Calvinism Is So Yesterday, Part 5: Persistence of the Saints

One of the fascinating things about the errant system of religion known as Reformed Theology is that the five points must all be accepted for the five points to work.  Remove one or more of the five points and the who systems falls apart!  For this reason, there is no such thing as a one-, two-, three- or four-point Calvinist.  Anyone who removes a “point” from the TULIP automatically places themselves outside the Calvinist collective.

We have talked about, Total Depravity and we have talked about, Unconditional Election.  The thinking is, since all of human kind is totally depraved and requires God electing some to believe, and since His election (again, of anyone who will ever enter His Kingdom) is unconditional (meaning, He does the electing of His own good will and not based on anything a person has done or not done) the next logical step in the TULIP is known as Limited Atonement.  To a Calvinist, the thinking goes something like this:

Because all of humanity is depraved, and God must then elect people to believe and receive Him and His Son, then His Son’s payment for sin, death and hell is limited; meaning, it is only available to those whom God chooses to elect!  And no other!

The point seems to be that a just God would never subject His Son to the suffering and pain for those God knows He will not elect, therefore Yeshua only suffered for the sins of all whom God knew He would elect and not for anyone else outside of His unconditional election!

Calvinists understand the implications of Yeshua paying for the sins of the (whole) world and because of this understanding wisely (or foolishly) avoid all the passages that speak of Yeshua’s universal sacrifice.  What implications does a Universal Atonement bring to the Calvinist mind?  It brings in the fact that if Yeshua offered Himself up for the sins of the world, then all the world before, after and since, has been forgiven of sin.  And God has been reconciled to all.

For a Calvinist, this will not do and so they retreat back into this unscriptural and illogical stance that says Yeshua’s death and resurrection was only for the few that God has chosen to elect! (see how one stance supports the others?)

So, to a Calvinist the doctrine of a limited atonement exists because it is not “reasonable” that Yeshua would die for the sins of someone who will spend an eternity in the fiery pit of hell.   

Below are several verses of scripture that refute the teaching that Jesus died only for the elect.  Let’s consider some of them now.

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you…denying the sovereign Lord who bought them.” (2 Peter 2:1). 

Isn’t it clear from Peter that the atonement included false prophets and false teachers who denied Christ!

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6). 

He (John the Baptist) came as a witness to testify concerning that Light (Yeshua), so that through Him (Yeshua) all men might believe” (John 1:7).  

Calvinists say that this verse means “all men of the elect.” What utter nonsense!

Caiaphas, the high priest, “prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation” (John 11:51). The Jewish nation, as a whole, rejected Christ, and were “not saved” from the great and dreadful day that fell upon them. Most Jews were not part of the elect in that day.  Yeshua” came to His own, but His own received Him not.” In fact, Jesus told some of the Jews that they were of their father, the devil.   But He still died for them!  How about what Paul taught?

Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for ALL, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again” (2nd Corinthians 5:14-15)

Isn’t it clear that there is a difference between those for whom Christ died (all) verses those who then live?  How about,

Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men” (1st Timothy 2:6). 

“Jesus…suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9).

Remember how John the Baptist said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the WORLD!” (John. 1:29). 

The Greek term for world there is kosmos and means the whole of creation!  Again,

For God so loved the world (kosmos) that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the the world (kosmos) to condemn the world (kosmos), but to save the world (kosmos) through Him.” (John 3:16-17).

The above passage proves that while He paid for the sin of the world, those (in that day) had to receive this gift, or they would “perish.”

“We know that this Man really is the Savior of the world (kosmos)” (John 4:42).

“I (Yeshua is speaking) did not come to judge the world (kosmos), but to save it” (John 12:47).

“Through one transgression (Adam) there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness (Yeshua dying on the Cross) there resulted justification of life to all men” (although all men are not part of the elect who would be saved from coming destruction)” (Romans 5:18).

The world (kosmos) cannot accept it (the Holy Spirit), because it (the world) neither sees Him nor knows Him.” (Yeshua) (John 14:47). 

Here we can see that even though Jesus died for the whole world, generally, the world cannot accept the Holy Spirit. Only a relatively few will be saved in that day as a result.

He (Yeshua) is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (kosmos) (1st  John 2:2)

Finally, Paul wrote to Timothy the following:

(1st Timothy 4:10) “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”

The scripture plainly describes a universal payment for sin by the Christ.  With this fact clearly proven, the “L” of Limited Atonement is obliterated, and the five points of Calvinism falls apart.  In response to this, many Reformed Theologians suggest that the use of “all” and “kosmos” is speaking only of the Elect. This is at best poor exegesis, a worst, a mockery of all God has done for the world through His Son.

Shawn McCraney
Shawn McCraney
Articles: 108

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