Summary: Examining two controversal topics.

Predestination and Eternal Security

The once-saved-always-saved issue is a hot topic of debate in today’s church. On one

side, people can make a profession of faith and then have a false sense of security even

though they have no relationship with Jesus Christ at all. On the Calvinist side, people

have the attitude that if God wants it done, He will do it or make me do it. I once talked

with a man claiming to be a Christian who was trying to justify his pornography habit. He

stated that he didn’t think that he was accountable for his addiction. If God wanted him to

change, God would change him. Until that time, he was free to sin at every urge that God

permitted to tempt him.

I have also heard many people say that God will send people to the church if He wants

them to be saved. All we have to do is look around to see if this is true. The churches that

thrive outside their four walls are reaching people and are on fire when they come

together each week. Churches that only minister to themselves and those ’God sends’

have little impact on the culture around them and are often cold inside the walls of the

church. Jesus taught that we are to go into the highways and hedges to find those who

will come - go out into the all world. In Mark 16:15, Jesus issues the great commission to

go out and reach the world, not wait for God to send the world to us. A church hiding

behind the walls is in disobedience and by their own actions, limit God’s blessing that He

longs to invest in them. Numbers does not indicate spiritual maturity. I know large

churches that are cold as ice and small ministries that are on fire and impacting the world

for Christ.


The most popular doctrine of predestination is Calvinism. Calvinism takes its name from

John Calvin who wrote 5 points

Total Depravity of Man - all are born sinners

Unconditional Election - God has already chosen who will go to Heaven and Hell

Limited Atonement - Jesus died only to redeem those who were pre-chosen

Irresistible Grace - Man is saved by the will of God without choice

Perseverance of the Saints - Those predestined cannot be lost

I will state up front that I do not believe in Calvinism. One proof against it is its fruit.

Jesus said that we would know teaching by the fruit. Generally speaking, Calvinist

churches are only reaching people who are already believers. Obviously there are

exceptions to this, but as a whole, evangelism is not a part of this movement. The

believers they reach become like-minded and if they were outreach minded, they abandon

the idea. I was once under a pastor who was a Calvinist. We built a church in a heavily

populated unchurched community and it was an ideal location. The members present

when the church was built were the same members present 8 years later. I have a friend

who still attends. They are the same today as they were 20 years ago. Where is the fruit?

Where are the changed lives, the spiritual growth and the disciples who should now be

disciplers? The whole purpose of the church is to reach the lost, then equip and encourage

people for their personal ministries. True discipleship produces more discipleship. In

other words, I should be equipping people to become teachers, preachers and ministers

who will go out and reproduce themselves. A minister is anyone who is following God’s

call and doing what He has equipped them to do. Each person should grow to the point

where they are not dependent on someone teaching them. We still are commanded to

come together, but growth is limited if we are only growing in church.

God’s Foreknowledge

Look at the passage most Calvinist’s use:

Romans 8

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of

His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these

He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

What is the focus of this passage? It is to conform to the image of Christ. We are

predestined to conform to His image. This passage tells us that every Christian is

included in this destiny God has ordained. However, we don’t see every Christian

conforming to Christ. Under the Calvinist viewpoint, this would be a false statement in

my opinion. Who didn’t God foreknow? Even the unbeliever was foreknown. God

foretold of the sinners who would try and crucify Jesus. God foreknew the wicked kings

of Israel. God foreknew the wicked kings that would defeat Israel in judgment. God

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Larry Pintuck

commented on Oct 10, 2008

This sermon does little to explain the truth. Everyone who believes in free will wants to quote Romans 8 but none want to inlcude the answer that is given in Romans 9. The Bible is God''s truth the way God wants it to be not the way man wants it to be. Whether you like it or not the Bible is filled from cover to cover with the truth of TULIP.

Bobby Jarrell

commented on Feb 1, 2009

Good job, thought provoking, and very thorough comparing scripture with scripture.

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