1st John 5:14
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Notice the part that says, “anything according to His will”? How can we ask for anything that is according to His will, if we do not already know what His will is? Don’t we have to know it, first? And, don’t we get that information on “His will” from Scripture? It appears that, not only, are we to know what His will is, but also to have confidence, with faith, believing in it, as James 1:6-8 states: “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Question: If a Calvinist believes in a “Secret Will,” set apart from a “Revealed Will,” not knowing who the alleged, Calvinistically elect are, then (1) how can there be any confidence that what God tells us is trustworthy, or (2) what “His Will” truly is?
Answer: Calvinists can’t even know what God’s will is for themselves, let alone others, if perhaps they are not secretly elect, after all.
Even Spurgeon documented that his own congregation feared not knowing if they were secretly elect (secretly drafted), and he simply encouraged them not to worry about it:
Calvinist, Charles Spurgeon: “I frequently meet with poor souls, who are fretting and worrying themselves about this thought—‘How, if I should not be elect!’ ‘Oh, sir,’ they say, ‘I know I put my trust in Jesus; I know I believe in his name and trust in his blood; but how if I should not be elect?’ Poor dear creature! you do not know much about the gospel, or you would never talk so, for he that believes is elect. Those who are elect, are elect unto sanctification and unto faith; and if you have faith you are one of God’s elect; you may know it and ought to know it, for it is an absolute certainty. If you, as a sinner, look to Jesus Christ this morning, and say—‘Nothing in my hands I bring, Simply to thy cross I cling,’ you are elect. I am not afraid of election frightening poor saints or sinners.” (Election, emphasis mine)
Spurgeon basically admitted that his own congregation was double-minded. Well, a lot of good that Calvinism did them....
Spurgeon concludes: “Let your hope rest on the cross of Christ. Think not on election but on Christ Jesus. Rest on Jesus—Jesus first, midst, and without end.” (Election, emphasis mine) Spurgeon also states: “I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.” (A Defense of Calvinism, emphasis mine)
But if Calvinism is “the Gospel,” according to what Spurgeon elsewhere states, then he is effectively telling his panic-stricken congregation not to think on the Gospel. Calvinism can become a real mess. But back to my point: How can a Calvinist have confidence in knowing God’s will, and asking anything in God’s will, if they believe that God has a conflicting will, in creating some people for the purpose of perishing, and to be hated (like Esau, as they point out), in contrast to creating some people for the purpose of joy, and to be loved (like Jacob, as they say, having failed to properly cross reference Romans 9:13 to Malachi 1:2-4)?
How can we ask anything in God’s will, if we do not first surmise what God’s will is? And how can we begin to know what God’s will is, apart from finding it in Scripture? If we do not believe that God’s will (at least, for His part) is that anyone and everyone turn and come to know Him, then how can we have confidence in anyone that we pray for? Furthermore, we’re not only to pray for our enemies, and to forgive our enemies (Matthew 6:14-15), but even to indiscriminately pray for all men, including the godless rulers, in which God would even have it that they, too, would turn and become saved. 1st Timothy 2:1-2: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”
As I see it in Scripture, God’s will is that everyone come to know Him, and so when I pray for someone, I can be rest-assured that I am praying within God’s will, and in agreement to His will, and hence, I can believe with confidence that God is already on board with what I am asking for.
God is not a God of confusion, but of a sound mind, the mind where thinking takes place, and where believing takes place. God does not ask us to give up a sound mind and just accept illogical fallacial thinking, which results in double-minded confusion, but rather that we engage in “reason” with Him: “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.’” (Isaiah 1:18) If you don’t even know God’s will is, concerning the salvation of mankind, how can you know God’s will about anything? It’s diabolically mind-numbing.