We continue here with the question: "What is hyper-Calvinism? How would you define it?" In answer we have shown in our last article that hyper-Calvinism is a denial of so-called "duty faith" and "duty repentance."
This denial is against Scripture. Scripture says in Acts 17:30 that "God now commandeth all men every where to repent." John the Baptist in his preaching even called the unbelieving Pharisees and Saducees to repentance (Matt. 3:8; Lk. 3:8). Jesus, too, called all to repentance in His preaching (Matt. 4:17) and upbraided the cities of Galilee because they did not repent (Matt. 11:20). When He sent out the 70 He sent them also to those who would reject the gospel and even warned them about this rejection (Mk. 6:10, 11), yet we read that they went out and preached that men should repent (Mk. 6:12).
Nor is there any evidence that when Peter, in the temple after the healing of the lame man, preached "repent ye and be converted" (Acts 3:19), that he was preaching only to "sensible sinners." Certainly, Simon the sorcerer was not a "sensible sinner" when Peter said to him: "Repent therefore of this wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee" (Acts 7:22).
Several of the passages already cited (Acts 3:19; 7:22) also imply that the gospel calls for faith on the part of all who hear. Faith is part of conversion, and one cannot pray God for forgiveness without also praying in faith. So, too, it is not possible that Jesus condemned the Pharisees for not believing if believing was not required of them (Matt. 21:25; Lk. 22:67; Jn. 10:25, 26).
The hyper-Calvinist gets around these verses by speaking of different kinds of repentance and faith. He speaks of "Jewish repentance," "reformation repentance," "circumstantial repentance," "collective repentance," etc., and claims that Scripture also calls for different kinds of faith. So he insists that many of the verses we have referred to call only for such kinds of faith and repentance, but not for saving repentance and faith.
We do not deny, of course, that Scripture speaks of "faith" and "repentance" that are not saving (Acts 8:13; II Cor. 7:10; James 2:19; Heb. 12:17). But these, as we know, are simply hypocrisy, and do not find favor with God. They cannot possibly, then, be something God calls for. How could God, Who does not lie, speaking through the gospel, call men to a repentance or faith which is not sincere and saving? There is not the slightest evidence in Scripture that He does so, either.
We believe, therefore, that the Word of God in Acts 17:30 must be taken seriously by those who preach the gospel. We reject the notion that the command to repent and believe savingly should be heard only by those who show some evidence of conviction. That would not only limit the preaching of the gospel, but would in the end destroy true gospel preaching.
As we hope to show in the next article, the command to repent and believe is an integral part of the preaching not only as far as God's elect are concerned, but also as far as the "reprobate" are concerned. All who come under the preaching MUST hear that command! Not only is it according to the will of God that it be preached to all promiscuously, but it is necessary as far as the gospel itself is concerned. To deny this is to strip the gospel of its power and make it an empty and vain show.
- Volume: 6
- Issue: 17
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002; Emeritus October 15, 2017Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
Address13823 Clear Lake Rd.
State or ProvinceWA