Why I Disagree With All Five Points of Calvinism

By Dr. Curtis Hutson


IV. Irresistible Grace

The fourth point of Calvinism is irresistible grace. By irresistible grace, John Calvin meant that God simply forces people to be saved. God elected some to be saved, and he let Jesus Christ die for that elect group. And now by irresistible grace, He forces those He elected, and those Jesus Christ died for to be saved.

The truth of the matter is, there is no such thing as irresistible grace. Nowhere in the Bible does the word "irresistible" appear before the word "grace". That terminology is simply not in the Bible. It is the philosophy of John Calvin, not a Bible doctrine. The word "irresistible" doesn't even sound right in front of the word "grace."

Grace means "God's unmerited favour." Somebody said G-R-A-C-E- God's riches at Christ's expense. Grace is an attitude, not a power. If Calvin had talked about the irresistible drawing power of God, it would have made more sense. But instead, he represents grace as the irresistible act of God compelling a man to be saved who does not want to be saved, so that a man has no choice in the matter at all, except as God forcibly puts a choice in his mind. Calvinism teaches that man has no part in salvation, and cannot possibly co-operate with God in the matter. In no sense of the word and at no stage of the work does salvation depend upon the will or work of man or wait for the determination of his will.

Does the Bible say anything about irresistible grace? Absolutely not! The Scriptures show that men do resist and reject God. Proverbs 29:1 states, "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." Notice the word "often" in this verse. If God only gave one opportunity to be saved, then man could not complain. But here the Bible says, "He, that being often reproved.. . " This means the man was reproved over and over again. Not only was he reproved many times, but he was reproved often. But the Bible says he "hardeneth his neck" and "shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." That certainly doesn't sound like irresistible grace. The Bible teaches that a man can be reproved over and over again, and that he can harden his neck against God, and as a result will be destroyed without remedy.

Again Proverbs 1:24-26 says,
"Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh."

Here the Bible plainly says, "I have called, and ye have refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof." That doesn't sound like irresistible grace. God calls, and men refuse. Is that irresistible? God stretches out his hand and no man regards it? Is that irresistible grace? No. The Bible makes it plain that some men do reject Christ, that they refuse His call. John 5:40 says, "Ye will not come to me, that ye may have life." That verse plainly teaches that men can and do resist God and refuse to come to Him.

In Acts chapter 7, we find Stephen preaching. He says in verse 51, "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." To these Jewish leaders, Stephen said, "Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost."

So here were people; some of whom had seen Jesus and heard Him preach; others who had heard Peter at Pentecost; others who had heard Stephen and other Spirit-filled men preaching with great power. And what had they done? They were stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears. That is ,they were stubborn and rebellious against God. The Bible plainly says, "They resisted the Holy Ghost."

Notice the words of Stephen in verse 51, "Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." Here the Bible teaches that not only were these Jewish leaders resisting the Holy Ghost, but that their fathers before them had also resisted the Holy Spirit. Stephen says that all the way from Abraham, through the history of the Jewish nation, down to the time of Christ, unconverted Jews had resisted the Holy Spirit.

There is absolutely no such thing as a "can't-help-it-religion." God doesn't just force men to be saved with His so-called irresistible grace.

God offers salvation to all men. Titus 1:11 says, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men." But man must make his own choice. He must either receive or reject Christ . John 1:12 says. "But as many as received him , to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."

When Jesus wept over Jerusalem, he said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, ho often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Here again the Bible clearly indicates that God would have gathered them together as a hen gathers her chickens, but they would not. That certainly shows that they could reject and resist Christ.

"I would, but ye would not" does not fit the teaching of irresistible grace. So people do resist the Holy Ghost. They do refuse to come to Christ. They do harden their necks. They do refuse when God calls.

That means that those who are not saved could have been saved. Those who have rejected Christ could have accepted Him. God offers salvation to those who will have it, but does not enforce it upon anyone who doesn't want it.

End of Chapter Four


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