If there is a false doctrine I hate more, I have yet to find it. Predestination, as it has been embraced, goes right to the heart of God. Is God love or is He something else? As will be seen, to believe in a Calvinistic view of Predestination, is to make God out to be a vile, unworthy creature of the lowest, cruelest sort.
I don’t mean to disparage anyone who has come to believe in such a doctrine; rather, with sword firmly in hand, I intend to rightly divide the Word and cut this error down for what it is. With that in mind, I give you my refutation (“short” as it is)..
The false doctrine of predestination, while attempting to appear pious and humble, is in fact an affront to the love and mercy of God. This view of God’s saving act and the sending of His Son Jesus Christ into the world to ransom and redeem sinners detracts and defames all that is holy and righteous about God. As will be seen further on in this study, the contempt for God and His grace which predestination espouses is malicious, even malevolent. Furthermore, since and because this false doctrine is in fact, false, i.e. unbiblical, by the end of this study, we will conclude that such views must be stringently rejected, and hence, refuted, by any and all who hold dear the truths of God’s Eternal Word.
When we use the word predestination, in a religious, or even secular context, we are speaking of any decision or outcome which has been made or determined beforehand and, as such, was and is deemed to be valid and just from that vantage point. An example would be as follows:
Mr. Johnson, believing that no self-respecting young woman should date before the age of eighteen, upon having a daughter, determined in his mind that any man who attempted to court her prior to her reaching adult maturity, was a good-for-nothing scoundrel looking to shame his family. Therefore, when Mr. Johnson’s daughter, Evelyn, was seventeen, and a nice young man, also seventeen, invited her out to meet with some friends for an ice cream social, Mr. Johnson strenuously objected, even refusing his daughter the opportunity to go. Without knowing anything about the young man, or the innocent nature of his motives, Mr. Johnson, on account of his own will, judged the situation to be improper, and out of that judgment, acted accordingly. Neither Evelyn nor the young man could do anything about it. Mr. Johnson’s mind was already made up. Evelyn was forbidden. Whether right or wrong, even before she was born, Mr. Johnson had already predestinated His daughter to living a life without social dating prior to her eighteenth birthday. It was a decision made by his will, not hers. From his point of view, she had no say, nor right to say, anything about it. His current decision, based in a decision made long ago, was final.
As this example shows, when we speak of something or someone being predestined, we speak of the fact that, even against a person’s will and the freedom to choose, their future has already been decided by the will of a superior power, in this case Mr. Johnson. Here, words like fate or even doom may be applied. Within a religious context, when considering the false doctrine of predestination, we speak of God being the superior power, and of Him predestining people to either eternal life (i.e. Heaven) or eternal death (i.e. Hell) without any act of the individual will or the freedom to choose against such a predetermined fate. In fact, when we speak of this predetermined course for the individual soul of all who have or will live, we speak of God making His decisions prior to all of human existence, out of the good pleasure of God.*
(*We will return to this italicized phrase later.)
The false doctrine of predestination, which proponents say appears in the writings of the Apostle Paul, and also, as it is inferred, from other portions of the Bible, actually owes much of its creation to a man known as St. Augustine.
St. Augustine, a theologian from the mid-4th to mid-5th centuries, and Catholic Bishop of the city of Hippo until his death in 430 A.D. was the first, main proponent of this doctrine. While other church fathers prior to Augustine had made a casual reference to the ideas, he actually plowed deeply into it (Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 3, Ch. 9, Sec. 158). In his work against the Plegians, Augustine laid out the idea that God’s grace was unmerited by moral man, and as such, the grace which flows only from God meant that only God, in an act of His sovereign will, could save anyone. From this idea came the view that, since “all have sinned” (Romans 3:23), and that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), if God, by His own sovereignty, and on account of His own sense of justice, decided to leave men to their own sinful devices up until the day of Divine Judgment so that all were damned to eternal death, then so be it. God would still be righteous to do so, since the sinfulness in man is what merited the eternal separation from God in the first place.
Therefore, since “[a]ll men are only a mass of perdition, and deserve, both for their innate and their actual sin, temporal and eternal death…” (Ibid), God, should He so choose out of the pleasure of His own will, decide to enact grace upon some, and by this, elect them to salvation, then so be it. Saving some is therefore an admirable demonstration of God’s love and mercy, if and since, He didn’t have to save anyone. Regarding Augustine’s view of predestination, Schaff concludes, “God is but just, if He leave a great portion, nay…the greatest portion, of mankind to their deserved fate. But He has resolved from eternity to reveal in some His grace, by rescuing them from the mass of perdition, and without their merit saving them”.
It is from these ancient views that the more modern version of predestination takes its cue. And that modern version starts in the 16th century with a man named John Calvin.
John Calvin was a theologian and prolific writer on theology and the Christian religion. His work, Institutes of Christian Religion, a collection of four massive books written in 1536, still stands the test of time as the official theological work of the entire reformed movement of the Protestant faith. In this, he sets out, often quoting Augustine, to show, prove, and therefore teach the doctrine of predestination. From Book 3, Chapter 21, titled “Of the eternal election, by which God has predestinated some to salvation, and others to destruction”, in Section 5, Calvin defines predestination as follows:
“By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death.”
This view, that some are created only so that God will destroy them, while others are created to be saved, flows out of a larger context. While not employed by Calvin himself, over time, an acronym has been assigned to his chief doctrines regarding sin, salvation, and the work of God in redeeming humanity back to Himself. This larger context is given below:
T.U.L.I.P., as a mnemonic device, stands for the following (with a short summary of each):
T = Total Depravity (That humanity, through the applied guilt of Adam’s sin, is completely corrupted and cannot do anything within the realm of their personal will to bring about their own salvation, even to the point of not being able to want or being able to choose to want God to save them)
U = Unconditional Election (Election to salvation is not merited by humanity; rather it is an act of God’s sovereign will apart from any sense of redeemable quality within mankind. Further, God’s election to salvation is, by being unconditional, not based on His own prescience [i.e. foreknowledge]. This means that God made His decision to save some and damn others without looking forward into the future to see if any were worthy of saving for Heaven, or deserving of Hell. God made all decisions for all individual souls prior to and without knowing anything about anyone. While it is confessed that God knows everything, His knowledge was not and is not the motivating factor behind the election. Merely, as will be shown later, Calvin insists, God’s election is achieved by and through His own good pleasure, no more, no less.)
L = Limited Atonement (This is the view, held by Calvin, that Christ’s atoning death on the cross is only for the elect, i.e. that Jesus did not die for all. He only died for those already predestined to be saved according to God’s unconditional election.)
I = Irresistible Grace (From this, Calvin asserts that apart from any initial desire to be saved, God targets those He has already predestined with such a grace that all objections and rejections of the same fail and that, as such, the targeted person cannot help, yea, is even forced to be saved against their initial will. Of course, once God overwhelms the initial will, then the person is more than willing to be saved.)
P = Perseverance of the Saints (The basic idea that once one is saved, he or she is and will always be saved, i.e. that it is impossible for the elect to choose damnation as an act of will. God again forces those He has initially predestined to be saved to automatically stay saved, NO MATTER WHAT, all the way to Glory.)
These five concepts make up the core of Calvin’s theological and soteriological doctrines. For him, all flows from and through these ideas. They are unalterable and eternal. They cannot be avoided, nor fought against. They are, as it were, written in stone by God Himself. Nothing and no one can change them.
To conclude our section on John Calvin and his views of predestination, we use his own words:
“We shall never feel persuaded as we ought that our salvation flows from the free mercy of God as its fountain, until we are made acquainted with his eternal election, the grace of God being illustrated by the contrast, viz., that he does not adopt all promiscuously to the hope of salvation, but gives to some what he denies to others” (From Section 1, Chapter 3, Book 3, Institutes of Christian Religion)
“Not prescience [i.e. foreknowledge], but the good pleasure of God the cause of predestination” (From a summary of Section 5, Chapter 3, Book 3, Institutes of Christian Religion).
Effectively, Calvin here insists that God volitionally chooses to damn some of those he creates, even prior to their creation, out of what Calvin calls God’s own sense of “good pleasure”. Essentially, it is pleasing to God to create only to destroy (Compare to Ezekiel 18:30-32). That somehow God enjoys assigning to damnation multitudes that had no choice in their creation, and couldn’t help but be subjected to the law of sin given to us by Adam. So, though not our fault, but rather God’s, for being created, and because our prime ancestor sinned against God thousands of years ago, many of us are automatically damned without hope and without any chance of ever being saved, since and because, for those of us who end up in Hell, Jesus never died for our sins, anyways (Compare to Romans 8:20, which tells us all of creation was subjected to the hope of God). The Gospel cannot effect in us anything, should we be part of that number who are predestined to eternal death. We can read the Scriptures, see the promises of salvation and heaven, want it desperately, seek it diligently, and pray for it fervently, but never achieve it, supposedly because God wills us to be lost. Even moreso, supposedly, we can’t even want what Scripture offers us, because our will to be saved is non-existent. We are so totally depraved and corrupted, none of us ever wants out of our sins. Only God gives that desire, and only to a select, or rather, elect few.
Some History on Calvin
John Calvin wrote commentaries on sixty-three of the sixty-six books of the Bible. He left off writing about 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation, claiming he “did not understand” them (Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries, p. 305). It’s a shame he did not understand them, for in them, especially Revelation, Calvin would have found ample proof that his doctrine was false. Examples include:
2 John 1:8-11,
8. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
9. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11. For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
According to the Apostle John, it is possible for the saved to lose things already wrought. Further, anyone is capable of transgressing by not abiding in the doctrine of Christ. One must first abide in the doctrine before one can choose to transgress and thereby not abide. Such who do, even the saved, lose their relationship with God. Verses 10 and 11 show how someone in the church, i.e. the elect of God, can wrongly choose to allow deceivers and antichrists (v. 8) into their houses and in fact, not only so, but actually, also bless them (i.e. bid them God speed). This mistake by the saved causes the saved to partake of the evil deeds of both antichrists and deceivers. This begs the question, how can someone automatically saved by predestined election by an act of God’s grace, be open to such folly and mischief? If God is able to save people against their initial will and cause them to stay saved forever, why is God not capable of keeping the elect from losing things they have wrought, or of transgressing against Him by not abiding in true Christian doctrine, or of not being able to maintain a relationship with Him through such a transgression. And finally, why can’t God stop His elect from allowing antichrists and deceivers into their homes in order to bless them and through the blessing, partake of their evil deeds?
Surely, if God can violate human will by irresistibly drawing people to Himself and forcing their salvation by making them believe on the Lord Jesus, surely He could preserve such overthrown people from failing to heed this Apostolic warning? After all, what would be the point of the warning, unless, out of free will, a saint may against God’s grace, choose to become a sinner, deny Him, and lose their place among the elect?
3 John 1:11,
11. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
It appears that the Apostle knows that those of the beloved elect have a choice to make. They can choose to do that which is good, and therefore, be “of God“, or they can choose to follow that which is evil, and blind themselves to God entirely. Again, it comes down to the choice of individual free will. Christian saints must choose every day to live faithfully in the promises of their covenant with God. God does not make us; rather, He empowers and allows us to choose right out of love toward the Savior. This relationship with God is a marriage (Isaiah 54:5). Marriage is a willing contract made between two parties. Both enter into it freely. Otherwise, it’s merely kidnapping and rape. Our human marriage proves this, as our marriage is the perfect typology between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:22-33). The Bible is clear. The relationship between God and the Church is not between a Master and a Slave, but rather between a Husband and His Beloved Wife.
4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick [i.e. the church of Ephesus, from Revelation 1:20] out of his place, except thou repent.
Here the Lord Jesus severely warns one of His own local churches, who are members of the Body of Christ, and therefore of the elect, that except they repent, He will personally uproot them. If the Lord should choose to do so against His own elect, how is it that they can still be “once saved, always saved”? Further what would be the point of predestining these people to salvation as the chosen elect of God only to later remove them from His presence and dissolve His relationship with them for rejecting the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering (that is, the qualities of God that lead people to repentance according to Romans 2:4)? That’s some strange salvation. It would be like God saying, “Before I knew anything about you, I chose to save you long, long before I created you (knowing you would inherit a law of sin which would totally corrupt and deprave you), and now that you are here, a totally depraved sinner, I am forcing you, against your will, to be saved, but, once you are saved, after some time, because of some choices you make, I am cutting you off and removing your salvation, even undoing My original predestined plan for your life, even though I am supposed to keep you saved forever once I decided beforehand to make you be saved.” Does that make any sense at all?
16. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing’ and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked…
These statements are made to a different assembly of supposedly elect, this time, in and from Laodicea. If the Lord is willing to spue or spit them out of His mouth, certainly they are on the verge of losing their salvation. And we can be assured that they are or at least were saved, for only those who are members in Christ’s body are the Church, and only the Church are the elect (See Colossians 1:2, 3:12, and especially 4:16). So what does the Lord say afterwards?
20. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him…
Is this irresistible grace or a choice being given by a compassionate Savior waiting for His backsliding children to come back to Him of their own accord (See Luke 15:11-32)? Irresistible grace would say that the Lord kicks down the door and forces people to open to Him, whether they want to or not. Grace is the knock at the door. But there is a big IF associated with the grace given. It must be received. It can be ignored.
So, in sum, had Calvin better understood these three books, he would have undoubtedly come to a different conclusion, and through such, would have changed his mind (i.e. repented). He would no longer have held to the false doctrine he once espoused. The Word of God would have changed His heart. But since he did not, his own words haunt him:
“If we give due weight to the consideration, that the word of the Lord is the only way which can conduct us to the investigation of whatever it is lawful for us to hold with regard to him – is the only light which can enable us to discern what we ought to see with regard to him, it will curb and restrain all presumption. For it will show us that the moment we go beyond the bounds of the word we are out of the course, in darkness, and must every now and then stumble, go astray, and fall. Let it, therefore, be our first principle that to desire any other knowledge of predestination than that which is expounded by the word of God, is no less infatuated than to walk where there is no path, or to seek light in darkness” (Book 3, Chapter 21, Section 2, Institutes of Christian Religion, emphasis mine).
If only Calvin had heeded his own advice and had not gone beyond “the bounds of the [W]ord”, millions of people then and today would not then have been and not now be led astray into this most pernicious of false doctrines.
Miguel Servetus was a Spanish theologian, doctor, philosopher, and all around genius of a man. He was also a contemporary of John Calvin. Servetus severely despised Calvin’s Institutes, and let the man know it by rewriting it and sending it back to him, amended, as it were, by Servetus’s own views and beliefs. This incited Calvin to a level of hatred for Servetus that led to the eventual arrest and martyrdom of the Hunted Heretic (See Roland Bainton, Hunted Heretic).
In 1553, Calvin had Servetus arrested, and along with his partner Guillaume Farel, Calvin used his power and influence in the state government to have Servetus tried for heresy. In letters still in existence, it can clearly be seen that from the get go, Calvin wanted Servetus executed (Ibid.). Statements like, “If I have anything to say about it, Servetus will not leave Geneva alive” (Ibid.) were made by Calvin.
Eventually Calvin’s influence won out, the trial came to an end, and Servetus was sentenced to death by immolation. Copies of Servetus’ work, Christianity Restored, were seized, with some being used as kindling. One copy was chained around Servetus’s neck as he was led, with a crown of sulfur upon his head, to a pyre of green logs. Chained against the post, the fire was begun. Being that the wood was new, and somewhat wet, it took a long time before it burst into a suitable flame to consume Servetus’s life. Half an hour after the flame was lit, Servetus finally expired, with his last words forever condemning John Calvin as a murderer:
“Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, have mercy on me!”
The sad thing is, Servetus wasn’t the only one. In fact, fifty-eight people were executed under Calvin’s orders (Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries, p. 304). But what saith the Scriptures? 1 John 3:15 reads, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him“. Any guesses where John Calvin is these days? So why believe anything that mad man had to say? He was a murderer. Just like Satan (John 8:44). And just like Satan, whose murderous deeds are bound up in his lies, so, too, were Calvin’s. His promulgation of false doctrines led him to have murdered fifty-nine people. There isn’t a known mass murderer in the history of the United States who is guilty of that much death.
So now that an introduction, some definitions and origins, and the main proponents of predestination have been reviewed, and all found to be wanting, what does an analysis of the Scriptures prove? Is there any Biblical support for this doctrine? It’s an important question, because, should there be support from God’s Word, then the assertion being so far made, that this doctrine is false, is in error. So, to answer we turn to the chief “proof texts” used by predestination believers.
Interestingly, the first thing to note is that the word predestination is not found in Scripture. Only close variations—two to be exact—are. They are predestinate and its past tense, predestinated. It can be supposed, that since we are using the King James Version, we may update the language to simply read predestine and predestined. From these two words, one may construct an umbrella concept called predestination. Now that this has been established, let’s look at the three main verses: Ephesians 1:5, Ephesians 1:11, and Romans 8:29. They read:
5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
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:
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.
Now, let’s take a look at them and see what they have to say, i.e. what they really mean. There is no doubt that these verses refer to predestination. In all three, the Greek word is proorizo. It means to limit in advance, i.e. to predetermine (Strong’s Concordance of the Bible). Thayer defines proorizo to mean to predetermine, decide beforehand, of God decreeing from eternity (i.e. before time), or to foreordain. Vines tells us that this word means to make a choice, admitting that the implications of such are widely debated.
So, if God predetermined, decided beforehand, decreed from before time, or made a choice to foreordain us, then surely there shouldn’t be anything to debate? The matter is cut and dried, and therefore settled, right? Right? Wrong.
The first thing to do is to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, who stated that “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), meaning that one verse of Scripture cannot be used against another to trump the first. Basically, all verses are inspired by God and have equal weight. If there is an apparent contradiction, one cannot simply decide which verse they like more, agree only with it (and not the other), and by such, come against the other verse and be against what it states or teaches. Rather, harmony must be found for all verses relating to a given topic. So, if three verses seem to indicate that some humans are predestined to be saved, then all the rest of Scripture must agree with these three, or else the Scripture has been broken.
The problem is there are verses that do not agree with that view (They will be addressed in the next section). An even bigger problem is taking a superficial reading of these three verses and not coming to a mature understanding of what’s being said. In order to agree with all the whole counsel of God, these three verses must fit within the greater context of all that the Scriptures have to say on the matter. So, the better thing to do, instead of using three verses to establish a hard and fast doctrine, is to use all of Scripture to come to a proper understanding of the three verses, so that a doctrine that is compatible with all God has to say in His Word is created. So, with that being said, let’s begin.
According to the doctrine of predestination, God did not use any aspect of His prescience to predetermine who would be saved and who would be lost. But look at what Romans 8:29 says. It states that this form of predestination was based on those God foreknew. And there’s nothing secret or hidden about the word foreknew. It means exactly that: to know beforehand. While Calvin and those that espouse this false doctrine would have us believe that God only chooses some to be saved, that is, he does not, as Calvin worded it, “adopt all promiscuously to the hope of salvation”, it must then be asked, is there anyone that God did not foreknow? If, as Romans 8:29 indicates, that those God knew beforehand are the ones He predestinated, then that must mean that God, in foreknowing all people for all time, predestinated everyone. And to what? Romans 8:30 reads that those whom God predestinated He also called. And those He called, He also justified, even glorified, i.e. saved. So it looks, if what predestination teaches is true, that before time, God saved everyone. So no one is lost. Predestination now teaches universalism. But that cannot be so, since predestination supposedly teaches some are decided to be lost according to God’s good pleasure. There now exists a contradiction, caused by what the Word of God teaches, within the doctrine of predestination. And where there is contradiction, there is something broken. And if broken, then it’s no good, even useless, especially as a doctrine upon which to build one’s eternal life.
So, that’s Romans 8:29-30. What about the two verses from Ephesians? Can anything resembling predestination, as it has come to be understood, be salvaged? Well, once it’s realized that predestination is based on God’s foreknowledge, and that God foreknows all people, but that, even so, not all people will be saved, something else must be meant in Ephesians 1.
Notice in verse 5 how Paul refers to “us“. Who is the “us“? Obviously it refers to the saved church members in Ephesus, and indeed, to the saved everywhere. And what did Paul write about the saved people in Ephesus? He wrote how they had first trusted in Christ after hearing the Word of Truth, and because they trusted, were now sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:12-14). What’s the big deal? This: the “us” of this book refers to those who trusted in Christ after hearing His Word preached to them. They were saved when they trusted. Not when God forcibly caused them to want to be saved, but when they freely placed their trust in Christ as the Gospel was preached (See Acts 19:1-6 for when this happened). They made a decision. This decision worked in harmony with God’s will for them to be saved, but they still had to make the decision. Trust is faith, and faith is a choice to believe or not. They still had to hear the Gospel first. They weren’t saved by God until after they heard the Word and decided to trust It. Prior to that, they were as lost as everyone else. They were part of the “mass of perdition” that Augustine mentioned and Calvin upheld to be true. So I guess they weren’t forced to be saved by God before the world began, after all. Rather, they were allowed to be saved by God according to the plan He willed into existence to save sinners through Jesus Christ before the world began.
It’s like this: God made up His mind beforehand to save people. He chose to do so through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). He also decided that people must place their complete trust in what Jesus did for them in order to be saved. He also predetermined that, if someone should completely trust Christ (i.e. obey the Gospel) then He would without a doubt, in His good pleasure, automatically save them. So, when someone, like the Ephesians, hears the Word and believes in Jesus, God’s predestined plan to save occurs. They meet the requirements for what God has already decided must be done according to His own will.
That is the “us“. We only get predestinated to the adoption of sons and to the inheritance of salvation when we get saved, not before. When we obey the Gospel, God’s predetermined plan goes into action. But we are the trigger. We flip the switch that allows God’s saving promise to come to pass in our lives. Yes, God’s grace invites us, even attempts to influence us to pull the trigger and flip the switch. But we are still the ones who decide. Not God. God has made it so, that if the first step is taken, He will meet us with what He has already decided we need, which is to be saved. And this salvation is for everyone, even as the rest of the Holy Scriptures declares.
2 Peter 3:9,
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.
So God doesn’t want any to be lost? I thought it was God’s good pleasure to send people to Hell on account of the fact that He predestined them to be lost before time began? But the Bible tells us differently. It says that God doesn’t want anyone to be lost and go to Hell. And if God has the power to cause people to not be able to resist His grace, and if He doesn’t want anyone to perish or be lost, then why doesn’t He send this irresistible grace to all people, and through this, save everyone? It’s what God wants, after all, isn’t it? This Scripture says so. But either God doesn’t want everyone to be saved (making this verse out to be a lie) or He isn’t capable of causing people to not be able to resist His grace (making the doctrine of predestination a lie). Which is it? Is the Bible wrong? Or is it predestination? You decide. I’m sticking with the Bible.
2 Timothy 2:3-4,
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.
Again, God doesn’t want anyone to be lost. Rather, God our Savior wills that all people be saved. And yet we know that not all will. This means that God’s will is not the sole means of people being saved. The human will must interact with God’s will. Otherwise, God would immediately and irrevocably save everyone. He would automatically cause all people to come to the knowledge of the truth and, by so doing, automatically save everyone. And if predestination were true, God would have the power to do so, what with His irresistible grace and all. Even though we are all supposedly totally depraved, God, by willing that all be saved, would send His irresistible grace to all, and in so doing, overcome all initial objections and rejections, and save us, letting His will violate ours, meaning we really have no will at all. But, because we now know that predestination is not true, we also know that God does not send irresistible grace to all people. Rather, it’s good old fashioned regular grace, to be received or rejected as we see fit. Yes, Christ stands at the door and knocks, but we must be the ones to open.
1 John 2:2,
2. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
So much for limited atonement. How can any so-called man of God dare teach that Jesus didn’t die and therefore didn’t atone for all of humanity in the face of this Scripture? Shame on them. Jesus’ death was the propitiation for the sins of the whole world! This means that, should anyone come to have faith in what the Lord did for them at Calvary, they can be saved. The blood is for everyone who wants it. It just so happens that not everyone does, much to the chagrin of God our Savior.
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.
18. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
“Whosoever believeth“. That means anyone. Again, so long limited atonement. You’re out of line with God’s Word. Everlasting life is predicated upon faith. If anyone chooses to believe, they will receive everlasting life. If not, then not. In fact, the Greek word for whosoever is pas, meaning all or every. So all and everyone who believes gets saved. And look at verse 17. God sent His Son to save the world, not condemn it. Well, that’s strange, if predestination is true. Because, according to it, God already condemned billions of people to Hell based off of His good pleasure (and not because they refused to believe on the name of the only begotten Son of God). And since, should predestination be true, and the limited atonement be as well, when Christ died for the few, His death sealed the deal and caused all the unelected to be lost. But, since we have already proven time and again that predestination is false, we can safely and securely know that all we have to do to avoid condemnation is believe in Jesus. We don’t have to worry whether or not God condemned us to Hell millennia ago. We can, right now, by faith, accept the atonement and propitiation given to the world by God through His Son, and know we are saved.
34. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35. But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
Another verse triumphing over predestination. The Apostle Peter, the one with the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 16:16-18), has bound on earth, and therefore, it is bound in heaven, that God does not play favorites (compare to Calvin’s statement that not all people are equal in God’s eyes, but that some are more special because they were chosen to the election) and that, in whatever nation there is in the world, if a person fears God and works righteousness, i.e. lives according to God’s will and does the right thing in their daily life, God accepts them and will usher him or her into His Kingdom, just like Cornelius, who is the focus of this chapter. So much for total depravity. People, even heathens, out of their conscience, can recognize that God exists, especially as Creator, and choose to fear Him. They can, out of their conscience, do the right thing, as God has programmed into all people the ability to tell right from wrong (Romans 2:11-15, especially v. 14).
Finally, Revelation 22:17,
17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
The fifth to the last verse of inspired Holy Scripture. One of the very last things God wanted the world to know is that His Spirit and His Bride, the Church are inviting the world to the covenant of grace. Anyone who hears is invited. Anyone who thirsts is welcome (See Isaiah 55). And, as was the case in John 3:16, “whosoever will“, may come and drink the water of life, i.e. the Holy Spirit, freely. Whosoever means any he or she that will, and freely means gratuitously, without cause or merit, even undeservedly. Anyone who wants the baptism of the Holy Spirit and who wants to be adopted by that Spirit into God’s Kingdom is welcome. God promised to pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (Joel 2:28). His grace, which saves (Ephesians 2:8) has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11). God has reached out to and revealed Himself to everyone everywhere, in all times, even today (Jeremiah 16:19-20, Psalm 19:1-4 and Romans 10:18), and surely into tomorrow and further on into the future, God’s grace will appear to men, women, and children, not because they deserve it, but because He loves everyone equally and wants all people everywhere to be saved, hence the injunction to preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Since the Lord Jesus Christ was lifted up in crucifixion, God will use His Spirit to reach out to, touch, and try to draw to Himself all people (John 6:44 and John 12:32). If that Spirit is welcomed, It will come into that individual’s life and save them. No one is predestined to be lost, unless and only if they refuse the grace of God. Yes, people will die in their sins. But no one has to. They choose to. God does not force them to be lost beyond their control. If they want redemption, Jesus Christ has made the way. It’s open for all who want it.
As the Scriptures constantly affirm: Whosoever will…
Predestination is, like all false teachings, a false doctrine straight out of hell. It presumes to damn billions of people without so much as a tear of concern for their eternal torment. Worse, it turns God into a sadistic monster that goes about creating people only to kill them in their sins simply because they could not help but be what God created them to be: human, descended from Adam, contaminated with and corrupted by a law of sin. No one in their right mind would choose to be a sinner and therefore be separated from God. We cannot help it. Adam goofed it for everyone (See Romans 5). But God sent His Son Jesus Christ to fix it for everyone, too, if we want to be fixed (See Romans 5, as well). This short refutation didn’t use a lot of Scriptures to make its point, and it didn’t need to. It very easily destroyed the false doctrine predestination in just a few passages. Like a master chess player against an amateur, the Word of God annihilates all who oppose It.
Calvin was a murderer. It is he who blasphemed God with such a disgusting doctrine. Augustine, while perhaps more compassionate than Calvin, still belonged to a greater system of false doctrine, namely the Catholic Church. We cannot hope to assume that he got much of anything right, either. Truth is truth, 100%. It’s only when the saints of God are not careful, and allow things which they have wrought to be lost, that the false doctrines preached by antichrists and deceivers take us down and remove our hope of being saved. Yes, God is not promiscuous. But God is love (1 John 4:8) and a loving God gives all people everywhere a chance to be saved.
Whoever reads this, I beg you to sincerely pray and meditate on what God’s Word really says. You can know you are saved. You do not have to worry about some capricious whim of an indifferent god who makes arbitrary decisions about your eternal fate millennia before he creates you. You can stand up and be counted as one of God’s righteous elect. But you must choose. It’s all been done for you. God did predetermine everything necessary for your salvation in Christ. He made the way. He’s just waiting on you.