I see my friend over at Ivey Neckwear, always on a quest to refute Calvinism, has come up with the old Matthew 25:41 argument. Apparently there are 300 plus such successful arguments (seal coating as it is put here) which will probably surprise most of my readers here. There is nothing quite like an enthusiastic tie salesman trying to sell you theology. What! Is it buy one argument and get two free? I jest. Forgive my Belfast humour. But let's get serious and look at Matthew 25:41 and see what it actually says.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
1) The old argument goes that Hell was prepared for the Devil and his angels i.e. the demons but (obviously) not prepared for lost sinners. Well, to state the pretty obvious, it does not say that Hell was prepared only for the Devil and his rebellious angels. That is the gist of the old argument, but it is not what the Saviour said.
2) If such were the case i.e. that the everlasting fire of Hell was prepared only for the Devil and the angels, then does God deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13) when He bids the wicked above to depart as curséd to that dread place? Is God indeed a man that He should repent i.e. change His mind, after all? (1 Samuel 15:29)
3) Since God turns and will continue to turn the wicked into Hell (Psalm 9:17) then He has always purposed to do so. There was never a time in the mind of God when His hatred did not burn against sin and His justice demand that the perpetrators (if chronically unrepentant) of it be banished forever from His presence. God does not think on the hoof as the saying goes. This being the case, we read of ungodly men who were before of old ordained to this condemnation (Jude 4) and verses of a similar nature. Since God always determined to cast the wicked into Hell, then He determined that there would always be a Hell for wicked sinners to be cast into. One logically follows the other.
4) Although God has always determined the send the unrepentant wicked to Hell, yet the gospel of Christ was designed to save men from sin and therefore fit them for hearing the other judgement given in Matthew 25:
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (v34)
The sinner, as a fully responsible creature, should ever seek the Lord and rest not until he is found of Him, not having his own righteousness etc. The free gospel offer of salvation is addressed to the 'whosoever will.' Calvinist evangelists have always rejoiced in the preaching of it.
To conclude: If the Matthew 25:41 argument is supposed to be the silver bullet that takes Calvinism out, then once again, I contend that Calvinism is safe. Which is why I take the time to publicise arguments like these on this blog. They are hoary with age and sink every time in their own failure.
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