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;

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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.

EASTER?

I know I’m in the minority thinking this way, and I can hear the “ughs” already, but I find it very offensive that my Lord’s death and resurrection is associated with an Easter bunny, jelly beans and chocolate, etc. I won’t go into the details regarding the origin of Easter, but I will say this… Easter 🐣 is a Roman Catholic holiday that the Protestant/Evangelical church has embraced. I remember a former Roman Catholic priest asking why all the Protestant Christian schools were closed on the so called Roman Catholic “holy week”. The former priest was making a protest that few have heard or seem to want to hear. Have we become so accustomed to the times in which we live and forgotten the majesty and holiness and fear of the Lord?…

Revelation 1

9 John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

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Matthew 28:1  In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

Matthew 28:2  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Matthew 28:3  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

Matthew 28:4  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

Matthew 28:5  And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

Matthew 28:6  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Matthew 28:7  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.

Matthew 28:8  And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.

Matthew 28:9  And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

Matthew 28:10  Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

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Matthew 28:16  Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

Matthew 28:17  And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

Matthew 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Matthew 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Matthew 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

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John 11:25  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 11:26  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

John 11:27  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

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We who are born again and filled with the Holy Ghost can and do remember and proclaim the Lord’s death and resurrection daily. 🙌