Calvinist’s fixation on a man-made TULIP acronym to confine the whole Bible to these five points is tantamount to the biblical phrase to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. In their high-minded arguments using highfalutin words and human reasoning to propound their unscriptural theology, some would label anyone who disagree with them as subscribing to the will of the flesh theology. Others would go as far as to accuse blood bought saints who do not come to their understanding of TULIP Calvinism as unregenerate. This is not only unfortunate but shameful.
Salvation is of the Lord and based on faith in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ not five-point Calvinism. When a sinner turned from idols to believe in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, must such a sinner immediately learn about TULIP theology otherwise there is no sure salvation? This is silly to say the least, very much like the Church of Christ salesman having to drag a full bathtub of water to dunk a sinner into water the moment this sinner confesses faith in Christ because without water baptism, there is no salvation according to their self-conceited understanding on the gospel of Christ.
Such proponents forget biblical revelation often needs no interpretation. Scriptures are simply statement of facts in time and history of men and are progressive from Adam to the new heaven and new earth in the book of Revelation. Dabbling with terms like chosen, election and predestination in the Bible to the exclusion of free will and responsibility placed on sinners from different ages with regards to God’s expectation of them is painting the Bible to follow a script based on fallen human understanding.
Coining extra-biblical terms like total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement and irresistible grace is not helpful to understanding scriptural revelation from the words of the living God. Hence, it is critical to take a look at those scriptures where Calvinists claim to support their philosophy and speculation. It is important to note scriptures must be allowed to stand as statement of fact and not interpretation based on fallen human logic.
Romans 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.
Romans 8:29: 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.
Romans 8:30: 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.
The term predestinate here refers to a category of people to conform to the image of God’s Son and not to be saved from hellfire. A sinner cannot be conform to the image of Christ unless he is saved. Interestingly, God foreknowing who are those He would predestinate to conform to the image of His Son is not often mentioned by Calvinists.
Ephesians 1:5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Those predestinated here concerns adoption and not salvation. It is done according to the good pleasure of God’s will. No sinner can include himself into this will to be adopted as children. Predestination is not salvation. Predestination concerns the saved individual for a particular purpose in the plan of God.
Ephesians 1:11: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Those who are predestinated besides adoption as children also includes an inheritance and again, this is done according to the counsel of God’s own will. No sinner can be involved in the plans God has designed for saved sinners responding according to what God expects from him with regards to the gospel of Christ.
Predestination is not used to decide who is going to be saved and who is lost. Predestination concerns the saved sinner to be adopted, to conform to the image of Christ and to obtain an inheritance.
1 Peter 1:2: Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
A saved sinner is an elect. The foreknowledge of God is mentioned in connection with election here. God foreknows who are His elect and who are not. Election is according to the foreknowledge of God and election is not salvation and must not be confused between the two.
Romans 9:10: And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
Romans 9:11: (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Romans 9:12: It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Romans 9:13: As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Romans 9:14: What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
This passage described the election of Jacob over Esau. Election is according to the foreknowledge of God. Jacob is God’s elect and Esau is not because God foreknew what kind person Esau would turn out to be. Election took placed even before these two persons were born.
Hebrews 12:16: Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Esau despised his birthright so this birthright was passed to Jacob. Jacob’s election concerns the seed passing from Abraham to Isaac and then to Jacob, a continuing progression of God’s plan of salvation for man since the fall of Adam where the seed of the woman was first mentioned.
So Jacob’s election here is regarding Christ who would come through from Jacob instead of Esau the firstborn. This election has got nothing to do with salvation. Before Esau and Jacob were born, God foreknew what would happen and Jacob was elected and Esau was hated. Hence election here concerns who would have dominion where the redemptive plan concerning Christ would come through and not who would go to heaven.
It is silly to assume those not elected are hell bound sinners in the Old Testament. If Esau is burning in hell so would Ishmael but God blessed Ishmael too though he was not elected where Isaac was the elect to carry on the blessings promised to Abraham.
Genesis 16:9: And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.
Genesis 16:10: And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.
Genesis 16:11: And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
Like it or not Ishmael is also a descendent of Abraham though not the son according to promise. It was due to the will of the fresh of Abraham Ishmael was born. But the covenant must come through Isaac the called of God. It is foolish to assume all Gentile nations outside of the covenant God made with Israel are lost hell-bound sinners.
Genesis 17:18: And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
Genesis 17:19: And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
Genesis 17:20: And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
Genesis 17:21: But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
Romans 9:7: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Hebrews 11:18: Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
Another example of election at work concerns Pharaoh whom God hardened and did not show him mercy.
Romans 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.
Romans 9:16: So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Romans 9:17: For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Romans 9:18: Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
To get a complete picture of what happened to Pharaoh, it is necessary to examine the passage concerning what Pharaoh did before he was destroyed.
Exodus 3:18: And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.
Exodus 3:19: And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.
Exodus 3:20: And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.
When God first confronted Moses with the mission to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt, God already told Moses the king of Egypt would not let them go. This is foreknowledge at work again. God always allows men to act and be responsible for their action and will never deliberately bypass any sinner so that he will burn in hellfire. Calvin’s theology paints God as a sadist by implication of God refusing to choose one over another to be saved.
Exodus 4:21: And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.
Exodus 4:22: And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:
Exodus 4:23: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.
The second time when Moses met God before returning to Egypt, he was given orders to relay to Pharaoh at the same time Moses was told God would harden the heart of Pharaoh so that he would not allow the children of Israel to leave Egypt.
Exodus 5:1: And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.
Exodus 5:2: And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
Unfortunately, Moses didn’t even pass the entire message God wanted him to relay to Pharaoh. What happened to the threat God issued to Pharaoh regarding killing his firstborn? Why didn’t Moses tell Pharaoh the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
Did God harden Moses’ heart as well? Or was it Moses failure due to fear of the king? Of course, God foreknew Pharaoh would not let the children of Israel go but God didn’t tell Moses He foreknew he would not tell the entire message to Pharaoh. Was it God’s fault? Was it Moses’ fault? Had Moses warned Pharaoh God would kill his firstborn, would history turn out differently?
So it happened according to divine revelation. But God had not hardened the heart of Pharaoh as yet. Moses on the other hand was getting desperate.
Exodus 5:22: And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me?
Exodus 5:23: For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.
When Moses subsequently met with setback, he was rather surprised. Wasn’t he already told of the whole game plan?
God already told Moses Pharaoh would not let the children of Israel go. God further told Moses he would harden the heart of Pharaoh. Was Moses a poor listener? But God is always faithful though His people are not always faithful like Moses failing to deliver the entire message to Pharaoh.
Exodus 6:1: Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
When Pharaoh refused to let the children of Israel according to the foreknowledge of God, this gave God the occasion to act against Pharaoh.
Exodus 7:13: And he hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.
It was after Pharaoh’s rebellion that God hardened his heart and eventually made an example out of him and Egypt destroying that nation and the king as well. It wasn’t God’s fault. Pharaoh was responsible for his rebellion.
Psalms 18:25: With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
Psalms 18:26: With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.
Psalms 18:27: For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.
God always acts according to how fallen men respond to His dealing with them. God places the responsibility of damnation squarely on fallen men and not because God deliberately hates some and refuses to save them.
Some four hundred years before Moses entered the scene, God dealt with king Abimelech who responded positively when he took Abraham’s wife not knowing that Sarah was his wife.
Genesis 20:2: And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.
Genesis 20:3: But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife.
Genesis 20:4: But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?
Genesis 20:5: Said he not unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands have I done this.
Genesis 20:6: And God said unto him in a dream, Yea, I know that thou didst this in the integrity of thy heart; for I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her.
Genesis 20:7: Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
Because king Abimelech was innocent and had integrity when he took Abraham’s wife, God responded to him differently unlike what He did to Pharaoh. God did not harden the heart of this king to destroy him and his people. As far as election is concerned, God elected Abraham to carry the seed of the woman for the redemption of all man. Unfortunately, this elect was at fault and nearly caused an innocent person to be destroyed along with his people.
So who are God’s elect?
Christ – God’s elect
Isaiah 42:1: Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Isaiah 42:2: He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
Isaiah 42:3: A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
Isaiah 42:4: He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
Firstly, the Lord Jesus Christ coming in the flesh is God’s elect. The Lord needs no salvation to become God’s elect. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world and salvation is of him, from Him and through Him. Election and salvation are not the same and must not be confused together.
Israel – God’s elect
Isaiah 45:4: For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
Israel is God’s elect. This nation is the elect nation to bring forth the Saviour into the world. God did not choose China or India as part of the redemptive plan for salvation of the world. This certainly does not mean all Chinese and Indians are burning in hellfire because God did not choose their nation as His elect nation. This is equally true that not every member of the nation of Israel are saved and has an eternal future waiting for them.
Forcing election to mean salvation is totally wrong and unscriptural.
While the elect nation Israel has failed when they rejected their Messiah, God’s plan for this nation is not over.
Romans 11:5: Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Romans 11:7: What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
As a nation, they have been blinded and set aside for now but this is not permanent.
Romans 11:16: For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
Romans 11:17: And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
Romans 11:18: Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
Romans 11:19: Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
Romans 11:20: Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
Romans 11:21: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
Romans 11:22: Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
Romans 11:23: And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
Romans 11:24: For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
Israel as God’s elect nation has been put away for a time. Israel is still God’s elect nation and their future is certain and sure even though at this present time they abide in unbelief. Romans 11 discusses God’s elect nation Israel and not salvation of an individual.
Mixing salvation and election simply confuses biblical revelation for fallen man. This chapter is a warning to the Gentiles. If God can cut off His elect nation Israel for disobedience, they should never entertain the thoughts that they have been chosen over Israel and have replaced them.
Paul’s warning is very clear in this respect.
Romans 11:25: For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Romans 11:26: And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Romans 11:27: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Romans 11:28: As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
Israel is still God’s elect nation on earth while the Church has a different calling. They will eventually inherit the land God has promised their fathers in the future when Israel is fully restored.
Isaiah 65:9: And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.
Isaiah 65:22: They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.
1 Timothy 5:21: I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
Another category of God’s elect is angels. Angels need no salvation. Yet the term elect is associated with them. This is very clear that election and salvation are not the same.
Born again children of God – God’s elect
Colossians 3:12: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
1 Thessalonians 1:4: Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
2 John 1:1: The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;
2 John 1:13: The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.
Born again saved sinners are God’s elect as well. Hence, Christians are exhorted to make their calling and election sure.
2 Peter 1:10: Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
Election and salvation are not the same. A child of God can make his election sure but he cannot make his salvation sure. He cannot add anything to his salvation because the Lord Jesus Christ has done all for him to be saved. Salvation is a gift by grace through faith. He can added nothing to ensure his salvation is perfect.
Ephesians 2:8: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Christ the Elect of God came into the world to bring salvation to fallen man. Israel is God’s elect nation through which Christ came into the world. Saved sinners join the ranks as God’s elect after they are born again in Christ.
Who Are God’s Chosen?
Deuteronomy 7:6: For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
Deuteronomy 14:2: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
The children of Israel are God’s chosen people as a nation upon the earth. Yet many of them didn’t make it and perished in their disobedience against God’s covenant and commandment given to them. Being chosen doesn’t mean eternal security as far as salvation is concerned for the nation of Israel. Being chosen cannot be forced to mean God predestinated everyone in the nation for eternal salvation and rewards.
Deuteronomy 18:5: For the LORD thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for ever.
Deuteronomy 21:5: And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried:
The tribe of Levi is chosen to be priests to minister to God on behalf of the nation of Israel. This again confirms being chosen doesn’t mean salvation at all. Being chosen is to serve a purpose in the grand plan of God.
But as a nation, Israel is chosen and is God’s elect to fulfill God’s redemptive plan for all man and the Church will not replace Israel such that this nation is forever done with. Anyway, there were no Israel and no Church before Noah’s flood, and even after the flood till Abraham was called to leave his country and kindred to Canaan land. Israel and the Church are just part of God’s grand plan in time and history working in this fallen world to redeem Adam’s lost and helpless race.
Misusing biblical terms of election and predestination just messes up biblical revelation and understanding and in the process painting God to be a cruel sadistic tyrant out to torture and burn some people He doesn’t like for all eternity. This is absolute nonsense.
Joshua 24:15: And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:16: And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;
Joshua 24:17: For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:
Joshua 24:18: And the LORD drave out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwelt in the land: therefore will we also serve the LORD; for he is our God.
Joshua 24:19: And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.
Joshua 24:20: If ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.
Joshua 24:21: And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:22: And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses.
As far as being chosen is concerned, it goes both way as well. The children of Israel likewise had chosen to serve the Lord even though many of their descendants had failed to keep the promise of these fathers. So fallen men can choose too and God did not force them to choose Him.
If they were forced by God to choose Him, then God had failed badly as many of their future descendants certainly did not choose to serve the Lord. Nevertheless, the children of Israel are still the chosen people of God. Total depravity as taught by Calvinist where man cannot choose God is simply contrary to biblical truth.
1 Chronicles 16:13: O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
1 Chronicles 28:1: And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.
1 Chronicles 28:4: Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel:
In addition, apart from choosing the children of Israel to be God’s people, the Lord also chose David to be king over Israel. So when God chooses someone, it does not mean he is chosen to be saved for all eternity with regards to election and predestination. Being chosen could also mean to be a devil as well.
John 6:70: Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
Implying being chosen is always to be saved from a total depravity state to a state of eternal bliss is biblically untenable. Being chosen can mean many aspect in the revelation of God’s dealing with fallen man in time and history in the unfolding drama of redemption.
Psalms 33:12: Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD: and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Psalms 135:4: For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.
Haggai 2:23: In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.
When dealing with His disciples, the Lord Jesus Christ chose these disciples not to be saved but because they are already saved. These disciples were chosen and ordained to go and bring forth fruits. No unsaved people in this world is chosen to bring forth fruits to remain and to ask of the Father in His name.
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.
The Lord Jesus Christ also chooses His people out of this world and as such they are hated of the world.
John 15:19: If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
But Calvinists have a funny way of reading Scriptures. They read world as God’s chosen world of elect in the famous gospel verse and atonement is limited to this world of God’s chosen elect.
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.
John 3:17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
While the world hates God’s children, God still loves the world. He gave His only begotten Son for the world. This world is definitely not Calvinist’s fantasy world of God’s elect because Christians are commanded not to love the world. Imagine a Christian is not to love the world that is God’s elect!
1 John 2:15: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
To force the world to conform to the Calvinist world or God’s elect is ridiculous.
John 3:36: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
If world only means God’s elect, then before a sinner believes in Christ, is he already God’s elect? If he is already God’s elect, is the wrath of God abiding in him? Does the wrath of God abide in His elect? At what point in time is a sinner God’s elect?
Calvinist teaches God has chosen His elect before the foundation of the world. While this is theologically accurate, to force this truth to constraint God’s dealing with fallen man in time and history to a script where non elect sinners are simply born into this world to be burnt for all eternity because God did not choose them and no matter what they do and how hard they try, it is impossible for them to escape their doom fate is so abominable that it defies common decency and compassion.
So when such an elect is born into this world, is he born dead in trespasses and sins? If he is born a sinner where repentance towards God is required which Calvinist also teaches, then indeed God’s wrath will abide in such an elect before he is given repentance. Is this also part of Calvinist’s teaching? Calvinist’s theology is one confused philosophical speculation devoid of logic.
Acts 22:13: Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.
Acts 22:14: And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.
Acts 22:15: For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.
The apostle Paul was chosen of God as well but as a very special vessel to be used of God in a very great and mighty way. This happened in time and history of man during the very early stage of the Church. The same cannot be said for every other child of God.
Notwithstanding, every child of God is chosen to be in Christ before the foundation of the world according to the apostle Paul writing to Christians in Ephesus.
Ephesians 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:
This statement of fact transients time and history of man. How can a man be chosen before the foundation of the world even before he is born? In addition how can a man be chosen before the foundation of the world to be in Christ before even Christ showed up on earth to become a man to die for the sins of the world?
To force being chosen to mean unconditional election in time and history of man where responsibility is placed squarely on the sinner to obey or disobey God’s revelation and dealing brings contradiction of Scriptures to no end. The closest any Calvinist could ever claim to support their doctrine is Paul writing to Christians in Thessalonica.
2 Thessalonians 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:
Indeed Christians are chosen before the foundation of the world but in order to justify Calvinist theology, one has to misread or read just one part of this verse. This could be easily done with reading God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation. Unfortunately, this is not the entire truth and stopping there is a pretext to support a half truth very much like Abraham lying about Sarah being his sister.
The text here with regards to being chosen does not stop at salvation. God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. The working of the Spirit of God is part of the salvation transaction with the sinner. Does this negate the sinner having to respond with God’s dealing positively rather than rejecting God’s revelation to him? If not, then preaching the gospel of Christ is a farce. The sinner can be ignored and left out of the picture.
The narratives put forth by Calvinists where God unconditionally chooses elects and predestinates them to eternity with Christ by means of irresistible grace because sinners are totally depraved and cannot respond to God commanding them to repent is unbiblical. This is especially the case when they claim God deliberately bypasses non elect sinners to be burnt for all eternity is even more seriously untenable scripturally that impinges on the character of the most holy God.
2 Peter 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.
The Lord certainly is not willing any should perish and God has categorically stated that God loved the world and gave His only begotten Son to the world. But Calvinist dead set in painting God in a single colour will deny this truth and continue to challenge this long suffering and mercy of God.
God Giving Repentance
Calvinist states that it is God who gives repentance so not giving repentance is also God’s prerogative and as such bypassing non elect sinners to be burnt for all eternity is God’s plan for such people. Their penchant to misapply Scriptures is past finding out.
2 Timothy 2:23: But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
2 Timothy 2:24: And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2 Timothy 2:25: In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2 Timothy 2:26: And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
So based on the Scriptures above, Calvinist will insist God must give repentance otherwise repentance would be impossible due to total depravity of fallen man. However, since when God giving repentance concerns eternal salvation? Unfortunately, God giving repentance is conditioned upon the obedience of His servant not to strive and be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient. If God giving repentance to fallen man is dependent on the servant of the Lord’s conduct and work, will not this rob God of His sovereignty Calvinists are so used to claiming?
Another claim on God giving repentance concerns Israel. Granting repentance to Israel as a nation and applying this to individuals outside of Israel is just plane silly. Does it mean when God did not give repentance to nations outside of Israel all Gentiles are destined to be burnt in hell?
Acts 5:31: Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Israel at this point in time still abides in unbelief. As a nation, they need to be saved according to Scriptures.
Romans 11:26: And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
No where in the Bible talks about the Church ever needed to be saved. The Church is made up of saved sinners. The Church of the living God needs no repentance. One has to be born of God to become a member of the Church of the living God.
On the other hand, one has to be born into the nation of Israel by birth and not every member of Israel is saved. Hence Israel as a nation needs to be saved.
Even prophet Ezekiel clearly demonstrated God’s character that He takes no pleasure in the death of sinners. How then can Calvinist teach God deliberately bypass those not chosen so that they will burn forever?
Ezekiel 18:23: Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
Ezekiel 18:32: For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
Ezekiel 33:11: Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Eternity versus Time and History on Earth
The main problem with Calvinist teachings is to ignore the foreknowledge of God in dealing with fallen man. Another problem is their failure to rightly divide the word of truth as commanded and in the process confusing the earthly calling of the nation of Israel and the heavenly calling of the Church. In addition, just grasping only on prophetic truth from the beginning being already fulfilled into the future disregarding human response and responsibility in time and history distorts biblical truth.
Numbers 23:19: God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
Numbers 23:20: Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.
Numbers 23:21: He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.
Since God is not a man and He should not lie but God did not behold iniquity in Jacob and as a nation is Israel perfect before God? This is not true in time and history where Israel has been so rebellious to the point of being exiled for 70 years to Babylon and eventually dispersed for 2000 years after they rejected and crucified their Messiah. Israel only came back into existence in 1948 having being scattered all over the world where many more still reside outside of Israel today.
So when God claimed there is no iniquity in Israel is already a done deal even though this is not true in time and history of man where Israel will one day be saved in the future. This is again the foreknowledge of God in operation into the future where the grand plan of God will come to past.
So God electing saved sinners and predestinates them to conform to the image of Christ according to foreknowledge is already a done deal. This does not in anyway rule out acts of man on earth to respond and obey God in the way He deals with them including responding to the gospel of Christ.
It is true no one can and deserve to be saved unless God initiates salvation for man beginning from the first fallen man Adam.
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 10:26: But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
It is true God must be the initiator and completer of salvation for fallen man. Reading any more to this fact by embellishing this truth with a TULIP philosophy simply distorts the words of the living God.
It is also equally true man must respond and a sinner must receive the Lord to be saved and born again of God.
John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
John 1:13: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Contrary to Calvinist’s teaching, man can respond to the gospel of Christ.
Acts 16:30: And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Acts 16:31: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
If man cannot respond, this jailor in Acts 16 would not have asked what he must do to be saved. Paul’s solution for his dilemma would be impossible to fulfill. If fallen man cannot respond when confronted with the gospel of Christ, then the commandment for Christians to preach the gospel is ridiculous. If God deliberately bypasses a sinner where it is impossible for him to respond to the gospel, then the offer of the gospel of Christ is fraudulent. Calvinist TULIP version of theology has dire implication on the attributes and character of God.
From eternity past to eternity future, it is true born again believers in Christ are chosen, elected, adopted and predestinated to conform to the image of Christ according to the foreknowledge of God. On earth before a sinner is born again, the theological facts speaking from the point of eternity in the absence of time and history on earth cannot be applied and insist God hates those non-elect sinners and consigns them all to hellfire. On earth in time and history of man, a sinner has a free will to respond to God’s dealing. If a sinner has no free will to respond, then God must have deliberately created many non elect sinners doom to eternal hellfire. Is this the all merciful God of the Bible?
Is Adam predestinated to fall in the Garden of Eden? From Adam to Noah, is it only Noah and his family are chosen before the foundation of the world to escape the wrath of God? Are the rest chosen before the foundation of the world to die in the flood and end in hellfire?
1 Peter 3:20: Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
1 Peter 3:21: The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Genesis 7:6: And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
Genesis 5:30: And Lamech lived after he begat Noah five hundred ninety and five years, and begat sons and daughters:
Noah’s father died five years before the flood.
Genesis 5:26: And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:
Genesis 5:27: And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.
Genesis 5:31: And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
Noah’s grandfather Methuselah was still alive after the death of his father Lamech. The year when the flood came was the year that Methuselah died. Did he die before the flood? Did he drown in the flood? Did God bypass him?
All those people from Adam to Noah died. What law did they break? Was it their fault to be born dead in trespasses and sins because of Adam? How many did God bypass so that they would burn in eternal hellfire? What gospel must these sinners believe by God’s irresistible grace in order for God to give them repentance to escape eternal damnation? Calvinism is pure nonsense here.
Romans 5:13: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Romans 5:14: Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Sin is not imputed when there is no law. Death however, is still a present reality for any sinner born without any conscious knowledge of God’s law. When sin is not imputed on a sinner, is he already God’s elect? Is he already condemned to eternal hellfire without sin imputed in him? Calvinist’s teaching of total depravity goes again Scriptural truth.
To confine the entire Bible to a TULIP system is to argue in a vacuum. Labeling any blood bought saints who believe in Christ’s shed blood on the cross of Calvary for their sins as unregenerate just because they disagree with TULIP philosophy is uncalled for and shameful. Any born again sinner believing in Christ even though he might err into speculating and embracing TULIP philosophy due to failure to rightly divide the word of truth is still as much a saint as any other child of God.
This TULIP system of Bible interpretation has caused too much confusion and quarrels among Christians even venturing into uncharitable accusations between brethren. Let not the words of judgment against the three friends of Job fall on anyone impinging the character of the thrice Holy God.
Job 42:7: And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
Titus 2:11: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
No sinner can accuse God of bypassing him in the day of judgment.