Oh, the persistent inconsistencies of calvinists! (on John 10:24-28)
Calvinists are certainly very persistent, arrogant and bossy, pushing their heresies like bullies upon others around them. However, while they are persistent, they are certainly not consistent, for the inconsistency of their teachings is extreme. They will focus upon one verse or a single passage to teach doctrines that are inconsistent with the rest of the Bible. As MacArthur says on his website: “Unleashing God’s Truth, One Verse at a Time.” Well, I can tell you quite clearly that, yes, he does teach one verse at a time, but his calvinist God’s truth is full of lies which are easily exposed when you look at the overall consistency of biblical teachings. You can teach whatever you like using just one verse at a time! The truth is that MacArthur teaches a doctrine of demons, and his God is not the God of the Bible!
Calvinists love to tell us that the sheep that Jesus died for are the elect of God, unconditionally chosen by Him from the foundation of the world. That is, if you are not one of those elect, you cannot be one of His sheep, and therefore the calvinist Jesus did not die for your sins. (Of course, the Bible does teach that there is an election, a choosing by God, but according to 1 Peter 1:2 God chooses these elect according to His foreknowledge. Calvinists deny God the use of foreknowledge to do this!)
A common statement of calvinists is that Jesus died for his elect sheep only. “Calvinists believe there are lost sheep (the elect) all over the world, and it is our commission to go to them, proclaim the message to all people, so that these sheep can hear the shepherds voice, turn from their sin, and be saved. We get this idea from John 10, and it motivates us to proclaim the gospel.” (https://davidschrock.com/2015/05/11/the-greatest-misunderstanding-about-calvinism/#_ftn1)
John 10:24-28 – 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.
Thus calvinists are teaching that Jesus only died for those whom He had chosen for His own, His sheep, and none others! But here’s where the inconsistency comes in! When Jesus came as a man in the flesh, He came to His own (John 1:11). Calvinists have to see these as God’s sheep, for they are His own. Only the elect of God can be His own, for whoever heard of a calvinist teaching that God claims for His own any other than those He has chosen to be His elect?
So, just how can calvinists say that those who are elect hear God’s voice and follow, yet Jesus came to His own (His elect, obviously) and they didn’t receive Him!
John 1:11 – He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Yet, aren’t these, “His own”, of whom it says: All we like sheep have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6)?
How is it possible that God’s own sheep could ever be able to not receive Him? Clearly these elect, when called, rejected God’s alleged “irresistible” grace in order to not receive Him! It is clear that “His own” are those who had been chosen to be His sheep but had somehow decided otherwise. Otherwise, who are “His own” here? Another family of sheep perhaps? Perhaps the black sheep of the family??
Therefore, scriptural consistency requires that those sheep who follow Him are those who have chosen to follow Him by believing in Him, not those who were unconditionally elect. John 1:11 is talking about the elect nation of God, Israel. Jesus came to His elect nation of Israel, His own, and they refused to receive Him. Clearly this refusal was by their will, or else we have to believe the impossible: that God chose His elect for His own, yet foreordained that they not be able to receive Him when He came to redeem them. Why would He come to His own if He had already foreordained that they should refuse Him. No doubt you’ve heard of the offer that cannot be refused. This, though, is the offer you cannot accept!
What it is really saying is that it was the ones who received Him to whom He gave the authority to become children of God, His sheep.
John 1:11-12 – 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:
If God’s unconditional elect are His sheep (according to calvinism), then who are His own (who didn’t receive Him) in John 1:11? Can they be His own, yet not of His sheep? Or maybe they were His sheep, yet refused to receive their shepherd! Do some sheep receive Him and other sheep not receive Him? (But this would require free will!) Come on, calvinists, please explain this anomaly or accept that your doctrines are inconsistent!
So who are the sheep of John 10:24-28? John 1:12 gives the answer. It was those who received Him that became God’s children, not the other way around. The receiving came first, then consequently the power to become God’s children. To all those who received Him were given the power to become the sons of God.
Note that the parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14) discusses the same issues: God’s own (His elect nation, Israel) refused to receive the invitations to come, while those who did receive the invitations (the Gentile Church) became the guests in place of the elect nation Israel (who received Him not). This is a very consistent theme running through the New Testament. God sent out invitations to His own, but they received Him not. But those who did receive Him to them gave He the power to become the sons of God.
Likewise, the parable of the vineyard and the evil servants (Luke 20:9-19) who were, once again, His own elect nation Israel. God has planted His elect nation of Israel in His vineyard, and then sends servants to collect His fruit from the vineyard. But the keepers of the vineyard beat two servants, and wounded another. So God sends His own Son who comes to His workers (“His own”) in the vineyard but they did not receive Him (John 1:11). Instead they decide to kill Him so that they can have the vineyard for themselves without God’s interference. Jesus then asks the pharisees what they think the Lord of the vineyard (God) will do to them. And Jesus also gives them the answer (for the pharisees apparently were reluctant to incriminate themselves!). Luke 20:16 – He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others.
That is, God will take the vineyard off His elect nation Israel and give it instead to the Gentiles who will look after it better. Once again, Jesus has come to His own, and His own received Him not! But to as many of the others who did receive Him He gave the power to become the children of God.
So who are the sheep who hear His voice here? The others to whom the vineyard was given (Vs 16).
The parable of the vineyard is consistent with what God says through Isaiah to His people. God says very clearly that He has done everything possible to His vineyard to produce good fruit, yet it produces rubbish. It would make God a liar if He had actually foreordained Israel to produce poor fruit after allegedly doing His best to produce good fruit.
Isaiah 5:1-7 – 1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: 2And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. 3And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 4What 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? 5And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: 6And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
In fact, even in Isaiah’s time, God has approached His people, His own, and they received Him not! Therefore God sent them into captivity, not because He ordained them to be rejected, but because they (by their own free wills) rejected Him first. This is the only way this passage can make sense. Take away the free will of God’s people to be able to reject Him (to receive Him not) and you end up with a God who tells His people to obey Him while secretly ordaining that it be impossible for them to do so.
Or else the calvinist God has two separate wills, a view that is taught by many calvinists including Piper. Piper apparently feels that his God may too easily be portrayed as schizophrenic, judging from his efforts to deny his God is such when looking at all the obvious discrepancies in calvinist teachings. “My aim here is to show from Scripture that the simultaneous existence of God’s will for “all persons to be saved” (1 Tim. 2:4) and his will to elect unconditionally those who will actually be saved is not a sign of divine schizophrenia or exegetical confusion. A corresponding aim is to show that unconditional election therefore does not contradict biblical expressions of God’s compassion for all people, and does not nullify sincere offers of salvation to everyone who is lost among all the peoples of the world. …..
Affirming the will of God to save all, while also affirming the unconditional election of some, implies that there are at least “two wills” in God, or two ways of willing. It implies that God decrees one state of affairs while also willing and teaching that a different state of affairs should come to pass.” (https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/are-there-two-wills-in-god)
But without free will of mankind, God can have whatever He wills to have. Only free will introduces the “problems” Piper is trying to cover up. If man has no free will, God does not need two wills!
However, no amount of verbal gymnastics will ever remove the inconsistencies in calvinist doctrine. The sheep who hear Jesus’ voice in John 10:27 are not the same as “His own” in John 1:11. “His own” in John 1:11 rejected Jesus because they were not His sheep, yet they were His elect people, Israel. The Bible teaches clearly that if these elect people of God sinned against Him, then God would reject them as He did the workers in His vineyard. If calvinist doctrine is right, then it would be impossible for God’s own people to reject Him. Calvinists teach that when God calls you, you have to come; His call is irresistible. Yet Jesus’ apparent call to His people Israel in John 1:11 was not as irresistible, for they received Him not.
The Bible therefore teaches consistently that the sheep who hear and follow Jesus are those who believe by their own free will, just as the ones who didn’t believe, the pharisees, were not of the sheep of Jesus.
John 10:26 – But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
Please, please calvinists, be consistent for once! For, if you cannot be consistent with the truth, then you are being persistent with lies. Sola scriptura!
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