Why I disagree with the Calvinists who say that no Arminian is saved.
Why I disagree with the Calvinists who say that no Arminian is saved.
First I want to say that I strongly disagree with teachings of the widespread belief today that is called Arminianism - or basically the beliefs that “I chose of my own will to believe the gospel”, and “God loves everybody and desires that everyone gets saved”.
Arminianism portrays a weak, pathetic god who’s desires are frustrated by the vaunted “free will” of man and God ends up being both a Liar and a Failure for not having done what he said he came to do in the person of the Son of God whom he sent into this world.
The Son of God came to “save HIS PEOPLE from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), he laid down his life for THE SHEEP (John 10:15), he “gave his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28) and he said “ALL that the Father giveth me SHALL COME to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:39) and “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give (not “offer”) eternal life TO AS MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM. (John 17:2)
However there is a growing number of my fellow Calvinists who are teaching that NO professing Christian who is an Arminian is in fact a true believer and they will end up being condemned to hell because they have believed in a false Christ and a false gospel.
Here is what I think is the best presentation of their views. On the surface it appears that they make a pretty good case for their beliefs.
I too have felt inclined to adopt this same position. But after much prayer and study of the Scriptures I have come to the conclusion that their position on this issue is false and untenable and I will explain why in this article.
Here is what these particular Calvinists believe -
The Christ of Arminianism
(Freewillism) by Rev. Steven Houck
The Bible warns us that in the last days in which we live there will be many false Christs-those who claim to be Christ but who are imposters. Jesus said, "Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many." (Matt. 24:4-5). We who profess to be Christians must take heed. We must be very careful that we are not deceived. Our calling is to trust, love, and follow the true Christ and Him only. We may have nothing to do with the false Christs who are so numerous in our day.
We know about the Christ of the cults and other religions. He is a good man, a prophet, the first creation of God, a great spirit, a divine idea, or even a god himself. But he is not true and eternal God. He receives his existence from another who is greater than he. He is not the Christ of the Bible. We are not deceived by this Christ. He is a false Christ.
We know about the Christ of Roman Catholicism. They profess that He is true God. He suffered and died for the forgiveness of sin. He arose again, ascended into heaven, and is coming again. But he is not a complete Savior. The Christ of the Roman Catholics can not save sinners without their own good works and the intercession of priests. He is not the Christ of the Bible. We are not deceived by this Christ. He is a false Christ.
There is, however, another false Christ who is much more dangerous than the Christ of the cults and the Christ of Roman Catholicism. He has deceived people for many years and he continues to deceive millions. This Christ is so dangerous that, if it were not impossible, he would deceive the very elect (Matt. 24:24). He is the Christ of Arminianism.
This false Christ is extremely dangerous because in many ways he appears to be the True Christ. They say that he is true God, equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. They say that he died on the cross to save sinners. They even say that he saves by his grace alone, without the work of man. This Christ will have nothing to do with the Christ of the cults and the Christ of Roman Catholicism.
But watch out! Be warned! The Christ of Arminianism is not the Christ of the Bible. Do not be fooled!
1. The Christ of Arminianism - loves every individual person in the world and sincerely desires their salvation.
The Christ of the Bible - earnestly loves and desires the salvation of only those whom God has unconditionally chosen to salvation. (Ps. 5:5, Ps. 7:11, Ps. 11:5, Matt. 11:27, John 17:9-10, Acts 2:47, Acts 13:48, Rom. 9:10-13, Rom. 9:21-24, Eph. 1:3-4)
2. The Christ of Arminianism - offers salvation to every sinner and does all in his power to bring them to salvation. His offer and work are often frustrated, for many refuse to come.
The Christ of the Bible - effectually calls to Himself only the elect and sovereignly brings them to salvation. Not one of them will be lost. (Isa. 55:11, John 5:21, John 6:37-40, John 10:25-30, John 17:2, Phil. 2:13)
3. The Christ of Arminianism - can not regenerate and save a sinner who does not first choose Christ with his own "free will." All men have a "free will" by which they can either accept or reject Christ. That "free will" may not be violated by Christ.
The Christ of the Bible - sovereignly regenerates the elect sinner apart from his choice, for without regeneration the spiritually dead sinner can not choose Christ. Faith is not man's contribution to salvation but the gift of Christ which He sovereignly imparts in regeneration. (John 3:3, John 6:44 & 65, John 15:16, Acts 11:18, Rom. 9:16, Eph. 2:1,Eph. 2:8-10, Phil. 1:29, Hebr. 12:2)
4. The Christ of Arminianism - died on the cross for every individual person and thereby made it possible for every person to be saved. His death, apart from the choice of man, was not able to actually save anyone for many for whom he died are lost.
The Christ of the Bible - died for only God's elect people and thereby actually obtained salvation for all those for whom He died. His death was a substitutionary satisfaction which actually took away the guilt of His chosen people. (Luke 19:10, John 10:14-15 & 26, Acts 20:28, Rom. 5:10, Eph. 5:25, Hebr. 9:12, I Peter 3:18)
5. The Christ of Arminianism - loses many whom he has "saved" because they do not continue in faith. Even if he does give them "eternal security," as some say, that security is not based upon his will or work but the choice which the sinner made when he accepted Christ.
The Christ of the Bible - preserves His chosen people so that they can not lose their salvation but persevere in the faith to the very end. He preserves them by the sovereign electing will of God, the power of His death, and the mighty working of His Spirit. (John 5:24, John 10:26-29, Rom. 8:29-30, Rom. 8:35-39, I Peter 1:2-5, Jude 24-25)
As you can see, although the Christ of Arminianism and the Christ of the Bible may at first seem to be the same, they are very different. One is a false Christ. The other is the true Christ. One is weak and helpless. He bows before the sovereign "free will" of man. The other is the reigning Lord Who wills what He pleases and sovereignly accomplishes all that He wills.
If you believe and serve the Christ of Arminianism, you must recognize the fact that you do not serve the Christ of the Bible. You have been deceived! Study the Scriptures and learn of the True Christ. Pray for grace to repent and trust Christ as your sovereign Savior. [End of Article]
And now for my Rebuttal as to why I believe their position on this is wrong.
The gospel itself is really quite simple. It is summed up in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
And Romans 10:9-13
9 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.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 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.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
No where in the Bible does it say that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord PLUS believe in the 5 points of Calvinism shall be saved.”
I am convinced that many of the things the Arminian Christians believe are flat out wrong, yet they do believe that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh, and that he died for their sins and rose again from the dead. And they DO believe in him.
They differ from us Calvinists on HOW they came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but they DO believe in him as their only Lord and Saviour from sin.
The primary concerns of these Calvinists who think that no Arminian can be saved have to do with different theological beliefs more than the outward moral behavior.
They seem to think that if a person does not share their view of the 5 points of Calvinism (which I fully believe in myself) then because of their Arminian theological beliefs that are contrary to these 5 points they therefore cannot possibly be Christians.
I understand their concerns. But I think they have gone beyond the teaching and examples God has given to us in the Holy Scriptures.
God’s people, who are in fact chosen and redeemed, can be very messed up theologically as well as morally, and yet they are still his people.
The Old Testament as well as the New Testament are full of such examples. And it is these examples that make me reject what these particular Calvinists are teaching.
God chose the people of Israel and redeemed them out of the house of bondage. “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” Deuteronomy 7:6
Yet one of the first sins they committed was to build a golden calf and worship it while Moses was up on the mount where God gave him the two tablets of the 10 commandments.
This is an obvious theological error. They worshipped another god. Yet Moses prays for them and reminds God that they are his people and asks that they be forgiven and that God’s presence would still go with them.
“Thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions.” Psalm 99:8
We have the obvious moral errors of king David who committed both adultery and murder, and yet God forgave him and did not cast him away.
An interesting thing to note is that in the entire Old Testament there are only two people of whom it is said that they loved the Lord. One was David in Psalms 18:1 - "I will love thee, O LORD, my strength." and the other was Solomon of whom it is said in 1 Kings 3:3 - "And Solomon loved the LORD walking in the statutes of David his father", and both were great sinners chosen by God himself.
The wisest man ever born, king Solomon, was guilty of both theological and moral error in the latter part of his life.
1 Kings 11:4-6 “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.
5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.
6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father.”
This was a serious theological error, and yet Solomon was one of God’s chosen and redeemed people.
“And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I HAVE CHOSEN HIM TO BE MY SON, AND I WILL BE HIS FATHER.” 1 Chronicles 28:6
In the New Testament we see the same failings, both moral and theological, of those who were true Christians.
Peter, who confessed that Jesus was the Christ, later denied him with cursing and swearing.
The entire group of the 11 apostles who believed in Jesus and said they would die with him, instead of forsaking all and following Christ, we read that “Then ALL THE DISCIPLES forsook him, and fled.” (Matthew 26:56)
The early church was plagued with problems, both moral and theological. The churches of Galatia were all deceived by a false gospel of mixing law with grace, and even Peter himself and Barnabas were “to be blamed” and were rebuked by the apostle Paul.
This was a serious theological departure from the truth by large numbers of Christians and such notable church leaders as Peter and Barnabas. Yet they were still God’s redeemed people though in error.
Later on Paul himself was about to offer a blood sacrifice to show that he too was zealous for the law in Acts chapter 21, but God apparently stepped in and a mob caught Paul and went about to kill him, and the Roman authorities rescued him and tossed him in jail before he could make that blood offering.
The apostle John TWICE committed the theological error of wanting to bow down to an angel and worship him and was rebuked for it. And all this took place while he was receiving the book of the Revelation from God.
Revelation 19:10 “And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
And he did it again in Revelation 22:8-9 “And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.”
The early Corinthian Christians had some theological wavering as well. In 1 Corinthians 8:5-7 (notice particularly verse 7) we read: “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.”
Notice that here there were some Christians who were so weak in their faith that they still thought there was something of spiritual significance and power in the old idols they had forsaken.
And finally in the 7 letters to the churches in the book of Revelation there were many theological errors that God rebuked them for through the angel.
Among these were “having left their first love”, “those that hold the doctrine of Balaam”, “to eat things sacrificed to idols”, “thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols”, “I have not found thy works to be perfect before God”, and “thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot”.
Yet not once in all the epistles of Paul, Peter or John in the book of Revelation do we at any time hear God rebuking his people for not teaching the doctrines of election and predestination, or for exalting the “will” of man above the will of God in his sovereignty.
So I believe that those Calvinists who insist that No Arminian is really a true Christian are wrong.
I find it highly ironic that many of my “free will” brethren have the right Bible, the King James Bible (which was put together by Calvinists), and the majority of present day Calvinists are using and promoting the Vatican supervised text versions like the ESV, NASB, NET and NIV. It doesn’t get much more ironic than this.
See Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET, Jehovah Witness NWT etc. are the new "Vatican Versions"
We all still see through a glass darkly, but then face to face. Now we know in part, but then we shall know even as we are known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
A big part of what God is doing to us his chosen people is to humble us that no flesh should glory in his presence. A large part of this humbling process will be when we finally stand before him and realize how much we got wrong and were fighting against him one way or another.
If we get anything right, it is all by the grace and mercy of God our Father.
“And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.” Isaiah 2:17
“27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-31
All of grace, believing the Book and the God of truth and grace who reveals himself to us in it.
What Charles Spurgeon said about his Arminian brethren.
You know, brethren, that there is no soul living who holds more firmly to the doctrines of grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer, I wish to be called nothing but a Christian; but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin, I reply, I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it. But, my dear friends, far be it from me even to imagine that Zion contains none within her walls but Calvinistic Christians, or that there are none saved who do not hold our views. Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him, that while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself, I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitfield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one of whom the world was not worthy. I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see these truths, or, at least, cannot see them in the way in which we put them, who nevertheless have received Christ into their hearts, and are as dear to the heart of the God of grace as the soundest Calvinist out of heaven. – C. H. Spurgeon, The Man With the Measuring Line
Related topics -
Calvinism (Monergism) and the King James Bible.
The Ever Changing ESVs 2001, 2007, 2011 and 2016 editions = just another Vatican Version.
Notes from the Internet
What is the true Gospel?
Timothy G. posts: "Will Kinney look at this. What Gospel do Arminians preach and believe? Is it justified by faith alone by Christ alone (gospel) or a false gospel grace plus works (something you add or contribute to the death of Christ?) if Arminians is preaching and Believing the latter then there gospel is false. If any one is in Error and believing in that latter gospel then they are unsaved and need to repent of that false gospel."
Hi Timothy. I understand where you are coming from on this. And I understand the frustration one can have with some of the "free will" Fantasy lovers. They typically come out with some of the dumbest, most biblically illiterate and childish comments imaginable.
Things like "God is drawing every human being without exception (Romans 2:4)Therefore all are chosen to be saved, and enabled to be." (Jeff T.) and "God calls we choose God saves." (Richard S.) and "Accepting an invitation isn't a "cause." (Hoyt R.) and "Faith is the condition for salvation, not the cause of salvation. However, if you believe the death of Christ was only for certain, pre-selected individuals, you believe a false gospel." (Nolan R.)
These people show a deep ignorance of what the Book actually says and they are fighting against God and the truth of his purpose according to election.
But there are many Arminians who DO believe the gospel that Christ, as God, died for our sins and rose again and they have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved.
I do not believe that the truth of election is found anywhere in the Bible in direct connection to the simple message of the gospel.
Calvinists don't have a handle on all the truth either. YOU don't. You still don't see how wrong you are about "justification by faith alone". That simply is NOT what the Bible teaches. You are following the traditions of men when you make statements like this.
We are justified by several things. Justified by the resurrection of Christ, by faith, by our words and by our works. Even God himself is justified by what he says. You have the wrong definition of the word and this throws your entire theological system off.
Do I therefore conclude that you are not one of God's elect because you understand some truths wrongly and teach what is false? No. Not at all. I just don't think God has opened your understanding in this area, but that does not mean you are not a Christian.
Two things you might want to consider. First, I assume that you read it, but if not, here it is.
# 1. "Why I disagree with the Calvinists who say that no Arminian is saved."
# 2. A Biblical Explanation of the Doctrine of Justification
“Jesus our Lord...Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Romans 4:25
May God grant true understanding.
“I Still think Arminianism is false and those that believe in there Gospel are lost because they add to the Atonement of Christ by conditions."
My Response again-
Hi Timothy. I think your statement here is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black. What YOU are doing is ADDING certain belief requirements to the gospel of the grace of God in Jesus Christ that God did NOT put there.
You are in a very real ways saying that it is not enough to believe that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh and that he died for our sins and rose from the dead and that whosoever shall repent of their sins and call upon him believing that he is Lord shall be saved.
Nooooo. That is not enough. You must also believe in the 5 points of Calvinism in order to REALLY get saved, even though there isn't a verse in Scripture that says anything about this.
Who is the one who is really in danger of preaching a different gospel, Timothy?
How do you think God views that?