By David J. Stewart
Psalm 118:8, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
Chapter 5 — The Curse of Calvinism
It is tragic that the false teachings of a man, John Calvin (1509-1564), who's been dead now for well over four hundred years is still influencing millions of people for the Devil. John Calvin was a heretic! Psalm 118:8 tells us to trust in the Lord and not men. In John 5:39 Jesus commanded for each of us to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!!!
It is tragic that so many people today follow the heretical teachings of such men as Martin Luther, Jacob Arminius, John Calvin, the Westminster Confession, the Council of Trent, and so on. There is nothing taught in the Word of God about sacraments. The term “holy baptism” isn't found in the Scriptures, nor is the term “holy mass.” These are manmade terms. Water baptism and the Lord's Supper are simply ordinances which the Lord instituted in the local New Testament church. There is no grace imparted to the believer, nor spiritual power bestowed, by being water baptized or partaking of the Lord's Supper. Also, infant baptism in unscriptural.
John Calvin taught that a believer must PERSEVERE in the faith as part of saving-faith. Tragically, the Salvation Army and Dr. John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, are devout followers of Calvin and believe the same thing. Those who adhere to one or more teachings of John Calvin are commonly called, “Calvinists.” Calvin's core teachings are often presented in the form of an acronym: TULIP:
T — Total Depravity of Man (Man cannot come to God of his own freewill.)
U — Unconditional Election (God chooses who will be saved.)
L — Limited Atonement (Jesus only died for the redeemed.)
I — Irresistible Grace (If God chooses you for salvation, you will get saved.)
P — Perseverance of His Saints (If saved, you will forsake sin and continue in the faith; salvation can be lost)
The Word of God strongly contradicts all of Calvin's teachings. Revelation 22:17 in the New Testament so wonderfully tells us, "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Notice those words, "whosoever will." That means you, and me, and everyone else on earth, are invited by the Holy Spirit to take the water of life FREELY. Eternal Life is the free gift of God. Salvation is receiving; not giving. Jesus paid it all by His own blood sacrifice for our sins.
The very notion that God chooses who will or won't be saved is absurd. God NEVER chooses who will be saved, or who won't be saved. The choice is solely ours to make as individuals. In John 5:40 Jesus said to the Jews, "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." Carefully notice that Jesus DIDN'T say, "Ye cannot come," no, rather, He plainly stated, "Ye will not come." Anyone will be saved if they come to God the Father through the Son. John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." Amen!
Calvin taught the false doctrine of Limited Atonement, i.e., the teaching that Jesus didn't die for the wicked; but rather, only for those whom God in His foreknowledge knew would one day be saved. The Bible proves Calvin wrong time and time again. For example: 2nd Peter 2:1, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." Notice the phrase, "even denying the Lord that bought them." Jesus bought those Christ-rejecting false prophets, which the Bible clearly states to us. Again in 1st John 2:2 we are taught, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." The word "propitiation" means "to appease one's wrath." Jesus' blood sacrifice satisfied the Father's demand for justice and made salvation available to all humanity as a free gift. The Bible plainly states that Jesus appeased the wrath of God for our sins, and not for ours only, "but also for the sins of the whole world." Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. Amen!
God will not force anyone to get saved. In Acts 26:28b, after hearing the Apostle Paul present the Gospel, king Agrippa said to Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." There was no irresistible grace at work. Agrippa had a choice to make, as we all do.
Now we come to the heretical teaching by Calvin of the perseverance of the Saints. Calvin taught that one who is truly saved WILL continue in the faith, as part of saving-faith, and that salvation can be lost if that person turns away from serving Christ and goes into sin. Nothing could be further from the truth. Salvation is of the Lord; and not man. We have no part in salvation except to enter our guilty plea before God the Father, for violating God's holy Law, and then believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness, so that Christ's precious blood can wash away our sins forever. Colossians 1:14, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."
I think Romans 4:5,6 are some of the most overlooked Scriptures in the Bible, because they clearly refute the Calvinistic doctrine of perseverance, "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works." The Bible plainly states that a man's faith is COUNTED for righteousness. This is because Christ's righteousness is attributed to, or charged to, our record in Heaven through faith in Christ. Literally, we are saved by Christ's righteousness; and not our own self-righteousness in any way. Read carefully the words of Romans 10:3,4, "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." Christ in the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believeth. Amen! This blows Calvin's doctrine of The Perseverance of the Saints straight out of the water! We don't have to persevere to stay saved, nor can we determine if one is unsaved because they backslide and stop living for the Lord. We have no part in our own salvation except to BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive our sins. Acts 10:43, "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
Notice the type of person whom Christ justifies in Romans 4:5, "the ungodly." Calvinists are a self-righteous bunch, thinking that they haven't lost their salvation yet because they're persevering in the faith for God. The truth is that if we all were to receive what we deserve, the ground would immediately open beneath us and swallow us into hellfire forever. David said in Psalm 32:2, "Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile." The teachings of Calvinism essentially ignore the great Biblical doctrine of imputation, i.e., the truth that we are saved by Christ's righteousness, which the Father attributes to our heavenly record the moment we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior. Jesus took our sins upon Himself at Calvary, and by faith God places Jesus' righteousness upon our record at the time of salvation.
Followers of Calvinism claim that salvation can be lost because of sin in one's personal life, or by turning away from living the Christian life. What they don't concede is that even the best of Christians still struggle with sin and fail on a regular basis, as did the Apostle Paul in Romans 7:14-25. The Christian life is a life of struggle with sin, of temptation, of sorrow and woe, of sadness and heartbreak. John 16:20, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy." Jesus said we would be sorrowful because of the sinful world we live in. Jesus said in John 15:19 that people would hate us merely for being Christians. So, even the best of Christians have it rough in this world. Those who teach that salvation can be lost have a distorted view of the Christian life. Calvinism is rooted in self-righteousness. John Calvin was of the Devil and is sadly burning in Hell this moment, because he failed to solely rest upon the blessed Savior for salvation. Calvin spent his life trying to persevere, to stay on good terms with God by his own self-righteousness; instead of resting assuredly upon the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
The word "perseverance" is only mentioned one time in the entire Bible and is only speaking concerning prayer, Ephesians 6:18, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Let us beware of manmade doctrines that ensnare our soul and lead us astray from the precious truths and sound doctrines of God's Word.
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