I stand on the Bible. I believe all of it. Every word.
The Bible tells us that we are all sinners who abide under the wrath of God, and that the only way to escape the just penalty for our sin –an eternity in hell—is to repent from our sin and place our faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross as payment for that sin, and in His bodily resurrection.
Precisely how God accomplishes salvation at the nanosecond of a human’s repentance and faith, and the minutiae involved in predestination that isn’t revealed in Scripture, along with some of the other fine points of disagreement between Calvinists and Arminians, are, and will remain, a mystery understood only by the mind of God. And no amount of debate will change that.
Scriptures concerning election, predestination, and free will are constantly tossed back and forth in this debate, but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard either side bring out:
Deuteronomy 29:29: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.”
Isaiah 55:8-9: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
I Corinthians 13:9,10,12: “For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”
How are we doing on the things that have been clearly revealed to us in Scripture? Is the entire world evangelized? Is the church a pure and spotless bride ready for Christ’s return? Has false doctrine been eradicated? Is every widow and orphan cared for?
Then we are to be about the business of “the things revealed” and leave “the secret things” to the Lord.
The truth is, when we get to Heaven, no matter where we land on the spectrum of Arminianism vs. Calvinism, we’re probably all going to find out that none of us had every single aspect of this theological construct precisely correct. What is the point of debating to the death something we may eventually find out we were wrong about?
Let us “Be diligent to present [ourselves] approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth,” (II Timothy 2:15) and, “work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling,” (Philippians 2:12) as we seek to work together to carry out the Great Commission.