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I am in the middle of discussion with a Calvinist friend.
He said that the Elect will be forgiven and never lose his salvation.

Some verses which I thought the verses are showing that to the one whom already saved there is still a "rule" like this :
X. If ... Then he won't lose his salvation
Y. If ... Then he will lose his salvation
(for example Romans 11:22 NLT)

which I show to him, he responded something like :

  • A. The "Then" in the sentence of point Y doesn't mean God abandon him, he lose his salvation and is going to hell. It is just your own thought the "Then" in the sentence of point Y is "losing salvation"
  • B. The If_Then_ is just a "fantasy dream" (ESV Hebrews 10:38, Romans 11:22b NLT).

Me: On B, he means for example : "If I were a king... Then ...."
where the "If" is an impossibility, will never be fulfilled - which then the "Then" of course will not happen. In short he said that the "If" can never happen to the elect.

Finally I ask him on what about blasphemy of the Spirit.
He said that it's like point B. God would prevent the elect from blaspheming the Spirit.
So, Luke 12:10 is just like a "fantasy dream" for the elect. The verse is useless to the elect.

And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

And when I ask:
"then what is the use of the verse to the non-elect ?",

his answer that "the verse is also useless, as there can't be a forgiveness to the non-elect either he blasphemes the Son of Man or blasphemes the Holy Spirit because the non-elect will certainly unable to repent let alone ask God to forgive ".

Finally I ask him :
"then what is the use of that verse be put in the Bible ?"

Because he can't answer that, so I ask the question here :
What is the use of the verse anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven to the Calvinist (the elect) since the bold sentence is impossible to happen to the elect ? And What is the use of word about "forgiveness" in the whole verse 10 to the non elect since the word is impossible to happen to the non elect ?

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  • Luke12:10 is a warning Jesus given to all the crowd esp. the Pharisees who are attributing his works to the devil. The work of the Holy Spirit is different from Jesus works. As Jesus will ascend into Heaven and will send the Holy Spirit to fulfill a separate role. The Holy Spirit will work to the Church the Mystical Body of Christ and when one attributed the works of the Church to the devil it is the "unforgivable sin". Luke12:10 is related to this .christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/68956/… – jong ricafort Nov 13 '19 at 23:52
  • @jongricafort, I am sorry as the link is from Catholic point of view (there is a possibility after one earn the salvation, IF .... THEN he/she can lose his/her salvation), Jong. The answer from my friend is from Calvinist point of view (it is absolute, one who was elected, then he/she earns the salvation even before he/she was born. So it's impossible he/she blasphemes the Spirit either before he/she has not believe yet or after he/she believe). – karma Nov 14 '19 at 3:38
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The general answer to this is that the Calvinist has the proposition that all true believers will persevere and thus not lose salvation. Because the (hyper)Calvinist usually sees God as the primary causal agent of salvation, loss of salvation isn't possible since God will effect the perseverance.

The Calvinist struggles with counter-examples. But in Romans 11:22 one must first prove that being "cut off" refers to loss of salvation. Another option is that it refers to being "cut off" from the tree of blessing. So a Christian can experience salvation, but fail to experience full blessing, like the unrewarded believer of 1Cor3:15.

As to the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, it's better to see that this is the primary difference between the believer and unbeliever. The unbeliever saw Jesus' works and yet didn't credit them as coming from the Holy Spirit. Unbelief in Jesus is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. However, even a believer in Jesus can speak a word against Jesus. Peter did this when he denied Christ. A believer doesn't blaspheme the Holy Spirit (because he has believed) but he can fail to live fully up to this belief, and thus sometimes speak a word against Jesus. This is a difference between initial salvation from the penalty of sin and ongoing salvation from the power of sin.

For the Calvinist, blasphemy is impossible for the elect while forgiveness is impossible for the non-elect. But a Calvinist will recognize that all who are elect will believe, so there is no category of non-elect believer or elect non-believer.

Rather than seeing salvation as deterministic only by God, a more balanced approach is to see that God's sovereignty (per Calvinism) includes the free belief of humanity. This allows for the truth that eternal life (salvation) can never be lost, even when we are sometimes faithless (2Tim2:11-13).

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  • Thank you for the answer, Paul. I'm sorry as I still don't understand what you mean. Do you mean what the Calvinist told me is correct ? That the verse "anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven" is useless to you (the elect) --- because "blaspheming the Spirit" is impossible to happen to the elect, while the whole verse 10 is useless to the non elect --- because "forgiveness" is impossible to happen to the non elect ? (Matthew 5:37) – karma Nov 13 '19 at 11:08
  • You wrote : "A believer doesn't blaspheme the Holy Spirit (because he has believed)". The Calvinist friend didn't tell me "because he has believed", but "because he has been elected" before the creation... so it doesn't matter he has believed or not yet. Which one is true ? – karma Nov 13 '19 at 11:08
  • Calvinism markedly rejects the free belief of man: can never be lost = cannot choose to turn away from God. – Sola Gratia Nov 13 '19 at 13:06
  • @SolaGratia, based on my reading about Calvinism, it seems your sentence "can never be lost" in the Calvinist pov has two meanings. (1) Can be lost (2) Can never be lost the Salvation. The example is maybe the Prodigal Son parable. When the son leave his father --->this is point(1), the "IF". The impossibility is "the son never return to his father", the "THEN". In other words, the "THEN" is "the son will absolutely return to his father" ---> point(2). – karma Nov 14 '19 at 3:57
  • But then the Prodigal Son parable is non applicable to the non-elect, since from the beginning till the end, the non-elect are never God's children but the object of His wrath. – karma Nov 14 '19 at 3:59
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Every effect has a cause (except God Himself).

Effect: The elect will persevere and be saved.

Causes:

  1. The Word of God
  2. The Holy Spirit
  3. The Providence of God

The warning verses are an essential part of the role that Word of God plays in effecting the salvation of the elect. Matthew 13 says:

3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

The words of warning fall on the good soil in the heart of the elect and produce a crop. That crop includes perseverance.

For a reference to a Calvinist website that makes this argument, see:

https://www.monergism.com/blog/what-does-it-mean-fall-away

A quote from that site:

The warnings in scripture given in the context of the visible church are directed at both the regenerate and unregenerate, both wheat and tares, both sheep and goats. These kind of warnings serve two purposes:

1) The elect (sheep) hear his voice in the word and take heed.

2) The non-elect (goats) do not hear his voice and fall away.

In other words, the warnings serve as a means of grace (or hardening). - when the elect hear warnings in scripture it causes them to persevere. When the non-elect hear it, their heart hardens over time and they fall away completely, revealing that they have been trusting in something other than Christ alone for salvation.

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  • Thank you for the answer, Paul. In your quote : "their heart hardens over time". What does it mean by that ? Because I thought that in the Calvinist view, either (A) the their heart already hard since they were born, Total Depravity ... or (B) God need to harden their heart to avoid something happen which God doesn't expect. – karma Dec 17 '19 at 5:43
  • You wrote : "Effect: The elect will persevere and be saved". I'm sorry I don't understand it too. I thought that in Calvinist view: the elect will be persevered and be saved. – karma Dec 17 '19 at 5:50
  • @karma - The story of Pharaoh in the time of Moses is an example of someone whose heart hardened progressively. As for perseverance, the cause of the perseverance may be God's action, but the actual thoughts, words, and actions of perseverance are performed by the believer. – Paul Chernoch Dec 17 '19 at 17:56
  • Paul, the quote : "The warnings in scripture given in the context of the visible church are directed at both the regenerate and unregenerate". I don't understand why give warning to the non-elect. Knowing Mr.X is deaf and blind, Mr. Y will not warn Mr. X something like "watch out !". A warning comes out from someone (Mr. Y) who expect the person he warns (Mr.X) not get something bad. If Mr. Y just want to show to other : "you see... that's the example of a person who is blind and deaf" then it's not a warning at all. – karma Dec 18 '19 at 2:27
  • A teacher give an examination to his students. The result : some students are unable to answer all the questions in the exam, some students are able to answer all of it. IF the conclusion: those who are unable to answer were born stupid (the non-elect), those who are able to answer were born clever (the elect).... then there is no teaching at all in the parable. "Whoever has ears, let them hear" this saying is weird too, as the person who said it, know for sure those who are deaf and has no ears (non-elect) won't be able to hear (Total Depravity) on what he say. – karma Dec 18 '19 at 2:44

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