What Do You Believe and Why Do You Believe It?

Do you believe that God would have all men come to know the truth and be saved (1 Tim. 2:4, 2 Pet. 3:9)? that He provided the means of salvation in Christ (1 John 2:2, John 3:16)? that He makes known His love and will in the gospel so that we may know and believe (Matt. 28:18-20, Rom. 1:16-17,10:17,1 Cor. 15:1-2)? that we may obey to the salvation of our souls in Christ (John 8:31-32, Mark 16:15-16, Gal. 3:26-27, Heb. 5:9)? Of course, if you believe what God has revealed in the Bible, you do!

Do you also believe that God predetermined from eternity, before the world was or ever man was created, that some would be saved and some lost, and this without regard to anything that they might believe or do? that it is His will that men sin;  that He “is the ‘author’ of sin,” having “foreordained the existence of sin,”?(1) that while He predetermined to save some, whom He chose to love, “there are some who were hated of God before they were born”? (2) that “God’s eternal love for some men and hatred of others is immutable and cannot be reversed? (3)

You may ask, “How can one believe both? They are contradictory!” I agree. Yet there are people who affirm both, though they themselves recognize the contradictions. They claim that God loves all men, but not actually so because He hates some; that God wills that all be saved, but not actually so because He wills that only a few to be saved; that Jesus died for the sins of the world, but not exactly so because He died only for the elect. They believe it both ways and in their theology—this is not in the Bible—they have God with a “Revealed Will” and a “Secret Will.” It is in the Secret will that God negates what He says in His Revealed will, which is the Bible. What is God’s “secret” will that Calvinist theologians freely reveal? They even claim that there is a  “Third Will,” but  we will not go into that! Yes, this is the doctrine of Reformed Calvinism.

Of course, we know that God’s will revealed to us in Scriptures is true. Faith and obedience to this will—and it’s the total will for us to accept—will result in our eternal salvation, and we need not worry that somewhere in the secret chambers of God’s mind He has a different will that will negate what He has told us and will rob us of our hope. Know that God’s will is not subject to change.

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast…” (Heb. 6:17-19)

“immutable” (ametathetos) means:   “Immovable, immutable, sure, unchangeable.”

“Counsel” (boule) means: “Will, purpose, intention as the result of reflection; counsel, decree, air or estimation as it denotes deliberation and reflection…” (4)

We need never fear that what God has willed, as revealed in the Scriptures, will ever be altered or negated. God does not have some secret will that modifies His expressed will.

I am not a Calvinist. I worship the God of the Bible, and accept and follow His will. He is not the schizophrenic (“characterized by the coexistence of disparate or antagonistic elements”) God of theology.

Even Reformed Calvinists admit, “One need not be a Calvinist to be saved.” (5) But one has to be a Christian, believe in Jesus and obey His will, to be saved. (John 14:6, 2 Thess. 1:8, Matt. 7:21) That’s our plea: just be a “Christian,” not more, nothing less.

(1) Curt Daniels, History and Theology of  Calvinism, page 229,230

(2) Jerome Zanchius, The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted, Ch. 2,III(1).

(3) Jerome Zanchius, the Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted, Ch. 2,V (7).

(4) Spiros Zodhiates, Complete Word Study  Dictionary of the N.T.

(5) Curt Daniels, op.cit., page 467.