Elect or Non-Elect

Oct 11 14:49 2019 Bruce McLaughlin Print This Article

Are some people the Elect of God and others the Non-Elect (Reprobate)?  Or is this concept just Christian baloney?

More than 150,Guest Posting000 people die in this world each day.  Some souls are saved from eternal damnation but most are not.  The Calvinist believes, at the end of each day, not one of the lost could have been saved even if the level of Christian evangelism had been increased by a factor of one billion for the past 1900 years.  Conversely, at the end of each day, not one of the saved could have been lost if the level of evangelism had long ago dropped to zero.  Before the world was formed, the Calvinist believes God assigned each person to one of two mathematical sets; elect and non-elect.   Nothing can move a single person from one set to the other.  When the Calvinist evangelist addresses a throng, he is not praying that all will be saved.  He merely wishes to be God’s instrument for helping the elect identify themselves prior to their unconditional regeneration.

The Arminian believes, at the end of each day, all 150,000+ human souls could have been saved and God grieves deeply for those who were lost.  The Arminian believes salvation is offered to all by the prevenient grace of God which is the grace that comes before salvation.  This Biblical concept of grace includes the following:

  • Man is totally depraved and not capable of thinking or doing any good thing – a concept embraced by both Arminians and Calvinists (Rom 3:23).
  • The prevenient grace of God that brings salvation appears to all men through the unconditional benefit of the atonement (Titus 2:11; Rom 2:15; Rom 1:20).
  • Prior to salvation, God initiates, advances and perfects everything that can be called good in man.  God leads the sinner from one step to another in proportion as He finds response in the heart and disposition to obedience (John 16:8; Rev 3:20).
  • Some men allow God to quicken, assist and nudge their free will to facilitate confession of sin, remorse, repentance, faith and obedience so they may receive the great gift of salvation (1 Pet 1:9).
  • Other men choose to resist and reject the grace of God (2 Thes 1:8-9).

Arminianism holds that salvation is all from grace; every movement of the soul toward God is initiated by divine grace.  But it recognizes also the cooperation of the human will in that the grace of God can be resisted and rejected.  During the period prior to Augustine, this interpretation of the prevenient grace of God was questioned only by the Gnostics and Manichaeans.  It was uniformly embraced by church fathers including Justin, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Cyprian.  A lax interpretation of prevenient grace later led to Pelagianism.  The unguarded condemnation of Pelagianism by Augustine led to what we now call Calvinism.

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