18 Comments

  1. Terri

    I really needed to read this beautifully written article as i have been weakened and started getting confused about doctrine, as a dear believing friend is a Calvinist, and the question constantly comes up. Please keep on doing what you are doing. i noticed that being a Calvinist seems to deter a Christian from obeying the Great Commission, since they feel that a predestined person may not need anyone to tell them about salvation because they have been “chosen”. i also wonder if a person believes God is that way, are they possibly worshipping a different God, or is their doctrine just flawed?

  2. John Phillips

    If some are predestined to salvation then by default some are predestined to damnation. Your phrase don’t make a bugaboo out of something that is ment to bring joy is flippant and disrespectful. By your own admission predestination only brings joy to those who are predestined to salvation.
    What about Jesus parable of the wheat sown on the three types of ground? In particular the seed sown on stony ground. The word is received with all joy but due to the poor conditions of the stony ground the wheat perishes under the heat of the sun. Yet Jesus lates says he who comes to me I will by no means turn away.
    How can the ground be held to blame for the conditions it exists in? Are we not made new creations at salvation? Is our heart of stone not replaced with a new heart of flesh? So why the condemnation for the seed that is sown on stony ground?

  3. Mark

    God never predestined anyone to go to hell?

    Try reading your Bible….

    While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
    John 17:12 NIV

    Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.
    2 Thessalonians 2:3 NIV

    • Keith

      John 17:12 refers specifically to Judas. The OT scriptures simply foretold that Judas would choose to remain in unbelief while the remaining 11 disciples would choose to believe and receive eternal life. It does not say that God made the choice for Judas not to believe and for the remaining disciples to believe.

      • Amen, Keith. Good answer. And the 2 Thess verse is about the Anti-Christ. I don’t think it’s biblical to equate Judas’ and the Anti-Christ’s destiny with God predestining people to hell in general, as in the “non-elect” in Calvinism.

  4. Wendy

    I sat under the teaching of a Calvinist pastor for a short time. I asked him if he shared the gospel with other people. He said “Yes, but I can never tell them if God loves them.” I asked him, “Why?” And he said “because I don’t know if God has chosen them for heaven or if he’s chosen them for hell.” How sad is that?

    • That breaks my heart, because it is so different than what the Bible says. What a destructive, twisted theology Calvinism is! We left our church of almost 20 years because of the new Calvinist pastor that came in. And in all that time he preached, I don’t remember hearing a good, solid sermon on how God loves us or cares for us. No encouragement for a hurting heart. This pastor is all about “God loves Himself most and only cares about His glory.” (He doesn’t say it this way exactly, but just about.) My soul was suffocating and dying there. And so we left (after sending a long letter to our elders – Calvinist elders!), and now we stay home and watch good sermons online. It’s lonely, but at least my soul is being filled with the true Word again! (I think it takes time to “detox” after leaving a Calvinist church.)

  5. throughaglassdarkly

    Source: H.A. Ironside, In the Heavenlies (Ephesians), 1935

    It has been pictured in this way. Here is a vast host of people hurrying down the broad road with their minds fixed upon their sins, and one stands calling attention to yonder door, the entrance into the narrow way that leads to life eternal. On it is plainly depicted the text, “Whosoever will, let him come.” Every man is invited, no one need hesitate. Some may say, “Well, I may not be of the elect and so it would be useless for me to endeavor to come, for the door will not open for me.” But God’s invitation is absolutely sincere, it is addressed to every man. “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). If men refuse to come, if they pursue their own careless, godless way down to the pit, whom can they blame but themselves for their eternal judgment? The messenger addressed himself to all, the call came to all, the door could be entered by all but many refused to come and perished in their sins. Such men can never blame God for their eternal destruction. The door was open, the invitation was given, they refused and He says to them sorrowfully, “Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life.” But see, as the invitation goes forth every minute or two some one stops and says, “What is that?” “The way to life,” is the reply. “Ah, that I might find the way to life! I have found no satisfaction in this poor world.” We read, “She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” “I should like to know how to be free from my sin, how to be made fit for the presence of God.” And such an one draws near and listens and the Spirit of God impresses the message upon his heart and conscience and he says, “I am going inside: I will accept the invitation; I will enter that door,” and he presses his way in and it shuts behind him. As he turns about he finds written on the inside of the door the words, “Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.” “What!” he says, “had God His heart fixed on me before ever the world came into being?” Yes, but he could not find it out until he got inside. You see, you can pass the door if you will, you can trample the love of God beneath your feet, you can spurn His grace if you are determined to do it, but you will go down to the pit and you will be responsible for your own doom.​

  6. Amen to this! Thank you. I think dogmatic Calvinists trap people into Calvinism by saying “But the word ‘predestined’ is in the Bible, so you have to believe it (meaning THEIR definition of predestination).” But no one knows to question their definition of predestination or considers how the Bible really uses it. Thank you.

  7. Madeline

    Great article from “In Defense of the Gospel”
    called “It’s called Calvinism & it’s not that
    Long of a Line”

  8. Allyson

    Thanks, LTR, for continuing to expose heresy!
    The false gospel of Calvinism has certainly made a resurgence and is spreading like an aggressive cancer.
    Oh…the sin of PRIDE!

  9. Mary

    Questioning ones Salvation is not a bad thing. 2 Peter 1:10 says give diligence to make your election and calling sure. This article reminds me of former President Barack Obama’s tour to Cairo when he made his speech apologizing for American Exceptionalism. Questioning causes searching the Scripture. This is not a bad thing.

      • Mary

        We have a whole generation of snowflake theology. Free will and Decision theology and Normative Worship has a whole generation devoid of sound doctrine and basing their theology on emotion and experience. To apologize for the Doctrine of Sovereign Grace makes for a great analogy. It is merely an observation.

        • Mary, If you are a Calvinist or supporting Calvinism, then I have to ask … “What good is it to question your salvation? What will it accomplish if everything’s been predestined and there’s nothing you can do about it, and if God even controls our thoughts?” It’s contradictory and makes no difference in the outcome.

  10. Elizabeth Bennett

    God is not willing that any should perish . . .Calvinism is a very bad interpretation of God’s Word. Believers are predestined for Glory with Jesus Christ.

  11. John J

    Lovely stuff. Ironside blew Calvinism to pieces by simply understanding the plain gospel and context of God’s word by interpreting it in the historical-grammatical way.

    Easy.

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