It is no secret that I am a Calvinist. I love TULIP, and feast on Jesus through it. Even though this is clear, some may say that I preach like an Arminian. I want to address two things concerning this. One, why would someone say this? And two, how should a Calvinist preach, and why do I preach the way I do?
First: Why would someone say I a preach like an Arminian? A couple reasons: each Sunday I call the lost in the congregation to look to Jesus for salvation. I then call Christians in the congregation who have already looked to Jesus for salvation to make every effort to continue looking to Jesus daily. After I challenged the believers I warned them that if they did not continue looking to Jesus for salvation daily, they will make a shipwreck of their faith. To further impress this on them, I qouted Matthew 24:13 which says, “Only those who endure to the end will be saved.” I do think that some may wonder after hearing this, “Does he believe in Perseverance of the Saints, or doesn’t he?” This is why (I think) some people think I preach like an Arminian; because it sounds like I do not believe in God’s sovereignty in salvation.
Second: How should a Calvinist preach? This causes me to wonder, should a calvinist not call people to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ because God is the One who actually does the work of salvation? Should a calvinist not tell Christians to persevere to the end because it is actually God that causes and keeps His people to the end? NO WAY! Of all people, Calvinists ought to be the ones calling the lost to faith, and calling Christians to endure to the end! Why do I think this way? Because Jesus said these things, and if I am to be faithful to God’s Word, I will say them also. Even though I know that it is God who works in the heart, raising it from the dead so that it can reach out to Jesus in faith, I will still call men to repent. Even though I know that God will cause His elect to persevere to the end by working in them what is pleasing in His sight, I will still tell them to persevere in faith to the end! Of course when I preach, I preach verse by verse or “expositonally”, and because of this I will explain God’s election and God’s keeping His people to the end when I get to them, and I will call all people to embrace God’s sovereignty in salvation and love it! But I must ask you, what saves someone? The doctrine of perseverance? Or predestination? No. The thing that saves is the gospel. So when I preach on John 3:14-15 or any other evangelistic passage, I will call men to faith as Jesus did.
So I do not preach like an Arminian, nor do I aim to preach like a Calvinist. I aim to preach Biblically, using the language Jesus used, telling men what Jesus told them.