Eric Landstrom

Speaking on the monergistic aspect of grace, as espoused by Jacob Arminius, Eric Landstrom explains:

Why does God allow evil in the world? Eric’s answer.

I’d point out to him that Arminius was monergistic. For Arminius, man doesn’t positively select God and salvation. Instead Arminius held that people could only resist or reject the grace they were given. I like to present it this way:

1) Grace is present among and is working to redeem all men.

2) The moral choice that man makes is not to receive grace, for grace is already there, rather;

3) The moral choice is to resist and suppress grace, doing that which is contrary to God and His witness, your conscience. And this, if done unto death, means to die in your sins.

4) Therefore man does not choose salvation, nor does God coerce man.

Therefore man does not choose God and neither does God force man to repent and believe because man can resist and suppress the grace and salvation offered. In this regard the receiving of grace, positively speaking, is passive, and negatively speaking, resisting grace is an active human response for which man is to be held accountable. Thus, Arminus’ Arminianism holds together the four major biblical motifs that a) man is fallen, b) salvation is by grace, c) man is responsible, and d) the sincere offer of salvation is made to all.

People don’t all receive the same measure of grace because every vessel reacts differently. Some return love with love and other return love with hatred. Those who embody and act upon the grace they are given go on to greater acts of grace and those who resist the grace they are given make themselves less and less capable of receiving further graces. If a person hardens their heart and rejects the grace they have been given, then it will be easier for them to further reject grace in the future. With the erosion of grace comes an erosion of faith, a course that if continued upon will eventually lead to a loss of all faith.

The solemn fact remains that it is possible for a doubting person through the hardening of their own heart to come to a place where such a person is unable to believe. In John 12:39 it is declared of certain people that ‘they could not believe.’ And in the next verse quoting from several verses from Isaiah, we read, ‘He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.’ Deficiencies and shortcomings of the effectualness of grace aren’t due insufficiency of grace but to the corrosive, habitual history of hardening one’s heart where in God’s voice upon the heart gradually diminishes as a consequence of habitual sin because of the willful inability to listen and hear his voice. Hence the grace that God gives to all persons either:

  • Glorifies the Lord through the good deeds, thoughts and actions that are reflective of his image and reveal that he is the source of all that is good.

  • Or reveals his constant love and mercy toward those who ignored and rejected his ministry of grace throughout their lifetimes.

As such, at the Judgment Seat, the grace the Lord rained upon all persons ultimately either:

  • Glorifies the Lord in and through a people whose thoughts and actions reflect the image of God; or,

  • The grace that was given upholds the justice and righteousness of condemnation where the condemned stand self-convicted of the fact that the Lord continually reached out to them to draw them unto himself but they rejected all of his servants and even rejected his continual inward witness to the bitter end.”