Well done my friend, you have accomplished what many have not.
You have successfully made it through a series on Calvinism. My condolences...I mean congratulations. By this point, it is my hope that you have come to a better understanding of what Calvinism truly is and what it says about man and God. I hope that you see the importance of having a correct view of salvation and the consequences of an incorrect one. Above all, I hope that this series has convinced you that salvation brings the most encouragement, the most love, the most reverence and the greatest peace when it is placed completely in the hands of a sovereign God. Again, this is the result of all true and good doctrine and no doctrine within this world brings more peace to an individual than the final point of Calvinism, the Perseverance of the Saints.
The “P” in TULIP, the final point is one of the most comforting truths in all of Scripture. The perseverance of the saints, or as some like it better, the preservation of the saints, is the truth that salvation is not something that can be lost nor ever taken away. The easy way to say it is “once saved always saved.” Although some may believe this to be a somewhat easy and obvious doctrine to believe in, you would be surprised to know the amount people that claim to be Christians that believe salvation is something that can be lost. I truly do not believe they understand the implications of this belief. Those that deny this doctrine either believe God changes His mind or that humans can “fall from grace” and come in and out of salvation. My question is then, how would we fall out of grace? By our actions. That really is the only way I can think of. The logical conclusion of this heresy is if our works can cause us to fall out of salvation, then our works play a part in sustaining our salvation. This would make the ultimate security of salvation human works. This is blatantly unbiblical and if you think about it, extremely frightening. Do you truly want your standing with God dependent upon you and your actions? I don’t. Again, if we believe the doctrine behind the other four points, we must believe this point to be true as well. You must believe in all five points or none of them at all.
Ultimately this doctrine is true because God never changes. Salvation is based and sustained totally and completely through Him. He is the same yesterday, today and for eternity. He doesn’t change His mind or lie. If He saves, He does it once and for good. Philippians 1:6 says,
“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
God will bring to completion the work of salvation that He started in us. This is talking about glorification when we finally enter into Heaven. God began it through election, sustains us through His grace and completes His work in us at the end (or beginning) of our lives. He promises this and He doesn’t lie. In my opinion, the argument ends here, but let’s solidify this point a little more.
Please know I mean this with grace, but to be honest, those that claim salvation can be lost are either biblically ignorant or else true wolves in sheeps clothing. The Bible is blatantly clear when it comes to this subject. Salvation is unable to be lost because it is not based upon us. John 10:28-29 says,
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.”
NO ONE! No one is able to snatch us out of the Father’s hand. It is a fact. We are safe even when we fall and fail. He holds us tightly even when our grip slips and falls away. God sustains us through all trials and failings. We need not fear losing our standing with God. It was given to us by Christ and to think we can do something to lose it is illogical at best and arrogant at worst. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 hammers this nail even deeper when it says,
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.”
What a comfort! This is the God we serve. He gives us so much grace and continues to love us even when we fail, which is often. This is what the Calvinistic theology does. It shows us our inability and God’s grace. Trust in God completely for your salvation and believe in His sustaining grace to keep you until the day you see Him. He holds us and never lets go.
Reader, please understand Calvinism is not its own religion, but simply a way of understanding what is truly important and biblical. It is a system for understanding salvation better. If this is forgotten, the results are a prideful mind and heart that cares more about theology than sharing the Gospel with others. It is my hope that if you truly believe in the doctrine of Calvinism, it causes you to be the most humble and evangelistic Christian you can possibly be. If you truly understand Calvinism and embrace it to be true, you should realize that you have absolutely nothing to be proud of and everything to be thankful for. This is the result of someone who actually believes and truly embraces these truths.
Well that’s it. All done. I pray this series was informative and encouraging to you. I hope your mind was blown to how big and amazing God is. I hope that this spurs you on to dig into the Scriptures even more and explore the depths of the person of God. Believe me, Calvinism is just the tip of the iceberg. As I sign off, I will leave you with one of the most comforting verses in all of Scripture and one of my personal favorites, Romans 8:38-39.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This is Calvinism. This is the Gospel.