by Nathan Cook
If Calvin was accurate in his assessment of the gospel, then the example given by Christ, in Luke’s parable, is highly inaccurate. Let us consider whether we will trust the mind of Calvin or the New Testament words of Christ.
Luke 14:16 clearly states, “Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:” Calvin would most certainly be in agreement with the New Testament concerning the “certain man.” This “certain man” is quite obviously God the Father. The “great supper” is doubtless the marriage supper of the Lamb. God has many times over the course of human history had every element of a return in place with only a willing consent from his people the missing piece of the puzzle. The “bade many” is the moment of departure for dear Calvin for he must see the “bade many” as irresistibly called, as every call of God is irresistible according to Calvin and thus the confusion begins. However, according to the New Testament this was the original call to the Jews to come to the supper prepared for God’s people, lest you stumble at these words, consider what Christ told the woman in Matthew 15:24, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Therefore we see that the “great supper” is the marriage supper, the “certain man” is God the Father, and the “bade many” is the Jewish nation.
It is apparent from Luke 14:17, “And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.” That the “sent” servant” is Christ, I believe that Calvin would concede the point without further discussion. Furthermore, the “supper time” referred to is the marriage feast of the Lamb; I do not believe it would be a stretch to say Calvin would agree, as would any knowledgeable bible student. Also, “them that are bidden” were certainly the Jews; no true scriptural scholar could mount a viable defense. In addition, “all things are now ready” is undoubtedly a reference to the fulfillment of time. God is not bound by our time, but can orchestrate the fulfillment of time as He sees fit.
Obviously, in Luke 14:18, the New Testament states, “And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.” It is here that we begin to tiptoe through the TULIP. The New Testament concisely states that with “one consent” they “began to make excuse”. Notice that while their excuses are varied their excuse is given with one consent. Calvin has no choice at this point but to predetermine resistance to irresistible grace. However, if you can predetermine resistance by its very definition, it is no longer irresistible. Calvin’s TULIP is intrinsically flawed for the “great supper” was prepared for a people who made excuse for why they could not attend. Calvin’s gospel is based on an irresistible grace, a grace which CANNOT be RESISTED!!!! The excuses made were a threefold vision of the Jewish nation’s perception of their Messiah. “I have bought a piece of ground,” Calvin was an Augustinian monk, therefore he viewed the Jews through the eyes of the Roman Church rather than understanding that they were looking for a physical king who would possess a physical land. Little did these men know if they had accepted the invitation to this “great supper” this Messiah would have possessed the Mount of Olives and a throne in Jerusalem. Every New Testament preacher-past, present and future-knows that the Jewish nation has made excuse after excuse for their rejection of Christ but the Jews center on these three topics as given in the Luke’s Gospel.
Luke plainly states in 14:19 “And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.” The excuse made second is, “I have bought five yoke of oxen.” Calvin must attribute their rejection to a planned doom; however we know that ultimately Christ will be reunited with the Jewish nation. Consequently, the excuse is the Jewish search for a provisional Messiah. They wanted a king who would meet their physical needs and did not recognize this call to a spiritual supper. If only they had discerned that the acceptance of this implicit invitation would lead to a provision that would never end. Calvin misunderstands Israel’s rejection of their Messiah. They were looking for a Messiah who would provide for their physical needs not their spiritual eternity. The New Testament preacher recognizes this as not only a Jewish problem but a human problem, as well. Man is in search of a physical saviour and oft times misses the Saviour in their pursuit.
Discernibly, here in Luke 14:20, “And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.” the New Testament is clear as to the third excuse given, “I have married a wife.” Calvin is left with no choice but for a third time to insist that irresistible grace has been predetermined to be resisted. Calvin is once again led astray by his years as an Augustinian Monk. He continues to look at Israel through the eyes of the Roman Church, rather than seeing her through the eyes of the New Testament Church. The Jewish nation is still seeking to be reunited with her estranged groom. Don’t wobble on the wall of decision here, dear Calvin, consider Jeremiah 3:8, “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.” If only they had realized that their Groom had come and was seeking to be reunited with his bride at a “great supper.” Likewise, the New Testament is evident in that this is a reinforcement of the claim of the Saviour in Luke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Don’t quibble at this dear Calvin, when you would force irresistible grace upon an unwelcoming man.
Without doubt, as the Scripture states in Luke 14:21, “So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” Let us consider the statements made in three parts. Part first, “Came, and shewed” Why would the servant have to shew the Lord a matter He would already have been privy too, had predestination been the order of the day? Part Second, “the master……being angry” Why would the Master then be angry if He had predetermined their resistance to His irresistible grace? Part Third, “Go out quickly” why would time be of the essence if predetermination were at play? It is here Calvin’s doctrine begins to really fall apart. You see Calvin’s doctrine hides behind a guise of false piety. I am saved by perfect repentance because my repentance is not my own but is God’s repentance placed in me by irresistible grace. (said with the deepest piety). As you listen to a Calvinist speak you will find yourself drawn deeper and deeper into a pool of their own haughty piety. They literally will speak of humility with pride. They do not think of themselves as poor, maimed, halt or blind. They do not think of themselves as having been in the streets and lanes of life and having been without hope because they were always predestined to come to Christ. As we search on in the scriptures it says, “bring in” nothing is spoke of predestination, but of “bring”ing (human effort i.e. soul-winning) in. So, my dear Calvinist, friends let us be swept up in the effort. New Testament doctrine shines anew with sparkling glory every time you read this parable, for it is here that we see where we, undeservingly, got in on a feast not prepared for us. We were in the streets and lanes of life, wandering aimless completely unaware that we were destined for an eternal hell, but Christ came looking for us. He sent a soul-winner our way to tell us of his wondrous sacrifice for our sins. Who told us, Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” and we called, and lo, and; behold we were saved, and welcomed to the table not prepared for us, but now a feast we can call our own.
Ostensibly, in Luke 14:22, “And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room” the servant is in a quandary as to how to fill the remaining seats. Consider this from Calvin’s doctrine, it would make no sense whatsoever, how can there be room at a table prepared for a predestined number? It is okay, I’ll wait……. I can wait from now till eternity for an answer to that question from any Calvinist I know and they will never answer because they don’t have an answer. It is akin to the foolishness of the addition to the question of the “Whosoever Gospel.” If you are in any way new to this discussion, at some point you will be hit with this insanely puerile line from some overly scholaresque individual. “The Bible does clearly say, “Whosoever will may come,” but “WHOSOEVER WILL WANT TO COME?????” Usually said with an odd air of superiority and a goofy eyebrow raise. They then launch into a long dissertation getting further and further from their responsibility in soul-winning. The ones that will want to come are the ones that we tell that is the answer to their puerile question. Back to the subject at hand, the New Testament has an answer to the initial question. The New Testament answer is this…………..That there is no predestined number and there is still room.
Hey!!!!!!!!!!!! Dear Christian, There is still room for Your Mom, Your Dad, Your Aunt, Your Uncle, Your Son, You Daughter, Your Friend, there is still room for “The Poor, and The Maimed, and The Halt, and The Blind.” MAY WE NEVER FORGET THERE IS STILL ROOOMMMM!!!!!
Incontrovertibly, the scripture states in Luke 14:23, “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” As though Calvin had not suffered quite enough by this point, we must go on to put the finishing touches on his erroneous Gospel. “Compel them to come in,” why “compel,” they are predestined are they not? If a soul is predestined to come to Christ what need is there of “compel”ling them to come to a supper they can’t possibly miss? I won’t wait for an answer to a question that has no answer. Calvin cannot possibly provide an answer for this far sighted question you see this question is backed with the concept of filling the house. Calvin was only concerned with his four and no more, as Calvin was a Covenant Theologian. The New Testament once again provides an answer where Calvin fails. “Go out into the highways and hedges,” why “the highways and hedges?” because that is where those in need of a Saviour are to be found. You must recall that those for whom the feast was prepared have already been called and have refused. Those who were easily accessible (they could not move) the poor, maimed, halt, and the blind had been reached. Now it was time to go and round up anyone and everyone you can get your hands on to come to the feast. “Compel them to come in” we must compel them. This is where men stumble in the cause. We don’t like to compel men to come to Christ. We make excuses like; It’s a gift, not according to Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” or Mark 16:15 “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” We don’t want alienate anybody or send them to a hotter hell, how can you? According to John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Or the ever famous, We don’t win them, well, the wisest man to ever live disagrees, Proverbs 11:30 “The fruit of the righteous [is] a tree of life; and he that winneth souls [is] wise.” Of course, the never forgotten, We don’t save them, you might want to run that by Paul, 1 Corinthians 9:22, “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all [men], that I might by all means save some.” and Jude 1:21, “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” of course, our enemies’ never ending tirades of easy-believe-ism, in complete ignorance of, John 4:15, “The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”, Acts 16:31, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”, and Revelations 22:17, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” And their tireless talk of not all of them get saved, even in light of , 2 Corinthians 2:15 “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one [we are] the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who [is] sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.” And of course their applauded what if they aren’t ready according to Ephesians 2:1 “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” No one is ever ready till we tell them. The Gospel is not always easily accepted but we must compel them to accept it by our personality, preparation, and perspiration.
Definitively the Scripture concludes in Luke 14:24, “For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” “None,” “None of those men which were bidden.” Calvin’s doctrine is dealt a death blow in this final verse. How is it possible that no one that was bidden (predestined) to come to the supper will taste of it? Is it possible that irresistible grace was resisted? “For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” Time and again God prepared a table for Israel which they rejected and therefore never tasted of. Example-He made them wander for forty years in the wilderness to ensure that not one person that he had prepared a table for would taste of it. Accept the call to the table today because, Oh, what a feast it will be!!!
In reflection, Calvin’s problem was that he never was quite able to separate himself from the Roman view of Scripture. While I believe he was saved, he was wholly inadequate to write doctrinal dissertations of Scripture. Before you begin to impetuously chase after an Augustinian monk’s writings of Scriptural doctrine consider some discerning thoughts from the mind of a respectful reader. Were there no doctrinally correct churches when Calvin realized Rome’s error? Why didn’t Calvin seek out a new doctrinal advisor rather than attempt to continue to chase his own opinions headlong. Could he not see that was what had lead to Rome’s folly? Why did Calvin establish his own state held church rather than a New Testament Church? Why would a New Testament Church pastor bow the knee to an Augustinian monk on a matter as important as salvation by grace?
I contend Christ’s example, as found here in Luke’s Gospel, is completely accurate. It is a warning not to reject the call, it is a reminder of how you received the call and it is an encouragement to herald the call.
Article submitted to Independentbaptist.com