Saturday, November 30, 2019

Irresistible Grace

“I” stands for the next doctrine to spring up called Irresistible Grace. This is the belief that the elect (those chosen by God) are going to be saved whether they desire to be or not. This would mean that a man could hate God; even worship Satan, and still be allowed to enter into heaven. Joshua told us that we have the ability to choose whom we will serve (Joshua 24:15). Peter told those on Pentecost to save themselves (Acts 2:40).

I really don’t know why those of the Arminian persuasion make the mistake this individual is making, in light of the fact that there is so much literature available to them that can clarify what Irresistible Grace actually means. To say that “the elect (those chosen by God) are going to be saved whether they desire to be or not,” is laughable and absurd. Where, among the thousands of books, articles and sermons that have been produced in the last 500 years was such a thing ever written? Only people who do not believe in Irresistible Grace.

Isn’t interesting that the only people that ever say that the elect are going to be saved whether they want to be or not, are the ones who are opposed to the doctrine. You would think that they would at least have the decency to attack what the doctrine actually means. I don’t know this person’s heart nor do I know his motivations. But I can only surmise that he is not interested in refuting what he considers false, but to paint the doctrine as badly as possible so as to make it easier to “refute.” Nothing like creating a straw-man of a doctrine you oppose, the better to set it aflame without having to do the work of actually refuting it.

Because this individual has the wrong idea of Irresistible Grace, he necessarily will attack the wrong thing. And not only does he attack the wrong thing, but continues to double down and make an even more outrageous and false statement. Again, who among Reformed writers of the last 500 years (I’m being generous here; you could go all the way back to Paul and not find anyone who said what is said here) ever said that someone could hate God, worship the devil and still go to heaven? If the person repents and turns to God, of course he can be saved. But that is not what is in view here. What is in view in such a comment is the idea that God saves people and that such an action will have no effect on the person’s behavior. In a word: Wrong!

Romans 8:29 tells us that those whom God foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. Now, if the image of Christ is that of a hater of God who is a devil worshiper, then this person is correct. Obviously, that is not the case. And it is for that reason, that we can not take this person seriously. He is not seeking to fairly and truthfully attack false doctrine. He simply wants to create emotional stir and lead the reader to say “wow, how could anyone believe and teach such things?” Well, unless they are badly confused, they don’t!

 Lastly, Joshua was not giving the people of Israel, who were God’s chosen people already, by the way, a didactic lesson on how to be saved. It is always problematic when people grab a passage that is intended to teach something specific to a specific portion of humanity and apply it to the whole. It is the same thing that many do when they lift passages speaking of blessings to Israel for obedience and apply it to the United States (“if my people who are called by my name” ring a bell?). And, as I mentioned in the last article, Peter didn’t tell his hearers to save themselves. He told them to “be saved”.

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