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God ordains who should be saved – Debunking a Calvinist teaching

Calvinism teaches that the Lord takes away our free choice and that we don’t have a free choice to get saved.

Acts 18:9-10 “Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.”

This is their proof text. It seems that God already set up, ordained, decreed for Paul that there’s a great number of people in the city who’ll get saved. So their free choice was not involved here, they were forced to salvation because God already said and planned it all out.

The simple debunking to this is that if we look at v11, the context proves that it is not the elect or that God elected before the foundation of the world who are about to get saved but rather people who were already saved who needed to be taught the word of God.

Acts 18:11 “And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.”

Because there were already a lot of saved people at v10, God was saying to Paul, See I have many people here so keep preaching and teaching to those people.

In fact, we would notice that there were already a lot of people who did get saved, look at v2, we have two converts by name. In v7, here’s another. In v8, yet another and the end of the verse says that many were saved already. That’s why in v9-10 God says that there are already so many people saved in this city, Paul, so you just go ahead and keep preaching and teaching.


Here’s another favorite Calvinist proof text that seems to show God gave eternal life to those who were already given by the Father. In other words, God already found a certain group of people who He chose to get saved and He handed those people over to His Son, so it shows that there is no free choice involved.

John 17:1-2 “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”

Calvinists say that God can only give eternal life to those God chooses to give to Jesus, so there’s no free choice involved.

Calvinists fail to see that these people given by the Father to the Son are the disciples of Jesus Christ.

John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.”

John 17:11-12 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”

v6 they already kept His words, these are referring to His disciples that He was dealing with right then and there. v12 These are the disciples where Jesus was walking around in the world, it’s referring to His disciples. ‘none of them is lost, but the son of perdition’, that’s Judas Iscariot.

Do you know why they were given by the Father to the Son? Because they received and believed in Him, to begin with. So when we do that, we can become a disciple of the Lord. Then, it’s up to God’s own choosing who He wants to use for a certain part of work.

John 17:7-9 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.”

Why did they become God’s hand that He gave to the Lord Jesus Christ as His disciples? Because they received and believed it.

Anyone can be given by the Father to the Son if they believed in Christ for salvation.

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;”

It’s anyone who believes on Jesus Christ for their salvation.

Calvinists think that it’s unconditional election where God had to pick and choose who He would elect. But what we read from these passages show that those whom God gave to the Son are those who believed on Him, it’s a conditional election.