Curt asks,John MacArthur once preached a sermon titled “All pre-mills are Calvinist”, in which he talked about Romans 11, how a study of God’s restoration of Israel to salvation before the millennium makes all men Calvinist.
As I read a few of your papers online, I see that you believe in the free will of man that chooses God before he is saved, rather than God choosing man (Calvinism).
And at the same time, you seem to believe in a pre-millennium in which Israel will be restored as detailed in Ezekiel 36-38, without choosing the put their faith in Christ.
The salvation of Israel to return to Christ, as in Romans 11, is not by their own will, but so the world will know that the Lord keeps his promises. How do you reconcile these differences?
Hi Curt, First I would say that I do not believe we choose God before He chooses us (Eph 1:4). I do believe people have a genuine free will, but unless God first draws us we cannot and will not come to Him (John 6:44). I am a premillennialist, and I do look forward to the salvation of Israel because I believe God still has a plan for them, which has begun to unfold since 1948. I do not believe the salvation of the Jews is apart from their free will. When the Bible says "all Israel will be saved" this does not mean all Israel without exception, but rather refers to a large number of the Jews who will freely choose Christ once they realize He is the Messiah (Zech 12:10). Romans 11 is in the context of Romans 9:6b which states, "For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel." Literally it says "not all those from Israel are Israel." In saying all this, I do not pretend to know how to reconcile all the differences. As I state in my paper on Election found in our website under "resources" there is great mystery involved in the question of election. God is wonderful in the old sense of the word, full of wonder; He is beyond us and incomprehensible. Back to MacArthur: MacArthur also is not a typical Calvinist. He is a four point Calvinist like Calvin was, denying limited atonement. He also believes God loves everyone, even the non-elect. He wrote an excellent book called The Love of God that relates this view. I disagree with his premise that all premillennialists are Calvinists. Is MacArthur a Calvinist? How many points do you have to hold to in order to be a Calvinist? I see myself as a 3 point Calvinist (I also reject irresistible grace). Am I a Calvinist? Many Puritans held to similar views as mine. Once we agree that there is mystery in the idea of election, I think we can say any believer can be a premillennialist irrespective of his or her view on election. Hope this helps, Larry