THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CALVINISM AND THE ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED TEACHING

“Calvinism” is very popular in our day and many Christians, though they would not identify themselves as Calvinists, may have embraced some of Calvin’s doctrine without realizing it. The doctrine is named after a man named John Calvin, a reformer, who lived in the 1500’s. Bible teachers do not always identify themselves as Calvinists. As a result we may be ingesting Calvinistic doctrine without even realizing it. I’ve seen it happen. The best antidote to any false doctrine is to be like the Bereans, who “searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Understanding Calvinism helped me to understand that the doctrine of “once saved always saved” is a false doctrine. This was something I struggled with for many years. Why did it help me? Because I understood that at the root of the “once saved always saved” teaching is Calvinism’s false doctrine of “irresistible grace.” “Once saved always saved” and “irresistible grace” are obviously connected. As we can see in the Scriptures, it is possible to resist the Holy Ghost, and what a serious thing it is to do so.

What follows is just a simple outline of Calvinism from a post I wrote in 2007 with some editing…

T.U.L.I.P. is an acronym used by Calvinists to describe the main five points of Calvinism.

T stands for TOTAL DEPRAVITY – This “Calvin” doctrine propagates the error that man is so depraved and corrupt that he is not capable of making a choice to follow the Lord. It is taught that God is the one who predestines some to believe in Him and be born again, and predestines others not to believe in Him. The ones who are not predestined to believe will perish in hell. This doctrine denies free will. They say it doesn’t, but it does.

SCRIPTURE CLEARLY TEACHES that an individual has the God given ability to choose:

Matthew 11:20 “Then began he (Jesus) to UPBRAID the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:”

(UPBRAID – Find fault with, or reproach severely. dictionary.com)

Luke 13:34  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, AND YE WOULD NOT!

Romans 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; FOR GOD HATH SHEWED IT UNTO THEM. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE:

U stands for UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION – This “Calvin” doctrine propagates the error that some individuals are elected/chosen to salvation, and some are not. It is taught that God’s choices are unconditional.

SCRIPTURE CLEARLY TEACHES that Christ is the chosen, Christ is the elect. When we believe the Gospel we are then called chosen and elect because we are “in Christ.” It’s not about us, it’s about Christ.

Matthew 12:18 “Behold my servant, whom I have CHOSEN; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.”

Luke 23:35 “And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the CHOSEN of God.”

Isaiah 42:1 “Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine ELECT, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.”

L stands for LIMITED ATONEMENT – This “Calvin” doctrine propagates the error that Christ’s atoning work on the cross was only for certain individuals.

SCRIPTURE CLEARLY TEACHES that Christ’s atonement is available to all people.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Luke 2:10 “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to ALL people.”

Luke 2:31 “Which thou hast prepared before the face of ALL people;”

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that ANY should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Revelation 22:17 “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.”

I stands for IRRESISTIBLE GRACE – This “Calvin” doctrine propagates the error that when God calls a person to salvation, that person cannot resist God’s call.

SCRIPTURE CLEARLY TEACHES that it is possible to resist the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 11:20 “Then began he (Jesus) to UPBRAID the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:”

(UPBRAID – Find fault with, or reproach severely. dictionary.com)

Luke 13:34  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, AND YE WOULD NOT!

Acts 7:51 “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, YE DO ALWAYS RESIST THE HOLY GHOST: as your fathers did, so do ye.”

P stands for PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS (also known as “Once Saved Always Saved”) – This “Calvin” doctrine propagates the error that a person can never fall away from the faith.

SCRIPTURE CLEARLY TEACHES that it is possible to fall away from the faith.

John 8:31 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, IF YE CONTINUE in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;”

1 Timothy 1:19 “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away CONCERNING FAITH HAVE MADE SHIPWRECK:”

2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have KEPT THE FAITH:”

2 Peter 2:20-22 “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have KNOWN the way of righteousness, than, after they have KNOWN it, to TURN from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is TURNED to his own vomit again; and the sow that WAS WASHED to her wallowing in the mire.”

Matthew. 24:13 But he that shall ENDURE unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Colossians 1:21-23 And you, that were sometime ALIENATED and ENEMIES in your mind by wicked works, YET NOW HATH HE RECONCILED In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: IF YE CONTINUE IN THE FAITH grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Hebrews 3:12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in DEPARTING from the living God.

Hebrews 3:13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:14  For we are made partakers of Christ, If we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

* * *

A Christian sister once said . . . “the Lord draws but we have the free will to respond or not to respond to that drawing.”  True. We are not robots. Calvinism leaves a person wondering if they are one of God’s chosen ones. How can anyone ever have any peace wondering if they are one of God’s elect. Our peace comes from knowing that the atoning work of Christ on the cross is available to all. There is stability at the cross. There is nothing to wonder about. Jesus said “whosoever will” may freely receive salvation.

Revelation 22:17 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.

You can have peace and assurance that Christ is the chosen One, and when you believe in Him you are chosen in Him. This leaves the door to salvation open for all people, as God intended it to be, and as the Scripture declares.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

26 thoughts on “THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CALVINISM AND THE ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED TEACHING

  1. Pingback: SUICIDE – ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED – What have you got to lose? | PEACEMAKERS

  2. I was never into denominations, except way back in my 30’s I had gone to a Baptist church and was baptized there. But stopped going because it was more of a religion than a relationship. My husband and I searched and searched for a church that taught the Truth of Gods Word, but all we ever heard was one scripture verse and their opinions. Nothing but recycled sermons of pablum. Too regimental for us. The Holy Spirit was not there. We both agreed we’d know it when we heard it. The Spirit within us knew once we came across a true teacher of Gods Word, the spirit within would confirm it. We met alot of resistance along the way, but finally were told of one particular Pastor and his son who were teaching chapter by chapter and verse by verse out of the KJV bible. So once we started watching (they’re church is in Gravette, Arkansas), we stuck with it and learned more by them in a months time than we ever learned in other churches in a year. The father passed away in 2014, but his bible teaching is still on the air and internet. We’ve been studying with them since 2001. His son still teaches though. His dad would occasionally say in his teaching that Christianity is not a religion it’s a reality. They’re on 24/7.
    Anyway, thanks Cathy for the in depth education of Calvinism.

    What we are doing is what it says in 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 📖🔎♡

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing your experiences. It’s a sad state when many of us cannot find a sound church to attend. And they are not minor issues that keeps us out of the organized church. My husband was just saying this morning that the churches we have been familiar with are corrupt. Difficult days we are living in.

      Blessings to you and yours. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cathy, thank you for this. I agree that, like the Bereans “we should search the scriptures daily.” It never ceases to amaze me how many I know, having left the errors of Roman Catholicism etc., continue to drink in the words from another pulpit without any personal quiet times and study of the scripture. I believe in eternal security but I believe that scripture tells me it is conditional. “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Matthew 24v13) Some would accuse others who believe this of “salvation by works” but nothing could be further from the truth – the Christian’s life is totally a walk of faith every day. To the Galatians it was said: “Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3v3) Our good works (with faith as their foundation) are merely evidence of new life in Christ. A friend asked me once did I not feel “all insecure, believing that I am saved one day – and lost the next!” In fact, every morning when I waken I know that I’m saved – and it is all because of what the Lord has done for me.
    My husband walked out of a church once, where it was preached that “we Christians are all slaves to sin.” But the Bible says: “know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”(Romans 6v16-18)
    “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1John2v1) There is an increase in “antinomianism” in the days in which we live, although most Christians I know wouldn’t dream of living their lives like this, but I can see the terrible danger in “easy-believism” and then continuing to live your life as before, thinking that you are covered by some imaginary cloak of righteousness and God doesn’t see your sin. No sin is forgiven until it is repented of.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth, well said. I agree with all you say.

      “In fact, every morning when I waken I know that I’m saved – and it is all because of what the Lord has done for me.”

      “I believe in eternal security but I believe that scripture tells me it is conditional.”

      Yes! I have assurance of my salvation also. That’s an important point because those who believe in OSAS may think we don’t or can’t have assurance. We do have assurance. Regarding antinomianism, I’ve seen more than one person who I know, and believed in OSAS, view sinning as if there was no consequence. I know all don’t believe that but some do. It’s a distorted view and understanding of grace. Thank you for your input!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. I believe in God’s sovereignty and I also believe God creates people with a free will which is why I’m a Calvinist-Arminianist like every good Baptist. 🙃

    Like

  5. I have never heard of this doctrine, but am so Thankful for this post!!!! I truly enjoyed reading this and to have a light shed on yet another false way people buy into. Thank you for this Dear Sister In Christ. Blessings overflowing.
    Julia

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I can understand why you are opposed to Calvinism. Arminianism when taken too far leads to works based righteousness where one is constantly having to save his or herself. I have some Arminian friends who truly believe you can lose your salvation; however, it is never them who will lose their salvation always others who are not obeying God in a manner they deem fit.

    Liked by 4 people

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