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The Despair of Bad Theology

By Silverhair, 05 September 2021 · 803 views

The Despair of Bad Theology

God loves you
If the gospel is truly the proclamation of God’s Word, then it expresses the truth about God’s disposition of love to all who hear it. It is telling everyone who hears it that God says “I love you.” The knowledge and assurance of that divine love for each and every one of us can be found in the cross of Christ.
The cross expresses the great love of God for man, it is in Jesus’ death on the cross that we see the supreme expression of God’s love for us and know that it applies to us individually. Therefore, the words “in Christ,” have real meaning. It is only in Christ Jesus that we have the sure knowledge that God loves us.
At the end of the day the most important question for which we need a definitive answer is, “Does God love me?” The cross demonstrates and assures us that God loves us. The words “...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” are universal in application. It is this assurance that has and still provides hope from despair, has changed lives, and offers eternal salvation to all those that will turn to Christ Jesus in faith. The knowledge that God loves His creation and “...desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” makes the difference between living in joyful hope or remaining in doubt, hopelessness and despair.

The Divide
The knowledge and assurance that God loves each of us personally and individually is the difference between a Calvinist and non-Calvinist view of salvation.
With Calvinism, God, before he created anything, predetermined that certain particular persons would be saved and all others would not. Hence, each person’s eternal destiny is fixed from before they are born. It is therefore the case that in Calvinism, the confident, positive proclamation, “God loves you in that Jesus died for you!” may not apply to you. It is very possible that you may not be among the elect. In fact the odds are that you are not.
Therefore, in Calvinism, questions like “How do I know if I am of the elect? Am I included in His salvation plan? How can I be assured that God loves me?” inevitably give rise to legitimate questions.
In Calvinism Gods’ love and salvific intentions, for me or anyone else, are not to be found expressed in Jesus’ death on the cross, but rather in an unalterable decision of God, made in eternity past. The decision as to whom God would love and save, the elect, and whom he would not love or save, the non-elect, and therefore those for whom Christ did or did not die were allegedly made in ages past. Therefore the cross effectively applies only to those God predestined to save while everyone else is condemned to hell and for no other reason than that is what God wanted to do.
The critical point to grasp here is this: That according to Calvinism Gods’ saving disposition, with regard to anyone, is unknown and unknowable. Jesus reveals nothing about Gods’ salvific will towards us. The knowledge that God loves any particular individual including me or you, that we are predestined to salvation or not, is not found in the cross, but effectively lies in a decision of God made in eternity past regarding every person’s eternal destiny. Which means that I nor anyone else can know if God has chosen us for heaven or hell.

The Question
So the crucial question here is, where is salvation to be found? Did Christ Jesus speak truthfully when He said “And I if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” Has salvation been made accessible to all via God’s salvific will as found in the cross such that it can be obtained by all through faith or is it only for a limited number predestined to it on the sole basis of a decision of God made in eternity past? I contend that by looking to the cross for salvation, that is, by believing in and trusting in God’s work in Christ Jesus on the cross on our behalf, any sinner can be saved.

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