[18]    Salvation: Predestination and Lordship

61.    What does the Bible say about predestination or election?

a. Predestination (abbreviated T.U.L.I.P.): 5 Points of Calvinism (proposed by John Calvin, 1509-1564)
  (1) Total depravity (Jn 6:44; Ro 3:11-12; 7:18; 2Co 4:3-4; Eph 2:1-3): The whole human race is lost in sin, and each individual is totally corrupted in intellect, will, and emotions by sin. Man is unable to respond to Godís offer of salvation because he is spiritually dead.

(2) Unconditional election (Eph 1:11; 2:8-10; Ro 8:29; 2Ti 1:9): God elected or predestined certain individuals to salvation before the foundation of the world. His choice rested solely in His own sovereign will. It was unconditional because it was not based on any foreseen response or obedience from the elect. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He elected.

(3) Limited atonement: Christís redeeming work was intended to save the elect only. The effect of atonement was limited only to the redemption of the elect.

  (4) Irresistible grace (Ro 8:29-30): In addition to the outward general call to salvation, which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call. This internal call cannot be resisted or rejected; it always results in conversion.

(5) Perseverance of the saints (Jn 6:39; 10:28-29; Heb 4:14; 1Pe 1:3-5): All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Holy Spirit are eternally saved ("once saved Ė always saved"). Because Godís election must never fail, the elect is kept in faith by the power of God and thus will always persevere to the end. The elect will never lose salvation.

b. Objections to predestination and arguments in response:
  (1) Man is not really free because it makes no difference what a person does.
(2) There is no incentive to preach the gospel. (3) God is insincere when inviting all men to salvation. (4) God is not fair in saving some and condemning others simply by His choice. c. Opposite viewpoint: Arminianism (proposed by Jacobus Arminius, 1560-1609)
  (1) Human free will: Although human nature was seriously affected by the Fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. Each sinner possesses a free will. All people are able to choose to believe and be saved. Some believe that God has given all people "prevenient grace" to counteract sin so that everyone is able to respond to the gospel.

(2) Conditional election: Godís choice of electing certain individuals to salvation before the foundation of the world was based on His foreknowledge that they would respond to His call. The elect are those whom He knew would freely believe the gospel (Ro 8:29; 1Pe 1:1-2). Election therefore was determined by or conditioned on what a person would do.

(3) General atonement: Christ died for everyone. The effect of atonement is sufficient for the redemption of all humanity (universal) (Jn 1:29; 3:16; Ro 11:32; 2Co 5:14-15; 1Ti 2:6; Heb 2:9; 1Jn 2:2), although only believers are saved. God desires all persons to be saved (Eze 33:11; Ac 17:30-31; 1Ti 2:3-4; 2Pe 3:9). God is totally sincere when he issues a universal invitation for all to come to Christ (Isa 55:1; Mt 11:28).

  (4) Resistable grace: The Spirit calls inwardly all those who are called outwardly by the gospel invitation. But as man is free, he can successfully resist the Spiritís call.

(5) Falling from grace possible (1Jn 5:16): Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by later deliberately refuting their faith. (Some even believe that salvation can be lost if a believer does not keep up his faith. Arminians are not consistent on this point.)

d. Based on Arminianism, how can we explain Bible verses on election?
e. In the Synod of Dort of the Reformed Church in 1619, Calvinists won the argument and Arminianism was condemned. Today, the majority of theologians uphold the predestination position while a smaller number (such as the Methodist Church) uphold Arminianism. However, it should be noted that this doctrine is a non-essential one and theologians from both camps hold orthodox beliefs.

62.    Is it true that "once saved -- always saved"?

63.    Is accepting the Lordship of Jesus part of the requirement of salvation?

a. The question is whether salvation includes a compulsory requirement of repentance who would result in the subsequent submission to the Lordship of Jesus.

b. The recent debate began with two books holding opposite views by two evangelical theologians:

c. Some called the first viewpoint "Lordship salvation". However, this is not a new doctrine on salvation as the Bible teaches that salvation comes with faith AND repentance.