Connecting the Dots . . .

                  In-Depth Bible Teaching - Acts 17:11

"...in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily,

whether those things were so." Acts 17:11

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The Fruits of Calvinism - Continued - Page 3

Finally, the thing came to a head. Many times you will make a decision in the will of God, and you will wonder, “Is this really in the will of God?” And you'll make the decision because you believe it's right. Then years later, you'll look back and say, “Boy, that was of God. No question about it. That was of God.”

In the summer of 1997, I said we were not going to let the Calvinist crowd come back. We included in our statement of faith two statements concerning Calvinism. One pertained to irresistible grace and the other to limited atonement. When we sent that out in July 1997, we lost thirty students who would not sign that statement. In 1997, thirty dormitory students made up a large amount of the budget of this school. Though it was an expensive surgery, it was the most wonderful thing that has ever been done in the history of this school. If we had not done that, I am convinced that this school would not be in existence right now.

1 Corinthians 3:3, “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” Where there is division, there is carnality. Proverbs 6:16, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him…” What is the first one? “A proud look.” Verse 19, “And he that soweth discord among the brethren.” Proverbs 6:14, “Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.” Proverbs 16:28, “A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.”

Here is my advice to you, young man, if you are an assistant in a local church. God did not call you to determine the direction for that local church, but rather, He called the pastor. If you are in a local church, and there is a philosophical or doctrinal disagreement that makes it so you cannot stay there, graciously go to the pastor and thank him. I have not had one thank-you not from a Calvinist in my entire ministry. I remember so vividly what Dr. Bob Jones, Sr., said: “When the flower of gratitude dies on the altar of a man's heart, he is well-nigh hopeless.” So you go to that pastor and say, “Thank you for giving me a place to serve, but I believe it's come to the place where I need to leave. I'm not going to stay around and sow discord. I'm not going to try to get a following or go across town to start a church. I'm going to leave town so I will not be a cause of division in this local church.”

Third Fruits: Calvinism Initiates Confusion

Calvinism incriminates the nature of God. It instigates bitterness and division. Number three, it initiates confusion. To some of the Calvinist's statements, I have to scratch my head and say, “Am I understanding what he's saying?” Gerstner said, “It is your decision to choose or reject Christ. But it is not of your own free will.”19 John G. Gerstner, A Primer on Free Will (Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1982), 10, cited in Hunt, 110. Sproul said this, (remember that Sproul said that regeneration preceded faith):20 New Geneva Study Bible, "Regeneration: The New Birth" (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995), 1664, cited in Hunt, 379. “Once Luther grasped the teaching of Paul in Romans, he was reborn.”21 RC. Sproul, The Holi ness of God (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1993 ed.). 144, cited in Hunt, 316. What is the teaching of Paul in Romans? Justification by faith! I thought he was regenerated before he found out Paul's teaching in the book of Romans. It's a contradiction. Bob Wilkin of Grace Evangelical Society, who was at Sproul's Ligonier National Conference in June 2000, said: “I feel such a burden for these people. Their theology makes assurance impossible.”22 Bob Wilkin, "Ligonier National Conference" (The Grace Report, July, 2000), cited in Hunt, 379. The lack of assurance permeated the whole conference. Sproul said, “Awhile back, I had one of those moments of acute self-awareness, and suddenly, the question hit me, 'R.C., what if you are not one of the redeemed?' My sins came pouring into my mind and the more I looked at myself, the worse I felt. I thought, 'Maybe it's really true. Maybe I'm not saved after all.'”23 RC. Sproul, "Assurance of Salvation" (Tabletalk, Ligonier Ministries. Inc., November 1989), 20, cited in Hunt, 381. Wouldn't it be terrible to have to live under that continuous cloud of doubt?

Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” II Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Doubts confronted nearly all the Puritan divines.24 Hunt, 379. Philip Congdon says, “Absolute assurance of salvation is impossible for Classical Calvinism25 Philip F. Congdon, "Soteriological Implications of Five-point Calvinism" (Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Autumn, 1995), 8:15, 55-68, cited in Hunt, 378. Calvin said, “For there is scarcely a mind in which the thought does not sometimes arise, 'Whence your salvation but from the election of God? But what proof have you of your election?' When once this thought has taken possession of any individual, it keeps him perpetually miserable, subjects him to dire torment, or throws him into a state of complete stupor.”26 John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge (Wm.Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1998 ed.), lll:xxiv, 5, cited in Hunt. 407. I want to ask you, where did we lose the principle that we're saved by simple child-like faith?

Matthew 18:3, “…Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” No man in the distress of his soul went into a motel room and opened a Gideon Bible trying to find an answer for his destitution and came out a Calvinist. I will just keep preaching that it is by simple trust in Jesus Christ. John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 3:15, “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 5:24, Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believe on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 6:35, “I am the Bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 7:37-38, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” John 12:46, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.”

Fourth Fruits: Calvinism Invalidates the Great Commission

Number one: Calvinism incriminates the nature of God. Number two: it instigates bitterness and division. Number three: it initiates confusion. Number 4, it invalidates the Great Commission. According to Vance, the Sovereign Grace Baptist leader, admits this: “We do not win many souls. A few of our kind of churches win a soul now and then, but most of us do very, very little of this… Our preachers are not soul-winning men. We do not have soul-winning members…We almost never give instructions on why and how to win souls. We do not really work at soul-winning in our churches.”27 Joseph M. Wilson, Soul Winning" (The Baptist Examiner, February 15, 1992), 1, cited in Laurence M. Vance, The Other Side of Calvinism (Vance Publications, Pensacola, FL, rev. ed. 1999), 542, cited in Hunt, 353.

Anything that takes away your zeal for souls is not Bible. We had one of our graduates, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, but became swayed by the intellectualism of Calvinism, come to Brother Camp and say, “You know, when I first came to Ambassador, I was down on the strip trying to win people to Christ that really couldn't be saved anyway.” You cannot make me believe that that attitude is found in the Word of God.

Calvinism invalidates the Great Commission and the commands of Christ. Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Mark 13:10, “And the gospel must first be published among all nations.” Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Luke 24:47, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Not only does it invalidate the commands of Christ, but also it invalidates the constant invitation. Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; thought they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Matthew 11:28-29, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto our souls.” John 4:13-14, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water spring up into everlasting life.” John 4:35, “Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, Lift up our eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”

It invalidates the compassion of Christ. Matthew 9:36-38, “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” Why in the world does God command us to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers if they are going to get saved without any human instrumentality? It invalidates the compassion of Christ. He wept over Jerusalem. Matthew 23:37-38, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” He didn't say, “Ye could not.” He said, “Ye would not.”

I want to summarize my message. Some of you think that Calvinism only entails those five tenants. However, the tentacles of Calvinism are far reaching, and it will affect everything this school has taught you. If you leave this school a five-point Calvinist, you will hate this school. You will hate everything you have been taught. You will do a 180-degree about face. Calvinism will affect you dispensationally. It will affect your eschatology. We have one of our graduates now who is a Calvinist, who said that Jesus came in 70 AD. It will affect your view of the preservation of Scripture. I don't know of any Calvinist today who holds the position that we do on the text. Many of them did while they were here, but many of them no longer hold that view on the text. It will affect your view of personal separation. You leave this school as a Calvinist and you will mock our stands when you leave here. It will affect your view of the will of God. That's why we have Decision Making in the Will of God by Friessen years ago, and Friessen implied that there is no perfect will of God. In other words, there are many women that you could marry and still be in the will of God. There are many things that you could do and still be in the will of God. If I were a Calvinist, why in the world would I do what I have done in starting this school? You know what I'd do? I'd get a job that paid well and make a lot of money and accrue a lot of material possessions and I would live it up. That's the end result of Calvinism.

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