If sovereign, unconditional election disturbs the Arminian, it stands to reason that the Calvinistic doctrine of the atonement will likewise greatly upset him. In fact, anyone who has ever had any dealings with these people will know that there is nothing that so enrages the Arminian as the doctrine of definite atonement. When you tell him that Christ died, not for the whole world, but for a very specific and select group of people, he can hardly contain his wrath.
In Matthew 16:18 the evangelist records for us one of the most encouraging promises our Lord has ever given to His people. Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Encouraging indeed! For by that short statement our Beloved Saviour tells us that the church is His church, and therefore that we who belong to that church belong to Him.
“God is love.” When properly understood, these words of the apostle John are of great comfort to the people of God. For that God is love means that God is the God of our salvation. John tells us, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him” (I John 4:9). God is love in and of Himself. His very essence is love. But that great love He has also shown to us.
Most “evangelical Christians” would very enthusiastically subscribe to the words which Jonah uttered in the fish’s belly: “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). For they tell us that salvation is totally the gift of God. It can not be earned by man’s works, but is the work of God’s grace alone. And yet, very few actually consider the cause of salvation to be the sovereign and unchangeable election of God.
While the Arminian boasts in the fact that he “asked Christ into his heart” and he “promised to give his life to God,” the Scriptures teach us that salvation is not the result of man’s will and works, but it is the gift of the sovereign grace of God alone (Eph. 2:8-9). If we are to boast, therefore, we must boast not in what we have done, but in what God has done for us and in us. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (I Cor. 2:31). God alone is our Savior. This becomes even more evident when we consider the fact that...