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(a.k.a. “Unconditional Election” Under Calvinism)
Those who call themselves Calvinists (Calvinism) claim that God has predestined (“unconditionally elected”) some people (individually) to be saved and others (individually) to be lost before the world began, and that not even faith itself is required for salvation (nor repentance, nor confession, nor baptism, nor perseverance, nor obedience, … nor anything whatsoever). It’s astonishing that some “Christian” pastors actually believe and teach this.
This false teaching, which comes along with the other Calvinism and “Reformed” Protestantism false teachings, says that God has already chosen who to save before the foundation of the world (and also thereby who will be lost) and that man has no choice nor say nor free will nor responsibility to accept Christ in the matter. I must immediately, therefore, point out that in light of their own teaching, it is ironic and hypocritical in the extreme why this group still has pastors, ministers, elders, and even churches at all today preaching the gospel; for according to their own beliefs, there is no point nor effect in preaching the gospel to anyone, because God has already selected everyone to either save or condemn, and it was all predetermined long before the world began! They can all, therefore, close up shop, stop begging for donations, and go home, right? But they don’t do that. Hmmm…is the hypocrite alarm going off for anyone else besides me on this? Why do they even need preachers of their theology if men cannot choose whether to accept the gospel or not? They could just as soon play reruns of Gilligan’s Island at their church services and have the same result, yes?
And not only that, but this group compounds their error even further by also teaching what they call the “perseverance of the saints,” i.e., a fancy name for the “once saved always saved” false teaching, which claims that a person can never lose his salvation after confessing Christ, regardless of how he lives the rest of his life, and regardless of whether he is obedient to the commands of Christ or not. As I’ve mentioned, false teachings come in packs: where there is one, others abound.
Wayne Jackson gives the following rebuttal to this false teaching :
As he commences his letter to the saints in Ephesus, Paul declares that God: “chose us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world … having foreordained [predestinated – KJV] us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself?” (1:4-5).
Does this passage teach that our salvation is strictly a matter of God’s arbitrary election, settled before the world was made, irrespective of any choice that we might exercise in the matter?
That was the philosophy of John Calvin. The Presbyterian Westminster Confession of Faith stated: “By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life, and other foreordained to everlasting death” (Article III).
This concept makes void every passage in the Bible that teaches human responsibility. If one’s eternal destiny was sealed from the beginning of time, what is the purpose of preaching to the lost?
The key phrase in Ephesians 1:4 is “in him.” It was not the case that God chose certain individuals to be either saved or lost; rather, the Lord foreordained that a certain class of persons would be saved.
What sort of class? Those who submit to Heaven’s divine plan of redemption, which, in this dispensation, involves obeying Jesus Christ (Hebrews 5:8-9), and entering into that relationship that is described as being “in him” (cf. Galatians 3:26-27).
To say the same thing in another way, before the world’s foundation, God elected to save those who would be obedient to His Son. Underline “chose us in him,” and record this comment: Not individual election, but class election.
Please also see the “Calvinism” false teaching section which follows.
Anderson, R. John. "6.13 Predestination False Teaching." EachDay.org. Access date: April 2, 2023. https://eachday.org/part-vi-beware-the-wolves/6-13-predestination/