Four-point calvinists believe in a universal salvation for all mankind
Yes, that’s right! Calvinists who believe that Jesus died for the sins of all mankind without exception actually believe in a universal salvation for all mankind, because:
(a) Four-point calvinists do not believe in limited atonement; they believe that Jesus died for all mankind without exception.
and (b) calvinism teaches that no-one whose sins have been paid for will ever be sent to hell to pay for their sins.
Therefore (c) if the atonement is for all mankind, then no-one will ever go to calvinist hell; they will all go to calvinist heaven.
Limited atonement is impossible to defend biblically
You see, of the five points of calvinism (commonly referred to as TULIP), limited atonement (“L”) is the most difficult to swallow. Full 5-point calvinism teaches that Jesus only died for the sins of those whom their God has chosen for heaven; the calvinist Jesus didn’t die for any others at all. However, the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus died for all the sins of all mankind without exception (1 John 2:1-2). It is therefore impossible for calvinists to biblically defend their heresy of limited atonement for the elect only.
Many calvinists reject limited atonement
Because the Bible clearly teaches full atonement for the sins of all mankind without exception (1 John 2:1-2), many calvinists, sick of trying to defend their non-biblical “limited atonement” belief, accept the biblically correct “full atonement for all sins”. They thus reject the calvinist limited atonement (while continuing to accept the other 4 points (T, U, I, P). Consequently they declare themselves to be “Four-point calvinists”.
No-one ever goes to hell to pay for their sins
MacArthur (that false teacher so beloved by calvinists) says: “If Jesus actually paid in full the penalty for your sins, you’re not going to go to hell, that would be double jeopardy.” But MacArthur is so wrong here! No-one at all ever goes to hell to pay for their sins. You go because you refused the free pardon for sin offered by God by not calling upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13).
It is impossible to pay for even one sin in hell, ever
Just think it through carefully! If you could pay for even one single sin in hell, then, given enough time, you could pay for every one of your sins. There’s no time limit; you will have eternity to pay for those sins. But there is no escape from hell, no matter how many works you achieve to pay for any number of sins. Your sins are not infinite, but your time in hell is indeed infinite. Not one person will ever pay for even one single sin in hell, ever.
No escape from hell even if you did pay for your sins
Even if it were possible to pay for your sins in hell (you do have eternity to do so!), you could never escape from hell and go to heaven. What then would be the point of paying for your sins in hell? Hell is a place of torment, not redemption. Redemption is what you seek in this life, not the next!
No amount of works will ever permit you to escape hell
Romans 4:4-5 makes it very clear that you go to hell because you decided to trust in your works to get you off the charge of sin. It is those who trust in Christ for their righteousness who will be admitted to heaven, none other at all.
You must choose in this life to trust in your works, or in Christ, for salvation
Romans 4:4-5 gives mankind his two options in this life for his eternal future:
(a) to trust in your own works (and be found in debt before God as Judge – Vs 4). You will go to hell.
or (b) to believe on him that justifies the ungodly (and your faith will be accounted as your righteousness – Vs 5) You will be admitted to heaven.
The catholic purgatory permitted payment for sins
Keep in mind that Calvin never left the catholic church. He taught that the catholic baptism (and no other) was necessary for salvation, and that salvation could only be found within the walls of the Mother Church (which he defined as the catholic church). He wished to see reform in the catholic church, thus the term “Reformation”. Catholicism teaches that those of the church who die with unforgiven sins will enter purgatory before being permitted to enter heaven. Those outside the catholic church would all be sent straight to hell for eternity with no option at all for purgatory.
Purgatory (from a word meaning to cleanse or purge) was where you paid for those sins yet unpaid for, a purification process; and only the pure could enter heaven.
Calvinism has its own purgatory
Calvinism redefines purgatory as a place (the calvinist hell) where the non-elect go to pay for their sins. It’s like purgatory and hell combined. You go there to pay for your sins, yet also exist there in torment for eternity.
It is clear that calvinism has drawn much of their false teaching from the catholic church, and no wonder, for both Calvin and the catholic church built much of their teachings upon Augustine’s writings.
However, the catholic purgatory never has and never will exist. It is not in the Bible anywhere; instead it is an invention used to control the members of their church.
MacArthur says that full atonement in calvinism means universal salvation
That “hero of the faith” MacArthur says: “If you believe that Jesus paid in full the penalty for all the sins of all the people who ever lived, then you have to be a universalist.” Of course, he vehemently teaches that the atonement is limited. His reasoning is that the atonement could not have been for everyone or else we’d all go to heaven. Therefore, he says, there must be a hell for those who still need to pay for their own sins. “So the Bible promises there is a hell. The only way to avoid it is to not die in your sins. And to not die in your sins, you have to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. And if you don’t, you’re going to pay the penalty of eternal destruction. That proves that the atonement is limited. It does not apply universally. God did not intend to save everyone. He is God. He could have intended to save everyone. He could have saved everyone. He would have if that had been His intention. The atonement is limited. Now we all have to accept that or be universalists.”
For MacArthur, an atonement for all mankind without exception would result in all mankind going to heaven and not one soul lost in hell.
Five-point calvinism teaches that Jesus only died for the sins of their God’s elect
Therefore, if Jesus died for the sins of all mankind without exception, then all mankind without exception are on the calvinist God’s list of his elect. Again MacArthur says: “Is the death of Christ a work that potentially saves willing sinners or is it a work that actually provides salvation for unwilling sinners who by God’s sovereign grace will be made willing?” MacArthur then teaches that it is an actual salvation for all whom Jesus died for, saying: “Jesus’ death then is to be understood as a full satisfaction to God’s holy justice on behalf of all whom God will save.”
Therefore four-point calvinists must believe in universal salvation
They reason correctly that Jesus must have died for all sin of all mankind exactly as the Bible teaches. But in calvinist teaching, this would mean that no-one would go to hell, and therefore everyone would go to heaven. In fact, a four-point calvinist must believe that no-one actually goes to hell, and that all mankind ultimately goes to heaven.
A challenge to calvinists
If you consider my statements here to be biblically and logically incorrect, then are you brave enough to be willing to challenge me concerning my argument re four-point calvinists? Or, if you are not able to challenge my reasoning here, then do you accept the charge that four-point calvinists must accept the doctrine of universal salvation for all mankind?
(All quotes from MacArthur are from “The doctrine of actual atonement”, Pt 1)
Addendum: Some extra points to consider for those less than five-point calvinists.
(a) If Jesus died for all mankind without exception (1 John 2:1-2), then why does the calvinist God choose only a few of them for heaven. What is the point of paying for the sins of all mankind if most of them cannot ever benefit from such payment? It is clear that calvinism must rely upon those of the elect being exactly the same group who have had their sins paid for. Why would Jesus need to die for anyone who wasn’t chosen to go to heaven (as one of the calvinist God’s unconditional elect)? Why pay for anyone’s sins if they have been foreordained by the calvinist God to go to hell to pay for their sins there? Why give all mankind a free ticket to calvinist heaven while at the same time sending most of them to hell to pay for those “free” tickets?
There is no logical nor scriptural answer to these questions.
A doctrine of full atonement for all mankind would destroy the heresy of a calvinist elect unconditionally chosen by their God. And because full atonement is biblically correct, then doesn’t this therefore destroy calvinism? Truly, all it takes to demonstrate that calvinism is a doctrine of devils is to reveal the heresy of limited atonement. Take away limited atonement and calvinism falls like a house of cards!
(b) The biblical truth is that Jesus died for the sins of all mankind without exception to make all mankind potentially saveable, and that to be actually saved one must call upon the name of the Lord to be saved, as per Romans 10:13. The free will of mankind to choose this day whom he will serve is what determines who actually goes to heaven and therefore who goes to hell. Those who do not choose to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved are condemned already until they do so call (John 3:18). It is your free will in this life that will determine your destination in the next.
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