C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Monday, April 13, 2009

A Question for Calvinists? Or, Non-Calvinists As Well?

On a forum I frequently visit, the following question was posed as a ‘Calvinism question’:

1. Did God create some people for hell?

On the surface, such a question may appear to be directed only to Calvinists, with the possible inclination of leading into an attack upon it. The idea of election, foreknowledge, predestination, and possibly limited atonement may come to mind rather quickly, but that is limiting the scope of the question to one set of teachings, namely Calvinism. But, the question actually supersedes Calvinism, and encompasses also non-Calvinist Christian theology regarding the salvation and punishment of sinful man.

Sometimes the non-Calvinist will confront a Calvinist, immediately claiming that the Calvinist theology makes God a tyrant that chooses to create some persons just to go to hell. Just the thought of such would make most people cringe. How could a holy God create a person and predestine them to go to hell? How can holy God do such a thing, and not be guilty of sin Himself?

The answer may come in a variety of ways, ranging from ‘I don’t fully understand it myself’, to the quoting of scripture such as Romans 9:19-24 regarding vessels of wrath and mercy.

With this, the non-Calvinists may find themselves puffing out their chest, considering they have exposed the flaw of Calvinism once and for all. Prideful they smile; sharing with everyone it is they who hold to the true doctrines of the faith regarding salvation and punishment.

Now, pose again the question to a non-Calvinist, and one will most likely answer, ‘No.’ Whereby I must ask, ‘How so?’

Most Christians (at least that I know – whether Calvinist or not) hold to the belief that God is omniscient (all knowing), and therefore His foreknowledge would include having knowledge of who will and will not accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior before they are ever created. If God creates a person knowing they will not accept Christ, has He not basically created one for hell? A non-Calvinist cannot escape such a question, without denying the perfect foreknowledge of God. So, the question becomes more personal, and cannot be simply directed at others.

* The purpose of this post was not to prove, disprove, or explain the question, but to show that this question [Did God create some people for hell?] is more than just a Calvinist one. It is a question that needs much prayer and meditation in the Word of God, and not just something that can be tossed about like a grenade to seemingly crumble another’s theology without also causing one to take a look at their own.

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John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.