all believers would embrace their teachings by the time they get to Heaven. (Are they running remedial classes outside the gates?) I have been hearing sermons by Dr Peter Masters, the current heir of Spurgeon’s church in London. While there is much that is true and Biblical, he nonetheless pushes the reformed agenda to the degree that I was astounded to hear him (mis) quote John the Baptist as follows :’Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of HIS PEOPLE’. No two ways about it, Calvinism is a perversion of the gospel which, like any cult, brainwashes its adherants to the sad point where they cannot even quote well known scriptures accurately. Their Christ died just for them. God has no love or grace for the non-elect and unbiblical terms like ‘common grace’ are invented for ficticious levels or kinds of grace being dispensed by God.
The Jews believe God placed the sin nature in man on purpose. Making God the author of sin who then eternally punishes people whom He gives no ability to believe and repent is an even worse slander of God which has no doubt caused many to reject anything to do with Christianity.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Amen Mike!

You said it so well.  :hi5:


“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14. You are correct, Mike. Very well said.  :thumbsup: They come across as true, fellow Christians but in reality they have “another” gospel. It took me a while to see that, but if all the enemy did was lie all the time he would be immediately exposed. A little truth is mixed in to make the lie seem more palatable. John

Deborah (Discerning the World)

The sad part about coming out of Word of Faith or another ‘Christian’ cult is, you prayed for God to open your eyes or you listened to that warning the Holy Spirit gave you with regards to what you were currently believing and involved in. So you leave the denomination and unfortunately most land up in Calvinism, because their preaching is so close to the truth it’s frightening. But this is where the saddest part comes in, the person when confronted with the truth as to what Calvinism is, can’t believe that they would land up in more false teaching…They say “But God opened my eyes to doctrine of demons that Word of Faith etc is, why would He allow me to land up in another false denomination” And because of this, people get caught even deeper into the cult of Calvinism. Because they believe God sent them the Calvinist way… YOU ARE HIS ELECT.

People don’t understand that just because God opens your eyes to the truth regarding one belief system, doesn’t mean Satan is going to stop his attacks on you, in fact they intensify. You are confused as it is and it’s the perfect opportunity to hijack you – into one of the biggest delusions of all: Calvinism.

Because people don’t love the truth, people don’t love Jesus Christ enough…that they end up in doctrines that are worse than the first and never make it out.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 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.

Calvinists WANT to believe in the most PRIDEFUL thing of all; that God would CHOSE them to be HIS ELECT over someone else and that other person is going to hell and there is nothing that other person can do about it. It’s sickening. It’s nothing but HATE personified toward your neighbor, and love for oneself amplified.

To think I landed up in Calvinism for a very short while, a week? I forget now. It was a short time. What a shocker it was when I realised how John MacArthur was lying to me through his sermons. I jumped ship, on no wait… I kicked JMA off my ship.

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Ja, it’s sickening…

Mike Evans

Here is a very interesting testimony by an ex-Calvinist from Lighthouse Trails
Lighthouse Trails published a book exposing Calvinism earlier this year which brought them much flak and loss of support. My hat goes off to them for acting on their consciences without bowing to the fear of man.
I honestly compare defending Calvin to saying something like this “Well, I may not agree with everything Jim Jones did back in the ’70’s, but hey, that was a different era and I think you can admire a man’s theology regardless of his leadership faults…”

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Thanks Mike for the link.

You said “Lighthouse Trails published a book exposing Calvinism earlier this year which brought them much flak and loss of support.”

Yes, when you tell it like it is, you end up with no support. DTW is a case in point lol. And if you are running a business as LHT are doing with selling books, I am sure it impacted their sales in a huge way, because I tell you now, there are so many Calvinists out there it’s frightening. I do take my hat off to them and pray God looks after them financially, now that they have spoken out against the evils of Calvinism.

You said “I honestly compare defending Calvin to saying something like this “Well, I may not agree with everything Jim Jones did back in the ’70’s, but hey, that was a different era and I think you can admire a man’s theology regardless of his leadership faults…””

Totally agree. That statement made an impact.

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