In 2016, in a Sunday School class in a Fundamentalist Baptist church in southern Florida, the teacher instructed the young people not to listen to that terrible doctrine called Calvinism because, “It is a doctrine of the devil.” When I was told of this statement, I shuddered in fear on behalf of that very foolish, and uninformed, Sunday School teacher, for he came perilously close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, he actually crossed the line. The Lord will one day judge. I do not doubt the passion and the sincerity of the teacher. I do not doubt that he thought he was giving good counsel to the young people. I also do not doubt he ascribed to Satan the work of God, for Calvinism is another name for the gospel.
In his autobiography, in the chapter titled “A Defense of Calvinism”, the Baptist minister, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892) said this:
“I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.
I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.”
What Charles Spurgeon meant was that the principle at the heart of all gospel truth is the same principle that undergirds Calvinism: “Salvation is of the Lord.” Salvation is God’s work. Salvation is not something we do for ourselves. Salvation is by grace alone, by faith alone, and in Christ alone.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:8-10)
For a person to denounce the gospel is a terrible sin. For a person to ascribe to Satan the work of God is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. It is the sin for which there is no forgiveness.
In Matthew 3, the story is told of some scribes, which came down from Jerusalem. They listened to Jesus, they saw the miracles He performed, and then rendered an unjust verdict on the Lord’s ministry saying, “He had Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.” (Matt. 3:22).
Jesus easily refuted that evaluation, and then rendered a just condemnation against the scribes saying, “Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” (Mark 3:28-29)
Only the Lord knows the true status of the heart of any person. What is certain are the outward facts. Calvinism is the gospel. Salvation is a work of God. To ascribe to Satan the work of God is to blaspheme the Holy Spirit.
To those professing Christians who oppose the doctrines of grace, comes this word of counsel. Repent! Study the Scriptures and see that those who are the heirs of salvation have been chosen by God for salvation, service, and sanctification by the Holy Spirit (John 15:16, 19; 2 Thess. 2:13). They are the elect of God (Col. 3:12)
Then, cry out to God for forgiveness, mercy, and grace, and pray you never crossed the line and committed the unpardonable sin.