For God So Loved The World and Calvinism
John 1:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
For me … a sinner … saved by grace, this is the high point … John 3:16.
This is the most UNIVERSAL [without any limits] EXPRESSION OF LOVE there is in the whole universe.
Let me say it again in a different way. This time I will make it personal.
Are you ready?
I have witnessed the greatest [BIGGEST] work of all ... in all the earth ... and of all time. I witnessed it thirty - four years ago, and I am still witnessing it to this very day. Here we go!
It is the "SO GREAT SALVATION" of Jesus Christ, THE SON OF GOD, of Hebrews 2, verse three. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.”
John 3:16 publishes THE BIGGEST SALVATION by THE BIGGEST God.
HE saves the BIGGEST of sinners ... EVEN ME, by THE BIGGEST GRACE that can ever be seen by man ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH through faith. AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!
That is my testimony! What of yours?
Is this so for you, friend? Well come on! Has the cat got your tongue?
Then shout it out and give God the honor, and the glory, and the praise. “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” [Ephesians 1:6] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved;)." (Ephesians 2:4-5)
For "his great love" ... is THE BIGGEST LOVE.
I have witnessed it!
I have tasted ... THE LORD IS GRACIOUS! "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious." (1 Peter 2:3) I have been greatly blessed. I have, in these fifty-nine years that I have been on the face of this earth, seen so much.
I have visited the eastern shores of the Continent of Africa. I have been to Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, too. I have labored in the giant oil fields of the northern most reaches of the BIGGEST state of all these United States, ALASKA. I have lived in Illinois amidst some of the largest cornfields in the world. I am today enjoying the beauties of the hills and valleys of eastern Tennessee. Truly these Cumberland Mountains are a majestic inspiring sight to me day by day! Amen! Yet it all comes back to this most important starting point [John 3:16]! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
This is the most important promise there is to the sinner.
This is the Book that proclaims it!
God wrote it!
God wrote a BOOK!
Truly we sinners have enjoyed the greatest witness of THE BIGGEST, and THE GREATEST GOD REVEALED both in NATURE (Romans 1:20) and in THE BIBLE. The BIBLE I am referring to is THE AUTHORIZED VERSION of THE HOLY BIBLE of 1611 (or any edition of it).
Now my friend, we come to a problem … for some people. “For God so loved the world” does not mean what it says … where it says it.
To them the word “world” does not mean the literally the “world”.
They have it re-defined!!!
They believe that the “world” refers to a small subset of all the people in the world. This subset is “the elect”, or more exactly “the elect of the Gentiles.”
They believe in a limited atonement.
These people are known as HYPER Calvinists.
Let’s back up for moment now. Who are Calvinists? Well, John Calvin, one of the Protestant reformers, taught five tenets concerning salvation.
These five tenets are sometimes referred to as
TULIP. The TULIP:
1. Total Depravity
2. Unconditional Election
3. Limited Atonement
4. Irresistible Grace
5. Perseverance of the Saints
Now in this message, it’s not my intention to delve into all the tenets of John Calvin concerning salvation [The TULIP].
My attention [at this time] is drawn to one tenet. This is the diabolic notion of a “limited atonement”.
If only John Calvin BELIEVED the BOOK and WHAT the BOOK said, concerning the word “world”, and WHERE the BOOK said it: [CONTEXT] in John 3:16.
If you and I BELIEVE the BOOK and WHAT the BOOK says, concerning the word “world”, and WHERE the BOOK says it: [CONTEXT] in John 3:16, then “God so loved the world” would mean “God so loved the world”. A Bible BELIEVER is someone who BELIEVES the BOOK!
Profound, isn’t it?
A song we all know reads this way!
“Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
If John Calvin had believed the BOOK [when he came to John 3:16] he would have seen that God’s love was unlimited.
The Scriptures would have lead John Calvin to believing in an unlimited atonement.