Test all things
Just looking at some verses in Matthew 23 and 24. Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that killed the prophets, and stoned them which are sent to you, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!” ………..”For I say to you, you shall not see me from herein , till you shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.”
Later in chapter 24 talks about the end times: “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.”
Many people, including myself at one time, believed that Reformed theology preached the same gospel as I’d always believed in and been saved through faith in. I have since come to realise that they are different gospels. I was saved whilst in a Presbyterian church where God used a faithful elder there to point me towards faith in Christ. He obviously didn’t go by the Westminster Confession or else he wouldn’t have got me to go and give my life to Christ through an evangelist who was preaching there one night.
Most of the Presbyterian churches at that time were dead as far as the gospel is concerned except for individuals like this elder. The ones that chose not to join in the Uniting Church became more evangelical. Unfortunately some professors at the top were still very much into the Westminster Confession and it is slowly going back that way again. However, the most radical Calvinists have come about through Reformed Baptist churches and are calling themselves “New Calvinists”. Such as John Piper, John MacArthur, etc. John MacArthur seemed to be a good teacher until you delve into his sermons and find what he really believes. When you try to find his testimony of when he came to Christ, he doesn’t have one. He says he was always obedient as a child and never got into any real trouble, and always believed. This fits in with Todd Friel who believes if you pray the sinner’s prayer you are not saved and in fact are most likely going to hell.
Because Calvinists believe you can’t decide to follow Jesus and become his disciple. You have to be “born again” first, and then “believe”. Evangelical Christians have always taught that being “born again” means being saved, but Calvinists are teaching it to mean something quite different. So the gospel doesn’t save you according to them. Although some of them, Paul Tripp for example, say you have to say the gospel to yourself each day to be saved. Others have said you need to keep repenting each day. Sounds like the Catholic church? Well they get their doctrine from Augustine who was the main teacher of the Catholic church and called a saint by them. The Scriptures say you have to believe to be saved. They say nothing about being saved first so you can then believe.
To Calvinists, you are born to either be saved or go to hell. You have no choice in the matter. And yet in verses as I have quoted above, Jesus said he wanted them to come but they would not. Doesn’t this sound like they have a free will? Then he goes on to talk about the love of many growing cold but those who endured to the end would be saved. Sounds like a free choice to me. MacArthur says in one of his sermons that Judas chose to go to hell. And yet in another of his sermons he says that Jesus didn’t die for the sins of Judas or the crowd who yelled for his blood. MacArthur is a bit different than the other Calvinists in that he contradicts himself often. But he still firmly believes in “limited” atonement. That is, Jesus only died for those he created for heaven and not for the rest of the world. So do Calvinists believe in the same gospel? No. They change the meaning of John 3:16 to fit in with their false gospel.
They have completely ruled out faith in Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross as a precondition and the only requirement for salvation. A.W. Pink wrote, “God loves whom He chooses. He does not love everybody.” If, as John MacArthur says, God’s own sovereign good pleasure compels Him to love sinners, and only the elect benefit from his saving love because the reprobate have no chance in hell of ever being saved, it follows that only the elect are sinners. Jesus said, that He had come to seek and to save lost sinners. If God had already decided before the foundation of the world not to send his Son to suffer and die for the non-elect, then the non-elect are not lost sinners. Only those for whom He had come to save are sinners, and that could of a necessity only be the elect because they are the only ones being saved, according to Calvinism.
“And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” – Hebrews 3 – talking of God’s elect nation of Israel.
Why don’t we listen to God’s Word and be guided by the Holy Spirit instead of believing Bible-teachers who are not infallible and not checking them out against Scripture as the Bereans did?
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