Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.
Similarly, Romans 9:1-3 states: “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites.”
In other words, instead of tears, why doesn’t Paul rejoice over the fact that their death is part of a script which brings God the most amount of glory? Can it be that God is not, in fact, getting the maximum amount of glory by their death? The Calvinist is abhorred by such a thought, because a Calvinist is committed to the presupposition that God is too big to not always get His way, but then again, is God big enough to allow Himself to not always get His way? Obviously, God gets the last word, namely, on Judgment Day, when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11), however the question remains as to whether God is secretly smiling upon whatsoever comes to pass. The Calvinist says “yes,” “I mean no,” “well yes,” and while the Calvinist tries to sort it out, this passage seems to imply something about human responsibility that seems inconsistent with Calvinism, insomuch that these false brethren have done something for which they should not of and might not of, had they not yielded to the flesh, and thus Paul would not be implying the sense of inevitability that one might expect if Paul was a strict Determinist.