Refuting Calvinism - Don't Limit His LOVE!
The Savior of the World
My spirit is grieved in contending with those of "hyper-Calvinism" and their “predestination of the elect” doctrine. This belief limits the love of Christ, in that their bottom line is Christ only loves some of His creation. Their doctrine whole-heartedly teaches that many are born automatically predestined for hell and will never receive the grace to be saved through faith in Christ. This has got to be the most arrogant, prideful doctrine out there. I guess if you’re a Calvinist, you are one of the “lucky ones”; too bad for the rest.
A dear brother in the Lord told me that Calvin himself didn't fuel this sect of "Calvinism", rather he had thoughts along this line at one time and thus, the birth of "hyper-Calvinism" and its teachings to this day.
Let’s first establish scripturally that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the entire world, and none of us were born exempt from the law of sin and death.
Isaiah 53:6 “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
John 3:16 "For God so loved the WORLD, that He gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
1 Timothy 4:10 “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially [malista - chiefly, particularly] of believers.” We’ll come to understand this passage as we go forward.
1 John 4:14 "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the WORLD."
The Drawing of the Lord
Does Man have a “free” will? Yes and no. Man has a will, and with it must choose whom he will serve. In that sense, God commands this of His creation. God created Man to procreate. While our parents decided to give birth to us, God’s purpose was to “re-birth” every single one born of the mother’s womb into His Spirit by the grace of the Lamb of God who was predestined to die for our sin from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8).
Eph 2:8-9 state, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.” So, since we can’t be saved of ourselves, what does this mean? It means we can never be good enough. No amount of religious works will save anyone. People were saved by faith in the coming Messiah under the Old Covenant (Hebrews 11) and are now saved by faith in the Messiah who came, died and rose again under the New Covenant.
But what about John 6:44 when Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day”? Will the Father draw everyone or just some? Jesus said in John 12:32, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." That’s pretty clear. After all, Acts 17:31b states that He “furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” If all men are drawn, do we not think that He will also give us the grace to have faith? Eph 2:8 says it’s by His grace we are saved through faith. 1 Tim 2:3 confirms "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
First of all, what is faith? “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb 11:1) If you read all of Hebrews 11 you will see many lived by faith in the unseen Messiah, even before Jesus Christ came to literally die on the cross. Remember, He was predestined to be the Lamb of God from the foundation of the world! Then, how do we obtain faith? “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17). Look at what happened at Corinth in Acts 10:4 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.”
Just as you had an appointed time to be born (Ecc 3:2), you have an appointed time to be re-born. Look at Acts 13:48: “When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” Likewise, you have an appointed time to die: “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him” (Heb 9:28).
Now, this is interesting. Since we’ve already proven scripturally that Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men, we must now come to understand how it can be that Heb 9:28 states He was “offered once to bear the sins of many”. Here’s the answer. PEOPLE, by choice, can NULLIFY His grace! Look at Gal 2:21: “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law (Old Covenant Torah), then Christ died needlessly." See, the Jews who believed in Galatia were tempted to go back to the Law of Moses for their salvation. They were tempted to willfully reject the New Covenant of grace through faith in Christ.
Let's consider the 'Chosen' ones, namely Israel in the Bible. If they are the 'Chosen', how is it they are told by God in Ez 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?'"
Paul tried to share the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ with the Jews. “But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, ‘Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles’” (Acts 18:6). Obviously, they had the choice to receive or reject the gospel.
Surely, God’s Word says in Rom 11:23-25 that a partial hardening of the Jews had to happen so that the fullness of the Gentiles could come into the kingdom. However, now that the gospel of salvation through faith in Christ incorporates everyone (as God is no respecter of persons – Acts 10:34), the Jews who were once cut off can now be grafted in again, “if they do not continue in their unbelief.”
God Is Sovereign
What about God’s will that everyone come to repentance? Is He not sovereign in that He will accomplish the salvation of all? Understand 2 Pet 3:9 – “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” Truly, the NAS translates the KJV word “willing” to “wishing” because that’s what the Greek word means…intention. Look at Eph 1:5 “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will…” If you look up the Lord’s prayer, the word for “Thy will be done” is 2307 thelema, meaning desire. Likewise, 1 Tim 2:3 "who desires all men to be saved" uses the word 2309 thelo, also meaning desires.
Earlier I stated, “Man has a will, and with it must choose whom he will serve.” Rom 6:16-17 “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”
Jesus Christ even had a “will”. What did He pray in the Garden of Gethsemane? “…not My will, but Yours be done." (Luke 22:42) See, He was a slave to the One He obeyed. Phil 2:7 tells us, “He emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men...”
Jesus said in John 12:47-48, “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” That’s true. However, we can’t stop there. He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”
So, is God sovereign? Absolutely. Only He has the power to give life or death to your body and soul. Jesus said in Mat 10:28, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [geenna – the lake of fire].
Stop the Confusion
God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Psalm 9:8 states that “He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.” You might be surprised that the Hebrew word for “world” here doesn’t mean world. It is the word tebel, which means confusion. Hyper-Calvinism and Universalism hold to the belief that man has no "free will", yet they are both at opposite ends of the spectrum. While hyper-Calvinists hold to the doctrine that some will never be drawn or given the grace by God to be saved and are predestined for hell, Universalists believe all will be saved and have no choice in the matter. They don't believe in hell, but rather believe they have to go through fiery trials in this life or the lake of fire after death in order to obtain salvation. Both of these are grossly missing the bulls-eye. Both believe God shows favoritism in that He pre-selects His elect and if someone doesn’t get saved it’s because they weren’t worthy to be “chosen”.
Jesus Christ is WORTHY! He is our righteousness. We become the righteousness of God in Him by faith! 2 Cor 5:21 states, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Truly, it is mankind that believes the lie that says, “I am not worthy of salvation”. Acts 13:46 tells us “Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, ‘It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.”
All Israel Will Be Saved
Jesus Christ died for YOUR SINS. The very moment you feel the drawing by the Father through the Holy Spirit, submit yourself to be a bond-servant to Him!! You don’t have to get cleaned up to take a bath. He washes your sin and remembers them no more! (Isa 43:25) He will place His Spirit inside you and will begin the transformation of your old man into the new man. You are then born again, a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Cor 5:17).
Notice in Rev 7:4-14 that the 144,000 are simply stated as “those who were sealed”. Obviously, all are of the twelve tribes of Jacob (Israel). If you look at verse 9, you will read, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands.” Verse 14 clarifies that these are they who come out of the Great Tribulation. Have you considered Paul’s words to the believers at Ephesus (Gentiles) way back in his day? He said, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30).
Jesus said He was “sent only to the lost sheep of Israel” (Mat 15:24). He also said He has “other sheep that are not of this fold” (John 10:16). Go back to verse 11 when Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep." Just as literal Israel rejected the gospel making way for the salvation of the Gentiles, literal Jews can still be saved by His grace through faith in Jesus Christ. This makes up “the Israel of God” (Gal 6:16 – cross reference Rom 9:6; Gal 3:7, 29 and Phil 3:3). The statement then that “all Israel will be saved” is truth (Rom 11:26). Truly, those who reject Christ are not sheep, but goats. When Christ returns He will separate the sheep from the goats (Mat 25:32-46).
Don’t let doctrines of demons keep you from salvation today. Paul said in Acts 17:30-31, “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
Rom 3:10 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one."
Rom 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” You are worthy!!
What does Josh 24:15 say? “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
He is coming back soon and I want you to be there rejoicing with me when we see our Lord, our God, our Creator, our Savior!! What if you don’t make it until tomorrow? “For He says, ‘AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU, AND ON THE DAY OF SALVATION I HELPED YOU.’ Behold, now is ‘THE ACCEPTABLE TIME,’ behold, now is ‘THE DAY OF SALVATION’ – “ (2 Cor 6:2/Isa 49:8). Come to Jesus; His love is limitless!!!
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