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CHAPTER SEVEN

WHAT ANTI-CALVINISTS SAY ABOUT CALVINISM

DOES THE BIBLE SUPPORT CALVINISM?

Here I give some parts freely transcribed from Calvinism Debate by David W. Cloud
You can download free copy here:
https://www.wayoflife.org/free_ebooks/downloads/CalvinismDebate.pdf
Cloud was a Calvinist who came out of it.

To say that God has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, is to go beyond what the Bible teaches. The Bible says He “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:11), but that is not the same as actually foreordaining everything.

The Bible says that God did will the salvation of all
 1 Timothy 2:3-6   This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.

 2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
 
And did provide for it

1 John 2:2  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

but He also gave man a choice to believe or disbelieve
John 3:16   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

  Acts 13:46-48  46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles. 47 For this is what the Lord has commanded us:“‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” 48 When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.is a pet Calvinist verse:

“And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” The Calvinist says, “See, here is a plain statement that those who believe are those who are sovereignly ordained to believe.” The problem is that the word “sovereignly” is added to what this verse actually states and Calvinist doctrine is read into the verse to make it say, “...as many as were sovereignly and arbitrarily elected believed.” Any possibility that God’s foreknowledge could allow for the exercise of human will is entirely discounted, but there is nothing in the verse itself to require such an interpretation.

Also, in verse 46 we see a different story. “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”

Here we see that salvation is associated with man’s response to the gospel. According to the plain teaching of this verse, these Jews did not go to Hell because they were not part of the elect or because they were sovereignly elected to reprobation, but simply because they refused to believe. They reprobated themselves. Paul told them that God wanted to give them everlasting life and they rejected it.

 Again, John 6:37 is a favorite Calvinist proof text. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” The Calvinist finds his doctrines of Sovereign Election and Irresistible Grace here. The problem is that if “irresistible grace” is taught in this passage, it is for all who believe on Christ and not merely for a special few who were sovereignly pre-elected to be saved. This verse does not say that God has sovereignly prechosen only some for salvation and that it is those pre-chosen ones that are given to Christ. One must read all of that into the verse. It simply says that all that the Father gives will come to Christ. The question is this: “Who is it that the Father gives to Jesus?”

That question is answered plainly in this passage only three verses later: “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6:40).

(Of course the Calvinist argues that it is only the elect who can “see the Son,” but one must read that into the verse.)

In verse 40 we see that the sovereign will of God is that each and every sinner that believes on Christ will be saved. Here the sovereign will of God is to allow men a choice in salvation, and a great many other verses agree.

Consider John 6:44 and John 12:32 John 6:44 is another Calvinist proof text. “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.”

The Calvinist finds sovereign election and irresistible grace here. Yet John 12:32 says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” Here we see that Jesus draws all men,

The Bible vs. the Calvinist Doctrine:
That Faith Is a Work Calvinism says that grace means man cannot do anything, cannot even believe, because otherwise grace would not be grace and the sinner would have something to boast of. First of all, this is unscriptural, because the Bible plainly says faith and believing are not works. “
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”

(Eph. 2:8-9). It is not faith that is the gift of God; it is salvation that is the gift.

Salvation is by grace but THROUGH faith.
Faith is “the hand that reaches out and accepts the gift of God.” Faith is not a work. “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:2-5).

Here we see plainly that faith is the opposite of works. Therefore to require that a sinner believe the gospel is not to require the sinner to do some sort of works for salvation.

Furthermore, this doctrine that faith is a work is unreasonable. Salvation is likened in Scripture to receiving a gift. It can also be likened to accepting a pardon and taking a life preserver. If someone purchases an expensive gift for me and I accept it, do I have anything to boast of? If I am in prison on death row for my crimes and the governor mercifully offers me a pardon and I accept it, have I done anything that I could boast of? If I am drowning in the ocean and a boat pulls alongside and offers to rescue me and I allow them to do that, have I thereby had some part in my salvation from drowning? Have I done something I could boast of? Of course not! When the sinner hears that Christ loves him and died for him and rose from the dead and offers him eternal salvation and the sinner joyfully receives that great salvation, that is not works and the sinner has nothing to boast about.

The chief passage on the New Birth is John 3. In verses 1-8 Jesus teaches Nicodemus that he must be born again or he cannot see the kingdom of God. In verse 9, Nicodemus asks Jesus how this can be. In verses 10-21, Jesus answers this question and explains how a man is born again, and the answer is that he is born again by believing (Jn. 3:14-16)! This is exactly what the Calvinist says the sinner cannot do.

How can a dead man believe, he reasons? Well, if we are going to take the “dead man” analogy literally, a
dead man can’t sin either. When the Bible says the sinner is dead in trespasses and sins it means that he is separated from God’s divine life because of sin. To take this analogy beyond the actual teaching of the Bible and to give it other meanings, such as to reason that since the sinner is dead in trespasses and sins he must not be able to believe, is to move from truth to heresy.

Ephesians 1:13 also gives the order of salvation. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” First the sinner believes and then he receives the Holy Spirit.

The order of salvation is made clear in Acts 16:30-31 in the conversion of the Philippian jailer. “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

 The order of salvation is also made clear in Ephesians 2:8-9--“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Faith is the means whereby we are saved, that is our part; it is the hand that reaches out to accept God’s Gift.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 mean, when it says we are chosen to salvation “through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth”? In light of the previous passages, it is obvious that this verse is not stating the exact order of things. We have already learned that belief of the truth precedes the new birth.

The Bible vs. the Calvinist doctrine of Irresistible Grace

Consider Cain. Genesis 4:6-7--“And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”

God spoke to Cain and urged him not to act on the jealous anger that was burning in his heart, and yet Cain resisted God’s will and murdered his brother. God gave Cain a clear choice. There is not a hint in this passage that would make us conclude that God had predetermined that Cain be reprobate.

Consider the world before the flood. Genesis 6:3--“And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” God strove with men before the flood and had Noah preach to them for 120 years while the ark was being built, but they resisted God and rejected his warning. Consider Israel of old.  

Romans 10:21--“But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” We see that God wanted to save Israel and continually reached out to them, but God’s salvation was resisted and rejected.

Consider Israel of Christ’s day. Matthew 23:37--“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

John 5:40 “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Here we see that the sovereign will of the Son of God, who desired to save Israel throughout her history and who often sent His prophets to her, was refused.

Consider the unsaved of our day. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4--“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Here we see that men are blinded because of their own unbelief and they are lost because they reject the gospel.

God’s sovereign will to save every sinner (1 Tim. 2:3-4; 2 Pet. 3:9), but sinners can resist Him.

Consider the unsaved during the reign of the Antichrist. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12--“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Why will these sinners perish? The reason is stated plainly, and it is not because they are not among the elect and is not because they were sovereignly reprobated. It is because they resist the gospel and reject the truth. 

The Bible vs. the Calvinist doctrine of Limited Atonement
God loves all men (Jn. 3:16).
God has commanded that the gospel be preached to every person (Mark 16:15).
God wants to have mercy upon all men (Rom. 11:32).
God desires to reconcile all men to Himself (2 Cor. 5:19).
The promise of faith by Jesus is for all (Gal. 3:22).
Jesus was a ransom for all men (1 Tim. 2:6).
Jesus tasted death for all men (Heb. 2:9).
Jesus bought even unsaved false teachers (2 Pet. 2:1).
God desires all men to be saved (2 Pet. 3:9).
Jesus provided propitiation for all men (1 Jn. 2:2).
The iniquity of all men was laid on Jesus (Isaiah 53:6).
The Calvinist’s doctrine of limited atonement is contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture.

Ephesians 5:25, that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, but this does not say that Christ died only for the elect. Evidently church does not mean the gathering of the believers alone. It means all those who believe. That Christ gave Himself for the church is not to say that Christ gave Himself ONLY for the church or any other such Calvinistic twist. The Calvinist quotes John 6:38-39, where Christ said, “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.” It only mean there are many who will believe if they hear the word.  This is the reason for evangelization.  In fact Calvinism cannot explain why they evangelize at alll.  God has elected them what is your role in it. Can you give salvation or Cause salvation? Why bother?  

 Bible that deals with man’s depravity in Adam, such as Gen. 6:4; Psa. 51:5; 58:3; Prov. 22:15; Ecc. 9:3; Isa. 64:6; Jer. 17:9; and Mat. 15:9. Again, the Calvinist reads his own theology into these passages.

 When men chooses to reject God’s call, God chooses their judgment. Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12-“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; BECAUSE THEY RECEIVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: THAT THEY ALL MIGHT BE DAMNED WHO BELIEVED NOT THE TRUTH, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

These sinners will be damned, not because they are not sovereignly elected but because of their personal decision to reject the truth. Words could not be plainer.

Romans 9:22-23 does not say that God sovereignly fits some sinners to destruction and some to glory. The phrase “vessels of wrath fitted to destruction” allows for a variant voice; according to the PC Study Bible, it can be both the passive and middle voice in Greek; middle means to fit oneself. In the middle voice the subject acts in relation to him/herself.

Consider this note from Vincent Word Studies: “NOT FITTED BY GOD FOR DESTRUCTION, but in an adjectival sense, ready, ripe for destruction, the participle denoting a present state previously formed, BUT GIVING NO HINT OF HOW IT HAD BEEN FORMED. That the objects of final wrath had themselves a hand in the matter may be seen from 1 Thess. 2:15-16.”

By allowing the Bible to speak for itself through the plain meaning of the words and by comparing Scripture with Scripture we find that the sinner fits himself for destruction by his rejection of the truth. Even those who have never heard the gospel, have the light of creation and conscience and are responsible to respond to the light that they have that they might be given more light (Acts 17:26-27).

Romans 9:23-24 does not mean that God calls only a certain pre-chosen elect group to salvation. “And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.”

One has to read sovereign election into the language of the verses. The Calvinist claims that verse 24 refers to “effectual calling,” which is a term that describes the “irresistible calling of the elect,” but this is to add to God’s Word. God calls through the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14) and the gospel is to be preached to every creature (Mk. 16:15). God calls “whosoever will” (Rom. 10:13; Rev. 22:17). God calls every one that believes on Christ. “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6:40). e. God’s salvation even of the Jews was not a matter of “sovereign” election but was based on an individual’s faith.

“But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Rom. 9:31-33). f. The promise of salvation proves that salvation is not the result of God’s “sovereign” choice. “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling stone and rock of offence: and WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH on him shall not be ashamed. ... But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto ALL THAT CALL upon him. For WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 9:33; 10:8-13).

God’s sovereignty does not mean that His will is always accomplished in man. “But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Rom. 10:21). See also Matthew 23:37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”

 

Above all Calvinism forgets that Adam was created as a Son of God as the Eastern Churches affirm they are created to be transformed in the image the Son.  

 

 

 

 

http://micahjmurray.com/election/

 

1. If unconditional election is true, salvation is an arbitrary lottery.

2. If unconditional election is true, God’s creation is an act of cruelty.

3. If unconditional election is true, loving my neighbor is an unfair demand.

4. If unconditional election is true, our natural response will be survivor’s guilt.

5. If unconditional election is true, God cannot be trusted.

 

You are an elect - chosen for a purpose
To die for your brother.

 

 

 

      God is the author of all evil.   
      He is sovereign
     God made the Devil for that.

 https://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/John-MacArthur.htm

 

 

 

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