Daily Devotional, Year 2 – DECEMBER 3 (Deserted Island Theologian, Part 4: Rethinking John Calvin on Limited Atonement)

By admin On January 21st, 2016

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 “Complete List of Daily Devotionals”

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Daily Devotional, Year 2 – DECEMBER 3

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Deserted Island Theologian, Part 4: “Rethinking John Calvin on Limited Atonement”

To read Part 1, click here… ” FEBRUARY 10 (The Deserted Island Theologian!)”

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There is an old saying in Christendom, which goes something like this… “If you lived on a deserted island, and a King James Bible washed ashore, would you be able to prove your favorite church-doctrines?”

.desert island - credit ChristArt.com.

Well, this analogy has a certain amount of merit. After all, there are many different church-doctrines blowing in the wind these days!

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And so, it might be well for the Christian to begin to examine the Bible with fresh eyes!

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You know! As if we were on a deserted island! 

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Without any pre-conceived ideas about the Bible!

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Without having any previous theological baggage!

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You know! Free from all that dogma which they put on us, the moment we began attending church!

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So let’s just think of ourselves as Deserted Island Theologians…

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desert island – credit  ChristArt.com.

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T.U.L.I.P.

.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png

Perhaps it was the Dutch Reformed Church who decided to take John Calvin’s interpretations on the nature of grace, as it applies to Salvation, and came up with the acronym, “T.U.L.I.P.”.

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Yes, this clever little acronym stands for the so-called “5 points of Calvinism”: Total depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints (also known as, Once Saved Always Saved)

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John Calvin – by Holbein – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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MANY ZEALOUS ADHERENTS

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Now these so-called, 5https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png points of Calvinism are embraced by a somewhat lesser segment of today’s Church-community.

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Nevertheless, many of these adherents could be called, “zealots for the cause”, since they are always willing to defend this church-doctrine, even to the point of a knock-down-drag-out-debate in its defense!

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LIMITED ATONEMENT?

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png

But while four of these tenets seem reasonable, the 3rd point, “Limited Atonement”, just doesn’t seem to square up with Scripture. Yes, Total Depravity of humanity, Unconditional Election, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints, all seem to be very clearly taught in Scripture.

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But this idea of Limited Atonement is another story! Because, as we all know, that Jesus told Nicodemas… “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16, 17

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So here it says that Christ died for the world. But what it doesn’t say, is that Christ died for only His Elect, Chosen ones.

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.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:At_a_loss.svg

So just how did Calvin arrive at the idea that He merely died for only SOME of the world?

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Question Marks – At a loss – svg – Wikimedia Commons – Share-Alike License

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LEANING ON OUR OWN UNDERSTAND

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png

Well, those who have studied Calvin, reveal that his doctrine of Limited Atonement is based on human reasoning.

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And what was that human reasoning, that caused Calvin (an otherwise great theologian) to formulate this church-doctrine of Limited Atonement?

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CROSS NOT FOR ALL?

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png

Well, it was his realization that if Christ indeed paid for the sins of each and every human, then their sins were paid for. In other words, if a man’s sins were atoned for by Christ’s blood shed on the Cross, then those sins were nailed to the Cross. And so, Calvin continued his reasoning, that if the greater portion of Mankind will spend eternity in Hell for their sins, then how could their sins be paid for? That just doesn’t make sense, or so Calvin surmised!

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BY HUMAN LOGIC, IT MAKES SENSE!

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png

Well, all Calvin’s human reasoning seems to make a whole lot of sense! After all, if Christ died for my sins, then all my sins have indeed been paid for!

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The problem with all this is, Calvin needed to refrain from using human reason to come up with a church-doctrine! All truth must be based on Scripture and Scripture only!

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NOT SUBSTANTIATED BY SCRIPTURE

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png

Now, this website has no disagreement with Calvin’s conclusion that if Christ died for ALL mankind, then their sins must ALL have been paid for. No argument with that!

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But to then conclude that Christ could not have died for each and every human is going too far. Well, if Calvin could have found a Bible verse or two which clearly supports Limited Atonement, then he would have had some biblical grounds for his conclusion.

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“WE KNOW IN PART & PROPHESY IN PART”

1st Corinthians 13:9

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png

What Calvin neglected to realize is, that God is infinite, and His Word is likewise infinite! And while Calvin was a very intelligent guy, he was by no means as smart as God! Nor did Calvin understand everything in Scripture!

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Thus, Calvin attempted to nail down a church-doctrine, not understanding that this seeming contradiction might just have an answer that is beyond our present human understanding!

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Or, perhaps, Calvin was not aware of a yet undiscovered Bible truth, that answers this great and perplexing conundrum!

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CALVIN, A GREAT THEOLOGIAN

 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png

Well, let’s not be too hard on Calvin. Word has it that he was a great theologian in many respects. And his reasoning that if Christ indeed died for all mankind, then all mankind has had their sins paid for, is worthy of our consideration. And so, let’s not, ‘throw out’, the proverbial, baby with the bath-water!’

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MATTERS TOO GREAT!

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png

But let’s just be meek and humble enough to admit that we don’t quite understand everything in the Bible! Doesn’t that sound reasonable?

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After all, even the great David confessed…“LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child.” Psalm 131:1, 2

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And so, if David was content to refrain from matters too high for his understanding, how much more should we be willing to do the same?

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David the Shepherd Boy – Wikipedia – US Public Domain

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JUDGMENT DAY WILL ANSWER

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Calvin_by_Holbein.png

One thing is for certain, on the soon-coming Judgment Day, all our questions will then be answered! So in the meanwhile, let’s just behave and quiet ourselves as a little child!

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Perhaps this last verse really sums up this little discussion…“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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“Dear Lord, Let me be careful to not allow my own human reason, or my prejudices to pervert my judgment. But help me to trust wholly in Thy Word…

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read…“September 2nd (Noble Bereans?)”, or you can also read this next article…” FEBRUARY 10 (The Deserted Island Theologian!)”

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THE END

.picture - soldiers of the cross - armor up!

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

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HEAVENLY OBJECT LESSON

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“Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” Isaiah 24:23

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When God created the Moon and the stars, He ordained them to “rule the night” (Gen. 1:16). The Moon, especially when it is full, can light your pathway through the night, as it reflects the light of the Sun.

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Um_moinho_dominando_a_ba%C3%ADa_%C3%A0_luz_lunar.jpg

So too, the Christian is to be a light to the world: to this sin-darkened world. But as the Moon must reflect the light of the Sun, in order to be a light to the world, so also must the Christian reflect the light of Jesus, to be a spiritual light to this planet in rebellion. Listen…

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“Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

.This is a drawing of a winter-time total lunar eclipse, first published in Bilder- (Picture Atlas of the Stemenwelt) in 1888

However, during an eclipse, the Earth passes directly between the Sun and the Moon, preventing that sunlight from shining on the Moon’s face. This is an incredible object-lesson about when the child of God allows the world to come between him and his Lord. Like the eclipse, that person no longer reflects the light of Jesus, because his or her love of this dark world of sin has eclipsed the light from the “Sun of Righteousness” (see Malachi 4:2).

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And so, this is just one of the many poetic truths seen in the Moon. (For more on this subject of an eclipse, you may link to the article… “Lunar Eclipse & Spiritual Eclipse”)

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Dutch Painting: Um_moinho_dominando_a_baía_à_luz_lunar wikimedia US public domain

This is a drawing of a winter-time total lunar eclipse, first published in Bilder- (Picture Atlas of the Stemenwelt) in 1888

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Moon Into Blood Trilogy: 1st Face: The Night Watchman”

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TOMORROW…

DECEMBER 4 (The Pre-Trib Rapture, Part 4: The Last Trumpet)

 

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EXCERPTS FROM THE OPEN FORUM QUESTION/ANSWER RADIO TALK-SHOW…

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This is a small 30 minute sampling of the late Harold Camping’s nearly 50 year long series of 90 minute nightly talk shows…

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TO HEAR MORE OF THESE OPEN FORUM QUESTION/ANSWER PROGRAMS, PLUS OTHER TEACHINGS OF HAROLD CAMP, CLICK HERE…“FOUNDER’S SITE/HAROLD CAMPING”

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ABOVE PICTURE: Holy bible – Wikimedia – Creative Commons lic.

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