“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied” (1 Peter 1:2).
I have a question for my Arminian friends who believe that their self-exalted free will determined their salvation, not the sovereign grace of God, and the regenerating work of God the Holy Spirit, by grace alone, at God’s discretion. My question is this: “Since you believe in God’s foreknowledge, since you believe that God looked down the corridors of time and saw that you would choose to believe in Christ, and on that basis, elected you to salvation, why do you bother to witness, evangelize, or engage in soul winning activity?” After all, if God foreknows who is going to be saved, then, they will be saved, just like you were saved in your hour of decision, for God cannot be in error. Therefore, “Why do you bother to witness to the lost?”
The question can be expanded. “Why do you bother to eat, or sleep, since the days of our lives are in God’s hands?”
“My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, And from those who persecute me” (Psalm 31:15).
“Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25).
“For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’” (Acts 17:28).
I ask the Arminian again, “Why do you bother to eat, or sleep, or take health precautions, since God foreknows whether, or not, you will have good health?”
I ask this question because it is among the first questions that Arminians ask Calvinist, or those who believe in the doctrines of Divine grace. This question is usually voiced with a tremor of emotional contempt, sarcasm, or a tone of incredulity. Ironically, the Arminian loves to ask a question that could be justly asked of them.
I will leave the Arminians to ponder their own answer.
As a person who believes that salvation is NOT based on the blood of animal sacrifices, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of the natural man—which is NOT free, but enslaved to the ruling principle of sin—, but of God (John 1:13), I can say that God does not divorce the end from the means. It has pleased God through preaching to bring souls to Himself. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:14-17).
Those of us who believe that salvation is of the LORD, and not on the basis of man’s co-operative effort with Jesus, witness, because Christ has commanded Christians to evangelize the world. We witness because we believe God has an elect people, and if we go, souls will be saved. We witness because God has ordained, not only who shall be saved, but the means by which souls are saved.
Personally, I feel sorry for every Arminian who sincerely believes they have co-operated with God to effect their own salvation. Their belief that God looked down the corridors of time, and saw how wise, and cleve,r they would be to believe in Jesus, well, that may appeal to their self-esteem, but they rob God of His ultimate glory. That is sad. They do not yet know the extent of free grace. They do not yet understand how hopeless, and helpless their condition was. They are like a man brought in lifeless to a trauma unit. The surgeon is able to instill life in the body through the use of electric paddles and other means. The man revives, turns to the surgeon, and says, “We sure did a good job here, didn’t we?”
In contrast to the arrogance of Arminian theology, are those who bow themselves low, and say to Jesus,
“Thou art worthy, Thou art worthy,
Thou art worthy, O Lord.
To receive glory, glory and honour
Glory and honour and power.
For thou hast created, hast all things created
Thou hast created all things.
And for Thy pleasure they were created
Thou art worthy, O Lord.”
It is the LORD who has created in me a new heart, not my own co-operative effort with Him, nor my free will. Soli Deo Gloria. To God be the glory, great things HE hath done.