What is Selective Salvation?
(Election and Predestination)
Heaven and Hell (Dieric Bout’s 1450)
In summary, selective salvation is the belief God has chosen to send certain people to Heaven and the remainder to Hell. This selection (which was made long before the universe was created) was not based on any qualities of the person being selected. It was not based on the person’s heart or their future love for God. It was not based on God’s foreknowledge of who will eventually choose to accept Him as their Savior. It was not based on their future humility and repentance. This selection was purely random and arbitrary. The people selected to go to Hell (such as Hitler) could just as easily have been selected to go to Heaven.
Nobody has a say in the matter. The person selected to go to Hell literally has no hope. Although he may desire to go to Heaven and is seeking deliverance, he has no chance of salvation. Even the person selected to go to Heaven has no say in the matter, he is forced to "love" God. This belief system is called Calvinism, Reformed Theology, Election, Predestination, or Selective Salvation.
The first major promoter of this doctrine was Augustine (354-430 AD). This doctrine faded out shortly after his death and reemerged during the Reformation. Although the popularity of this doctrine decreased significantly after the Reformation, there are still certain denominations that make this doctrine a central part of their theology. The Reformed Church, Christian Reformed Church, and the Presbyterian Church openly endorse this doctrine. They usually refer to it as "Reformed Theology." It is quietly held by other denominations, and they usually call it "Calvinism" or "Hyper-Calvinism."
Does the Bible teach this belief system? I don’t believe it does, but you need to search the Bible yourself and come to your own conclusion. Although you can use these 64 chapters to help you in your studies, make sure you use the Bible as your final authority. Don’t assume that what I’m saying is correct.
It has taken me several years to write this section on selective salvation. I didn’t write it to "set people straight." Rather, I wrote it because of my concern for the lost. If this doctrine is true, then everyone who is supposed to go to Heaven will make it to Heaven. If, however, this doctrine is false, then there are billions of people needlessly going to Hell. Think about it; if you really believed everyone who is supposed to go to Heaven will make it there, would you give and live sacrificially to help reach the world for Christ?
For ease of understanding, I have divided this section on selective salvation into five parts. These divisions allow you to focus on the areas in which you have the most questions. The five parts are:
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