It is very sad to see Premier radio promoting Calvinism through social media, via its profile of famed author R.T. Kendall.
For those who may be influenced by someone of fame and public standing, there is a need to address the statements made within the video itself, in the interests of biblical truth.
The video centres around a vision that R.T. claims to have had in 1955 that converted him to Calvinism. I use the word converted, as Calvinists describe their own supposed revelations in similar terms to someone accepting Christ Himself. He describes seeing Jesus at the right hand of the Father, praying for him while he was in his car, and that he felt he was caught up to the third heaven.
The first problem is when a vision is trusted over what the Word of God actually says. Standing against the few scriptures continually put forward to support Calvinism (and ripped mercilessly out of context), is the weight of truth that God desires none to perish, that man disobeys God by his own will and that believers can lose their faith (2 Peter 3:9, Genesis 4:7, Hebrews 6:4-6).
The second problem, is that this supposed vision was based on a typical misunderstanding of Hebrews 7:25 that first became popular decades ago. This scripture clearly talks about the blood of Jesus standing for all time to be our intercession against the wrath of God against sin, due to Christ’s eternal nature. The misinterpretation was that by intercession, the scripture meant praying.
Just thinking this through should render it ridiculous, beyond the whimsical thought that Jesus is praying for us constantly; why would God being praying to Himself? This isn’t a case of Jesus’ example to us on the earth, limited in the flesh, but the glorified Christ at the right hand of the power! Besides, if Jesus is praying for you constantly, then you can waltz through life – who’s prayers could be more covering, more enabling and more sufficient?
The next thing that is very sad to hear, and put forward as a proof of what he experienced, is that his senior was unable to respond to a typical Calvinist appeal from Romans 8. Had this man be able to nip in the bud this doctrinal deviation with a sound biblical defense, he would have saved a young man from deception. Needless to say that scripture is talking of the choosing of a nation, not the individual work of salvation, just as references to the elect are always corporate in nature – the thing being predestined is the existence of the church as a corporate body. It is comical that R.T. then ran into typical Calvinists, who believe in the cessation of miracles and found that they disputed his very vision!
Probably the most telling thing that this vision was of the flesh or external spiritual forces not interested in truth, is the claimed conversation between the Father and the Son. R.T. claims that Jesus told the Father that R.T. ‘wants it’, and that Father replied ‘he can have it’. R.T. then describes some sort of feeling of joy and that he was now eternally secure in his salvation. The problem here is that basic Calvinist belief is the inability of any man to receive Christ, and that he therefore must be chosen from before time to be saved while others are chosen to be damned. If R.T. thinks that he was special enough to warrant a conversation between Jesus and the Father before the throne of God, then he failed to notice that the decision was based on his will; the granting of what he wanted.
We are called to study to show ourselves approved and not to be deceived by false visions, philosophies, masquerading spirits and ‘angels of the light’ (Colossians 2:8, 1 John 4:1, 2 Corinthians 11:14), for in doing so we will have the scriptural arsenal, supplied by the full counsel of the Word of God, to defend ourselves and the faith once delivered to us.