To the editor:
I am responding to Warren Hepokoski's letter, dated May 10/11, who was responding to my letter. Let me just explain where he is coming from. There is a sect of Christianity who follow the teachings of John Calvin. They are commonly referred to as "Calvinists".
Calvinists believe that there is no free will when it comes to salvation. That we need to be "chosen" by God in order to be saved. They believe Jesus died, not for the world, but for the "elect." They believe that if a person is "chosen", they have no choice but to turn to God, and if you are not "chosen" you will never turn to God.
This could not be further from the truth and I am imploring you to stay clear away from this teaching. The Bible says that Jesus died for the WORLD. It says that anyone who calls upon the Lord, will be saved. It says that faith comes by hearing the Word (not by being "elected").
Yes, the Bible says that God must draw you to Himself, but it also says, He will draw ALL MEN to Himself! God desires for ALL men to repent in order to be saved.
Yes, the Bible says we are chosen. It talks about "the elect," but my friends, listen to me. God has foreknowledge. He does not live in time. He sees the beginning and the end, right now. He knows who will turn to Him and who will not. This is the basis of election - FOREKNOWLEDGE.
John 6:64 "But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)
Look at it this way: There is a building and above the door, it says, "Whosoever May Come, Come!" You walk into the building and look at the sign on the inside, and it says: "Chosen, from the foundation of the world!"
You see, "election" and "chosen" are words for God, not for us. From our perspective, it is "Whosoever, Come!" God gave us free will, so that when we choose Him, willingly, based on His love for us, He is Glorified. How is God glorified if He forces us to be saved? Just say no to Calvinism. Say yes to a Merciful, Loving, God, who chooses EVERYBODY!!