We are going to cover some of the verses that Calvinists will use and then we are going to see the weight and evidence of the scripture.
We believe in free will, that every person has the choice and responsibility for the actions and the consequences. We can’t say that God chose specific people to get saved and specific people to burn in hell, that is a sadistic, mean, messed up God. Everyone has the freedom of choice if they want to get saved or they want to remain lost.
Acts 13:48 “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”
This is a famous text used by Calvinists, they believe that these people were already ordained to eternal life.
The problem is that we’ll notice that it’s not a selected number of individuals, it’s not like this person got saved, that person got saved and God was picking and choosing which individual. We’ll notice that it’s a group of people, it’s Gentiles. What they neglect to see is v46-47.
Acts 13:46-47 “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.”
The Jews were heading the word of God first but out of their free choice, they rejected it. That’s why God said that He’s going to head toward another group of people, the Gentiles.
What Calvinists overlook is v46-47 and when we compare that we see the pattern matches with Acts 1:8 and Romans 1:16. It’s not God picking and choosing who gets saved and who gets lost, He wants everyone to get saved. But the pattern was when they do the gospel presentation, they started with the Jews and they went toward the Gentiles. That’s what he was simply showing. That’s why in Acts 13:48, it shows the Gentiles were ordained to eternal life.
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Notice the pattern: Jerusalem and all Judea are Jews. Samaria is partially Jews and partially Gentiles. Uttermost part of the earth is Gentiles. It says uttermost part of the earth, that shows it’s everybody. God is giving the gospel to everybody, not picking and choosing who gets the gospel and who doesn’t.
Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
God is powerful enough to save everybody. God’s power of salvation reaches to everybody that believes and look at the pattern: to the Jews first and also to the Greek.
Paul was simply pointing out in Acts 13:48 that yes, the Gentiles were ordained to eternal life because Acts 1:8 and Romans 1:16 showed that this gospel, after they go to the Jews, it’s going to the Gentiles and that means everybody.
Here’s their second passage that they will use:
John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
It seemed right here that Jesus Christ already ordained them to bring forth fruit for Him, God already chose them to be His elect.
The simple error to this is that God is not ordaining them to get saved, He’s ordaining them to work for Him. God’s job is to make sure that we are going to bring forth fruit for His glory. Our body is not our own, it’s the temple of the Holy Ghost. When we got saved in the Lord Jesus Christ, we have no other master to live for but the Lord Jesus Christ. That means church, soul-winning, praying, reading the Bible, cleaning up sins is not an option. We have no choice to live for ourselves, we’re supposed to bring forth fruit to God.
Hebrews 12:9-11 “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”
God wants us to bring forth fruit so He’s going to make us one way or another. That’s why He’ll punish us, He’ll chastise us because we belong to Him, we’re His son now.
1 Corinthians 3:17 “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”
We belong to God.
When we get saved in the Lord Jesus Christ, that is our freedom, that is our choice. Once we choose to be a child of God, God cannot undo our salvation, we’re eternally secured. God has to treat us like we’re His son because we are automatically His son. Because He’s our father, He has to chastise us, make us bring forth proper fruit for Him.
Here’s another verse that Calvinists use to show that before birth, Jeremiah and John the Baptist were ordained and elected by God. It seems to show that God picks and choose who gets saved even before we were born so we had no free choice to begin with.
Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
Luke 1:15 “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.”
He already gets filled with the Holy Ghost before he was even born, while he was still in the womb. It seems like John the baptist was saved and he had no free choice in the matter.
Notice the pattern we see here with Calvinists: we don’t see the word ‘saved’ anywhere out of these verses that we saw, the only one that had it was Acts 13:48. When God ordains or elects something, it is for a different task, different purpose. This is not concerning salvation.
We believe that every man has a free choice to get saved or to reject Jesus Christ and burn in hell but we cannot deny that when God decides to use a specific task for His glory, He’s going to use whatever choice we make, whether we get saved or lost, whatever free choice we make on that, God’s not going to put His glory to waste and He’s going to use it for His glory.
Back to the passage earlier, this has nothing to do with salvation. People can be ordained by God (Jeremiah 1), people can be filled with the spirit and preaches the word, they can do that if God ordained them to while having the free choice to rebel and remain a lost sinner.
Before Samson was born, God said that He will use him to be a judge over His people. Samson slept with many different people and constantly rebelled against God, not listening to Him. But God said, “I don’t care what free choice you make, I’m still going to use you to be a judge for My people.” And God did that, He used Samson’s rebellion and selfishness out of his own free will to make him a judge over the Israelites.
John 11:49-52 “And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”
Caiaphas was a lost sinner who crucified Jesus, he was responsible for accusing Jesus, blaspheming Him, making Him guilty and crucifying Him but God used him to prophesy His word, just like Jeremiah. Caiaphas prophesied salvation right here and he was a lost sinner.
Numbers 23:38 – 24:25
Balaam was preaching so many verses, nearly two chapters long. He was preaching the word of God but he’s not a saved person.
cf 2 Peter 2:15-17 “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”
Balaam forsook the right way, went the wrong way. v17 notice that they are lost and not saved people.
Notice that in these 3 cases here, when God ordained someone, it has nothing to do with salvation. If it has something to do with salvation, we got to realize that every individual has a free choice to get saved in the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what we need to key in on the Calvinists: concerning individuals and if salvation is in the context.