The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

Unconditional Election?

Posted by Pastor Szekely on November 30, 2006

Calvinism says: “Man is saved by God’s sovereign will, regardless of man’s will”…basically, man is saved whether he wants to be saved or not! From this, we must conclude that Reformed theology believes that God has elected some to go to Heaven, but also, God has elected some to go to Hell…wow!

How sticky does this view become when it comes to the death of newborns who weren’t baptized? How would Calvin explain to the parents of the expired infant where the child would go?

You see, Calvin’s Catholic mentor, Augustine, taught that only the non-elect infants died…SO: If a baby died at birth, he must have been part of the non-elect, or part of the ones who were elected by God to go to Hell anyway…But as you can imagine, this didn’t sit too well with folks in the Renaissance Period of the sixteenth century! So Calvin taught that only the elect infants died before being baptized.

Read this portion of the Westminster Confession {The Westminster Confession is a Reformed Confession of Faith widely used by Presbyterian Churches}: “By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His Glory, some men and angels are predestined unto everlasting life and others foreordained to everlasting death. These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed; and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished…{It goes on further to say}:The rest of mankind, God was pleased to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.”

Now that’s what Calvinism says…But does the Bible say that man has no true choice to believe on Christ, and that God has not offered His Salvation to whosoever believes?

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

Revelation 22:16-17, “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 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.”

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.”

It’s a whosoever will Gospel…not for the elect only…

Election is a glorious Bible doctrine…but Calvin’s view of Election is a misrepresentation of the doctrine. Ephesians 1:4, “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world…” Only the first part of verse 4 is quoted by Calvinists to say that God has unconditionally chose or elected some to go to Heaven and some to go to Hell…but we have to read the whole verse! “…that we should be holy and without blame before him in love”.

Question: Does Ephesians 1:4 say anything about man being chosen or elected for Heaven or for Hell? NO…it says that before the foundation of the world, God has chosen His children to be holy and without blame before Him in love.

John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you…” Again, Calvinism quotes only the first part of this verse! But what do we find when we read the whole verse in context? “…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 is speaking unto His Apostles {their conversation actually started in John 13}. To what did Christ tell them that they were chosen…Heaven? NO: They were chosen to go and bring forth fruit, and that their fruit should remain! Sounds to me like an election to apostleship if anything…”and ordain you“.

Nowhere does the Bible teach that God wills for some to go to Heaven and wills others to go to Hell. The Bible does teach that God would have all men to be saved: 1 Timothy 2:4, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”.

Those who teach that God would only have some to be saved while He would have others to be lost are misrepresenting God and the Bible…and by the way: God is sovereign and His will is supreme, even though men reject Him…remember, God’s will is “whosoever will”!

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7 Responses to “Unconditional Election?”

  1. Good stuff! I love reading sound refutations of Calvinism, especially ones that make you think and that bring out practical applications and solid Scriptural explanations.

  2. Bro. Szekely said

    Thank you, my brother ~ Lord bless!

  3. glorybug said

    Yes! I agree!
    See my musings at glorybug.wordpress.com

  4. Five Point Baptist said

    Dear Brothers in Christ, I once held the belief that God merely “saw” who would respond to the Gospel and then elected those who He saw or foreknew. After studying the issue of election extensively for a couple of years, I have come to believe that election is what it is: God literally choosing some to be saved. Does this mean that God elects men to hell? As Adrian Rogers said: “absolutely not!” This is the crux of the matter: mankind is totally depraved. So depraved that in Eph. 2:1, unregenerated mankind is deemed as “dead.” Please correct me if I’m wrong, but dead people can’t do anything. We, who were once dead in our sins, were like Lazarus (Jn. 11) shut up in a tomb, totally unable to give ourselves the one thing we needed: life. But it is God who gives the new birth (Jn. 3). Correct me if I’m wrong again, but being born is something that is outside of our wills. We had to be given life physically by someone other than us and we also have to be given life spiritually BY GOD’S NEW BIRTH. As for God’s choosing: please give me a text that states that God give His Holy Law to the Amorites, Hittites, Philistines, or any other gentile nation. This is why He calls Israel “His chosen.” He graciously give Israel the promise of Messiah, thereby shutting out salvation to all other gentile nations. See God’s statement to Israel in Deut. 7: 6-8 for God’s election of Israel. He didn’t foresee Israel accepting Him, but He graciously revealed Himself to Abraham, and extended His blessings of salvation to Israel through their spiritual father, Abraham.

    Brothers, election is a doctrine that states that mankind is so sinful, that he never will “chose” Christ. So what does God do? He chooses us. For this is what the word “election” means “to choose.” Let God be God. Since we do not who the elect are, let us faithfully proclaim His Gospel to “all creatures” (Col.1: 23) and leave the results to an all loving, all powerful, all sovereign God, who desires that “all come to repentance.”

  5. Five Point Baptist said

    I ask the following questions to those who refute the Doctrines of Grace:

    1. If God by definition is all powerful, why isn’t every person going to be saved? Either He can save all but chooses not to OR He can’t save the “whole world,” thereby contradicting His omnipotence.If God is not omnipotent, then He, by definition, IS NOT GOD.

    2. Does not mankind DESERVE Hell? Many reject election because it appears to be an “unfair” doctrine. Yet, the Bible NOWHERE says that God is fair. IF He is fair, we would ALL receive judgment and NO ONE would be saved. The fact that God chooses to save some is grace, for grace that is obligated is no longer grace. This is why God said in Rom. 9:15: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on I will have compassion.”

    3.Why would Christ die on the cross for those He knew would never be saved? Every Christian believes in one form of limited atonement. For those who staunchly believe in unlimited atonement (Christ dying for every person regardless if the will be saved), they believe that the atonement was limited in its’ power. They say: “Christ made mankind savable but did not actually save mankind.” So those who hold the unlimited view limit Christ’s efficiency. Those who believe in limited atonement believe that Christ’s atonement was unlimited in its’ power but limited in it’s scope. And who limits the atonement? Man does. Christ’s death was sufficient for every person to be saved, yet it is only efficient for those who actually partake of Christ’s sacrifice by believing the Gospel.

    4. Lastly, if Christ died for every person, for what sin will they be punished for in hell? If they will be punished for the sin of unbelief, then you must concede that Christ didn’t die for every sin. This is why Christ told the Pharisees in Jn. 8:21: “ye shall seek me, and shall die in your SINS.” Notice: that they would die without having their sins forgiven. Yet, in Is. 53:11, the prophet says: “by His knowledge my Servant shall justify MANY (notice not all); for He shall bear THEIR (this refers back to the “many” or future believers only) iniquities.” This was prophetic of Christ’s sacrifical death on the cross for believers. This is also why Jesus said: “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for MANY (notice again, not all).”

    God Bless.

  6. 5 Point: You can rationalize all you want – but when you depart from the Scriptures you are dead wrong. God gave all mankind a choice. He does not force anyone to be saved apart from their will. Through the work of His Holy Spirit, He enlightens and convicts man through the preaching of the Gospel, but it is still up to us in our free-will to respond or reject the Gospel and the Saviour.

  7. Five Point Baptist said

    Amen brother! You’re truly correct that is our responsibility to respond to the gospel in order to be saved…election does not save…believing the gospel does! Mr. Bouey, I am not trying to be sarcastic when I say that I take the Bible literally. Therefore, when I read that we are “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1, Col. 2:13) I understand that dead people can’t respond to anything. I could not approach a corpse in a funeral home and say “Why don’t you just wake up” because they have no ability to respond, they’re dead. Brother, we were just like Lazarus in John 11 who, being dead, was called by the Jesus Christ and were given life. This is why John 1:13 says that we were born again not by the “will of man, but of God.”

    As to free-will. Brother, the Bible never says that we have free-will (I emphasize the word “free”). It does however say that we have a will. For something to be free, our wills must not have any bias, prejudice, or inclincations. The Bible says that we are sinners and that our hearts our desperately wicked (Jn. 17:9). It also says that we who are evil cannot do anything good according to God’s perfect standard. Therefore, everything that flows from a evil heart will be evil. Even the humanly “good” things we do before Christ are a sin (Rom. 14:23). I also take that Bible literally when I read in Col. 1:21 that before salvation, we were “enemies” of God. How then can an enemy (us) choose to love God? God must first do a work in our hearts so that we will, as you said, respond to the gospel. To sum: we don’t have free-wills, because that would deny our sin natures. We do, however, have a will and we must believe the gospel to be saved. God first does a work in our hearts so that we will exercise our wills and believe him.

    Sir, I have tried to put a few reference Scriptures in this posting so that I may not be accused of rationalizing. Please forgive me if I seem to put more authority in my own thoughts and words than the Word of God.

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