A humble and hungry disciple is a wonderful thing in God’s kingdom…But these same qualities can also make them a target for demonic deception. Satan is a master manipulator, and as natural children are easy to manipulate in their innocence and ignorance, so are spiritual children. Zeal can make them hasty, and humility can make them naïve.
The hungry disciple believes that God loves everyone and wants all people to come to repentance.
So a teaching that says God does not want everyone to be saved makes no sense to them.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life (Rom 5:6-10.
They have hope for people and sincerely believe that if they labor and pray for souls to come into the kingdom, they will. So the doctrine that says God has already determined how many will be saved and absolutely nothing can change that number, seems unbelievable to them.
But sooner or later they read a passage in the Bible that shocks and confuses them. They read something like, “Before the twins were born, God loved Jacob and hated Esau” (Rom. 9:13). Then their heads begin to spin. They can’t make heads or tails of it.
At this point they usually ask their mentor what it means and accept whatever explanation that is given, whether it makes sense or not.
One of the common defenses of Calvinism’s converts goes something like this, “I didn’t accept Calvinist theology because I wanted to. In fact, I hoped that it wasn’t true. I only accepted it because I couldn’t ignore what the Bible plainly teaches.”
This confession carries with it a subtle accusation, whether the Calvinist brother is aware of it or not. It says, “You don’t follow the Bible, but your desires. You want the Bible to teach that God loves everyone equally, so you refuse to submit to the truth of God’s word.” This accusation often has its intended affect on the sensitive conscience of the humble follower of Christ.This accusation brings the disciple into self-doubt and prepares his heart for the errors of Calvinism. By accepting the subtle accusation that his Spirit renewed conscience is actually just human reasoning, he is stepping into dangerous territory.
He hastily accepts the apparent meaning of certain verses, not because it is confirmed by the rest of scripture, but because it is the quickest means of proving his devotion to God’s word and silencing the accusations assailing his heart.
He is afraid to allow his conscience to influence him. He forgets that when he repented of his sins and became a Christian his conscience had been molded by the testimony of the Gospel message.
The Calvinist’s confession also carries with it a strange assumption, again, usually without his awareness. The assumption is, “If something is hard to accept, accepting it must prove a sincere devotion to God.” This reasoning is similar to that of the Catholic monks of the middle ages who believed fasting almost continually, taking vows of poverty and even beating themselves with whips, somehow revealed the depth of their devotion to God’s glory. Calvinism’s convert makes a similar error. By submitting to a view of God that is distasteful to his understanding of justice and mercy he feels reassured that he is devoted to God’s word.
The disciple is now eager to prove his devotion to God’s truth. In this state of mind he turns to Romans 9:20 and reads, “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’”
The Calvinist’s testimony, whether he knows it or not, has been used to accuse and manipulate his brother in Christ…With this sincere commitment his fate is sealed. The error of Calvinism has taken hold of his conscience, and it will not easily loosen its grip.
Calvinism comes to deceive and manipulate the sincere devotion of the spiritual children in God’s kingdom.
Calvinism is like a manipulative elder brother influencing his little brother into a sinful action. The elder brother doesn’t have to say, “Steal that CD or I will hit you.” He has a more foolproof way of getting his little brother to do his dirty work. Instead of direct intimidation he uses simple psychology. He says, “You are too little to be here with us big boys. Go home!” To this the younger brother predictably replies, “I am big!” “Ok,” the elder brother continues, “then steal that CD to prove it. But I know you will not do it. You’re a chicken! You’re too small to do it!” It is not hard to guess what happens next. The little brother promptly steals the CD…This is the strategy of Calvinism’s irresistible error.
Calvinism boasts that it has a monopoly on devotion, just as the monks of the Middle Ages did.
It is the hardest philosophy to swallow, so it must be the most God-glorifying theology on the market. After all, it says that God is everything and that Man is nothing?
God is the only participant in salvation and mankind does nothing to “help” God save him.