"Are Calvinists Saved?"

(New notes added to the end on August 23, 2020)

Here's a video from Beyond the Fundamentals that's well-worth watching:  Are Calvinists Saved?

The most thought-provoking part (for me) was when he asks (paraphrased) "How do Calvinists know they're saved, that Jesus died for them?"

You see, I would say that I trust in the truths of the Bible.  I trust that when God says He loves all people and wants all people to be saved, He means He loves all people and wants all people to be saved.  I trust that when He says Jesus died for all people and all sins, He means that Jesus died for all people and all sins.  I trust that when He says that we will find Him if we seek Him with all our hearts, He means that we can seek Him and find Him.  I trust that when He commands us to choose whom we will serve, He means that we have to choose whom we will serve.  I trust that when He says that anyone who repents and believes in the Lord Jesus will be saved, He means that anyone can trust in the Lord Jesus and be saved.  

And I did that.  I trusted (trust!) in the Lord Jesus for my salvation.  I accepted God's free gift of salvation - the gift that Jesus paid for completely on the cross and that is offered freely to anyone who wants to accept it.  And I accepted it.  I chose whom I will serve ... "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  So I can take God at His Word and know that I am saved.  (Of course, a "sinner's prayer" can't save you if you don't really mean it.  And if we are truly saved, there will be fruit - evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in our hearts and lives.)  

I believe the Bible when it says that Jesus's death was for all people and that anyone can come to Him.

And that includes me.

And you.

And all people.

But Calvinists believe that God only loves a few specially-chosen people with a saving love, that Jesus only died for the sins of those few elected people, that you can never get the gift of salvation unless God has elected you, that you can't even want God or seek God unless God has elected you and causes you to do it, that you can't understand or respond to the Gospel unless God has elected you and "opens your eyes," that we can't "choose" God but that God has already decided if we will be saved or not and that we can't do anything to change it, that God sometimes tricks unelected people into thinking they are saved so that He can have more reason to damn them to hell (evanescent grace - look it up), and that you can only know for sure that you have truly been elected if you persevere all the way to the end of your life.

All of their "salvation security" rests on the hope that they are really one of the few, pre-chosen "elected" ones, like they think they are.  That they were truly one of the few lucky winners picked during the "salvation lottery."  But they won't - can't - know for sure until and unless they "keep the faith" until they die.

What kind of security is that!?!  How can they truly know they are saved if God sometimes tricks unelected people into thinking they are saved and if they can't know for sure they're saved until the end of their lives, if they "persevere" all the way till the end?

Calvinism: Knowing you're saved because God has elected you.  Knowing you're elected because God has chosen to save you.  

Sounds like circular reasoning to me, basing the "truth" of each point on the other, with no Scripture to prove that they themselves are truly one of the "elect" or that their sins were covered by Calvi-Jesus's death!

They do not believe that Jesus died for all people, so they cannot know for sure if Jesus died for them.  So they have to base their salvation on their claim, their hope, that they were truly "elected."  (And if their view of election is wrong all along, as I believe it is, then what!?!  Then what hope do they have!?!  Election, in the Bible, has more to do with God choosing someone for a special role/responsibility, not choosing people for salvation.)

Nor can they honestly tell other people that Jesus died for them, that God loves them, or that they can be saved ... because in Calvinism, God only loves the elect, Jesus only died for the elect, and only the "elect" can be saved, but no one knows who the elect are.

So how can Calvinists, according to their own theology, know for sure that Jesus really did die for them (or for anyone else), that they are one of the few elect, that they are really saved?

They can't!  Not until the end of their lives!

Some security!  

And so much damage done to God's Good News and Jesus's sacrifice and people's hope for salvation!

Calvinism teaches a different Gospel!

The God of the Bible loves all people and wants all people to be saved.  Calvi-god does not.

The Jesus of the Bible died for all men and all sins, so that all could be saved.  Calvi-Jesus did not.

The God of the Bible tells us to seek Him in order to find Him, to choose whom we will serve.  Calvi-god says we can't seek him or choose whom we will serve.

The God of the Bible is a just God, giving us the choice between obedience and disobedience, and He responds to us according to our choice.  Calvi-god controls all we do, causing us to be either obedient or disobedient, based on what he's predetermined for us, but then he punishes us for the disobedience he causes.

The God of the Bible is glorified when people obey Him and worship Him.  Calvi-god is glorified by causing sin and causing people to go to hell.

In the Bible, salvation comes by hearing the Word and by believing in Jesus, choosing Him as your Lord and Savior, and then when you believe, you get the Holy Spirit.  In Calvinism, you can't "choose" Jesus as Lord and Savior because salvation has already been pre-decided for you by Calvi-god, and there's nothing you can do to affect whether you are saved or not.  And the elect get the Holy Spirit before they believe, and only then can they understand/respond to the Gospel.  The elect don't get the Holy Spirit because they believe; they get the Holy Spirit in order to believe.  So in Calvinism, first you get elected (saved) by Calvi-god, then the elect get the Holy Spirit, then they believe, then they can understand the Gospel.  (Talk about flipping Scripture on its head and making the Gospel completely superfluous and unnecessary!)  But if you are unelected, you can never believe or understand the Gospel because you can never get the Holy Spirit because Calvi-god didn't pick you and Calvi-Jesus didn't die for you.  (So what good is the Gospel really!?!  Why is it needed!?!  What does it accomplish if it has no effect on whether you are saved or not!?!)  So sorry, you unelected sinners, but you lost the salvation lottery!  Better luck next time ... oops ... there is no next time.  

Calvinism:  A totally different Gospel.  Lies disguised as truth.  Darkness disguised as light.  Damaging the Church from the inside out.  Using the Bible to destroy God's Word.

Sounds satanically-inspired to me!

"I am astonished that you are so [easily] deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - which is really no gospel at all.  Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!"  (Galatians 1:6-8, "easily" added in place of "quickly," to describe how willing many Christians are to embrace Calvinism without objection or critical evaluation.)

(Added notes)

And so ... Are Calvinists Really Saved?

I would say that most of the garden-variety Calvinists in the seats every Sunday are probably saved, because most of them probably became Calvinists after they came to Christ, when they "discovered" Calvinism in the Bible with the help of Calvinist theologians and pastors showing them how to do it.  

I think they call themselves "Calvinists" because they've been taught that "Calvinism is the Gospel" and they're trying to be good, faithful Christians, as they've been taught.  But really, it's just that they they don't know enough about what Calvinism really teaches (underneath all the deceptive layers Calvinists hide the bad stuff under) to know that they aren't really Calvinists at all.    

I think these are good, trusting, well-meaning Christians (I know many Calvinists like this) who just want to do their best to glorify God and be faithful to Scripture.  But they are trusting their leaders too much to lead them rightly, completely unaware that they should be questioning their pastor's theology.   

In fact, Calvinist leaders are taught to hide their Calvinism, especially the dark side of it, because it might "cause confusion and conflict."  And so they only share part of it, the top layer, the stuff we can all agree on.  (But it's what they hide that makes all the difference, that completely changes, contradicts, or cancels out what they first said.)

Hogwash!  That's not why they hide it.  They hide it so that people won't be aware of what they're really pushing, what Calvinism really believes, so that the people don't get alarmed enough to start questioning it.  And the hide the words "Calvinist/Calvinism" so that people can't look it up for themselves online to see what others say about it.  They can't research it if they aren't even aware it has a name.  And so Calvinism sneaks into the church and grows more entrenched because the pastor claims he is "just preaching right from the Scriptures."  And the people trust him.  

(And these good, trusting, well-meaning Calvinist Christians will wonder why their soul is suffocating a little more every Sunday as they are being force-fed Calvinist garbage, shamed and manipulated into accepting it, and being deprived of the kind of hope-filled, Gospel-filled, soul-healing Truth they need to hear.  But if they ever do allow themselves to wake up, to realize they are being fed lies, they will need to take some time to feed on real Truth to heal their soul from the damage that Calvinism has done to their faith and heart.  See "Healing Your Soul From Calvinism's Damage" and "Why Is It So Hard For Calvinists To Get Free From Calvinism?" and "12 Tips on How To Think Critically About Calvinism.")  

But then there are the dogmatic Calvinist leaders and those who are brought to "faith" through Calvinist evangelism.  Are they really saved?

My thought about the Calvinist leaders who are educated and who have skillfully reinterpreted Scripture to fit their view is that many of them might not really be saved.  To me, they are cut from the same cloth as the religious leaders of Jesus' day, such as the Pharisees and teachers of the law, those who have a complex religious system and deep religious beliefs but who completely missed the Truth when He was standing right in front of them.  They are blinded by their own "brilliance" and have traded in truth for their own ideas, even though they look so religious on the outside.  And they lead their sheep farther and farther away from the truth.

It is indeed possible to look very godly and religious but to be completely lost and on your way to hell.

Matthew 23:13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces.  You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to."

2 Corinthians 11:14"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their end will be what their actions deserve."

Galatians 1:8:  "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be eternally condemned!"

Dogmatic, die-hard Calvinists are wolves in sheep's clothing, spreading a false Gospel about who God is, what Jesus accomplished, and how to be saved.  

But if they want to truly be saved and know they are saved, they need to repent of their Calvinism, of the damage they have done to the Gospel and to Jesus' sacrifice and to God's good and holy name, and they need to begin taking responsibility for their choices, for their decision about Jesus.  They need to willingly and actively choose to believe in Jesus, to put their faith in Him, to make Him their Lord and Savior.  Just like God said they need to do to be saved.

And regarding those who are evangelized into "faith" by Calvinism ... 

"... If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." (Matthew 15:14).

One of Calvinism's essential, fundamental beliefs is that we cannot seek God, want God, choose God, or believe in God on our own but that God Himself has to cause it to happen to us.  They call "believing" a work and say that since we can't do any work to be saved then we can't believe in God on our own, and so God has to be the one to do it for us, to cause the elect to believe.

But do you know what God says?

God says that "believing" is a work ... but that it's the one work God requires us to do to be saved.

"Then they asked him, 'What must we do to do the works God requires?'  Jesus answered, 'The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent [Jesus].'"  (John 6:28-29)
And contrary to Calvinism, God does not consider believing a "saving work" or "trying to save yourself," (as Calvinist frame it, to shame/manipulate you into not thinking you can "believe" on your own).  
"'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'  Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.  However, to a man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.  David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:" (Romans 4:3-6)
Do you see how "believing in/trusting God" is not considered a "working to earn salvation" kind of works?  God is saying that believing and trusting are different than the other kinds of "works" people do to try to earn their way with Him.
We can't do anything to earn our salvation, to work our way to heaven.  But God does require one thing of us in order to be saved: To consciously, willingly believe in Jesus, to make Him our Lord and Savior, to trust that He made the way and paid the way to heaven for us.  (See John 1:12, John 3:16-18, John 20:31, Acts 16:31, Romans 1:16, Romans 3:22, Romans 10:9-13, Galatians 3:22, 1 Timothy 1:16, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, Hebrews 10:39, 1 John 3:23, 1 John 5:1,5,13)     
Big question:  If Calvinists say that we can't do the one thing God requires us to do to be saved, then how in the world can anyone be saved the Calvinist way?  
How many dogmatic Calvinists are truly saved if this is what they say of their conversion experience (as one famous Calvinist essentially said): "I just always knew from a young age that I was elected, that I was chosen to be a believer."  Yet they had no moment when they personally, consciously chose to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Instead, they just grew up "knowing" they were elected and went with it.  

I believe there will be a lot of shocked Calvinists standing before God one day when He tells them, "I said that you were responsible to choose between believing in Jesus or rejecting Him.  And I meant what I said!"  

If anyone has has been tricked by Calvinism into thinking that "having faith/being saved" just happens to them because God causes it to happen to them and that they don't have to do anything (and can't do anything!) to be saved, not even "believe" or "choose Jesus as Lord and Savior" ... well, then, I have to wonder how genuine their faith really is?  

[And yet, God can even use bad theology to draw people to true saving faith, if the person is truly willing to make their own decision to choose Jesus as Lord and Savior.  So there will be plenty of people that became saved even through Calvinism's bad theology.  Because God can get the truth to people's hearts - if they really want to know it - by filtering out the bad parts of Calvinism and highlighting the good, true parts of it.  But for the sake of the Gospel and their faith and heart, they had better get away from Calvinism as quickly as possible and find out what the truth really is!  See "Why Is Calvinism So Dangerous?" and "If Calvinism is true, then God is a liar!"]

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