Calvinism-Perseverance Of the Saints

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Perseverance of the Saints

Calvinism consists of theological doctrines which use words found in the Bible. However, Calvinism consistently redefines those words, takes them out of context, applies the doctrines inappropriately, exaggerates the meaning of the words to the extreme, or in some other way distorts the Word of God to match the theology written by John Calvin in his book, Institutes of the Christian Religion. The following are definitions of Perseverance of the Saints, the Fifth Point of Calvinism, written by popular Calvinist authors.

Perseverance of the Saints

“Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The Father chose a people, the Son died for them, the Holy Spirit makes Christ’s death effective by bringing the elect to faith and repentance, thereby causing them to willingly obey the gospel. The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of the gift of salvation.”

The above quotation from a popular Calvinist author is said to be a description of the Fifth Point of Calvinism, Perseverance of the Saints. However, it appears to describe Calvin’s doctrine for initial salvation, not persevering until the end. Therefore, we will list a second source.

“The people of God WILL persevere to the end and not be lost. The foreknown are predestined, the predestined are called, the called are justified, and the justified are glorified. No one is lost from this group. To belong to this people is to be eternally secure. But we mean more than this by the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. We mean that the saints will and must persevere in the obedience which comes from faith. Election is unconditional, but glorification is not. There are many warnings in Scripture that those who do not hold fast to Christ can be lost in the end.”

At first glance one would think that John Calvin taught that eternal security of the believer is based on God’s efforts alone, but upon closer inspection of other Calvinistic writings we find Calvin requiring the works of man as proof of his “election.” The above reference is typical of the doctrine that “those who do not hold fast to Christ can be lost in the end.” Others stress that a level of good works is required to prove one is regenerated and of the “elect.” Who can be certain of the level of his works is adequate for proving this “election?” One Calvinist writer has stated:

“Sometimes the question is yet asked, ‘Am I one of those saints who persevere to the end?’ Sometimes children of God do question and wonder concerning their own final salvation. In the Christian, doubt does at times arise, sometimes to the extent that for a time we seem completely separated from all of the blessings and favors of our God. But God tells us in His Word that His people belong forever to Him. He speaks that Word and applies it to my heart by His Spirit. His Spirit with my spirit cries, “Abba, Father.” When I am concerned, as I am, of my salvation; when I am concerned with the fact that I am a sinner unworthy of any blessing; I then see already the fruit of the work of the Spirit in me. The concern, real spiritual concern, for sin; the hope and longing for salvation is the work of the Spirit. The fruit of the work of the Spirit in me is proof that I also am one of those preserved to the end. He who begins the good work in us will complete it unto the end.”

Thus, we see Calvinism moving full circle. After having become one of the elect without as much as believing (since believing is works in Calvinism), one must confirm his election by good works and fruits. How is this measured? What amount of fruit confirms election? Is being less than a perfect person proof one is not of the elect? How does one have assurance of being one of the elect if his good works are exceeded by those of a person confessing that he is an unbeliever? Calvinism requires nothing to become one of the elect but demands everything to remain so.

In Calvinism, faith cannot be the assurance of salvation because Calvin taught that God can and does give the non elect a false faith. Therefore, even though one has faith, he can never have the assurance that his faith is true, sovereign grace faith. Perhaps God has given him a false faith because he is not really one of the elect.

The Calvinist must persevere with his faith and good works, and salvation is never assured.

The Bible teaches us in John 5:24, Romans 8:38, and 2 Timothy 1:12 that our security in salvation is based on faith, not works.

John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

2 Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 1:13 In Him you also [trusted], after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

The Bible also teaches that a person who once believed can deny Christ and fall away in unbelief — thereby losing his salvation. The Bible does not teach maintenance of salvation by works or the loss of salvation by a lack of works as falsely taught by John Calvin.

We believe that a person who once believed in the full redemption made possible by Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection can turn away from God, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit to embrace a false god or to totally deny God. The doctrine commonly called “once saved, always saved” is not supported by Scripture. Jesus said in Matthew 10:33, “But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.” Immediately after this warning, Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 10:34, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” Later Peter did deny Him three time before men. At that time Peter lost his salvation which he later secured in seeing the resurrected Christ. Peter was allowed to return to Christ because Jesus had not yet been crucified when Peter denied Him. Hebrews 6:4 below states that since the cross, people who deny Christ cannot be renewed again to repentance.

Jesus also prayed to the Father that He was able to keep all of His disciples except one, Judas Iscariot. John 17:12 “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition (Judas Iscariot), that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” In John 17:15 Jesus prayed to the Father for his disciples saying, “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” This indicates that Jesus could certainly have lost others. None of the disciples was eternally secure. They could have walked away from Jesus by their free will just as Judas did.

Other Scriptures strongly encourage the believer to keep the faith, meaning that a person could turn away from the faith. We are to “keep yourselves in the love of God.” (Jude 21). We are to “hold fast the form of sound words.” (2 Timothy 1:13). Jesus said, “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away.” (John 15:2). Jesus also said, “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch,” (John 15:6). These verse pertain to a person who was saved because Jesus said he was a branch in Him. These verses and others indicate that a believer can fall away from faith by his own free will. People who were once saved can and do deny God and Jesus Christ the Lord.

The Apostle John said in 1 John 2:17, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” This statement indicates that a believer who stops doing the will of God does not abide forever.

The Apostle Paul encourage the believer to “hold fast” to sound words, faith, and love. This verse indicates that the believers could have certainly fallen away. It is the responsibility of the believer to “hold fast.”

2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

The Apostle Paul had companions and fellow believers who turned away from the faith.

1 Timothy 1:15 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

The Apostle Paul and the writer of Hebrews strongly warned the believers that those who turn back to Jewish “fables” and the Law were at high risk of loosing their salvation. Paul said that some people will turn away from the truth.

2 Timothy 4:4 and they will turn [their] ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed [is] everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God [is] evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed [is] everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor [to] [bring] [us] to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Colossians 2:20  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, {rudiments: or, elements}  21  (Touch not; taste not; handle not;  22  Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? (KJV)

Web author’s note: The word “which” in verse 22 should have been translated as “who” from the Greek word hos. “Who all are to perish with the using.”

Jesus Christ has provided a “Sabbath rest” for all those who believe in His finished works — taking upon Himself the sins of the whole world and rising on the third day to provide eternal life to all who believe. Those who insist upon keeping the Torah Sabbath commandment have rejected the Sabbath rest provided by Jesus. They will “fall according to the example of disobedience.”

Hebrews 4:1-11 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard [it]. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, `They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh [day] in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this [place]: “They shall not enter My rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains that some [must] enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God [did] from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

Using circumcision as an example, Paul warns that those who place themselves back under the bondage of the Torah Law are obliged to “keep the whole Law,” meaning they will be judged by the Law which they cannot keep perfectly. Therefore, they are doomed to spend eternity in Hell for their dependence on the Law for righteousness instead of the grace offered by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Paul also warns that those who place themselves back under the Torah Law have “fallen from grace,” meaning Jesus’ death and resurrection are of no value to them. They have become “estranged” or separated from Christ. They have lost their salvation.

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who [attempt] [to] be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

The writer of Hebrews proclaims a very strong warning that those who were once enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, and became partakers of the Holy Spirit could “fall away.” The warning goes on to says that such a person cannot be restored because that would require Jesus to be crucified again. This verse clearly states that a saved person can “fall away” to be lost forever. The Apostle Peter also repeats the same warning. To deny Jesus is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit which is call the “unpardonable sin.”

Hebrews 6:4 For [it] [is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put [Him] to an open shame.

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

2 Peter 2:20-21 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

We believe that salvation is by grace through faith based upon the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus took upon Himself the sins of all mankind by His death on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead provides salvation to all who believe. All who receive the Lord Jesus Christ through faith are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become the children of God.

The Dutch Church convened the Synod of Dordrecht in 1610 to resolve the dispute between Remonstrants (followers of Jacob Arminius) and the Reformed Church (followers of John Calvin) concerning the correct interpretation of the Bible. In the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands, Jacob Arminius began to teach doctrines contrary to the Reformed faith. The Remonstrants drew up five statements of doctrine in which they set forth their own views. The Calvinists answered the Five Points of the Arminians with their own, which has come to be known as the Five Points of Calvinism. The approval of the Calvinist position was sealed by a prejudiced Synod before it began, and the Calvinists relished the victory by murdering many of their opponents as they fled for their lives. This appeared to be a great victory for Calvinism at the time, but it has since been shown to have been the high point in their theological domination. Calvinism has continued to decline over the centuries because John Calvin’s technique of terror is no longer allowed for the spread of his theology.

The Five Points of Calvinism which form the acrostic T-U-L-I-P will be shown here to distort and blaspheme the true attributes of God, the true nature of man and the Holy Scriptures.

Resourced From

Total Depravity

Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible Grace

Perseverance of the Saints

John Calvin

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