A Death Knell of Calvinism?

This study is for those who have been fooled by those who would teach a Calvinistic theology and for those who are actively standing against this heresy.

• It is heresy because it denies the blood atonement by limiting its scope.
• It is heresy because it makes God responsible for sin.
• It is heresy because it mixes law and grace.
• It is heresy because it violates God given free will of man.
• It is heresy because it makes God a liar.

As with all cults and heresies there is a general failure to rightly divide the word of truth as laid out in 2Timothy 2:15. When we “rightly divide the word of truth” we give to Israel what belongs to Israel and we give to the body of Christ what belongs to the body of Christ. A failure to do so ONLY ends in confusion.

Calvinism mixes law and grace and thereby becomes “accursed by God”. Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. The gospel that Paul preaches is the gospel of grace which is, by the way, very resistible!

As we begin let us look define the 5 points of Calvinism.

Introduction – A Brief Look at the Tulip

1. Total Depravity

States that the lost are completely unredeemable. God created them only as vessels fit for destruction and as a contrast to His goodness.

These are the proof texts used to support the above statement. The emphasis are mine but point out the issue being pulled from its dispensational context.

Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

These people are unredeemable!

Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Some are chosen some are not!

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

God only loves the elect!

2. Unconditional Election

States that election ( & consequently salvation) is completely of God and that the only perquisite is His choice (even if whimsical).

Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. – 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

God only chooses whom he will save!

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

3. Limited Atonement

States that Christ died ONLY for the elect. He did not die for all mankind, nor did He die for the lost.

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

God is NOT concerned with the world but for the elect!

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

Many NOT all!

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

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Atonement is limited to the will of the Father!

4. Irresistible Grace

States that salvation is by God’s grace. Since God’s election is the only criteria, His grace will be applied to the elect – regardless of man’s will.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Grace is unavoidable for the elect!

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.

Grace is one sided, man does not have free will.

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God
.
Grace is for the elect only.

1 Pet 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

God only calls the elect.

5. Perseverance Of The Saints

States that the elect WILL persevere. If a person falls, or departs from the faith, they were never on of God’s elect.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

It has been predetermined that the elect will persevere.

Phil 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Predetermined performance – no will involved.

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

Predetermined performance – no will involved.

To these things we will speak, but first of all let me hasten to say that to a Berean, or a good dispensational Bible student, Calvinism is poses no threat. The reason it has caused so much havoc within “Christian circles” is because of a failure to rightly divide the word of truth. Again this simply means that when we “rightly divide the word of truth” we give to Israel what belongs to Israel and we give to the body of Christ what belongs to the body of Christ!

Heresy plays a vital role in spiritual growth as Paul our apostle in the dispensation of the grace of God reminds us…. 1 Cor 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Point One – Total Depravity – (the lost are unredeemable)

All men are totally depraved but there are not any that are unredeemable!

2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

This verse tells us that God IS NOT WILLING that any should perish. Does this then mean that all, as the universalist claim, even Satan will be saved? Of course, as the astute Bible student will see immediately, the real issue in Calvinism is free will. Does man have free will or doesn’t he? To which the Calvinist will ask … is not God sovereign? The answer is yes, and yes! Man does have free will and God is sovereign. However, God, in his sovereignty has limited his sovereignty in the area of the free will of man. We will see more of this as we go along.

1 Tim 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Here our blessed apostle to the Gentiles spells out for us the “will of God”. It is God’s will for ALL men, not just the elect, to be saved. Further, he tells us by inspiration that there is one mediator between God and MEN, not just the elect.

Verse six is devastating to “Calvinistic” theology when it says Christ gave himself a ransom for ALL and in the context of the passage it is ALL MANKIND!

Are the lost then – UN-MEN – Like the UN-COLA? This would be true if Calvin is to prevail! This is simply a twisting of the scriptures to make them fit a predetermined perspective or doctrinal statement.

If the lost are irredeemable, then the earth is mostly populated with Un-men. (Mat 7:13-14) “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: {14} Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

All = All; not some.

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

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Every person faces this choice — Christ or condemnation!

It is like the old saying… “It is this way. The Lord, he is always voting for a man; and the devil, he is always voting against him. Then the man himself votes and that breaks the tie.”

Commentary On Verses Used By Calvinist (2 Cor 2:17)

Verse: Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

Comments: First of all this passage speaks to National Israel NOT individuals. The issue in the context of the passage is obedience. Obedience is an issue of the will.

Rom 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: (the issue is obedience driven by free will) 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

2 Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

I am sorry, but even a sovereign God has no judicial right to punish those who do not have a choice! This is especially true for a God who claims to be just, compassionate, and full of mercy.

Again this issue in this passage is obedience and belief which is only accomplished by free will.

Next Verse… Mark 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

Dispensationally speaking this is judgement upon Israel – Isa 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 9 And he said, Go, and tell this people (Israel), Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. 11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,

Because of Israel’s tradition of unbelief – Psa 78:5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: 8 And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

Israel’s rejection of the truth precipitates their blindness – Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompense unto them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.

Next verse… Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

This passage does not teach that the lost have no knowledge of God! And even if we thought it did there are plenty of other passages that would correct our doctrine provided that we as free moral agents were willing to let the word of God correct our doctrine!

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

This passage makes no sense in a “Calvinistic theology”!

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

This passage guarantees truth to all those who seek it, again this verse makes no sense in a Calvinistic theology.

Words Mean Things!

Saved means – rescued from danger. Calvin’s elect are never in danger of loss so from what are they saved? The answer is nothing. Therefore the verses that speak of being saved are not valid verses if Calvin is to be believed. Do not believe Calvin or those who would teach this heresy, but rather believe God!

Lost means – NOT rescued from danger. How can one lose something that he can never possess? They cannot! If you never have the will to choose then you can never be rescued and yet the scriptures, yes the very words of scripture, indicate a choice is to be made!

Point Two – Unconditional Election (election is completely of God)

Comments On Verses Used

Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. & Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

These verses do not state that God’s mercy is unconditional

Salvation is very conditional!

2 Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

You have to believe the truth! Belief of the truth is an ACT of the WILL! And as is stated in verse 14 salvation is something that can be obtained! Election is not just of God it is of God and man!

Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

In verse 22 we see that righteousness is by faith of Jesus Christ “UNTO ALL”. This is the every man ministry made known by the apostle Paul the apostle to the Gentiles! Righteousness is extended to all men without distinction in the age of grace but there is a condition. In salvation there is unlimited provision but there is limited application, salvation is conditional! The condition to salvation is belief according to the book of Romans and belief is an act of the will. If there is no choice to be made by a free moral agent then there is no need for these verses!

We are elected (chosen) ONLY because we are in Christ. God chooses those who choose him, again as a free moral agent. Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Point Three – Limited Atonement (Christ died ONLY for the elect)

1 Tim 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

Christ is a ransom for all – – all the elect? — all mankind? The verses clearly indicate “all men”. If this is not true then you have to define “all men” as the elect or those that are not the elect must be defined as “un men”. This is not only warped theology but warped reasoning.

Comments On Verses Used…

Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

This is a dispensational issue. Christ came to the nation of Israel to establish His kingdom. In Matthew ten he told the 12 … Mat 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Now you know why the Calvinists are anti-dispensational! If you are Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth these kinds of problems disappear. As you “rightly divide the word of truth” you give to Israel what belongs to Israel and give to the body of Christ what belongs to the body of Christ. During the earthly ministry of Christ atonement was limited to the nation of Israel and the Gentiles through Israel. However Israel did not, and will not receive atonement, until the second coming of Christ in the dispensation of the fullness of times. We today, in the dispensation of the grace of God have full atonement the moment we make a choice to believe the gospel of the grace of God. See Eph. 1:10, Acts 3:19 & ff., & Romans 5:11.

Next verse: John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

This verse falls in the same category as the one above. Eternal life in any dispensation has always been by faith. A choice has to be made to believe God or no. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) said an interesting thing about the choices we make. “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”

Point Four – Irresistible Grace (Grace cannot be resisted)

Who says men (even elect men of the favored nation) cannot resist the inward call of the Holy Spirit?

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

Are these folks elect or unmen? If they are unmen why did the Holy Spirit even deal with them? If they are the elect how could they resist?

You can do despite to the spirit of Grace – Heb 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Again, are these folks elect or unmen? If they are unmen why did the Holy Spirit even deal with them? If they are the elect how could they resist? The answer is that grace is very resistible as doth also sayeth the scriptures.

God does not make man to resist. – Rom 9:19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Another dispensational passage. God is dealing with the nation of Israel Nationally!

The thing formed is that nation. Just like he formed the body of Christ as his agency in this age. The nation of Israel was God’s agency in time past. God formed that nation and it was in rebellion to him. Romans chapters 9, 10, 11 answer the dispensational question of “what happened to Israel” for those making the transition into the age of grace.

Point Five – Perseverance of The Saints – (If a person falls, or departs from the faith, they were never one of God’s elect.)

God does the persevering, not man. Just as there is nothing you can do to be saved other than believe, there is nothing you can do to remain saved. Eternal security is a product of salvation.

God will preserve the unbelievers and those overthrown in their faith. 2Tim 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. & 2 Tim 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Even those that resist the spirit and are taken captive by Satan are recoverable “In Christ” – 2 Tim 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

It is interesting that the Calvinist teaches you cannot recover a lost one that is irredeemable and you cannot lose one that is elect. The scriptures teach otherwise.

Conclusion

The title of this study is “A Death Knell of Calvinism?” and we wish it were. Calvinistic theology can be refuted, as we have demonstrated here. But it will continue to haunt the halls of “churches” that have turned their backs on dispensational truth and Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth and are steeped in the traditions of men and religion.

Man has a free will. He is a free moral agent. We are not predestined to glory or dishonor at our birth, this is the promise and hope of the believer. Eternal life is a free gift to all who will by faith put their trust in the finished cross work of the Lord Jesus Christ in his death, burial and resurrection.

This is the good news we proclaim today. Christ paid for all sin for all men for all time 2000 years ago. And a soul today can know for sure where they will spend eternity if they will simply choose to believe the gospel of grace.

  1. Well done! My husband and I have studied this issue deeply after our EFCA church was taken over by a Calvinist preacher. And we concluded that Calvinism goes against the Bible. However, our church embraced it and became more and more Calvinist, and so we ended up leaving it, after being there almost 20 years. It was sad, but I could not support the spread of that gospel-destroying theology. (I write about it at anticalvinistrant.blogspot.com.) God bless.

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