Five-point predestination is summarized in the doctrines of grace, which are total depravity, unconditional election, definite atonement, effectual calling, and preserving grace. Grace is offered but can be refused. Have you ever been on church visitation? “Total depravity” is an old, ignorant belief. If humans were totally depraved, then why would some atheists and other non-Christians live better lives than some Christians? If humans were totally depraved, then God would have been foolish to redeem us. He did not redeem Lucifer. Humans are both good and evil, and not even 80% bad.
“Total depravity” is an old, uninformed belief. If God made humans totally depraved then He made them evil. But the Bible in Genesis says that all things on Earth that the Creator made He made good.
Psalm 8:3-7 (KJV)
3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
So the Creator made man and woman a little lower than the angels and crowned mankind with both glory and honor. That is not depraved.
The Bible teaches us that one of the attributes of God is love. What love is there in God if He predestined some or most of mankind to hell? Even Adolf Hitler did not send people to hell. Hitler and most top Nazis ordered the murder of millions of Christians and Jews, outside of the actual war in WWII. But not one person was sent to a burning, dry and loveless hell by the Nazis. If God had any love for mankind and 5-point Calvinism is true, then God would have predestined all people to go to heaven.
Free will negates 5-point Calvinism with its predestination to heaven and hell. Each person can choose to accept or reject God. And 5-point Calvinism declares there is irresistible grace. If it is irresistible then there is no free will. Free will means you can choose between two or more items or courses of action.
Matthew 23:37 (NKJV)
37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!
Matthew 23:38-39 (NKJV)
38 See! Your house is left to you desolate;
39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ ” It says “but you were not willing!” So here the Son of God says he wanted to do something but was unable because they were not willing. There is no irresistible grace here or all-powerful God here. Jesus the Christ did not believe in Calvin’s predestination. God has limited his power to allow for free will. The Creator separated Himself from the universe which He created. If not separated, the universe would have been like a shadow or an extension of God. Clearly stars and planets do not have free will but must obey the laws of physics. God created the angels and humans with free will. Lucifer and one-third of the angels had free will and rebelled against the Creator!
The doctrines of total depravity and God predestinating humans to heaven or hell are heresy. They say that God is both evil and unjust. This is blasphemy. God would be evil if he let some or most humans be born with no chance of Salvation and predestined them to do evil works such as murder. If is unjust to send people to hell who will naturally sin and then “who deserve hell” with no chance of escaping that place of torments. What does total depravity and God predestinating humans to heaven or hell have to do with God’s sovereignty? God’s sovereignty means that the Creator is not dependent on angels or humans—He is self-sufficient. The Creator gave angels and humans free will so they could love Him. Stars and planets have no free will and therefore cannot love the Creator. Love requires free will.
God did not create everything that now exists. Lucifer was good and perfect from the day (time period) that he was created. Later, Lucifer became vain and filled with envy. Then Lucifer and his angels created Evil and rebelled against the Creator.
If people are predestined by God to heaven or hell, then what would be the criteria? Salvation is by grace and not good works, so it could not be by good works.
If people are predestined by God to heaven or hell, then evangelism is wasteful. Oh, you do not know who is predestined to heaven so you evangelize. How cruel and unmerciful to tell people the plan of Salvation when the majority or many have no possibility of being saved. How effective are evangelists going to be when they believe some people cannot be saved? Have you heard a half-hearted salesman? You very probably would not buy from that person.
Predestination with no choice is like determinism. For example, determinism in physics is cause-and-effect with no freewill. Some of the Greeks around 300 B.C. believed in fate or determinism. Within less than two hundred years many Greeks believe this philosophy. The result was the cessation of Greek progress. They thought that major things were predetermined, so why invent or do great works?
What is predestination in the Bible, not in John Knox or John Calvin’s twisted mind? Let me give you a metaphor. People are waiting at a train station. There are two trains—one to heaven and one to hell. Each person has free will and can choose which train they enter. Once on board, the person goes to the predestined destination. Make sure you repent of your sins and accept Jesus the Christ as Lord and Savior to get on the “train to heaven.”
“that whoever” means what it says—everyone has the opportunity to be saved and go to heaven.
John 3:14-17 (NKJV)
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.