By Patrick Hawthorne
Lately I have been reading more and more articles and hearing more and more teachings that are making my heart ache. This is due to an apparent callousness that seems to be increasingly invading the Body of Christ. This callousness is not necessarily towards man but is toward God Himself. One such thought is the resurgence of Calvinism.
I have been sitting on this series for the better part of a year. I don’t wish to offend anyone but at the same time I cannot seem to get this topic out of my mind. Therefore, I will put my trust in my Heavenly Father and put it out there.
There are five main points to Calvinism. They are Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints (T.U.L.I.P…) The two points I wish to focus on for this series are Unconditional Election and Limited Atonement. I will address these in much greater detail in a follow up post but here is a brief explanation behind the two points.
Unconditional Election: God chooses, by His own sovereign will, those whom He will save and those who are damned. This is not based off of anyone’s individual works but is based off of the sovereignty of God. Thus the name, Unconditional Election. According to the Westminster Confession of Faith, to those He has chosen He enlightens their minds…
“spiritually and savingly, to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good; and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.” (Westminster Confession of Faith.)
This is partially based off of Romans 9:15 and Ephesians 1:4-8.
For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Romans 9:15 KJV)
4 According as He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (Ephesians 1:4-8 KJV)
Limited Atonement: Simply put, Jesus did not die for the sins of all but for the sins of those chosen in the Unconditional Election. This is based partially off John 17:9.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. (John 17:9 KJV)
My purpose for addressing this subject is not to create an argument but to ask one simple question. “Do those who subscribe to atheism have a point?”
I have heard it over and over, “Why would a loving God send people to hell?” That question is infallibly met with the quick draw response, “God does not send people to hell. People choose to go to hell by not accepting Jesus as Lord.”
I’m not sure that this argument will hold up any longer. If what I’m seeing as becoming a resurging theme of thought is indeed becoming a main thought, I will have to side with the atheist in asking the question, “Why would a loving God send people to hell?”
I will address this in greater detail on my next post but if your thoughts lean toward Unconditional Election and Limited Atonement you are in fact telling people that God sends people to hell. Until the next post, be blessed.