Something I was thinking about recently while considering the Arminian claim that God loves all men equally–I started to wonder why God would distinguish among men based on their beliefs. If God loves all men equally, why would He care about what they believe? Especially if we continue down the Arminian line of thinking that He genuinely and truly wants all men to be saved. Why make (mostly) right believing the condition?
The Arminian is an inconsistent and illogical universalist. Their conditionalism doesn’t even make logical sense if one properly understands the nature of Christ’s effective, substitutionary, sacrificial propitiation. If Christ PAID for all sin, then God’s wrath is ACTUALLY SATISFIED against all sin. Therefore all men should be saved-period. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. The fact that they believe that Christ paid for sin but people are still going to hell shows that they do not understand what propitiation means. It also shows that they do not under God’s justice.
This is where the Arminian injects a condition for men to achieve their own salvation. The Arminian knows, intellectually, that not all men are going to heaven. I say intellectually because they are always very quick to say that one doesn’t know a person’s heart, and that one shouldn’t judge. That comment is made about the rankest heretics. This is because the Arminian is more concerned with sincerity than truth.
They believe that one’s sincerity towards God is what will commend one before God. Of course, the sincerity is purely subjective, and unmeasurable. How does one know that they have been sincere enough? After all, are there not different levels of sincerity? Might one not be crossing their fingers while orally agreeing with the false Arminian gospel? How can one be sure that level of sincerity needed for salvation has been attained? How is this to be measured when they return to their old sinful habits?
Sincerity is not gospel assurance. Neither is “knowing that you know.” For the Arminian, sincerity is the condition to be saved. “If you were ‘sincere’ when you prayed the prayer, then you are saved.” This is heretical will/self worship. It sets man’s “good intentions” (he doesn’t have any according to Paul in Romans 3) up as the savior of men. Christ’s death is pushed to the side, or worse yet used as platform upon which men can now perform their venerated acts of free will. This is blasphemy of the most evil sort.
Arminian universalism is a particularly evil brand of universalism because it attacks the effectiveness of the atonement. It makes Christ’s death meaningless without free will. This is utter wickedness, this is depravity, this is demonic.
At least the heretical, consistent, universalist says that the atonement was effective and will save all men. That is damnable heresy, but the error does not seem to me as monumentally grievous as the Arminian universalist who says the death of Christ was worthless without man’s contribution.
The Arminian perverts the love of God by artificially extending it to people upon whom God has not set His eternal love. He fails to understand that God’s love is tied to and only for specific objects (the elect). He also fails to understand the source of that love-being placed into Christ by God’s sovereign election. God does not merely love all men without qualification. He cannot because men are sinners. He can only love those who are in Christ, and they are in Christ by action of God Himself alone. God is one who makes some men to differ from other men.
The Arminian makes the love of God only effectual upon the response of men. God can only love me if I decide that I love Him back and want to be loved by Him. If I decide not to love Him, then God will eventually change His mind about loving me and starting hating me if I die before deciding to let Him love me. God can’t effectually love me unless I love Him first. The Arminian sees their relationship with God as a partnership. This is perversion. It completely denies what the Bible clearly teaches to the opposite–that God chose us first, and that we love Him because He first loved us.
God does not love all men equally. In various places in scripture, we see God say that He hates certain people (Psalm 5:5, Romans 9). This proposition is actually quite clear when you consider the implications of the reality that some men are going to hell. If God loves all men equally, but some are still going to hell, then the love of God is basically meaningless, and it completely voids the specialness of being a Christian.
God only loves the elect. That love was set on them in eternity past and is unchanging. God can never not love His elect. Sending Christ in order to propitiate God’s wrath against their sin was the biggest demonstration of love that God has had towards His elect. His love is meaningful. It takes action, it is effective in accomplishing its goal-the salvation and glorification of the elect.
In like manner, God can never not hate the non-elect. The non-elect are sinners outside of Christ and therefore bearing the full guilt of their sins. God hates them. He is just in bringing about their condemnation. He is worthy of praise for His justice against them.
The Arminian is an enemy of the cross. They do not understand the love of God, because they have not known it.
The elect know the love of God because they have looked on Christ. In Christ they see the complete satisfaction of God’s righteous demands against them. In Christ they see their hope and sole righteousness. In Christ they rest fully for their salvation. In Christ they have boldness to enter the holiest and speak to the Father. In Christ they are truly loved by God. They know that God loves them in an effectual way because they have looked on Christ for their righteousness.