Interrogated By A Calvinist

September 13, 2015

Many “Christians” seem to work hard at twisting the Scriptures so that they can feel safe in their continued sinfulness.

On Friday, while I was evangelizing downtown, a Calvinist approached me to interrogate me as to whether or not I was proclaiming the real Gospel. How insistent he was about “once-saved, always saved”, about not giving people “the wrong idea that we must work for our salvation”, and about that true believers do go through seasons of sinfulness.

I answered this guy’s questions and conversed with him at least fifteen minutes, but I was glad I was able to avoid the argument he apparently wanted to have with me. Over and over he kept trying to pin-point my exact beliefs to see if they lined up with his pet doctrines, but, I believe I wasn’t giving him the answers he expected. When he was disgruntled over my sign– “Christ’s cross doesn’t cover a continuation in sin. Heb. 10:26”, saying that I should instead preach the straight Gospel Message, I reminded him that Paul said in Rom. 1:5 that his Message was a call “to the obedience that comes from faith.” I told him that is my call as well, and that it is a much needed call being that most preachers are not correctly clarifying the necessity of obedience –obedience to Christ’s Word and Spirit.

This Calvinist guy said, “You do believe, don’t you, that we cannot earn our salvation through works but only through what Christ has done for us?” I replied, “James 2:24 says, ‘We know that a man is justified by what he does, and not by faith alone.'”

“Okay,” he said, but still plowed forward: “But we do not receive salvation through obedience; obedience is a result of our salvation.”

I answered, “Jesus says in Mt. 19:17, ‘If you want to enter Life, obey the commandments.’ And, in Acts 5:32 it says that God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him.” I opened up my Bible and read to him 1 John 3:24 which says, “Those who keep God’s commands live in Him and He in them.”

I quoted Jesus’ words in John 10:27,28 because I know that most once-saved, always saved adherents love verse 28 about no one being able to snatch Christ’s sheep out of His hand. “But,” I said. “In verse 27 Jesus tells us what these sheep do: They listen to Jesus and they follow Him. In other words, they obey Him.” I walked a few steps and said it again: “Christ’s true sheep keep following. They don’t turn around or rebel or go back. If they did, how would they be following Christ? Verse 27 must be a reality for the promises in verse 28 to be so as well.”

I’m hopeful that the guy gained some progress into the Truth, for at that point he responded agreeably and quoted Gal. 5:25: “If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”

I quoted a lot of verses while responding to this guy, and when I quoted Rom. 8:9 to him, he seemed satisfied and said goodbye, adding that Calvinists evangelize too. I hadn’t said they don’t, but I did feel like saying, “Why should they if God has predestined everyone’s eternity already?” I didn’t say it though because I sure didn’t want to get into that debate with him!

Rom. 8:9 says that those who possess the Spirit of God and Christ will be controlled by the Spirit and not by the sinful nature. This verse, along with so many other verses in God’s Word reveal clearly that those who are controlled by the sinful nature do not possess the Spirit. Calvinists should ask themselves, “How long can a person claiming to belong to Christ go on in sinful behavior and still be considered to be controlled by the Spirit?” If the Calvinist must admit that the sinning person is not being controlled by the Spirit for a season, then should he not admit that Rom. 8:9 states that such a person does not possess the Spirit and does not therefore belong to Christ during that season? And if the season goes on for six months, or a year, or five years, or ten years, then was that person never truly saved to begin with? Or, was he saved, and therefore, no matter if he dies without any visible fruit of repentance, he remains an inheritor of Eternal Life? What maneuverers Calvinists must go through!

Well, Jesus warned that prostitutes and such will get into the Kingdom ahead of those who consider themselves to be “in the know” about God’s Word, but actually are deceiving themselves. (Mt. 21:31) Why? Because those who claim they possess the Truth but do not, remain guilty, not safe, before Christ. (John 9:41)

with love,

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