Reply to a calvinist (who cannot see that the Bible teaches the free-will of man)
Firstly, there is no way we would agree on no free-will for man. Free-will is not proven as nonsense. Spurgeon was talking nonsense when he said this: It has already been proved beyond all controversy that free-will is nonsense. (“Free Will – A Slave” 02/12/1855) for he has given no proof whatsoever to support his unbiblical claim here. Free will exists as a consistent doctrine throughout the Bible and cannot be proven nonsense. It is acknowledged that no man may come to God unless God intervenes, yet that intervention is through the gospel of Christ. Man is totally unwilling to come to God, yet this cannot ever be translated into total inability (that is, absolutely unable to come to God even if he wanted to). Without the gospel, man cannot see what he is to do in order to be saved; therefore he will never be saved without the gospel. But the word of the gospel brings the light of understanding into a man’s life, which is why satan tries so hard to prevent it as per 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 – 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
It is incomprehensible that anyone who claims to be a reader of the Bible should not understand this role of the gospel. When God’s word is preached, it will achieve that purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11). In particular, when the gospel is preached, it will achieve the purpose of illuminating the soul so it understands man’s sinfulness and God’s solution through the cross of Jesus. Man is then asked to confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in his heart that God raised Him from the dead, and he shall be saved (Romans 10:9). For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)
Even when man calls upon the name of the Lord to be saved, can he demand that God now save him? Emphatically no! For the calling upon the name of the Lord is in faith, trusting in the character of the God who promises to save such a man to the uttermost. Even though man cries out to be saved, it is still by God’s choosing that such a man will be saved. God has the final say on all cries for salvation; no-one may demand salvation merely because he followed the rules.
And the election is a Biblical fact, only it is conditional upon the foreknowledge of God to know such things from the beginning according to His perfect knowledge of the future. Thus we are Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father (1 Peter 2:1a). The Bible so consistently teaches the foreknowledge of God as such; it is scripturally unethical, not to say blasphemous, to insinuate that God may not be permitted to do that which He says He will do!
This is why calvinists absolutely refuse, against all Scriptural teaching, to permit God to determine His elect according to His perfect knowledge of the future, that is, His foreknowledge! If God’s foreknowledge is His perfect knowledge of the future, then it is simple for Him to determine the free-will decisions of man to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. And don’t go on about such being a work of salvation. It is no more a work of salvation than is a drowning man crying out to be saved. His crying out cannot save him. His calling out cannot help him even if someone were to hear. It is entirely the work of the one who saves such a man. Even the acceptance of a gift cannot in any way improve or add anything to the value or worth of that gift. This is ridiculous side-stepping of the real issue, trying to turn the focus away from the errors of calvinism everywhere else! Prove the rest of calvinism right and perhaps you might get listened to when pleading that calling upon the name of the Lord to be saved is a work! But if God says to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved, then that’s what you do! Do you dare question what God requires you to do?
I challenge any calvinist to demonstrate that God does not (or can not) use such perfect knowledge of the future to determine man’s free-will decisions to call upon the name of the Lord! But they won’t because the Bible just doesn’t support them at all. You see, calvinists refuse to permit any teaching that permits the free-will of mankind because the free-will of man can destroy all calvinist heresies.
You still haven’t demonstrated from the Bible alone (Sola Scriptura) that the free-will of man is nonsense. And don’t call me an Arminian for I make no such claims! I only claim the true teaching of the Bible to establish my beliefs. When will you stop the irrational name-calling and get down to the facts of it all: can you demonstrate from the Bible that free-will is nonsense? And don’t quote other men, for they may only teach the commandments of man. Only the Bible has the doctrines of God. And don’t say that most people agree with you; that is called common sense, and the Bible says that such ways that seem right to man (= common sense) lead to destruction (Proverbs 14:12).
You quote Romans 3:10-18 to “prove” that free-will is nonsense, yet not one bit of it can deny that it is merely the total unwillingness of man to seek after God. It can never be read as man not being able to seek after God. It says that there is none that seeketh after God and yet where does it say that none are able to seek after God? You simply cannot use this to prove man’s total inability to seek after God, just his total unwillingness to seek (which remains a matter of free-will!).
You likewise quote Romans 9:16 in support of your calvinist no-free-will heresy, yet you fail to understand that God will only show mercy to those who come to Him by calling upon the name of the Lord to be saved. God will not show mercy to those who demand it; rather He will show it to those who cry out to Him to be saved. In the final analysis, it is still God who must will that any man be saved, but His condition is that man should firstly call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. Romans 9:16 cannot demonstrate that free-will is nonsense.
Note that the word for “hardeneth” in Romans 9:18 is skleruno which means to harden in the shape that it already is in, thus we get sclerosis of such as arteries in the body. Romans 9:18 – Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will [have mercy], and whom he will he hardeneth.
God merely hardens a person in the condition that he has already chosen to be in.
Thus neither can Romans 9:18 demonstrate that free-will is nonsense, for God merely sets that man in his choice. That is, man has chosen and now God says that man must stay the way he has chosen. Literally, a man makes his bed, and then he has to sleep in it, as the saying goes.
By the way, Romans 9 is a chapter the calvinists should steer clear of. In Vs 3 Paul desires to be lost for the sake of his lost fellow-country-men, yet if calvinism is right, then Paul should have known that he couldn’t be lost and that those who were not elect could never be saved. How does calvinism explain this? Did Paul get it wrong?
Then Romans 9 discusses the election of the nation of Israel over the nation of Esau/Edom. The election of a nation cannot ever equate to the election of individuals, ever. Only those grasping at doctrinal straws would try to use this to “prove” the unconditional election of man! The election of a nation had to exclude all others from being elect; does this mean that only one person may be chosen and all others excluded. And if calvinism is right, without free-will Israel had to have been foreordained to rebel against God so that God could reject them as His elect nation. Can this be used to prove that God would also foreordain His unconditional elect to rebel and be condemned to hell? Please explain!
Romans 9:23 says that there are vessels of honour and dishonour which calvinists also use to “prove” that you are made a certain way, unchangeably so. Then why does Paul tell Timothy that a vessel of dishonour may be purged to become a vessel of honour (2 Timothy 2:20-21)??
And John 1:13!! If you only did some Bible study (Sola Scriptura!) you would see that the whole sentence is as follows:
John 1:12-13 – 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Now try and prove that God’s will here is not in any way dependent upon the believing on the name of God in Vs 12! Note carefully that these 2 verses form one complete idea, that Vs 13 is grammatically dependent upon Vs 12. Prove to me that those who received Him could not have been using free-will to so choose. Also try proving that believing on His name can not in any way be using free-will! It is absolutely ridiculous to claim that this can in any way “prove” that free-will is nonsense!
And for those who believe that John 6:44 somehow proves that only those who are called by God will come, note that it can only be used to demonstrate this if you first of all make the assumption (assumption, mind you) that free-will is nonsense. If free-will cannot be proven nonsense, then John 6:44 can simply mean that many are called but few are chosen (as per Matthew 22:14)! Can you explain that? And don’t try that worn-out excuse that the call of God may be either effectual or otherwise! Please answer this if you can: where in the Bible does it teach that there are two calls of God, one effectual, the other not effectual? Really, you must think me somewhat limited in intelligence to have the wool pulled over my eyes this way! But, the calvinists have to come up with some explanation, no matter how tenuous the Biblical support for it, or else accept that they have doctrines that may be mocked by all those people who actually think for themselves. Talk about the commandments of man being taught as the doctrines of God! Matthew 15:9 – But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.
And further to this, in John 12:32 Jesus says that He will draw all to Himself on the cross. Note that “draw” in this verse is the same as “draw” in John 6:44. Now, unless you can prove that “all” can only mean those who believe, then Jesus must be drawing all mankind, and thus the Father in John 6:44 also draws all mankind, and thus, if not all come, then some of mankind must be resisting due to their free-will. If “all” means “all” mankind, then the combination of John 12:32 and John 6:44 can only mean that some are resisting the drawing of the Father through their own free-will. Can you explain that free-will is nonsense in this light??
Here’s another one for you to try to explain. How can God ask His people to choose between life and death, blessing and cursing, if they don’t have free-will? Is God then going to foreordain that they sin and rebel against Him? Then why would He go through the parody of asking them to choose when such a choice is nonsensical?
Deuteronomy 30:19 – I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
And what about Isaiah 5:4 – What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
If God has ordained that Israel should produce bad fruit, then He has not done enough to ensure that they would bring forth good fruit. In fact, the only way that God can say this and remain sovereign holy God is to have given Israel a free-will to reject His truth. Can you explain this?
And also Jeremiah 32:35 – And they built the high places of Baal, which [are] in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through [the fire] unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
It never came into God’s mind that they should do such a thing? That is, He never considered such a thing? If God has foreordained their rebellion, then it has to have been in His mind that they should do such a thing, so either God is a liar, or He has forgotten what he foreordained, or else He is sovereign God who has given Israel a free-will to choose between serving Him or other gods! Can you explain this otherwise?
And how can calvinism give glory to God when calvinists such as Spurgeon teach that you have eternal life before you come to Christ for eternal life (according to that document of Spurgeon on free-will). There never was a man who came to Christ for eternal life, for legal life, for spiritual life, who had not already received it, in some sense (“Free Will – A Slave” 02/12/1855) Effectively, a calvinist then believes that he is saved for heaven even before he comes to Christ for eternal life. In this calvinist heresy, Christ has become irrelevant and thus written out of the gospel of salvation for mankind. For what need is there of Christ if a man has eternal life without Christ? How can Christ now say “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” when a sinner has come to the Father through regeneration before he may believe in Christ and be saved? And how can a person have eternal life before he comes to Christ, if he cannot see life without Christ?
John 3:36 – He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
And where does the Bible teach beyond any doubt at all that “the whole world” (1 John 2:2) can never mean the whole world without exception? Yet the calvinist consistently assumes the lie that the whole world can only include those who believe! But, unless they prove that “the whole world” cannot mean the whole world without exception, then Jesus died for all mankind, and their limited atonement heresy is shot down in flames.
Questions, questions, questions! Can you answer any of them Scripturally??
Just a little more! You say that John 15:16 puts an end to the argument of who chose who. Obviously you are assuming that all those that Jesus chose here were the elect going to heaven? But there’s a bit of a problem for you in this one too. Firstly, Judas was one of those chosen in John 15:16. Can you explain how the choice of Judas fits into your explanation, considering that he was never bound for heaven, it seems? In fact, John 15:16 had nothing to do with election to salvation (for if it had, then Judas would not have been chosen among them). It was the custom that disciples chose their masters, yet Jesus now says that He did not follow the usual custom because He chose His disciples. Even Gill (that calvinist commentary) says his (Jesus’) choice of them was entirely free, did not arise from any character, motive, or condition in them: the allusion is to a custom of the Jews, the reverse of which Christ acted; with whom it was usual for disciples to choose their own masters, and not masters their disciples
It is a mistake to think of this as anything else than the master choosing his disciples in opposition to the custom of that day!
Also, why did Jesus say that He had chosen the 12 disciples and one of them was a devil? If this represents the unconditional election to life and heaven, then do calvinists really believe that devils go to heaven?
John 6:70-71 – 70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 He spake of Judas Iscariot [the son] of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
And if Jesus should not lose one of those given to Him, how did He lose Judas in John 17:12?
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