The Five Dangers of Calvinism

By Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold

Take your Bible and turn to Ephesians chapter one.  It’s right after the book of Galatians which is right after Two Corinthians.  Now, some of you all will never get that, which is right after One Corinthians.  In the book of Ephesians chapter one, look there in verse four, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”

I’m reading that verse because there are some people who take these verses out of context.  They give it a different meaning than what’s really there and some of those people have a name.  They are called Calvinists, and so, I want to explain some things to you why I believe there are five dangers of Calvinism that are taught, and if you don’t know what it is, you will wind up believing the poison and not even know that it’s there.  At least if I tell you, you may have an understanding and some discernment that if you listen to the radio or watch TV or even go to another church, you’ll be able to discern this because this is so important. 

Now, look there in Ephesians chapter two in verse eight and nine.  These are two of my favorite verses in the Bible.  It says here in Ephesians in chapter two and verse eight, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”

It’s a very simple, straightforward verse.  You get the impression that you’re saved by faith alone, but there are people who will take that word and say faith is the gift and you can’t be saved unless God gives you the faith to believe.   

So, once again changing the meaning of a verse, just like in verse four when He talks about choosing us before the foundations of the world and they forget there’s a couple of other words there that give it a totally different meaning. 

Now, take your Bible and look in Two Thessalonians.  Does anybody know why I’m saying that?  Raise your hand.  Let me see if you know why I’m saying that.  So that shows you that if you don’t know why I’m saying that, then you haven’t been watching the news lately.  In other words, Donald Trump has been saying this at Liberty University when he spoke, and he quoted a verse from the book of Two Corinthians, and so, you and I would say, Second Corinthians or Second Thessalonians, so, I think we’ll just go with that. 

Second Thessalonians chapter two, look at verse thirteen “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”

They will teach that God has chosen, before the foundations of the world, who He was going to save, and the choice is not really yours, it’s not mine, it was God’s choice. 

So, God chose to save who He wants to save and the rest of them cannot be saved because God did not choose them; therefore, they are the chosen, or the Elect of God.  Does it affect anything?  It affects everything! 

Now, I want you to see this.  So, right there in your notes, one of the things that I want you to understand, some of the things, because it doesn’t apply to all, it’s with limitations; therefore, but when He gets to the point of perseverance of the saints, it’s that perseverance immediately requires fruit inspectors, because perseverance, if it’s true, must be from the day you trust the Lord to the day you die.  You must persevere in the faith.   

So, there is a teaching that says, well, if you are saved, you must live like you’re saved, and if you don’t live it then you don’t have it. 

They teach that very strongly. 

So, then, if there has to be this automatic change in your life, because it’s got to be guaranteed, if you get saved it’s guaranteed, you will persevere in the faith, and if you persevere in the faith, then there has to be evidence in your life that you have done one of two things.  This is why so many preachers must preach that you must turn from your sins to be saved.  In other words, you are a sinner.  I am a sinner.  So, if you want to be saved, you must promise you are going to turn from your sins.  This is why they have to get you committed to live a different life.  Turn from your sin means stop being bad, and you must also promise to be good by making Christ the Lord and the master of your life. 

So, you have to stop something and then start something.  Both are promises to God.  If You save me, I will do this.  So, your salvation is dependent upon this turning from your sins and making Christ the Lord and master of your life. 

That is a works salvation.  That is not by grace.  That’s not a free. The gift of God is that salvation has nothing to do with the sins in your life or how you live. 

Now, this blows most people’s minds.  They cannot believe, “You mean to tell me I can trust Christ as my Savior, have eternal life, and go to Heaven when I die, and live like the devil.”   Yes!  That’s what I’m saying!  You absolutely can!   Any preacher that tells you differently doesn’t understand the gospel. 

Now that I got that off my chest, I want you to look at the notes.  Can a man be forced by God to accept Christ as his savior against his will and call that grace?  If God gives a man the faith to believe, He has taken away man’s freedom to choose.  Perseverance must be automatic for the person God chose and the evidence man needs to prove he has really been chosen, man’s ultimate assurance, cannot be God’s Word but man’s works, because he has to look at his life to prove that he’s saved.  If his life says that he’s not saved it doesn’t matter what the Word of God said.  He’s not saved because he’s not living it, and this is what causes so many questions and doubts about where a man’s going to spend eternity. 

You can ask a lot of people, “Where are you going when you die?” 

“Well, to Hell if I don’t change.” 

“Well, I used to be saved, but I’m not saved anymore.”  

“Well, I quit my drinking and my smoking, but then I started drinking again”. 

So, they hang their salvation upon the things in their life, what they’re either doing or not doing. 

“Well, I used to go to church but not anymore.”

“Well, I was baptized when I was 10 years old.”

Now, you’re trusting that to get you to Heaven?  A man has to understand this because your eternal destination depends upon you getting it right.  You’ve got to get this right of all the things in this world you have to get it right.  You’ve got to get this right.  Where are you going when you die?  Then, how do you know?   You see, if you make this promise to God and commit your life to Christ in order for God to save you, that means you’ve got to perform, and if you don’t perform you have every reason to question and then to doubt whether you’re really saved.  This is why some people don’t know where they’re going when they die. 

They become these fruit inspectors because, see, if I have to turn from my sins, well, now I have to have evidence that I have turned from my sins. 

What if there’s no evidence that you turn from your sin, and you’re still living like the devil?  Well, that’s a sign you’re not really saved.  Well, what if I don’t go to church and I don’t read my Bible and I don’t pray and I don’t do the things I’m supposed to do?  Well, that’s a sign that you’re not really saved.

See, if you’re really saved you’re not going to want to do all those bad things, and every one of you sitting here know you do. 

You say, “No.”  Well, the rest of us got it, and we know that you are still a sinner.  You sin in your Christian life.  We know you still have bad thoughts.  We know you still do things wrong.  We know you still lose it.  We could go further, but we won’t. 

Look at the next paragraph.  I would like to give you my position on the Five Theological Positions of Calvinism.  This intellectual position is not of God but of man.  The following simple acrostic TULIP is the classic reformed five-point Calvinist viewpoint. 

Now, the “T” stands for the total depravity of man.  The “U” stands for unconditional election.  The “L” stands for limited atonement.  “I” stands for irresistible grace and the “P” stands for perseverance of the saints. 

Now, you may not hear the preacher get up and quote these, but listen to what they’re saying, and you’d be surprised how many preachers are telling people they must turn from their sins to be saved.  Just think about what that means. 

I’m the lost man.  You’ll give everything in the book, and the preacher tells me I’ve got to turn from my sins to be saved.  All right, which sins do I have to turn from; just the real bad ones or all of them? 

Well, I got to turn from all of them.  What if I forget one?  How long do I have to turn from it?  I stopped it for a week, but what if I go back to it next week?  Well, I was saved for a week, but, now, I am not saved:  confusion, confusion, confusion. 

Now, if you ask Yankee Arnold today, “Where are you going when you die?”  I’m going to Heaven.  I couldn’t go to Hell if I tried.  I haven’t tried.  I have eternal life.  Christ died and paid for all of my sins.  How many?  He paid for all of them.  The reason I don’t have to go to Hell today or tomorrow is because I don’t have any sins to pay for; He paid for all my sins. 

He put that payment to my account.  I’m going to Heaven on what He did for me.  He gets all the credit.  “For by grace are you saved through faith not of yourselves.”   It’s not you turning from sin.  It’s not you dedicating your life or how you’re going to live.  It’s by grace; grace means free.  Now, what part of free can’t people understand?  It’s unmerited. 

Now, look at the next statement.   I believe it is a sin to teach that a man is so totally depraved that he does not have the ability to choose, act or believe on what God says.  Totally depraved, totally severed from the source of life.  Without natural ability to find a way back to God, or without power to correct the problem. 

So, I believe I am totally depraved but not that I can’t reason and think and act and make decisions or choices.  We can do all of those things, and God holds us accountable because of it.

Look in the little box there, in the bold.  For those who teach that God has chosen from the foundation of the world a select few to be saved, predestination means your destiny fixed beforehand, and go to Heaven while the majority of people remained lost, condemned to Hell, without the possibility of ever being saved, because they were not chosen is to be in total denial of what God said and what Christ did. 

That is not what the Bible teaches, but there are some people who had become so intellectual, they didn’t get it from the Bible.  They are so special that God chose them out of everybody else to save.  There must be something special about me that He saved me and didn’t choose to save you. 

I believe that God so loved the world, everybody, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth not to whomsoever God chose. 

Look there in the next paragraph.  The Lord has not authorized any man to alter His clearly stated word that He commanded the entire world to hear, to limit the payment that Christ made for sin to a select few, makes the claim that God did not so love the world or that Christ did not die for all men. 

In other words, what they’re saying is that God doesn’t love everybody, just the ones He chose to save, and that Christ didn’t die for everybody, He just died for the ones He chose to save.  Why should He waste His time paying for the sins of people that He’s not going to save anyway? 

The Bible says salvation is to be preached to every person in the world because when Christ died He died for the sins of the world.  So, you see, I don’t believe the teaching of Calvinism.   I strongly oppose it.  I despise the teaching.  I believe it’s heresy to teach what they teach. 

Look there in the next part where I have in bold.  This is to teach heresy.  To teach that God’s grace is so irresistible that the man whom God has chosen to be saved is helpless to resist is to also teach that no man can be saved whom God has not chosen.  This damnable teaching in reality denies to every man the choice of Heaven or Hell leaving every man with no responsibilities for his destination.   

Here you are.  You’re all lost.  I’m God.  I like my part.  You’re all lost.  I’m God.  So, you’re all lost.  You’re all going to Hell.  So, if I choose to save, you know, say twenty-five of you, that’s still grace.  Isn’t it?  Wouldn’t it be better than not saving anybody?  Well, if God can save twenty-five why didn’t He just do it for everybody?  Did He create everybody?  Well, why doesn’t He just go ahead and save everybody?  Because, that’s not how God does it.  But, that’s what some people teach, and I don’t agree with that. 

Look on the bottom of the page.  To teach that a believer in Christ, called a saint, will persevere in the faith until death or until the Lord comes causes one to focus upon the works of man and not the Word of God.  No man who observes his own personal life as a basis for his salvation can ever be certain of salvation, but if he looks closely to his ways, his thoughts and his motives, he must conclude that he has every reason to doubt his own salvation or ceases to be honest. 

If you had to live this righteous life to go to Heaven, to prove that you’re really saved and turn from your sin and make Christ the Lord and the Master of your life, if you did you’d have to doubt your own salvation, and you know it, or you can just let a few other people just follow you around for a while, and listen to everything you say, and do, and where you go, everything about you, and I beat they’d come to the conclusion you’re not as holy as you think you are. 

So, how holy would you have to be?   Well, I’m pretty good.  I mean how pretty good would you have to be?  You know the Bible says you have to be perfect.  You’d have to turn from all sin.  One sin would be enough to cause you to question or doubt your salvation. 

I mean if there is anything God wants you to do and you didn’t do it, well, you did a lot of them but you didn’t do one thing, how do you know that one thing wasn’t the one that kept you from being saved? 

How would you know you are really the one that God chose?  God chose me and I’m one of the elect.  Yeah, how do you know?  How do you know?  Well, because I believe it.  Yeah, but what is the evidence?  What are you trusting in?  How you live? 

What if you lived good for forty years, and then blew it one day before you died?   That one day proved you never were saved because you didn’t persevere to the end, my friend. 

I don’t believe that, and that’s what causes so many people to question their own salvation.  They have doubts.  When you give a person ten reasons on how to know you’re saved, you gave them ten reasons on how to doubt their salvation also.  So, this is why you have to be careful on all this stuff. 

Everybody is a sinner.  Everybody has sinned. 

Look there now to top of the page two as Paul Harvey would say.  At the top of the page, what right does any man have to cause any person in this world to believe that God doesn’t love him?  Because, if God has hand-picked a few people, you can’t really tell everybody that God loves you because you don’t know if He does or not. 

I know that I believe the Bible and I read the Bible and I believe God so loved the whole world, everybody in the world.  Wouldn’t it be a shame to say, “Well, I can’t tell you if God loves you or not because I don’t know if God chose to save you?  I can’t tell you that Christ died for you because I don’t know if you’re one of the elect or not.” 

That’s a terrible thing, but it’s a wonderful thing to be able to believe anybody can be saved.  Everybody can! 

But look at the top of the page.  One:  God doesn’t love him.  Two: Christ did not die for him.  Three: He could not go to Heaven even if he wanted to because God didn’t choose him.

You see, I don’t believe that kind of philosophy.  I don’t believe it is taught in the Bible.   I believe that any man who hears the gospel and will believe it can be saved. 

Look at the next statement.   The following verses are often used to prove the case for the teaching of Calvinism.  Ephesians chapter two verse eight and nine.  Verses we read just a moment ago.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  When it says “For by grace are you saved” I believe that’s the point.  That’s the point.  “For by grace are you saved.”  But how?  Through faith.  And, you’ll read that all the way through the Gospel of John.  Just believe.  Just believe. 

So, in the little box:  What is by grace?  Salvation.  What is through faith?  Salvation.  What is not of works?  Salvation.  What is not of yourself?  Salvation.   What is the gift of God?  Salvation.  You see, it’s the gift of God.

Now look at the next verse or the statement.  They will use Ephesians chapter two verses eight and nine to try to prove that faith is the gift of God.  The Word of God states over and over that faith can produce works but nowhere does it ever state that works produce faith. 

I know that by finding works that I have faith.  See, that’s the perseverance of faith.  How do you know you really believe?  You have to see the works.  So, the works become the evidence that I really got faith.  It’s backwards.  See, you’re saved by faith, and as He says in Hebrews, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” 

If I’m saved by faith there doesn’t have to be the evidence that people can see to prove that I’ve got faith because faith is the evidence that you can’t see.  There are no works to prove that I’m saved because I can say well if you’re saved you’ll go to church.  Well, lost man can do that.  Well, if you’re really saved you read the Bible.  Well, the lost man can read the Bible.  Well, I’ll give money.  Well, the lost man can give money. 

What can you do that a lost man can’t do?  See, that’s why God’s the one who knows whose saved and He saves every man that believes His Word.  How do I know I’m saved?  Not by my life but not the Word of God. 

God said if I trusted Him He would give me what kind of life: eternal life.  “He that believeth on Me hath” present tense, hath right now everlasting life.   I believed that fifty-five years ago in a little ole living room.  God saved me that day, that night.  That moment I had eternal life and I didn’t look at my life to see whether or not I had it.  I knew it then; I had it.  If I had to wait six months or a year to see it, well have I got enough works in my life to give me confidence, will I know if I really meant it?  No. No.  I will say that night.  I don’t have to have any questions and doubts about it.  The Word of God doesn’t change.  “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life….”  He did not say, “Did you turn from your sins?  Did you commit your life to Christ that you may know that you have eternal life?  Or, we go by what was written, “that ye may know that ye have eternal life.” 

Look at the next statement here.  Faith is not the gift.  Every man has the ability to trust, to believe or not to believe.  Where you put your faith is your choice.  If God gave special faith to a man to believe in Christ, then you also give a man to special faith to believe in Buddha, Mohammed and Confucius or any other of the false religions.  Don’t they believe in their stuff?  When did God give them the faith to believe that?  If He gave the faith to believe in Christ, well, who gave them the faith to believe in the other?   Where did that come from? 

Every man has the ability to place his faith wherever you want to.  You can place your faith in Peter.  I mean I heard him on the radio and YouTube.  I mean he’s a famous man.  So, let’s all put our trust in Peter Amato.   How do you know you’re going to Heaven?  Peter said I was.  Or, would you rather say, “How do you know you’re going to Heaven?”  Because, Jesus said I was.   See, you go by what God’s word has to say. 

Now, look at the next verse.  In Ephesians 1:4 through 5, as we read this verse a while ago, “According as He hath chosen us in Him.”  See those two little words that are bold there because they have a tendency to want to leave out those words, and He says, “chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”

In other words, when God designed this plan of salvation He did not ask us into this, you know, into Heaven to seek our counsel.  He didn’t need it.  God’s the one that designed this and He says, I’m going to save a man by faith.  I’m going to send my Son into the world and He’s going to pay for the sins of all the world, and whosoever in the world that will believe in Christ will be placed in Christ.  So God, from the foundations of the world, says that I’m going to save all of those who believe and not those who don’t believe. 

You and I are the ones to determine whether or not we’re in Christ.  See, when I trusted in Christ as my savior fifty-five years ago I was placed in Christ and God has chosen all those that are in Christ.  But, how do you get in Christ?  By your personal decision to accept Christ as your Savior.  So God has, from the beginning, chosen to save all of those who believe in Christ and predetermined predestination the adoption of His children, and one of these days these bodies of ours are going to be changed and we are going to be placed into Heaven.  That day is coming.  That’s why it talks about in Ephesians 1:13 we’re sealed until the day of redemption: the redemption of these bodies. 

Romans chapter eight talks about we groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption meaning the transfer, the change of these old vile bodies that would be made like unto His glorious body.  That day is coming! 

So, look at the error here:  God not only chose us but He also predetermined to save us from the foundation of the world, thus, leaving out man’s choice.   

Truth: God chose or determined predetermined from the foundation of the world to save all those who trust in Christ, who chose to trust Christ in faith alone.  He chose those that are in Christ so that when you read that verse and you hear some preacher try to make something out of that that’s not there.  You’ll know that isn’t true and he has a limited atonement theology. 

Look at the next question.  Yes, God has chosen from the foundation of the world to save all those that are in Christ to be holy and without blame before Him.  The Lord has chosen to save all those who believe on Christ alone for their salvation.  It is your faith in Christ that puts you in Christ.  So, there’s no problem with that verse, but if you try to make it say something, you’ve got to change a lot of verses in the Bible.  You have to take away the plain meaning of John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8 and 9 because they can’t mean what they say because they got to put their twist on it. 

When you go to the Bible, O’Reilly doesn’t know this, but the spin stops here.  That’s my humble opinion. 

Now, look down at the bottom of the page.  Second Thessalonians 2:13 and 14 says, “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

So, they read that part, where it says God hath chosen from the beginning to salvation.  See that God chose you from the beginning.  Don’t you feel special?  Now, there are some people God didn’t choose.  That’s not what He says.  That’s leaving out a lot of what this verse says. 

So, look at the top of the next page.  Here’s the error of how you can take a verse and try to make it say something it doesn’t say.  God chose to save me from the beginning without any decisions being made on my part.  Since God knew who He had previously elected, He only had to die for those whom He knew would believe because He only gave the gift of faith to those He wanted; therefore, this irresistible grace dictated that the will of God would be fulfilled. 

Hah, isn’t that wonderful?  But, it’s not true!  Look at the truth.  The rest of the verse tells you how God chose to save.  The Lord chose to save all those who were made pure and holy by the Holy Spirit and our belief of the truth; you can’t leave that out. 

God’s Word tells us that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God; not as a gift, faith cometh by what?  Hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.  It didn’t come as a gift apart from the Word of God and that’s why He said, preach the word to everybody.   

So, He says in verse fourteen that God called us by the gospel.  He says to go to all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  Notice the word propitiation, meaning payment, and the words, for the sins of the whole world in first John chapter two in verse two.  Look what it says, “And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 

He is the propitiation, the payment, the satisfaction for our sins and not for ours only, that’s the believers, but also for the sins of what?  The whole world.  That’s in the Bible.  I didn’t write that verse.  I’m not the author but the author said this, that not only for my sins and your sins, but for the sins of the whole world. 

Now look at the next verse or the statement:  why anyone would want to change what God so clearly states is beyond me.  What right does any preacher have to stand in judgment on God and alter His Word?  The message of the gospel is how a man goes to Heaven.  Think about the people that have been blinded because they don’t think God can save them.  We’re putting a requirement upon people.  You’ve got to turn from your sins.  Well, I’m not ready to do that yet.  Well, you’re just not ready to be saved.  When you’re ready to be saved, you’ll have to be ready to do this. 

Listen, I travel all across this country and I’ve listened to preachers all across this country and they’ve preached you’ve got to turn from your sins to be saved.  You’ve got to repent.  They said repent means to turn from sin.  Repent does not mean that.  Repent is a change of mind.  It means that, if you are an unbeliever and you’re supposed to be a believer what do you need to do?  Change your mind from not believing to believe.  So when you believe on Christ you repented.  You changed your mind. 

They say, well, repent means to turn from sin.  Wait a minute.  God repented, but God didn’t have any sins to turn from.  Slap them upside the face with a couple of these things. 

Now notice this.  You’ll notice that Matthew twenty-three in verses thirty-seven and thirty-eight, “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! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”  You see those in the bold and what?  Ye would not.  How often God said I would have done this but you wouldn’t.  Well whatever will be, will be.  That’s not true because, you see, it’s not like everything is the will of God.  Everything’s the will of God.  No, it’s not.  God is not willing that any should perish.  So, that means nobody’s going to perish because it’s not the will of God. 

It’s the will of God that every person hear the gospel and believe the gospel and to have eternal life, but some of God’s children are always trying to find a way not to do the work God called us to do, and one way to eliminate our responsibility is that God already determined who’s going to Heaven and our witnessing is not going to change it, because God already knows who’s going to Heaven.  God already knows who’s going to Hell and all my work and sacrifice and giving and all that is not going to change one thing one iota.  See, now don’t you feel better.  You don’t have to do anything:  Whatever will be, will be….

I don’t believe that.  It’s not the Bible.  So, you look here in the error.  Since God has determined everything, whatever will be, will be.  The truth: The Lord blames the people of Israel for their decision to kill the prophets, or to stone them was not the will of God, and He held them responsible for their decision.  The words, “how often would I have”, show that things could have been different. 

He held them accountable for their rejection.  They could have made a different choice.  Christ says, “Ye would not.”  He did not say, “You could not.”  Verse thirty-eight showed the result of their wrong decision.  Your house is left unto you desolate.

Look there in Romans in Chapter nine verse twenty-one here in your notes.  “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?”

What if God, willing to show His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He had afore prepared unto glory.

Now, here is the error.  God is the potter.  We are the clay.  God has the right to do with the clay whatever He desires.  The decision is not ours.  We have no say in the matter.  We cannot judge God.  So, whatever will be, will be.  See there, God is the potter and we are the clay.  So, the potter can do with the clay whatever he wants, but God says in His explanation, yes, He is the potter and, yes, we are the clay and He uses it as a great illustration there in Romans chapter nine, and He says that there are vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor.  So, during our life, you and I, by the hand of God, are been shaped and molded.  By your decisions you’re yielding to the Lord, and He’s shaping you.  Or, if you rebelled against the Lord and He’s shaping you based upon how you yield to God.

So, God says because He’s a God of love and grace and mercy, He’s also a God of wrath and anger.  So, the vessels that hardened themselves against the will of God, God says these will be the vessels of dishonor, and those individuals who choose to yield themselves unto the hand of God, God’s going to shape and mold them into vessels of honor. 

So, whether you are a vessel of honor or a vessel of wrath is your choice by the decisions you make.  See, when you accept Christ as your Savior, you became a vessel of the Lord.  You accepted His will.  You become His child, and even as a child of God, is it possible that a child of God can harden themselves to the will of God? 

So, as a Christian, if you harden yourself to the will of God, stiff necked, hard-hearted, then God can use you as a vessel to show His wrath upon.  He can chasten you.  Discipline you.  But, if you, as a child of God, will yield to the Lord and do what God wants you to do with your life, then God can use you to demonstrate His blessings upon and His grace upon.  God can use you. 

So you see there’s no problem in the book of Romans in chapter nine.  Sure He is the potter and I am the clay but how He worked with the clay depended upon the will.  Will you submit yourself to the Lord?  As a child of God, we should, and so God is going to deal with us.

Look at the top of the page there.  Yes, God is the potter.  We are the clay.  God had the right to do with the clay whatever He desired.  God had chosen before the foundation of the world to take vessels of wrath to show or demonstrate His wrath or His dishonor upon.  God has chosen before the foundation of the world to take vessels of mercy to show or demonstrate His grace upon.  God has allowed us to make the decision to be a vessel of honor or dishonor.  If we yield ourselves to the Lord, we will be a vessel that God will use to display His grace upon, and if we choose to rebel against the will of God, He has chosen to use us as a vessel to display his wrath upon. 

You are a child of God.  Can you live any way you please?  Absolutely, but there’s consequences.  You can’t live as you please and get away with it.  You will reap what you sow.  Your Heavenly Father, who loves you so much, He’s going to beat the tar out of you and maybe take you home before your time. 

I’ve had a lot of people over the years.  They know they’re going to Heaven, but they think they’ll just play a little and have a little folly while they can.  Play the fool while they can.  Buddy, there is a price to pay, and you cannot escape.  God don’t deal, and He will chasten, and maybe even take you home before your time.  So look there now in John 5:39.  This verse says, “Search the scriptures;” Jesus says this to these Pharisees, “for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me.”  You will not come to Me that you might have life. 

Notice they could have come and they could have received eternal life.  Wouldn’t you get that out of that verse?  The reason you don’t have eternal life is because you won’t come to Me.  It’s not that you can’t come, you would not.  You would not believe.  That’s what it says. 

So why do they say what they’re saying?  They’re blind of the simple truths of what God’s word has to say.  See, when you begin to have one lie, then that lie leads to another lie, leads to another lie, see they’re using human philosophy or psychology but not the Word of God.  It’s against man’s human nature to think, “You can’t tell me it’s free.  That’s too easy!  You got to do something.  It can’t be just, you just believe it go to Heaven.” 

Well, what do you believe?  You have to believe what Christ did and what He said.   Well, what did He do?  He died on the cross and paid for my sins.  Well, what do I have to do?  Believe He did it for me.  Well, there’s got to be more to it than that. 

What if God in Heaven says only believe?  There’s got to be more.  No, no, no, no.  That’s the human part of you that says, “I don’t agree with God.”  So, you’re going to make your own way.  So, you make up religions and add to it.  Yeah, you can believe, but you, but, but, you don’t live it, and they don’t get it. 

Now, look there at the next statement.  The error: God’s grace is irresistible; therefore, all those that God has chosen to save will have no choice but to respond because His grace is irresistible.  That’s why once God gives you the faith you can’t resist it; therefore, if you really get it, then persevering in the faith is automatic, and if you don’t persevere and it’s automatic, the next time you really didn’t have it and you really can have the faith and God really didn’t choose you.  Wasn’t that a bucket of bolts? 

So, look what it says there.  The truth: Why is Christ rebuking these Israelites for not coming to Him if they had irresistible grace?  Evidently, they could resist God’s grace.  Christ says, “Ye will not come to me.”  He did not say, “You cannot come to me.”  Notice how they resisted the will of God in the following verse. 

Now, look at this following verse (Acts 7:51), “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears,” get this, “ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.  Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:”

You did it!  You did it!  Well, whatever will be, will be.  You know it’s not their fault.   Did God hold them accountable?  Are they responsible?  The reason Christ never set up His kingdom upon the earth when He came the first time: they rejected Him.  Why didn’t He just give them this irresistible grace?  It didn’t happen. 

Look at the bottom of the page.  Am I a Calvinists?  After all of this, would you classify me as a Calvinist?  You better not!  We execute everybody that says that!  No I am NOT nor should anyone be.  Just for the record, please do not send any books to read, emails or phone calls in order to straighten me out.  My view is in concrete and will not be changed.  I pray that you have been enlightened to the dangers of believing in Calvinism or believing that Saints will or must persevere in the faith until the end. 

Calvinism, they get you to temporarily change your life, but it will not nor cannot give you assurance that you will go to Heaven.  Christ saved me, holds me, keeps me, and yes, Christ will preserve me until the end. 

If you have enjoyed this lesson share it with a friend or better yet share it with a pastor.  Make a copy of it and give it to some preacher.  You know, the Bible says go into all the world and preach the gospel to every preacher, uh, creature. 

Now, look up here: Letting this hand represent you and me.  This wallet represents sin.  We all have sin on us.  God said there is no difference, no difference.  We are all sinners and none of us can go to Heaven because we have an old sinful nature.  See, if we went to Heaven the way we are, and we sin down here, what will we be doing Heaven?  We would sin there.  Then Heaven wouldn’t be Heaven anymore.  So, God won’t let you in unless you’re perfect and nobody’s perfect.  So, by your good works you’ll never be perfect.  So, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, came into this world, had no sin, had no sinful nature, never did anything wrong, went for thirty-three years and then had to die because He was God in the flesh. 

He could have called ten thousand angels but the Bible says He loved us, hated our sin, because our sins separated us from Him.  So, Jesus Christ, who had no sin, didn’t have to die.  So, He took all the sins of all the world and paid for them on the cross.  He came back from the dead.  He says go into all the world and preach this good news.  He paid for your sins, and tell them all they have to do is believe it and I’ll put this payment to their account, and they’ll get to go to Heaven on what He did.  Not on what they do.  So, what He did, it’s not because, well, I’m going to Heaven, why, because I stopped sinning?  Why are you going to Heaven?  Well, because I lived a good life.  It has nothing to do with me.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  But you see, the people who believe, well, I persevered in the faith, owe it all to their wonderful dedication. 

Look at me.  I made it.  No, I’m a dirty, lousy, stinking, rotten sinner, and I ought to bust Hell wide open, just like you, but I’ll go to Heaven, and if you trusted Christ as your Savior and Him alone, you’ll go to Heaven because He gives you, as a free gift, eternal life.  If it’s eternal life, how long will it last?  It lasts forever and all your sins are paid.  Where would you go when you die?  So can you know you’re going to Heaven before you die?  Yes.  It has absolutely nothing to do with how I live.  Me going to Heaven was to show me how much God loved me.  Do I want to live like the devil?  Oh, a part of me does, but there’s also this new birth that God gave to me and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and I made up my mind years ago that I’m going to serve the Lord.  But, I don’t serve in order to get to Heaven.  I serve because I want to.   I want to please the One who died for me, and I’ll give Him my whole life.  I want to serve Him. I tried to clean up my life and there are things that I don’t do, but that’s not to prove that I’m saved.  That’s just to show that I love the Lord.   Well, see I’m doing it for totally different reason.  They have to do it or go to Hell.  Then it becomes a question or doubt that they’re really saved.  If I mess up, I still know I’m saved.  I can’t go to Hell.  The best news in all the world, why, because I’ve got God right where I want Him.  He’s bound by His word.  He means what He says.  He that believeth on me, the Son, hath, that’s present tense, right now, everlasting life.  I have everlasting life.  I’m going to Heaven when I die.

Let’s pray, shall we?  With heads bowed, eyes closed and no one looking around, if you’re here this morning and you’ve never trusted the Lord, maybe you’ve heard a lot of different messages, but friend, I hope that you’re not one of those that’s been looking at your life and worrying about whether or not you’re going to lose your salvation or even question as to whether you ever really were saved because you know there’s times in your life when you didn’t live like you should and you really messed up. 

God loves you so much He made it free.  He doesn’t ask you to stop anything or join anything.  You don’t have to join this church to go to Heaven.  You don’t have to be baptized in water to go to Heaven.  You don’t have to give any money to go to Heaven.  All you need to do, and it’s the only thing you can do is, would you believe that when Christ died, He died for you? 

He paid for your sins because He didn’t want you to do it, and He wants to give you that payment and He is the payment.  The scars in His hands and in His feet:  He’s that living proof of payment, and you’ll have Him forever. 

Your sins are paid. 

God loves you so much and if you’ve never trusted the Lord would you do it right now?  I’m not going to ask you to stand up and come forward, but I’m going to ask you, in just a moment, to raise your hand.  Raising your hand doesn’t save you.  It just lets me know that what I said made sense to you.  It says, preacher that made sense to me and I will trust Christ as my savior this morning and I’d like you to pray for me.  Would you just slip your hand up very quickly and put it right back down?   Is there any one at all? 

If you’ve already trusted Christ as your Savior, you have eternal life.  You’re God’s child.  He’ll never cast you out and never lose you.  A lot of people don’t know this, but let everybody know, God loves them.  Christ died for all of them.  Eternal life is free. 

If you’re watching by internet, right there on the screens, it says, “Yes, I will trust Christ as my Savior.”  If you haven’t done so, I pray that you will. 

Father, once again we thank you for loving us, loving us so much, all of us, that You sent Your Son into the world to pay for our sins and Lord, by faith alone in what You did for us, You would guarantee us as a free gift eternal life because You determined before the foundation of the world You’d save all of those that believe and we thank you for that.  In Christ’s name we pray, amen.