Friends,

An analogy:

A small, old-fashioned church building stood on a shady hillside over-looking a lush meadow, a tranquil lake, and a winding railroad track. The members of the church decided to host a picnic for some new families in town and the day they chose turned out to be lovely. Many people came and spread their blankets on the hillside and proceeded to have a time together of good food and fellowship.

Unfortunately though, there arrived down by the lake, several cars from which emerged a bunch of noisy, drunk, young people. They played loud music and shouted and swore and laughed as they swam in the water and played on the train tracks. The church picnic seemed ruined.

However, the church choir director, a former award-winning athlete, stepped forward announcing that he would take care of the boisterous crowd below. The parishioners agreed that something must be done so they watched in anticipation as the volunteer walked down to the drunk rabble, turned off their music, and tried to reason with them. Obviously the drunks didn’t listen but instead sat down on the railroad tracks and started singing incoherently while waving their arms so as to mock the choir director. What the choir director did next shocked even the church people, for he, one by one, knocked them all out with his fist. Hence, there on the tracks, lay the whole group of drunk people, quiet and still.

As the choir director made his way back up the hill, the picnickers began discussing what had just happened. “But notice how quiet it is once again,” someone said. “Yes,” said another. “Those people down there are evil anyway.” Soon all the church people were happily eating again, playing croquet, or relaxing on their blankets, ignoring the whistle of a train in the distance.

“Oh my!” said the choir director suddenly. “A train is coming!” And off he raced down the hill. The rest of the people looked on, motionless with horror. Nevertheless, their tension eased when they saw that the choir director had already quickly saved a few of the unconscious drunks, pulling them several yards off the tracks to safety.

The train was coming fast, though, and the picnickers could see that the bend in the tracks would keep the engineer from being able to see in time the doomed people still laying on the tracks.

“There is still time to save the rest,” whispered a church woman.

“You’re right,” answered someone. “But then why is our choir director just standing there?”

“He saved some,” snapped another. “I didn’t see the rest of us running down there to save any.”

The congregants watched as the choir director went to the edge of the lake, rinsed his hands, and splashed water on his face, his back turned to the railroad track as the train swept by and rattled off into the distance. Everyone just stared.

Soon the choir director started back up the hill to the picnicking people.

“That was heroic!” a man suddenly yelled out to the “hero”, and others chimed in similar cheers.

“But he could’ve saved all of them,” a little girl noted, whimpering.

“He didn’t have to save any of them,” countered someone. “If those people hadn’t have been drunk, they could have gotten off the tracks themselves, and they actually would not have been there in the first place.”

“But our choir director is the one who knocked them out while they were on the tracks,” an old man responded cautiously.

“They were on the tracks because they were mocking,” someone else retorted. “Those wretches deserved what they got.”

“Yeah,” another agreed. “Didn’t you notice that our dear choir director tried to reason with them first?”

“So true!” several people said in unison.

At this, many of the parishioners stood up and crowded around the choir director, applauding him for his heroism in saving a few of the doomed drunks from the deadly fate the rest of the drunks encountered.

Hmmmm…. what should the reader think of this choir director? Was he really a hero? Any reasonable person would say no, he was not a hero, but was in fact a mass murderer. And how should the church people be viewed? Were they sane?

Let’s ask the Calvinists now: How is this choir director much different than their god –their god who, from eternity past, supposedly ordained all thoughts, words, and actions (meaning evil ones as well) that occur throughout history, who ordained that Lucifer would rebel and propagate sin and horror and anguish, who ordained the fall of man in Eden by decreeing that Adam and Eve disobey him, who sent his son to die for those few he chose to save from eternity past, and who created most people to be damned (though he could have saved them also), and all this so that he might receive more glory from those who should be grateful for their eternal salvation and peace?

How should we view the calvinists’ god? And furthermore, how should we view the calvinists themselves who adore such a god?

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
My husband and I came across this one minute clip last Saturday and listened, appalled, as R.C. Sproul explained how God’s regenerative (saving) grace has not been offered to everyone: https://youtu.be/pA-MdYusaIM

Sproul is not teaching the Good News here, but rather perverting it. Gal. 1:8,9 has a dire warning of eternal condemnation for those who do this, and verses 6 and 7 reveal that anyone who believes the words of such teachers are deserting the Lord to walk in the confusion of a different gospel –one that does not save.

The issue really comes down to what all false doctrines tout: “God actually means something other than what His words appear to mean.” It is therefore an issue of the authority of the Word of God. Who is a person going to believe? –The straight-forward, commonsense reading of Scripture, or instead the philosophies that men impose upon it.

God’s Word has told us repeatedly that God, in wanting all people to be saved (2 Pe. 3:9), sent Jesus to pay for sin, all sin, thus pardoning everyone (Isa. 53:6 // John 1:29 & 3:14-18 // 2 Cor. 5:15 // 1 Tim. 2:3-7 // 1 John 2:2) and that the Light (Life / Jesus) has been given / offered / extended to every single human being. (John 1:4-9 & 12:32 // Titus 2:11) This Gift of Salvation is not forced upon any person, but each person, of his own choosing, must reach out and take the Gift, doing so by believing in Jesus’ name. (John 1:12 & 6:28,29,33,40 & 11:25,26 // 2 Cor. 5:18-21) After the person chooses to do this, God gives that person the right to become His child / to be born from above, and to be an heir of eternal life. (John 1:12,13 & 3:3-21,36 // Eph. 1:13)

Calvinists don’t accept that the word “world” in God’s Word means “world”. They change the word to mean “the world of those elected by God from eternity past to be saved”. They refuse to acknowledge that in doing this they are rejecting the authority of the Word of God so that they can press into the text their man-made theology. Moreover, they refuse to recognize that in claiming that God decreed, from eternity past, everyone’s fate –some to be saved and most to be damned (for His glory and because He wills this scenario)– they are actually negating the need for Jesus to die to pay for anyone’s sin. Truly, why would Jesus have had to die for the elect if the elect were already, from eternity past, and before they believed in Jesus, unchangeably decreed saved?

Certainly Calvinists, in holding to their doctrines of TULIP and claiming that God has already predetermined every thought, word, and action, including evil ones, should admit that their theology, if viewed logically, tosses out the need for evangelism, prayer, and preaching. In fact, why waste our time trying to do anything but meet our own indulgences, since God has supposedly already preordained everything, including who will be saved and who will be damned?

That false, absurd, and even cunning, philosophies of men and demons persist (Col. 2:4,8 // 1 Tim. 4:1) is why it is crucial that we read Scripture for ourselves, accept the clear statements that we read there, and progress in the knowledge of the Truth through the teaching of the Holy Spirit Himself. (John 14:26 & 15:15 & 16:12-15 // 1 Cor. 2:9-16 // 1 John 2:26,27)

~~~Let’s consider these verses, though there are many more, regarding the Truth that Jesus paid the ransom for all mankind:

In Mt. 28:19 Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”

In Luke 2:10 we read that an angel of the Lord said to the shepherds, “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

In John 1:29 John the Baptist says of Jesus, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

In John 6:33 Jesus says, “For the bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives Life to the world.”

In John 12:32 Jesus says, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth will draw all people to Myself.”

In Rom. 5:18 we read, “Therefore, just as one trespass brought condemnation for all people, so also one act of righteousness brought justification of life for all people.”

In 2 Cor. 5:15 we read, “For all He died, that those living should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them, and was raised again”; and in verse 19, “God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

In 1 Tim.2:3-6 we read, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the Truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men.”

In Heb. 2:9 we read, “…He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”

In 2 Pe. 2:1-3 we see that Jesus “bought” (redeemed / ransomed) even heretics, who, in following their heresy, forfeit their own salvation and bring condemnation and destruction to themselves.

In 1 John 4:14 the apostle John says, “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.”

It is clear that Scripture teaches that Jesus died for all mankind.

~~~Now here are some verses, though there are many more, that show that everyone has been offered eternal life by means of choosing faith in Jesus:

In John 3:15,16 Jesus says, “…the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

In John 5:24 Jesus says, “Whoever hears My Word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”

In John 6:40 Jesus again reveals God’s way of salvation by saying, “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son [it’s a choice] and believes in Him shall have eternal life…”

In Acts 10:43 Peter says, “All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”

In Rom. 1:16 Paul says, “…the Gospel… is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”

In Rom. 4:24 Paul says, “…God will credit righteousness –for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”

In Rom. ch. 10 we see that the Gospel is for the whole world, and that anyone who believes it, trusts in Christ, confesses that Jesus is Lord, calls on His name, and submits to God’s righteousness, is justified and saved. Note: We pursue God’s righteousness by faith (9:30-10:4) and in the power of His Spirit (8:4), and this results in obedience, righteousness, holiness, and eternal life. (6:16-22)

In Rev. 22:17 we read, “Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

~~~God has commanded everyone to repent and believe the Good News, but giving this command would make God disingenuous if, while commanding this, He was actually withholding from many the ability to repent, believe, and be saved. Yet this is what Calvinism teaches. However, the Truth teaches that God’s offer of salvation, as well as His commands, are genuine and given to all without partiality. (Acts 10:34,35) Here are some verses showing this:

As Jesus preaches through Galilee (Mark 1:14), He gives this command: “Repent and believe the Good News!” (v. 15)

Jesus says in Luke 24:46,47 that the Scriptures teach that “The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

In Acts 17:30 Paul says, “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.”

In Acts 26:20 Paul says, “First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.”

1 John 3:23 says, “And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and to love…”

Are we really to believe that God sends these exhortations out, through His messengers and Word, to all towns and nations, while at the same time refusing to enable most of the people to actually heed the words? Are Calvinists really describing the character and decrees of the One True God who is perfect in His justice? (Dt. 32:3,4) Or are they describing a god who sounds more like a demon? In contemplating this, let’s remember that Calvinism teaches that God commands everyone to repent, and He holds everyone accountable and guilty who do not do so, but at the same time, God also, they say, deliberately withholds the ability to repent from those He wills to damn.

So, let’s get it straight what Calvinists are teaching about God. They say that God, being Sovereign, could save everyone, but that He chooses not to do so, and not for the sake of allowing everyone the freedom to choose Him or reject Him, but instead because He wills (desires) that many be damned, and this for the purpose of making the elect be more grateful and full of praise toward Him. In other words, God relies on damning many people in order to get the highest possible praise from the elect for His love, mercy, and justice. This is indeed what staunch Calvinists teach, so besides a perverted gospel, they also proclaim a perverted god.

Do such reasonings not deeply defame the True God’s character and make Him out to be sadistic? It sounds similar to what a disturbed boy might do who collects a bunch of crickets, and deciding to play a fantasy game of war, proceeds to torture with pins and rocks those on the side he wants to lose. Would not all of us view such a boy as demented? What if he decided to torment a duck or a puppy –just because he could? We would call such a boy deranged and we would definitely try to save the suffering creature from the evil boy.

But humans, who God made in His image, are much more valuable to Him than any creature would be to us. God is our Creator and our Father. Thus He would rather have His Son be killed to ransom those He created than to have anyone, usurped by the devil and caught in his evil kingdom, remain there. Yes, many remain there, but it is due to their own rebellious insistence to remain there, not because God refuses to save them. (John 3:17-21) Yes, God will eventually disown them, but only after trying to woo them and plead with them, the whole course of their lifetime, to believe His Message, to repent, and to choose Life instead of Death. (Isa. 65:1-3 // Ezek. 18:30-32 // Mt. 23:37 // 2 Tim. 2:12 // Heb. 9:27 // 2 Pe. 3:9)

Sproul and other Calvinists seem to often try to soften their awful doctrine of Limited Atonement by bringing up God’s “common grace” for all. Yes, truly, God “is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (Luke 6:35), is merciful to them (v. 36), and commands us to be merciful to everyone also. (v. 27-36) But why even bring this up when speaking about eternal salvation? For Jesus warned, “What good is it for a person if he gains the whole world yet loses or forfeits his very self?” (Luke 9:25) If Jesus considered all earthly blessings to be worthless if one’s soul is lost forever, then why pretend God is good to the un-elect if, while giving them blessings on earth, He nonetheless withholds eternal salvation from them?

Let’s say that a husband and wife choose to have a lot of kids –let’s say, 15 of them. They meet the needs of all their children for about the first eight years of their lives, but then arbitrarily banish each of them, except two, to the basement for the rest of their lives, giving them the bare necessities so they don’t die. For the two they preserve for living normally, they present repeated reminders about their gracious parenting skills and about how grateful those two should be, as well as how benevolent they were to all the other 13 children for each of their first eight years. When finally found out and sent to court, these two parents excuse their behavior before the judge by saying, “Those children belong to us, for we conceived and birthed them, and we therefore have the right to do with them what we will.”

But are these parents correct? Of course not, and any moral court would find these sadistic parents worthy of prison. Similarly, how can Calvinists excuse their god who supposedly reasons that because he created all humans, he has the right to decree eternal favor or eternal torture to each, irrespective of anything the individuals have done.

No, when someone causes a life to be created, the “creator” is responsible for that life while it is still in a helpless condition. If someone breeds dogs, that person is responsible to make sure all those dogs are well cared for. If God creates humans who come into existence upon an earth that has been taken over by an evil ruler (the devil), then God, because He is Love (1 John 4:16), does and has done, that which is required for every one of the humans to be redeemed and saved.

Sproul says in the above clip that God is not obligated to give grace to anyone, but he is wrong. Love obligates anyone and everyone to seek the highest good for every living creature to the best of one’s ability, and because God has all ability (all power) and is Himself Love (1 John 4:16), then He does obligate Himself to offer and seek everyone’s eternal salvation. And He has done just that –contrary to what the Calvinists are teaching.

God is Love. And God is just. He loves everyone, He wants everyone’s highest good, and He has therefore paid everyone’s ransom. As 1 John 2:2 confirms, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Jesus has told us that “everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34) He also goes on to say in the next verse that “a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.” This should be crystal clear: To keep sinning keeps us from being sons of God and thus exempts us from eternal life. (See also Heb. 10:26-31.)

Rom. 8:14 says that “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” In other words, if we are led by, and live according to, the control of the Holy Spirit, we belong to Christ Jesus. (v. 9) To live this way means we put to death daily anything that rears up in rebellion against Him. (v. 5-8, 13 // Luke 9:23-25 // Gal. 5:24,25) Everyone is either in rebellion against Christ, or in obedience to Christ –there is no middle ground. Lukewarmness, apathy, and/or partial obedience are the same as being rebellious. (1 Sam. 15:22,23 // Rev. 3:15,16)

The Gospel is a call to obedience –obedience to Christ and His Word. If anyone has (true) faith, then that person’s heart and life are in submission to righteousness. As Romans says, proclaiming “the Gospel” (1:2) is “to call people… to the obedience that comes from faith.” (v. 5) The “Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ” (16:25) “made known… by the command of the eternal God” (v. 26) has been revealed “so that all nations might believe and obey Him.” (Same verse)

The Gospel is the Good News that everyone has been set free from sin (Rom. 6:18) because everyone’s sins have been paid for (1 John 2:2) –making everyone pardoned by God and ransomed from the Kingdom of Darkness (Col. 1:13,14 // 1 Tim. 2:4-6)– if they choose to accept this Gift of Grace for themselves through faith (John 3:14-16) and fully submit to Jesus as their new Master by imitating Him / by continuously following Him and His commands. (8:31-36 & 10:27,28 & 14:21 // 1 John 2:3-6 & 3:24)

The Gospel is a call to become slaves to obedience. (Rom. 6:16) This leads to righteousness with the result being eternal life. (v. 16,22) However, the person who keeps sinning reaps for himself (eternal) death (v. 23), for by obeying sin, one remains a slave to sin. (v. 16) Again, as Jesus has said, “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (John 8:34), and as Rom. 7:14 informs us, being “sold as a slave to sin” keeps the sinning one in the category of “unspiritual” and still in need of deliverance from the dark kingdom of eternal death. (v. 24) Indeed, “being a slave to sin… results in death!” (See Rom. 6:20,21) Yes, everyone who sins or causes sin forfeits the Kingdom of Light and instead reaps Hell. (Mt. 13:41-43)

It is definitely true that we need God’s grace in order to be in Salvation. But God’s grace reigns in righteousness (righteous conduct / obedience to Christ), not in sinful conduct. (Rom. 5:21 // 1 Pe. 1:13-17) Thus obedience to righteousness under the Holy Spirit’s control is what reaps for us eternal life. (Same verses // Rom. 8:1-14 // Heb. 12:14)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel