I'm a city boy looking for a country. I was raised on concrete and asphalt in a big city. I don't know a weed from a flower, but I know the Lilly of the Valley. In the slums of the city we smoked our grass and sold it. We never had a home or a family to learn about landscaping, gardening, or planting flowers. I will never have a garden as long as there's Kroger's. My dear wife will vouch that when I'm home she hyperventilates because she says I cut down her beautiful flowers, and she gets nervous. Now churches get upset AT my weed eating, ALSO. Now after thirty years of being a Bible-believing Baptist preacher, I have found that there are some preachers that get upset because the Truth of GOD cuts down their flower beds -- Tulips and the Ferns.
I don't mind cutting down a Tulip because its Fatalism, I have to cut down Ferns to because of Arminianism. NOW WHICH ONE OF THESE THREE DO YOU BELONG?
A TULIP CALVINIST, A FERN "FREEWILLer," OR A BIBLE BELIEVER?
In 1610, just one year after the death of James Arminius (a Dutch seminary professor) five articles of faith based on his teachings were drawn up by his followers as a "Remonstrance" (i.e., a protest) to the teachings of John Calvin (1509-1564). A national synod was called to meet in Dort, Holland in 1618 for the purpose of examining the views of Arminius in the light of Scripture. The Dutch Calvinists set forth their defense in five chapters which have ever since been known as the 'the five points of Calvinism'- the T-U-L-I-P. I have set forth the 'five points of Arminianism', which I called F-E-R-N-S (please pardon the pun), in contrast to the TULIP:
Although human nature was seriously affected by the fall, man has not been left in a state of total spiritual helplessness. God graciously enables every sinner to repent and believe, but He does it in such a manner as not to interfere with man's freedom. Each sinner possesses a free will, and his eternal destiny depends on how he uses it. He does not need to be regenerated by the Spirit before he can believe, for faith is man's act and precedes the new birth. Faith is the sinner's gift to God, it is man's contribution to salvation.
God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world was based upon His foreseeing that they would respond to his call. He selected only those whom He knew would of themselves freely believe the Gospel. Thus the sinner's choice of Christ, not God's choice of the sinner, is the ultimate cause of salvation.
Christ's redeeming work made it possible for everyone to be saved but did not actually secure the salvation of anyone. Although Christ died for all men and for every man, only those who believe in Him are saved. Christ's redemption becomes effective only if man chooses to accept it.
The Spirit calls inwardly all those who are called outwardly by the Gospel invitation; He does all that He can to bring every sinner to salvation. But inasmuch as man is free, he can resist the Spirit's call. The Holy Spirit can only draw to Christ those who allow Him to have His way with them.
Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation. Since salvation is accomplished through the combined efforts of God (who takes the initiative) and man (who must respond)- man's response being the determining factor, salvation is enforce and effectual only for those who, of their own free will "choose" to cooperate with Him in salvation. Hence, one can be lost and saved numerous times.
Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the Gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is desperately wicked. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil, Adamic nature, therefore, he will not- indeed he cannot- choose the Gospel. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ- it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. One is not regenerated because of faith. Rather, one has faith because one has been regenerated.
God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response or obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ is the determining cause of salvation.
Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them alone. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, His death secured everything necessary for their salvation. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit only to all for whom Christ died.
In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the Gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The external call can be rejected by all (even by the elect for a while). Whereas the internal call cannot be rejected by the elect. God is sovereign. He cannot be resisted by man.
All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God, and thus persevere to the end. Salvation is accomplished by the almighty power of the Triune God. The entire process (election, redemption, faith, regeneration) is the work of God and is by grace alone. Thus God, not man, determines who will be the recipients of salvation.
The TRUTH is: that salvation is all of Grace- from beginning to end (Eph.2:8,9); that the Elect are the 'WHOSOEVER wills' of John 3:16; that the Blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient for ALL- efficient for those who believe (He died for ALL. I John 2:2); that the Lord has willed that man can will to not obey God's Sovereign Will (Matt.23:37); and, that we are kept by the power of God unto salvation (I Peter 1:5). The Bible teaches "CAL-MINIANISM"! Now my friend as you read the teaching of the TULIP and the teaching of the FERN doctrine. Study the truth of GODS word, then you will be cutting down tulips and Ferns like Johnny The Baptist.
Now the question is do you believe John Calvin or James Arminius or THE TRUTH OF GOD'S WORD?
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