The truths of Christianity and religion in general, are “HID from the wise and prudent and REVEALED unto babes.”(Matt 11:25; Luke 10:21) You can’t find or choose something if it is hidden. “Unto babes” means just what it says. A baby has no choice but to receive the care of someone else because it doesn’t have the physical or mental means necessary to take care of itself. A baby is not given a choice on whether to accept or reject this care. A baby receives this care like someone receives a cold or the flue, whether he accepts it or not. A baby has to experience being loved before he is ‘able’ to love in return. He is not taught that he has to love his caregivers and chose to believe in them (and obey their rules) “in order to” be loved and cared for by them, (which is the teaching of false religion concerning its Heavenly Father). Your baby is loved only “because” he is your baby.
To those who do not know what the terms Calvinism and Arminianism mean I’ll start off with a brief overview. Calvinism states; God chose who will be saved before He created the earth, therefore you can’t choose, by way of a free-will, to be saved. Arminianism states; all people have a free will and their choices determine whether they are saved or not. There are more differences, but they all derive from this basic point. If they could find some common ground on this one point (which they can’t) all the other differences would be moot.
Calvinism comes closest to the truth, but both Calvinism and Arminianism believe that Hell is a bad place where you are either tortured forever or just exterminated and that God doesn’t, therefore, love the lost as much as He loves the saved. Arminianism says the lost chose a bad Hell by refusing salvation, even if they were never given the opportunity to do so, (one small example of this is the millions of Chinese, Indians, Mayans, Africans, etc, who weren’t conscious of a single god, back in Old Testament times). Calvinism says to the lost; you have to go to a bad Hell or be exterminated if you were not chosen; no matter what you did in this life. Both beliefs dishonor our loving Heavenly Father and are incorrect.
The religions of the world are divided into three main categories; those that believe in god(s) (animal, mineral, vegetable or spirit), those that believe we can all be (or are) gods, and those that cannot, or will not, believe there is a god. These three categories are divided up into categories and subcategories which are then divided up again and again, right down to a person’s own beliefs. This fact, alone, (without using the bible or some other religious document) proves that the truths of religion (God, sin, salvation, Heaven, Hell, etc.) are secrets that are hidden to mortal man.
Since Calvinism and Arminianism believers use their interpretation of the bible (or just their own logic, wisdom and instincts) as the proof of their beliefs, I’ll present (Lord willing) some of the arguments and proofs that the bible (by way of the Holy Spirit) teaches to show them their errors.
If you did an online (or concordance) search of the bible you’d find 16 verses that say either the name of God or his truths are ‘secret’. If you did the same search using the word ‘hidden’ you’d find 26 verses that say the truths of God are hidden. Searching for the word ‘revealed’ turns up 21 verses that say the truths of God have to be revealed by The Holy Spirit ‘before’ you can see or accept them. Psalm 80 says “Quicken us (make us alive) and we will call on Thy name.” It does not say…call on His name and you will be quickened. The whole 2nd chapter of 1 Corinthians explains this in detail. Romans 10 says how can they call on Him if they do not trust Him, and how can they trust Him if they do not know Him, and how can they know Him unless someone (by way of the Holy Ghost) tells them. Psalm 31 says God will hide those who trust Him in the secret of ‘His presence’ from the pride of man. Jesus reveals the Father and the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to those who are chosen. (Eph 2, John 1, John 4, Isaiah 11, Rom. 8, Gal. 5, 1 Cor. 2, 1 John 5, …etc). Samuel 3 says Samuel did not know the Lord because He had not yet revealed Himself to him. Luke 10 and Matthew 11 say no one can know the Father until the Son reveals Him. Jesus said in John 6 that no one can come to Him unless the ability to do so was given to him. The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 1 that God had to reveal his son to him in order that he could preach the gospel. Isaiah 6:10 says “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” Acts 28:27 says the same thing. In Matt 13:11-17, Jesus presents in detail the reason why He spoke in parables using almost the same words. Doing an on-line search turns up at least 17 more verses that say it is God who opens or closes your eyes and ears. If I searched the bible for all the verses in the bible that say the same thing but using different words, there would be hundreds of more examples. Finally, 2 Thess. 2:11 says God sends the lost “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”
Arminianists misusing certain verses as examples, and their own wisdom and logic, will tell you all the above verses don’t say what they say. They refuse to believe the 15 verses (found in Strong’s Concordance) of the bible that say we are elected or predestinated, (or the 11 times in Romans 9 that say God chooses the saved and lost), because they don’t see (being hidden) what the verses say. They insist, by their wisdom and free-will, they are able to find and accept the truth, or they can ask the Holy Ghost to give them the truth, and therefore save themselves.Their favorite verses, John 3:16 and Rev. 22:17 are mistranslated. The Greek has the personal pronoun plus the present participle. There is no “willing” in either passage. The correct translation in John 3:16 is the “the one believing” and in Rev. 22:17 “the one desiring”. How can someone see to desire something if God makes it hidden and undesirable? The obvious answer, by way of His infinite power, wisdom and love, is that God caused them to see and desire their false religion. They love the darkness (John 3:19) and being the vessels of destruction (uselessness) they were ‘fitted’ for (Rom 1:22). They hate the light (John 3:20) and being His vessels of mercy (Rom 1:23). They don’t want a relationship with a God who controls their every move (Rom 9:18,19; Rom 11:36; Prov. 16:9; Jer. 20:10; Prov. 20:24; Phil. 2:13 and many, many more) and therefore loves them just the way they are (Luke 2:10; John 3:16; Rom. 11:32 and many, many more).
The problem with Calvinism is that it sees the unlimited power and wisdom of God but it doesn’t recognize His infinite Love. Without that love they are indeed puppets. They are no more than a small stone that God kicks around just for the fun of it. If you don’t see His love what reason is there to love Him? Why love your neighbor if he is the enemy that wasn’t chosen to be with God? How can you have a loving relationship with a God that designates where you go and what you do without any more reason or purpose other than ‘He can do what He wants to do’? They agree that Jesus died for their sins, but what was His purpose or reason for it if there wasn’t love? They will disagree with this, but that is the only conclusion one can come to if one believes God doesn’t love the lost just as much as He loves the saved. If there is one person He created by his infinite power and wisdom who he didn’t love infinitely, too; that love cannot be infinite and therefore it could not be a wise use of His power, therefore it could not be a part of his nature.
Those Calvinists and Arminianists who do agree that God loves everyone but can’t help it if some have to be tortured for eternity (or just exterminated) because they chose their fate (or weren’t chosen) better be sure of ‘their’ choices; because if God can’t help it, he can’t help them. If he can’t help them, then their faith has to be in themselves and their choices. The words “having faith in God, praying to God, having a relationship with God, etc,” are all meaningless if all He does is sit and watch helplessly as you make your choices.
The confusion of the world’s religions are the result of Adam’s fall and not because man is too stupid to see the true religion. God told Adam that if he ate from the tree of good and evil he would die. Neither Adam nor Eve died physically but they did die spiritually. Before Eve encountered the serpent, Adam and Eve walked and talked with God and were not ashamed of their nakedness. Afterwards they knew they were naked and were banished from the ‘presence’ of God (Gen 3:8). Cain complained that when he is driven out “and from thy face shall I be hid” (Gen 4:14) his life would be in danger. 2Thess. 1:9 that states the lost “shall be punished with everlasting destruction (uselessness) from the ‘presence’ of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” Man, separated from the presence and glory of God, is, and will remain, religiously confused as long as God hides himself from him. He has no choice in the matter.
To those who insist they have a free-will I might add: the will cannot act without motives. You can’t make a choice until, or unless, you are first motivated to do so. For example; you can’t make a choice to eat something without first being motivated by hunger and desire. You may choose to not to eat for the same reasons. Either way, your choice is the result of something you have no control over. You can’t choose to do something unless you first have the ability, availability, the right environment and the motivation to do so. Nevertheless, these preconditions exist in every aspect of the choices you make. Only your loving Heavenly Father, by creating these preconditions, designates what way you will go (Rom 9:18,19; Rom 11:36; Prov. 16:9; Jer. 20:10; Prov. 20:24; Phil. 2:13). This concept can be seen in nature by using the law of cause and effect, where every effect can be traced back to a previous cause. For example; If God hadn’t presented Adam and Eve the knowledge of good and evil ‘first’ by presenting Eve (who had not known evil) an evil serpent; if God hadn’t given Eve (who did not know what a lie was) the motive to succumb to the serpent’s lie by making a tree that “was ‘good’ for food, and that it was ‘pleasant’ to the eyes, and a tree to be ‘desired’ to make one wise” (Gen 3:6); if God didn’t show Adam these things and that even though Eve ate the fruit she didn’t die, like God said she would; if God didn’t have a perfect purpose (Jesus) for making all this happen… then Adam and Eve wouldn’t have had the motive (cause) to disobey God (effect).
Because of Adam, the first man, every human being ever born has inherited this spiritual death. Therefore, everyone ever born has already suffered God’s punishment and wrath for sin. We are all already spiritually dead in sin. We are all already spiritually damned. We are already condemned. We are already suffering in spiritual tribulation and anguish. We are all already in spiritual darkness, in our spiritual grave. We are all already suffering the fire of a spiritual Hell because being born as a human being we are already spiritually lost from His fellowship and glory. Romans 11:32 says this was necessary in order that Jesus’ sacrifice could show His love to the greatest degree.
Jesus redeemed us from this spiritual death by dying on the cross. By becoming a member of the human race, the Lord Jesus inherited the guilt of the human race. But by being God-forsaken, He paid the penalty for us. He was not tortured, tormented or exterminated in Hell forever as a punishment for sin. He was only separated from God’s fellowship for three hours. (He tasted this spiritual death). This is the only punishment for sin that God has promised. We are not separated from His love and care in this world, nor will we be in eternity. Because Jesus paid for our sins, even though we were his enemies, we can never be denied the fellowship of our Heavenly Father if we have this ‘revealed’ desire. Jesus was the only being that was ever denied this fellowship who knew and desired it. Hell is that place designated for those who have not been given this desire, therefore; it is a place of eternal spiritual death where they remain (and desire), separated from His presence and glory, in perfect peace and unspeakable joy, because they have a loving Heavenly Father.
Those who follow Calvinism and Arminianism will not (cannot, because it’s hidden to them) agree with these definitions of Hell and God’s love, therefore, they are separated from the presence and glory of their Heavenly Father; but not from his love and care.
Matthew 10:29-31 says not one sparrow falls to the ground without the will of the Father and we are worth much more than many sparrows. Matthew 6:28-32 says if God can feed and clothe the grass of the field, how much more can He feed and clothe you and give you what you need? Is this an impersonal ruler and supreme judge telling you this or does this sound remarkably like what a loving father would say to you?
A baby knows.