Only The Elect are Lost; The Reprobate are Not
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.
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.
Jesus came to our world to seek and to save the lost.
Only the elect are saved.
Therefore, only the elect are lost and not the so-called reprobates.
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’)
i have been wrestling over this stuff for some time. with some of this type of thinking, i have often gotten mad at God, believing that I am “totally depraved” but yet i dont feel like i REALLY REALLY love God, though I seek, and yet it feels very weak. I find myself afraid of God (which in many ways is good,) but I will share that I often ended up BLAMING God. lke.. “God, if I am so depraved, and full of hatred towards you unless you remake me, then why will you not change me?” and then, as you can imagine, I didnt see God as very loving, even though I asked him to change me and have be be his, etc etc. I am not sure what all I think about these things yet, Calvinism and stuff, but wow, if salvation happens as many of these Calvinists have said, I often find myself lacking experience, love for God, understanding, etc, since… God has not changed me?
anyway, I think this may have been a very confusing comment. feel free to not post it if it seems so. 🙂 Im not to into writing a bunch of stuff, and proofreading. (I think I like to write as if… it was a conversation)
I know how you write, don’t worry. I understand what you are saying.
Understand that when you are genuinely saved and REPENT of your sin, the Holy Spirit comes to abide in you. He convicts you. God won’t change you if you are not really interested in trying to change yourself. Why must God do all the hard work when you are not really that sincere. You show Him you are serious and then He will show you how serious He is.
God seems to get blamed for everything that happens in our lives. Even people who don’t believe in God will blame God.
Imagine having someone you consider to be a friend, but you are constantly telling this person how much you hate them, or they know you don’t really like them, but they hope one day you will change and repect and love them back. When things go wrong in your life you take out your frustrations on them. But you for some unknown reason you expect this person to be there for you all the time. One day you find out this person moved and never gave you a forwarding address. You are hurt. “How dare they!!”
What does it mean to you tohave a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
Let’s go back to the example of the friend who decided he had had enough of your insincerity. So your friend moved. You are hurt, angry. “woe is me” you think.
Do you sit back and think to yourself what a sinful person you are and that you need to find your friend again and tell him you are genuinely sorry and CHANGE YOUR WAYS.
Or do you sit back and think to yourself, “Well, to bad so sad, it’s their loss, not mine”. I will find a new friend to use when I feel like it and when I need help.
If you choose the first option. Your friend welcomes you back with open arms, because they LOVE you. You tell them you are so sorry, you will never hurt them again. They can really see the sincerity in your heart. A while goes by and you start going back to the way you were. But this time you are convicted! You know it’s wrong and you REPENT and you CHANGE YOUR WAYS.
Repentance is obendience. When the Holy Spirit convicts you, you are obedient to God by listening to His Spirit exposing your sin and you repent. The more you listen to God the more He knows you can be TRUSTED and the more He will work in your life.
A replationship is not a one sided affair.
thank you. I hope this helps others too.
As a question, do you believe that anyone else other than the elect are or will be saved?
What do you mean by Elect?
I am not a Calvanist, I am not Arminianist either. I am not methodist, I am not protestant etc, etc, etc. I am a born again Christian. Calvanism does hold more truths, but at the end of the day being born again is NOT A RELIGION but a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ. I am not a fundamentalist or hyper fundermentalist or anything else. I am however a BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN.
Jesus Christ DIED for ALL who RECEIVE Him through faith. If you don’t accept His pardon that’s your choice. You can have your feet washed clean or you can choose to not want your feet washed. Jesus’s gift of Salvation is there if you want it – no pressue. Jesus Christ wants people who are WILL stay on HIS SIDE forever, not luke warm, tossing and turning two and fro between the pages of scripture picking out the verses they like and crossing out the ones they don’t.
If you are a born again Christian YES you are saved. Otherwise NO. Are you a born again Christian? Do you have the Holy Spirit in you live?
Yes, I am a born again Christian and yes, that does mean that I have the Holy Spirit dwelling within me.
I can understand you not wanting to be put in a box, although I do find that tags are sometimes useful. It’s like if two attorneys meet and the first says he is an advocate practising criminal law and the second says he is a conveyor. Well now they both have a pretty good idea of each other’s backgrounds, competencies and legal bent.
Sometimes it’s useful to broadly categorise and define our beliefs as Christians. The danger is that it doesn’t always work. Not everyone holds the same dictionary of definitions and that’s when the tags become a hindrance to communication.
To answer you, I believe that the elect are all those whom God has chosen by His sovereign decree before the foundations of the world and he does that apart from any righteous act on their part. I’d read of that in Romans 9 and Ephesians 1 – 2 along with the rest of Scripture.
As I read the article above I’m guessing that you don’t believe that that’s an accurate definition of the word elect as it appears in the Word and I was wondering how you would define it? Also do you believe that anyone else other than the elect are or will be saved?
I do not believe in the calvanist argument of predestination. I do lean more towards the armeniast way that God knows our future and he knows who will accept him or not – it is still upto us to as born again Christians to spread the gospels as we do not know who will accept Jesus Christ or not. Just as I warn of false teaching and I do not know who will listen or not. The Holy Spirit is the one who convicts, not I.
The Elect are those who are born again and believe by faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died for our sin. But God knows who will accept Him or not since the beginning of time. This brings free will into the picture. The right to accept of reject Jesus Christ. I can’t imagine heaven filled with luke warm people ready to jump ship, like Satan did. Was he predestined too? I dunno.
Does any of this change my faith in Jesus Christ, whether predestination or not. Nope.
Anyone who believes by faith (no matter what religion, language, race, coulour) that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he died on the cross for THEIR sins and accepts his pardon will be saved.
Muslims believe that Jesus was a great prohpet, so do Hindus, so do Buddhists, but that does not make them born again. If an individual within either group would come to know the real Jesus Christ of scriptures and be born again then they would be part of the Elect (the true body of Christ). But this person will then LEAVE their religion, they will not attend mosque or hold muslim days of worship. This person is a NEW creature in Jesus Christ and worships Jesus Christ the Son of God only.
I get what you are saying here. And I get where you are going with this too…lets see.
Thanks, that was a very good response.
We have some common ground:). We both believe in the urgency of the Gospel and we also both believe in the exclusivity of the Gospel (only those that believe in Christ alone, by faith alone, by Grace alone) and also that the Gospel is a universal invitation (although we would disagree on who could respond to that).
And more than that you got me to start writing down what I believe regarding these things (yesterday’s post).
Cool. I will wait for your reply, cos I am hoping your reply will lead to my questions I wanna ask you.
Also it’s not about being but into a box. It’s about shattered truth as I call it. Calvanists have most of the truth, but they have some horribly wrong things in their doctrine that are blatant offspring from Roman Catholicism. So we with the guidance of the Holy Spirit we HAVE TO sort the good from the bad and we do this through scritpure.
There are smaller things in scripture that do not affect our salvation, but then there are the majors of scripture that one CA NOT in any way change as it changes the gospel into something else completely and Jesus Christ becomes is no longer Jesus Christ but an imposter.
why does my name appear with that… sorta mean or evil looking pyramid?
I know these avatars look horrible. Go get yourself a gravatar. Google gravatar, then used your gmail email address and upload picture. When you come here or any other blog and use your gmail email addy your picture will show up. Then you wont get the default horrible ones that come with wordpress. Also anywhere you have used your email address in the past where the websilte now allows gravatars your image will pop up there too.
hello. my only question if anyone would answer it, is a human being capable of comming to Christ to be saved on its own?
You mean, God gave mankind free will to chose him or not? yes. Calvanists don’t believe that. They believe God choses you before you are born therefore you are predestined to be saved. Which is completely false.
What about the countless millions of people who never heard the gospel particularly those from the first century around the entire globe?
Let me clarify my question.
I agree that we need to preach the gospel to all peoples and nations. However, during the first century to essentially the 1600s travel and the dissemination of the gospel was quite limited. During this time countless millions of people never received the good news of the gospel due to technological impossibilities.
What opportunity did the rest of mankind, who could not receive the gospel due to technological impossibilities, have in regards to their salvation? If it were by the way they lived based on the best that they knew how is that salvation by works?
Furthermore, if faith is based upon hearing the word then how can those people be saved by faith seeing that they never heard the word due to centuries of technological impossibilities.
If mankind is the vehicle by which the gospel is to be given then was God unfair to those who could not be reached because of mankind’s inability to preach the gospel due to the past technological impossibilities?
Was Paul (Saul) saved by his own choice?
What about the aborted and extremely mentally retarded? Could they choose or were they saved on what they knew which is presumably nothing in those afore mentioned states?
Based on free will was it not statistically possible that nobody would chose Christ? (I’m speaking of possibility not probability)
I am going to ask a simple question. What are you talking about? Did you or did you not have have the CHOICE to type your comment? You should have not because it was silly. Now by choice, re-think what you said, and by choice, type another comment that makes more sense and ties up with scripture. (However no one is forcing you). You also have a CHOICE to study the Word of God and to understand CLEARLY the matter of free will.
Kyle, in regards to aborted babies and the mentally-challenged, they are incapable of making a choice. God has provided for those – children below the age of accountability and those who are not accountable due to mental deficiency.
Now, the Bible clearly states the way to salvation. That is our standard. As to all of your other hypothetical scenarios, that is a mystery that we don’t know and apparently God did not think it was essential knowledge for us.
All we have to understand is that God is just and God is fair. He knows every heart inside and out. How He works out all those details is His business. We have our hands full just sharing the Gospel with those who can hear and understand. In fact, the Church has failed miserably in reaching the lost. That should be our concern and that will keep us too busy to occupy our minds with nonsensical questions. Those are usually bunny trails that lead to nowhere and distract us from the straight and narrow.
I am not putting you down for asking, many others have asked the same thing too, including myself. I had to search it out and that conclusion is what I am sharing with you. I truly hope it helps you as much as it did me.
If you are still hung up on this, go to the Lord and ask Him to teach you by His Holy Spirit. The predestination of some to heaven and some to hell is not fair and just. God gave man a free will contrary to the heresy of Reformed/Calvinistic doctrine.
I apologize if I appeared to be insincere. However, I am really asking these questions because they seem to be legit.
Let me expound further.
You and I would agree that the countless million of abortions which have taken place sorely grieves the Lord. So my question is how did these poor helpless souls get into heaven?
It appears to me that Pauls conversion was not his own will. If Paul’s salvation was by his free will then presumably he could have rejected God and a large portion of the New Testament would never had been written.
Again, I am inquiring how countless millions of people who never could have heard the gospel are saved. Could they have been saved?
My questions are sincere.
Thank You again,
Burning Lamp has answered your all questions perfectly.
Kyle, aborted babies cannot make a choice – God does not sort through them and say this one I am going to send to heaven and this one I am going to send to hell. Of course our loving heavenly father is not going to condemn anyone who is incapable of making choices. None of them had an opportunity to hear the Gospel and make a decision to accept or reject Him. Waht is so difficult about that to understand and accept?
As to God’s plan, He intended to use the Apostle Paul – He had to get his attention. But he still could have refused. And to say our Almighty God would not have had a “Plan B” is to limit Him to human perameters. Itis difficult for us to understand, but God knew by His foreknowledge that the Apostle Paul would respond. It is hard for us to wrap our minds around how God works, and really it is futile. We take what He reveals in His Word and we trust the rest by faith, knowing the nature and character of our holy God. Perfect love and perfect justice.
Concentrate on knowing God and His Word and His attributes. Look into the heavens and behold His handiwork, knowing you are seeing only a small part of it. Marvel at the fact that He loves each of us equally and wants each one of us to receive His beloved Son’s sacrifice freely given. But He knows it will be spurned by most because the way is narrow.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but after dealing with so many Calvinists I have noticed that they have such a ‘limited’ view of who God IS and having said that it’s impossible to know how God works. But He has given us clues all over the bible and one thing is this. Jesus went to the Apostle Paul (NOT because Paul was chosen NO), but because GOD KNEW HIS HEART and God knew he would accept Jesus Christ as his Saviour. Just like you and everyone else on this planet who makes the choice to accept Jesus Christ or not accept Jesus Christ. God knows each and every single heart (BEFORE BIRTH) He knows how things are going to turn out for each person. There is NEVER a plan B for God. My goodness.
I thought I should clear this up – by saying “Plan B” I meant that God is sovereign and His plan will proceed apart from man’s actions and control. Of course that doesn’t mean that He takes away our free will which would make us puppets. But in the events of this world in the big picture, God is in charge and His perfect plan will not be derailed by anyone. Absolutely He knew Paul from the beginning and He knew his heart even when He was persecuting the Christians. He knew what seemed to be an impossibility from a human standpoint would turn around and bring glory to His name.
All of this should make us be awestruck by our Lord, that He cared enough to send the very best and precious He had to save a bunch of sinners. May we serve Him out of a grateful heart- that is what pleases Him. He would never be pleased by pulling the strings on a bunch of marionettes who are controlled by the Master. What a blessing Calvinists and Reformed are missing by their narrow and skewed perception of God.
I have been reading the comments here, I tumbled across this site by doing a search on someone, and a certain article God placed before me, Kyle, I have to say I stand with you on many of the issues you raise, I see burning lamp uses the word Sovereign, meaning God does what He pleases, for His own Glory,Burning Lamp: If the scripture states we are dead in our sins and trespasses, would God have to make us alive to respond to Him? You say He knew Pauls heart, yep Paul was a murderer, as a matter of fact
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? There are decisions we all make in life But Salvation is soely Gods area in one coming to Christ 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. John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. Mans way of Salvation always includes an element of what standard we think God saves us by and who but does not God have the choice? Israel is a good example God did not choose anyone else, no other Nation to be His, in man eyes thats so unfair!
Oh But who are you Oh man? Romans chapter 9 says it all and seals the deal Romans 9:11though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
14What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 🙂 God Bless you Richly I appreciate the site!!
Oh and BTW, I know you know you don’t have to post this, I think, as I went back and read the comments over this may be overdone, I just want to say I appreciate all the work you put in here and I don’t agree with everything Calvin taught, except that of the Scriptures, what is written in Gods word is what we all should agree with, I am fully convinced yet don’t always understand, like how was Christ fully man but fully God, it just reminds me as well of well How could God only choose yet expect man to respond, How could Paul say It is not him that lives but Christ in Him….its all through scripture……..
Joanne, you said you are new to this site. I would ask that you please refer to the other threads on this site on the topic of Reformed/Calvinist doctrine. All the bases have been covered, the Scriptures you cite which are taken out of context and a clear and proper explanation of the doctrine of predestination. After you have read through all of the articles, I hope you come back as then you will have a better idea why we believe what we believe and exactly what are the issues with the doctrine.
God is perfectly able to be both Sovereign and allow man free will in the matter of salvation.
Please come back after you have read all the information on this topic. Deborah works hard on these articles and studies the Word faithfully and carefully and takes her mission on this site very seriously.
Grace and peace to you!
Just wanted to comment about the riddle:
Elect are Lost but Reprobates are Not
This is true because Jesus said in (Matthew 15:24) “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
This is one of those extraordinary statements where the exclusiveness of his ministry is evident. Effectively he says I have not been sent by the father for the salvation of anyone except the lost sheep of the house of Israel meaning the elect of God- both elect Jew and elect gentile, “the lost sheep”. (Galatians 3:28) “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:29) And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed,”(lost sheep) “and heirs according to thepromise.” The elect are the descendants of Abraham by following in the faith of Abraham who rejoiced to see Christs Day.(John 8:56)
EVERYONE is “the lost sheep” until they receive Jesus Christ as their saviour. Jesus was a sacrifice for the WHOLE WORLD, not only certain people.
>> The elect are the descendants of Abraham by following in the faith of Abraham who rejoiced to see Christs Day.
What you have explained is nothing but Calvinist ‘Replacement theology’.
There is only one elect. Paul says that the promise comes through Abraham’s Seed (singular). That Seed is Christ. He is the only elect of God because only He fulfilled the Covenant perfectly. He is God’s Chosen. The elect then, are all those who become a part of His Body, through faith. Having believed we are marked “in Him.” (Ephesians) We are chosen “in Him” before the foundation of the world.
Faith is a gift, but it is not given to just a few. Faith comes by hearing the Word, and faith is given to any who believe.
Predestination means that anyone who believes is placed in Christ, and by being place in Christ, God’s chosen, they too become chosen and elect. . It is the Father’s love revealed in His Son through the Word that draws us to Him. It is that Love, God Himself who come to live in those who are humble enough to receive Him. It is available to all, but grace is given only to those who admit their need for Him.
We love, not because God has sovereignly decided that we would love Him, but because He first loved us.
There are only two, Adam and Christ. All are either in Adam or in Christ. Adam failed the test, as did all those in him. Jesus passed the test for all those in Him.
The problem with Calvinists is that they can’t comprehend how God can retain His sovereignty if man has free will. God’s wisdom is foolishness to the foolish. Like a master chess player, He sees every move in advance and uses every move of the enemy to fulfill His ultimate will. Just as He used Satan as a pawn in His plan to bring salvation to the world, so He uses every man’s free will choices to bring His will to completion, even those choices to disobey.
Thank you toddot for that awesome comment!!
In principle you are on the right track, but I have to bring under your attention that faith is not a gift of God. Faith come by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. It is love for the truth in Jesus Christ that brings faith, and grace is the Spirit of grace we receive from God through faith.
The rest of what you have said, although I knew it, was an eye opener to me. Thanks.
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.
Your view of election is totally anti-Bible and anti-Christ and to prove it I refer you to the following,
And please don’t tell me “world” only refers to the elect because if you do you are twisting Scripture to your own destruction. (2 Peters 3:16).
The entire nation of Israel is God’s elect (his people) (Isaiah 45:4) and yet most of them are going to hell. (Matthew 8:12). Explain that to me, Mr. Kaleb.
“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. (:
So, when you Calvinists are going to appear before God one day, you are going to say to Him, “Sorry, I am innocent. You made me do it.” First of all the parable about the Potter has nothing to do with salvation. It concerns Israel and God’s calling to be a holy nation unto Him.
Did you see that? God’s dealing with Israel was contingent upon their response to Him and his Word. He didn’t artbitrarily decide to save some and damn the rest before the foundation of the world. In fact, the nation of Israel as a whole is still God’s elect whether you like it or not.
And yet the majority of them are going to end up in hell.
Had they obeyed Him He would have made them into a vessel of honour. As you know, and hopefully you do, the disobeyed Him which lead God to make them into a vessel of dishonour to this very day.
If you loved the Word of God you would never have misinterpreted it the way you do. You would have searched the Scriptures and gone to the place where is says “As it is written.” (Romans 9:13). It is written in Malachi 1:2-3. Paul referred to the two nations that came from Jacob and Esau and not the two individuals. Esau never served Jacob but the nation that came from him served the Jews for a time. Had it been the two individuals to whom Paul referred, God would have been a false prophet who prophesied lies.
Calvinists always refer to the same old verses without evaluating them against the rest of the Bible. John 15:16 has nothing to do with salvation but service. He also chose Judas to be one of his disciples and look what happened to him.
You problem is, you don’t know what the word “foreknow” means. God knew before the foundation of the world who would respond in faith to his Gospel and receive his Son as their Saviour. It is these whom He predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son. It’s as simple as that.
>> 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.
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.
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.
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
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. https://www.discerningtheworld.com/2010/03/30/false-teachers-what-do-you-do-when/
Hi Debs. Have you forgotten these verses in the Bible?
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save the elect only. (Luke 19:10).
I came not to call the reprobate, but only the elect to repentance. (Luke 5:32).
The person who said this is also called Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4).
Nonetheless, I can prove to you that Jesus came to earth only for the elect. Listen to this pristine testimony.
“PHIL: “So you’re saying, are you saying it would be difficult for you to put your finger on when your conversion took place?”
JOHN: “Yeah. I’ve never been able to do that. And it doesn’t bother me. I think I’m one of those kids. I was one of those kids that NEVER REBELLED AND ALWAYS BELIEVED. And so, when God did His saving work in my heart, IT WAS NOT DISCERNIBLE TO ME.
I went away to high school and for all I knew, I loved Christ, I was part of the ministry of the church. I went away to college and I wanted to serve the Lord and honor the Lord. I was certainly immature.
But at some point along the line, I really do believe there was a transformation in my heart, but I think it may have been to some degree imperceptible to me, because I didn’t ever have a rebellious time, I didn’t ever revolt against, you know, the gospel or not believe.
And I guess that’s, in some ways that’s a grace act on God’s part. So that all that wonderful training found some level of fertile soil in my heart and none of it was wasted.” (Emphasis added).
Now, doesn’t this sound so much like the publican who, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, crying out to God in agony, God be merciful to me a sinner?
Not really! Fancy that, with a single sweep of the brush, John MacArthur obliterates the first letter “T” in the acronym TULIP. When he was a kid, he tells us, “Total Depravity” had NO part in the fiber of his pristine garment of self-righteousness.
In fact, he tells us in his own pristine self-righteous words that he never was so totally depraved as he likes to tell others how totally depraved they are.
Calvinists just love to remind other wretched sinners how depraved they are, even to the extent that it renders them completely powerless, incapable, and impotent to believe the Gospel, while they (like our learned and respected friend, John MacArthur) glory in their own pitiful self-righteous abilities to believe and never to rebel or revolt against God and his Gospel. This is Pharisaic hypocrisy at its very best.
Debs, did you know that John 8 was never written in the way we are used to read it. It should read as follows:
Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him, and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. Then suddenly a fine looking and well-groomed gentleman with a receding hairline combed backward stepped forward and said with much confidence: “I am worthy to cast the first stone because I have never rebelled (sinned) and always believed. I already have a huge stone in my right hand which I like to call ‘CALVINISM’ or ‘DOCTRINES OF GRACE.’ I can crush her litte reporbate head with one blow.” Jesus asked him: “And who are you, my dear sir and from whence do you come?” “My name is John Fullerton MavcArthur. I am an American pastor and author known for my internationally syndicated Christian teaching radio program Grace to You. I have been the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, since February 9, 1969. Don’t you ever read Wikipedia? My mentror and teacher has always been the honorable serial killer, John Calvin. That’s how I learned how to kill the reprobate with my ‘NEVERRR-REBELLED-AND-ALWAYS-BELIEVED-CALVINIST-STONE.” Jesus asked him. “But why would you do such a great honor-killing for me? It sounds so familiar in certain other religions” MacArthur boastfully answers. “Because I have seen from your Word that you only love people like me, the elect and that you are going to send the non-elect to hell for your glory. Have you forgotten that you have great pleasure in sending them to hell?” Surely, you must have read Ezekiel 33:11. Jesus said to him. Tallyho, John Fullerton MacArthur. You surely have the right to cast the first stone for my honour. So, go ahead!
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience that Calvinism is true, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: And stoned the reprobate harlot to death. for the glory and honour of God.
Ja, it’s sickening…
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…”
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.