Some Arminian preachers claim that you need the threat of Hell to save people. In other words, you scare them to love and believe in God in order to make that ‘correct’ choice! Then, you continue to threaten them to keep them saved!
Is Calvinism fair?
Calvinists on the other hand, believe that God only purposes to save a select bunch – who miraculously seem to live in only certain parts of the world and at certain times in history. Odd that, you would have thought God could have been a bit more even handed – rather than be accused of racism! Indeed, most people have no choice, it doesn’t matter how wicked they are, they will respond because God wills so – according to the Calvinist? Unfortunately, the rest get to be eternally tortured in the flames of Hell. Sounds just like what Jesus would do to me!
In support of Calvinist theology though, the Apostle Paul seems to be a good example of unconditional election and grace as he lies in the dirt face down staring up into the face of the resurrected Jesus (who he didn’t believe in). At that point though, what choice did he have – really?
So, I get Calvinism as far as grace goes. When I was born of physical parents I didn’t decide to get born. Likewise in the new birth; the decision wasn’t mine. Indeed, no one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws them. That’s called grace.
God has a quota of saved souls?
What doesn’t make any sense though, is that a god of love and infinite power would decide to cap the quota of saved people at a few million in a few nations of the world. In other words, God is like Donald Trump building walls to keep people out of the kingdom! Therefore, rather than us choosing God – as Arminians believe – God chooses to reject most!
Dare I hope?
What if then, the Gospel (Good News) isn’t about saving people from Hell but saving them from a hellish life NOW! Jesus came to deliver us from this present evil age or (eternity) aeon. He delivers us from sin; he forgives all our sins; he fills us with the Holy Spirit; he heals us; he showers his gifts upon us. He wants relationship with us now! That is what (eternal) or life pertaining the age is!
Therefore, people don’t need a threat of Hell to be reconciled to God; they need to taste his infinite love!
What if, dare I believe it or hope, that Jesus does win in the end; that he is in fact the saviour of all men especially those who believe; that he will draw all men to himself and that the coming age will be one full of righteousness when all shall know the Lord? Scripture specifically says he wants to save all so why is it such a stretch to believe that he might get his way in the end? Or, is the devil too powerful and man so wicked, that no matter what God does, all he can do eventually – is whisk a few fortunate souls away in a rapture!
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Previous related post on the topic of Hell:
Love never fails (Part 1)
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