Alright. So there’s a lot of argument about Predestined Election…
Alright. So there’s a lot of argument about Predestined Election in here. And what I keep seeing is 1) labeling someone a Calvinist and then bashing them because of this affiliation. 2) A false equivalency, equating the doctrine of election with a lack of human autonomy. 3) Arguing “competing” scripture back and forth.
Let’s clear this up. I was an atheist for 28 years. Countless people tried to share the gospel with me throughout my life. They could’ve been speaking gibberish for all I cared, because I never understood a word they said. Nothing. It never made sense, not once. Ever. In fact, it sounded stupid and delusional and schizophrenic to me.
I don’t identify as a Calvinist now. Before 2 years ago, I’d never even heard of Calvinism.
I only know how my salvation experience played out, and how it aligns with what the Bible says.. So. After 28 years of aggressive atheism, anti-Christianity, anti-supernaturalism, anti-spirituality, etc. I’d just gotten off drugs, having panic attacks from withdrawals, and my wife and I were invited to a local church. We went. I felt calm for the first time in over a month as soon as I entered the building. Interesting. Then I felt something speaking to me through the worship music, and I cried. Okay whatever. And I can’t remember the sermon. I don’t think it had an impact on me. Church wasn’t where I got saved… Monday morning comes, I’m alone in my office at work. I’m having severe panic attacks again. I’m pondering death and feeling like I’m going out of my mind. My wife begins to text me some bible verses. I was reading these verses she sent me. They were about fear, and how God commands us to not be anxious and that He provides us hope and peace within Himself. Again, I feel something pulling at me, this time through these bible verses. At this point, I’m feeling desperate. So I finally cry out, out loud, “okay God, if you’re real, please tell me what to do!” Suddenly I feel something telling me “You already know what to do.” And instantly I felt a total understanding. Suddenly I remembered every single time someone witnessed to me and shared the gospel, and all of a sudden it all made sense. Everything they said made sense for the first time. I suddenly saw that sin is real, and I understood that I’d been a sinner, and understood what Grace was, what Jesus’s sacrifice was for, I suddenly comprehended eternal life in Heaven with God. It was amazing. And I hadn’t even read the Bible yet. Just some verses. I went from having no faith in ANYthing, just dark emptiness inside my mind and soul, to suddenly I just saw the truth behind the universe and the meaning of life. Like a light switch flipped inside me. I hit my knees. I began to repent and ask for forgiveness, accepted Jesus’s death in my place, and I felt peace and gratitude and joy. I began crying. I knew it was all real and I finally knew what would happen to me after I leave this life. It was incredible.
I’m not a self-proclaimed Calvinist. I don’t know what all the 5-points are. I’ve heard of them but I’m not interested in labels. But what do you think happened there with me? The Bible speaks of this type of thing, I learned that after the fact.
I see people arguing that irresistible grace takes away your autonomy, and you’re a robot. No it doesn’t. Grace is irresistible because it’s amazing. It’s the truth of life. It’s the meaning of everything. It’s Life itself. Why would I -or how could anyone- resist that?
I saw Grace that day, shown to me by God Himself, and I could not walk away from that. All of my friends are atheists, all I’ve ever known is atheism, so I was stepping into some very foreign territory. But I knew I couldn’t go back. I’d seen the truth. It was too late. The barrier had been crossed. I was on the other side.
Philosophically speaking, God knew that day would come. He knew He would choose to act upon me and open my eyes when I cried out to Him. “Predestined Election” means God’s predetermined choice to move upon you with His spirit, open your eyes and your heart to truth, and save you with a grace that’s irresistible. That’s it. It’s not anything more than that. We are not robots. We are humans who are saved by God’s sovereign choice to open our hearts and fill our spirits. I can’t force God to do that. All I did was ask Him if He was real and to tell me what to do. He chose to open my mind, reminded me of every time someone witnessed to me, and gave me a new mind & heart & spirit of understanding as His Spirit entered me. THEN I accepted Christ. That’s what happened.
So what are we arguing about here? If you think you were saved because you were able to understand Grace better than me all on your own, or sooner than me, or are able to figure it all out on your own while an atheist is too thick headed to do so, well then you have a reason to boast, I guess. You’re obviously smarter and better and more morally tuned-in to God than other people, if that’s the case. But we know the Bible says God’s work in salvation doesn’t allow anyone to boast, because it’s all His doing.
And, of course, as I’ve seen in these arguments, there will be a bunch of comments with scripture to refute election. But, I have 34 passages sitting on my phone right now that support predestined election and irresistible grace and God’s part in giving the gift of saving faith. 34! That’s a lot. Even if you’ve got more than 34 verses to use as refutation, it’s still obviously a mess to argue interpretations of over 68 verses that seem to contradict each other; when we can just use simple philosophy and personal experience to back up what we see most clearly described in the Bible.