I didn’t realize the extent of John Calvin’s teaching until I attended a Bible Study a couple of Sunday Nights ago. We were watching an old video teaching of RC Sproul and he was teaching out of Romans. As I sat there listening I was horrified at what he was saying. He started reading scripture halfway through the 9th chapter of Romans. If you was just to read those scriptures out of context then it would seem God chooses to hate certain individuals and love others. Several years ago, if you read my book, Legalism the Other Gospel, then you’ll know how we came out of a church with a pastor that preached heresies. I always regret that I never confronted the man and tried to reason with him. As I sat there a boldness that I normally don’t experience came over me.
The Holy Spirit gave me insight during that moment that the scriptures Sproul was quoting were referring to the nation of Israel and the nation of Esau. The prophesy was given to Rebekah that she had two nations within her womb. The older one would serve the younger. Also, in the Bible and Hebrew mind, hate means to love less, not to literally mean hate as we know hate in the English language. It means that God chose the nation of Israel over the nation of Esau. Not because one was better than the other, but because it was to fulfill His purpose and to accomplish what He wanted to accomplish. When I got home I read the entire chapter of Romans and yes, it confirmed what the Holy Spirit had already revealed to me that Paul was talking about his fellow Hebrews. He was lamenting that they were separated from Jesus and how God had chosen the nation of Israel to bring forth the promised seed of Eve down through Abraham, then Israel (Israel is the name God gave Jacob). God chose the nation of Israel to work out His purpose and His will. That is for God to become flesh and dwell among us. For this Jesus Christ of Nazareth to reveal to mankind who God really is.
Another thing this man was saying was John 3:16 meant God really only loves the elect of the world. Blasphemy! He said this all with a big ole smile on his face and we’re not to question God and be ok with God creating people to hell and others to be His elect! There are two opposing viewpoints. One is Calvinism and the other is Arminianism. To be honest I cannot fully embrace either one. We need to add another category. So what can we call people who pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what God is really like? How about Truth Seekers? These two men who came up with their doctrines put God in these little theological boxes and say this is how God is. But I open my Bible and it says that God is Love. That Jesus died for the Whole World. That if we just believe we will be saved. That this is eternal life that we know the Father and the Son Whom He sent. That He will never leave us or forsake us, no not ever, He will not! That He lives within us!!!! When you see Jesus you see the Father. So I implore you to seek God for revelation of Himself! I’m warning you. When you do this whole heartedly you will be knocked off your feet when it dawns on you the passionate love God has for His created human beings. Amazing!