Is choosing to be saved a work of salvation? God says, “No!”
How many times have you had a calvinist get in your face with the claim that if you, by your own free will, accept Jesus Christ as Saviour, then that is a work of your salvation, thereby rendering your salvation imperfect. They claim that you don’t choose God; God chooses you! The truth is that this is not biblical, and that God, through His word the Bible, says otherwise.
Calvinists are guilty many times over of twisting the truth to fit in with their spurious doctrines. Whenever they are pressured to demonstrate biblically their devious doctrines, they usually resort to taking verses out of context, adding to or taking away from the words in a verse, and even saying that something is a biblical truth without giving the slightest shred of evidence from the Bible (because they can’t!). They must think that because they are so arrogant and forthright that no-one will really take them on.
But when things are really desperate, and someone does take them on where they are weakest (that is, when they try to demonstrate doctrines from the Bible), the calvinist will come out with the most inane statement of all: that if we accept salvation by our own free will, then that is a work of our salvation. They then say that this renders our salvation imperfect because it is not all of God. This is their final desperate attempt to salvage some credibility with a doctrine that is about as credible as flying elephants! They say that our decision to accept Christ is adding 1% (or 5% or 10% or 50% – the number is seemingly plucked out of the air) to our salvation and therefore we will get an imperfect salvation.
Calvinists make these bold claims without any biblical evidence at all to support them. However, this is not in the Bible anywhere in any shape or form. In fact, the Bible says they are wrong, and therefore God declares them to be liars. Firstly, God tells us that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). The calvinists can declare it a work with as much hot air as they can muster but it doesn’t change the truth: that to be saved we must call upon the name of the Lord.
And secondly, God has offered salvation through Christ Jesus as a free gift to all mankind who are under the penalty of death (Romans 6:23). Now that’s as clear as clear, for no-one can add to a gift in any way or else it becomes a work for the sake of that gift and no longer can be a gift, but instead wages for services rendered. And no-one can ever add to (or take away from) the value of a gift in any way by just receiving it.
So let’s look at those two issues in greater detail.
(a) Our personal decision to accept God’s salvation cannot downgrade that salvation in any way.
As mentioned above, God’s word tells us to call upon the name of the Lord, and so that’s what we must do. This must assume the free will to call upon the name of the Lord. Nothing at all denies free will in this verse or in the passage in which it is found. And, if this is what God says we must do in order to be saved, then this is what we do to be saved! Is it a work of our salvation to call upon the name of the Lord? No, but that’s not really the point, is it? It’s what God asks us to do if we desire to be saved. Who are you (calvinists) to contend with the Almighty? (See Job 40:2 – Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct [him]? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.) Take your argument up with Almighty God concerning what a person must do to be saved. If God says we must call upon the name of the Lord to be saved, then that’s what we have to do. Calvinists, listen to what God says for once!
Calvinists have a problem with free-will decisions to accept God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. They refuse to accept that man has a free will to choose salvation (despite no biblical evidence to support this). Of course, God must intervene with the preaching of the gospel before man may respond.
Romans 10:13-14; 17 – 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Just ask: why does satan work so hard at blinding men to the preaching of the gospel if it isn’t God’s intervention in the lives of mankind.
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 (satan) 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.
Why does satan fear the preaching of the gospel so much if, as the calvinists teach, a person must be born again before he can hear the gospel, respond and believe in Christ?
(b) The gift of salvation is complete and perfect when offered and cannot be added to in any way.
For something to be a gift,
(i) it must be fully paid for by the giver. That is, there must be no requirement that the receiver pay for it in work or money, for then it would be something given for such services rendered, and no longer a gift. There is nothing at all anyone can do to add to that gift in any way or else it would not be a gift! In fact, to receive this gift from God, a person is required to call upon the name of the Lord. This cannot prevent it being a gift [because God tells us to do it (Romans 10:13) and says it is His gift to us (Romans 6:23)] and therefore our response cannot be described as work or services in any way. It is impossible for the value of a gift to be increased or decreased simply by accepting it, for the value of the gift must already have been paid in full before being offered.
Of course, once a gift is offered and received, it then becomes a possession, and then may increase or decrease in value as a possession, but not while it was a gift.
(ii) it must be available as promised. That is, in order to offer a gift to someone, it must be available. If a gift were offered yet not available, then the giver has not told the whole truth. It must be available for the receiver to accept it. Otherwise it is not a gift. You cannot offer a gift when you are unable to give it.
(iii) a person must accept that gift of his own free will. That is, willingly, because something that is forced upon a person as a requirement for some duty (such as a uniform for employees) cannot be legally defined as a gift but a provision.
Therefore, if God offers eternal life as a gift (Romans 6:23), then nothing anyone can do can add to it in any way. Such a gift can only be accepted or rejected or else it is no longer a gift.
Calvinists, by teaching that free will acceptance of Christ as Saviour is a work of that salvation and therefore imperfect, you are misleading those lost souls who might be genuinely desiring to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you persuade them that making a free will response to the gospel is wrong, then you may be guilty of sending that needy sinner to eternal condemnation in hell. Every person you prevent from accepting salvation in Christ is another one you will have sent to hell because of your lies and deceptions.
You teach that a man must be born again before he can hear the gospel, believe in Christ and be saved, but it is the gospel that God uses to reach out to the lost. It’s the gospel that man responds to that enables him to be born again of the Spirit of God. If you teach that the gospel is only applicable after one is born again, then how many more will you send to hell with your lies and deceptions? How many of your “converts” to puritanism will sit there in church smugly believing your lie that they are the elect, the chosen ones of God, and never get around to calling upon the name of the Lord because you said it was an imperfect work of salvation? Calvinists, you with all your lies and deceptions have already sent countless lost souls to hell, and you continue to send great numbers to hell. You give them false hope that will evaporate away when they stand before God in judgment with their names not written in the Lamb’s book of life. Have you really honestly read the Bible? Do you know what it says? What if you are wrong? How many will greet you in hell with the accusation that you sold them out to satan?
Here is what calvinist Paul Washer says about this. He mocks the traditional evangelist who says that you have to open the door.
The question is not whether you would like to pray this prayer and ask Jesus to come into your heart — (He mocks traditional evangelists here) after all, you know, the handle to your heart is on the inside and if you do not open it Jesus cannot come in.
My friend, Jesus is Lord of your heart and if He wants to come in, He will kick the door down. ….. And ….
The greatest heresy in the American evangelical and protestant church is that if you pray and “ask Jesus Christ to come into your heart,” He will definitely come in.
And Todd Friel says People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment. (“Ten reasons to not ask Jesus into your heart”)
Ignore those calvinists for once and think for yourselves! If they are wrong (and they are most definitely wrong), then both you and they will end up in eternal condemnation. Don’t listen to their lies and deceptions. Read the Bible instead. And it will tell you to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved, and that this salvation is a gift of God to you.
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