Q. Per my subject line I’ve been reading many scriptures and various commentaries that uphold both Calvinism and Arminianism. My understanding of the gospel is that Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for mankind, the propitiation of all our sins, that any who come to him and believe in him shall be saved, etc. I am wondering how my friends can believe all does not mean all, and claim that John 3:16 says Jesus didn’t die for the world, but solely for the elect called unto him by God. Any insight into this dilemma?
A. In a nutshell, Calvinists believe that you didn’t choose to be saved, God chose to save you. And since He chose you, you can’t lose your salvation.
Arminians believe that anyone can choose to be saved, but since salvation is our choice we can, by decision or behavior, lose our salvation.
Each school of thought has built elaborate defenses for its position, often by reinterpretating scripture in the process.
The Bible teaches that because Jesus died for everyone (John 1:29), anyone can choose to be saved (Matt. 7:7-8), but that once we do, God Himself takes responsibility for keeping each of us saved (2 Cor. 1:21-22).
As you can see, it isn’t either Calvinism or Arminianism, In fact it’s neither Calvinism nor Arminianism. It’s the Bible.