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Why God Did Not Elect Calvinists Video

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The biblical usage of “election” has absolutely nothing to do with salvation contrary to the teaching of Calvinism. Calvin summarizes this foundational doctrine in his book Institutes of the Christian Religion (Book 3 chapter 21): “Of the eternal election, by which God has predestinated some to salvation, and others to destruction.” He qualifies his summary by stating:

The predestination by which God adopts some to the hope of life, and adjudges others to eternal death, no man who would be thought pious ventures simply to deny…By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death. (Calvin Institutes 3:21:5: 06 all emphasis in this article is mine)…

The good news, however, is that “election, elect, chosen” (and the derivatives) are terms that have nothing to do with one’s eternal destiny. Scripture does speak at length of “the elect” and “the chosen” but these terms are devoid of the Calvinistic sense of someone who has been chosen to receive eternal life. The term elect and its derivatives therefore are not salvific in meaning but simply refer to persons or things that are chosen for a particular purpose and the purpose has nothing to do with eternal life.

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  1. Daniel Davenport

    This is some good teaching. a person can always learn and believe more when they are shown in scripture what somthing means. I think the biggest problem is that we dont know the bible so we keep turning somewhere for help to understand. That is why when someone like you explains somthing using scripture as proof a person like me can believe and understand what you are saying. keep up the good work

  2. Wow Doug! Thanks so much. I praise the LORD for this teaching!

    Getting to this final understanding of election/predestination/choosing has been an almost 20 year journey for me.

    When I was born-again in 1993, I was introduced to the teachings of John MacArthur. I still listen to him today and used his study bible for 10 years. I love expository preaching and John MacArthur is one of the best.

    Around 2004, I became aware of the whole Calvinist/Arminian controversy and came to realize that John MacArthur was indeed Reformed in his soteriology (I like to use that ‘label’ now as no Calvinist has ever gotten mad at me for saying they hold to Reformed teaching while others seem to glow when you do call them a Calvinist 🙂

    He is actually an oddball in the Reformed camp because he is dispensational in his eschatology and so I can enjoy his teaching while discerning his Reformed soteriology when it pops up.

    So in ’04 I came to a cross-roads because although I was sort of Reformed in my soteriology, as I was growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus as I studied the word, the so-called ‘doctrines of grace’ just didn’t seem line up with some scriptures while they seemed to line up with others.

    So I went for a few years trying to figure it all out when along came Dave Hunt’s book, What Love is This: Calvin’s Misrepresentation of God.

    I had read many of Dave’s books and appreciated the fact that he was thorough in his documentation and so I thought, ‘oh boy, I have a feeling that if I read this book, I’m gonna find my answer’ which I didn’t really want to because then I would be in disagreement with many of my brethren who held to Reformed soteriology!

    And while Dave’s book put a lot of disputed passages into focus for me, there were still some verses I couldn’t quite reconcile, even with Dave’s explanation; there was something missing.

    I knew that Reformed soteriology wasn’t right because there were too many verses that said otherwise but I still couldn’t figure out what was missing…

    That the Jews are God’s only elect and chosen people, and not individual believers who make up the Church, was the something that was missing.

    All I can say is ‘DUH!?’ How could I have missed that all these years?

    Now, all the verses fall into place, reconcile with each other, make sense.

    The irony is that Reformers like to make the charge that those who don’t hold to their teachings are just ‘hanging on to their traditions’ but don’t seem to realize that it truly is the other way around.

    As you know, the original Reformers were Roman Catholics who came out of the RCC. And while they were right on in denying that salvation was by faith and works and denied that the traditions of the RCC were on par with scripture, nevertheless, they held on to their RC eschatology which was amillenial.

    And while most of the original Reformers were probably not so vitriolic in their hatred of the Jews as was Luther (at least not outwardly), they believed, no doubt, that God was finished with the Jews because of their rejection of their Messiah and that the RCC was now the inheritors of the promises that God made to Israel.

    So, to me, it would make perfect sense that Calvin, having this Replacement Theology (did they call it that back then!?) mentality, replaced the elect Jews in Scripture to read the elect Church (the RC one) and presto, TULIP was born.

    That’s my sermon for today 🙂

    Keep up the good work Doug and thanks again.


  3. I just wanted to let you know that this was one of the best teachings I have seen on “the elect.” I found it on youtube a few months back after struggling with some Calvinist teachings. They were confusing me, and I was praying to find the truth. This teaching really put perspective for me on what the Word is really saying and has helped me when leading my own small group at church. Some of the ladies in my group when studying Mark 13 were confused, and I was able to clear things up about the use of the elect with them. God clearly had a specific people in mind-the Jews. We need to keep that in mind when reading his word.

  4. Was the doctrine of the Trinity developed at the Council of Nicene? I heard a Hebrew roots teacher say that he realized the doctrine of baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was wrong when he realized the Father and the Son have names, but the Holy Spirit does not.

  5. I have read what you have to say about God being light and that we are not able to be in His presence because our bodies would burn. So are the scriptures that talk about the third heaven, Paul’s writings and John in Revelation being transported, are they literal? If so how, and also Moses speaking face to face?

    • Paul says he didn’t know if he was taken in the body or out of the body. Something literally happened to him but how is another matter. The prophets of old saw God very literally but through a mechanism called a vision. That means that like us watching TV – we literally see things happening and in great detail…but we are not truly there – we are experiencing or seeing it by tele-vision. Moses was in the presence and God and therefore could not see God face to face whereas Ezekiel and others completely saw God (fire and all) but were not in front of him bodily. – Blessings

  6. Might I encourage you to reconsider your use of Scripture?
    Of course ‘chosen’ doesn’t always refer to salvation. Only a silly person would assert this.

    But at times it can only mean salvation. Reading Eph 1 demonstrates this quite handily. Here’s v4, but please read the whole paragraph. “For He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in His sight in love”. Recall that the church in Ephesus was primarily gentile, NOT Jew (Acts 19:8-10).

    I also note that you totally misconstrued Matt 22:1-14. “The kingdom of heaven … is …*for* many are called, but few are chosen”. Those not chosen are thrown into outer darkness where there is weeping and nashing of teeth – aka, hell (v13), so whatever ‘choosing’ is going on, heaven and hell is most definitely in view. Please read the entire context of the parable. Is it about Jews? Sure. Is it about heaven and hell? Absolutely. Is it about predestination? You bet!! Your video, unfortunately, totally bungled even a plain, straight-forward reading of this passage. You do this repeatedly, pre-defining the word ‘chosen’, then wedging that understanding into any passage you touch, instead of letting the context of a given passage dictate usage.

    I think you totally missed Peter’s point. He’s lifting Exod 19 saying that the special (spiritual Suzerian/vassal) blessings of God apply to those who believe (1 Peter 2:7) and NOT to those who do (v8). The distinction here is plainly believer/nonbeliever, not Jew/Gentile. Dittos for many of the other passages mentioned (and the many *not* mentioned) here. God grants salvation to whomever He determines. Matt 11:27; John 6; Rev 13:8; Rev 17:8, etc, etc, etc.

    Lastly – any moral “injustice” by a God that would elect some people to heaven and others to perdition is not at all alleviated by claiming that “election” only applies to Israel. How is it “more just” for a fair, loving God to elect one nation for salvation and not elect other nations for equal acess to that salvation? Please read Ps 147:19ff. The Psalmist sees this witholding of divine providence/salvation as praiseworthy! (sounds like Jesus in Matt 11:20ff).

    • Hi Tim, 

      I have begun writing a paper on the use of elect in the book of Ephesians specifically. However, I will give you a few highlights on that and address some of your other comments as well. Paul actually spent three months in Ephesus in the synagogue. In every synagogue there were Jews of course and often there were God fearers. So, there was mixed multitude, however, at the outset there was a majority of Jews. Only later did the gentiles out pace the Jews. Paul uses the pronouns we/us and you. The we/us which he says “who first believed are the Jews. The disciples and Paul…were all Jews – they were the first to believe in Jesus, not the gentiles. Therefore, when Paul says “we who first believed” he is making reference to the Jews. I think you can see where this is going. It demonstrates that those chosen before the foundation of the world were the Jews. They were predestined… They also are God’s inheritance – see the verses below.

      The person that is thrown into outer darkness in Matthew 22 is the one who doesn’t have a wedding garment on. We actually don’t know which group he is from which proves that one must put on the wedding garemtn, the garment of salvation regardless of when one is Jewish (chosen) or not. I am not saying that God chose the Jews for salvation – in fact, that is the opposite of what I am saying. “Chosen, elect, election” don’t ever mean unto salvation. The Jews were chosen to be the honored guests at the marriage feast and believe it or not, many of them have decided not to come to the party. That is their choice. However, if they decide to come and put on the Lord Jesus, then they can go in and enjoy the party and have a great seat too.

      4:37 “And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants
      after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty
      power, NKJV

      10:15 “The LORD
      delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants
      after them, you above all peoples, as [it is] this
      day. NKJV

      14:2 “For
      you [are] a
      holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has
      chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples
      who [are] on
      the face of the earth.  NKJV

      9:7 “You [are] the LORD God,
      Who chose Abram, And brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans, And gave him the
      name Abraham;  NKJV

      20:5 “Say
      to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day when I chose Israel
      and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and
      made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to
      them, saying, ‘I [am] the LORD your God.’ NKJV

      His Inheritance

      15:17 You will bring them in and plant them In
      the mountain of Your inheritance,
      [In] the place, O LORD, [which] You have made For Your own dwelling, The sanctuary,
      O LORD, [which] Your hands have established.  NKJV

      19:5 ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey
      My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above
      all people; for all the earth [is] Mine. NKJV

      34:9 Then he said, “If now I have found grace
      in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we [are] a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and
      our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”

      4:20 “But the LORD has
      taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His
      people, an inheritance,
      as you are this day. NKJV

      Deut 7:6 “For you [are] a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your
      God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the
      peoples on the face of the earth.

      9:26 “Therefore I prayed to the LORD, and said: ‘O Lord GOD, do
      not destroy Your people and Your inheritance whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom
      You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. NKJV

      9:29 ‘Yet they [are] Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out by Your mighty
      power and by Your outstretched arm.’  NKJV

      14:2 “For you [are] a holy
      people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen
      you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who [are] on the face of the earth.  NKJV

      26:18-19  18 “Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that [you] should keep all His commandments, 19 “and that He will
      set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in
      honor, and that you may be a holy
      people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken.”  NKJV

      32:9 For the LORD’s
      portion [is] His people; Jacob [is]
      the place of His inheritance.

      8:51 “(for they [are] Your people and Your inheritance, whom You brought out of Egypt, out of
      the iron furnace), NKJV

      8:53 “For You separated them from among all
      the peoples of the earth [to
      be] Your inheritance, as You spoke by Your servant Moses,
      when You brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD.”  NKJV

      Ps 28:9
      Save Your people, And bless Your inheritance; Shepherd
      them also, And bear them up forever. NKJV

      33:12 Blessed [is]
      the nation whose God [is] the LORD, The
      people He has chosen as His own inheritance.  NKJV

      Ps 74:2
      Remember Your congregation, [which] You have purchased of old, The tribe of Your inheritance, [which] You have redeemed– This Mount Zion where You have
      dwelt.  NKJV

      78:62 He also gave His people over to the
      sword, And was furious with His inheritance.  NKJV

      78:71 From following the ewes that had young He
      brought him, To shepherd Jacob His people, And Israel His inheritance.  NKJV

      Ps 79:1
      O GOD, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy
      temple they have defiled; They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.  NKJV

      94:14 For the LORD will
      not cast off His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance.  NKJV

      106:5 That I may see the benefit of Your chosen ones, That I may
      rejoice in the gladness of Your nation, That I may glory with Your inheritance.  NKJV

      19:25 whom the LORD of hosts
      shall bless, saying, “Blessed [is] Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of
      My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”

      41:8 “But you, Israel, [are] My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of
      Abraham My friend.  NKJV

      63:17 O LORD, why
      have You made us stray from Your ways, [And] hardened our heart from Your fear? Return for Your
      servants’ sake, The tribes of Your inheritance.  NKJV

      10:16 The Portion of Jacob [is] not like them, For He [is]
      the Maker of all [things,] And Israel [is]
      the tribe of His inheritance;
      The LORD of hosts [is] His name. NKJV

      51:19 The Portion of Jacob [is] not like them, For He [is]
      the Maker of all things; And [Israel
      is] the tribe of His inheritance. The LORD of
      hosts [is] His name.  NKJV

      2:12 “And the LORD will
      take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. NKJV

      2:14 who gave Himself for us, that He might
      redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself [His] own special people, zealous for good works.  NKJV

      2:9 But you [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy
      nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who
      called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; NKJV



    • Tim, I was impressed with the start of your first sentence. it seemed respectful. In my view, ”you totally misconstrued” and ”totally bungled” is not respectful to Doug or any reader. A request to ”reconsider” is in imo respectful. If I understand the scriptures correctly, mocking and belittling are not Christian virtues. There is something about ”truth in love” that doesn’t seem to fit here. Please consider the possibility that Doug might be right, but even if he is wrong, respect is no offense.

  7. Thank you for your clear and straight forward teaching on biblical election.  It seems since the time of Calvin all the “election” passages were interpreted around some measure of Salvitic understanding. Oh, the pain of division in God’s body through the centuries because we simply didn’t go back to the words in the Word in their own context.  I think that for much of church history there was also a prejudice and almost total rejection of the Jews, choosing rather to “spiritualize” all passages about the Jews, and making those blessings point only to the Gentile Church as sort of a replacement of Israel. That erroneous mindset was a ‘mental block’ against good interpretation. Thanks for laying out a clear path. I too am glad we are grafted in and can attend the feast.

    • Hi Randy, 
      Much pain indeed! I believe that God is waking us up to the reality of His people. In any event, I am glad to be grafted in! Blessings to you!

  8.  Calvinists are relentless debaters & impossible to pacify. Yet,
    in spite of their arguments, something never smelled right to me
    concerning their view of predestination. They strike me as being more
    consumed by intellectualism rather than the Holy Spirit. Philosophers in
    sheep’s clothing if you will. Now if someone asks me if I’m a Calvinist
    I simply refer them to 1 Corinthians 3:4-11. Your video gives me
    further ammo & is very helpful. Thanks!


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