Potsherds of Pretention

“Why have the nations raged and the peoples are meditating on vanity? The kings of the earth set themselves; yea, the rulers have plotted together against Jehovah and His Anointed, [saying,] We will break their bands in two, and throw off their cords from us. He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall mock at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger, and He will terrify them in His wrath; Yea, I have set My king on My holy mount on Zion” (Psalm 2:1-6).

Regarding the “we will break their bands” portion, John Calvin writes:

“This is a prosopopoeia, in which the prophet introduces his enemies as speaking; and he employs this figure the better to express their ungodly and traitorous design. Not that they openly avowed themselves rebels against God, (for they rather covered their rebellion under every possible pretext, and presumptuously boasted of having God on their side;) …

Multitudes of professing Christians employ every conceivable pretext and pseudo-pious platitude to conceal their ultimate rebellion against Jehovah and His Anointed.

“Woe to him who fights with the One who formed him! A potsherd among the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to its former, What are you making? Or does your work say, He has no hands?” (Isaiah 45:9)

The proud and pretentious potsherds of the earth pontificate ponderous problems with predestination:


1. Election

a. In eternity past, God the Father covenanted with God the Son, Jesus Christ, to glorify Himself by saving a particular, elect people, and those only, from the guilt and defilement of sin, by the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. [Psa 89:19-37; Isa 49:5-6; 53:11-12; Luk 22:29; Joh 6:37-40; 10:29; 17:2,9; Gal 3:16-18; 2Ti 1:9]

b. In covenanting with Jesus Christ, God the Father covenanted with all the elect in Jesus Christ, to be their God and to reveal His divine love, mercy, grace, and wisdom to them by saving them through the work of Jesus Christ their Redeemer. [Gen 13:14-16; 17:4-8,19; Deu 4:35; 7:9; 2Sa 23:5; Psa 65:4; 67:2; 105:8-10; 111:9; 132:11; Isa 43:10-12; 55:3-4; 61:6-9; Mat 13:11; Mat 24:22,24,31; Mar 13:20,22,27; Luk 1:68-75; 18:7; Joh 17:2-3; Act 13:48; Rom 8:28-30,33; 9:11-16,23; 11:26-27; Eph 1:4-14; Col 3:12; 2Th 2:13; 2Ti 2:10; Tit 1:1; Heb 6:13-14; 8:6-12; 1Pe 1:1; 2:9]

c. Further, as part of the terms of this covenant, the Father decreed to send the Holy Spirit to indwell His elect people. [Isa 44:3-4; 59:21; Eze 36:27; Gal 4:6; Eph 1:13-14; 1Pe 1:2]

d. When Scripture speaks of God’s covenant, it does not mean a conditional agreement or contract between two parties; rather, it means a bond of friendship and fellowship that is unilaterally enacted by God. [Gen 15:12-21; Lev 26:44-45; Deu 4:31; 7:6-8; Jdg 2:1; 2Ch 13:5; Psa 89:3; Isa 54:10; 55:5; Heb 6:17-18; 8:10]

e. The exact number of the elect is known only to God Himself; it cannot be increased or diminished. The elect of God are scattered among every tribe, nation, and language on earth. [Deu 29:29; Joh 6:37-39; 10:14; 17:9, 2Ti 2:19; Rev 7:9]

f. This election was not owing to any merits in those elected or conditions they would meet, whether foreknown or foreordained, but only to the free grace and goodness of God alone. When Scripture speaks of God’s foreknowledge, it is not speaking of a prior knowledge of men’s actions (although God had such knowledge) but a love for their persons. [Deu 7:7-8; Isa 65:1; Eze 36:22-32; Rom 8:29; 9:11,16; 10:20; 1Co 1:25-29; Eph 1:11; 2Ti 1:9]

2. Reprobation

a. In eternity past, God (in order to more fully reveal to the elect His saving love towards them) purposed to create a people for displaying His power, wrath, and hatred of sin and unbelief. [Exo 9:14-16; Psa 73:17-18; Pro 16:4; Jer 6:28-30; Hab 1:6-11; Rom 9:17,21-23; 1Pe 2:8]

b. Every person without exception is either a vessel of mercy or a vessel of wrath. There is no one about whom God is undecided. [Isa 45:23; Rom 9:22-23; 14:11]

c. The Father determined to include the elect and the reprobate in one common fall, that they should be equally ruined and undone, equally guilty and defiled, and equally in need of a righteousness that neither could produce on their own. [Rom 3:9-12,23; 5:12-14; Eph 2:3]

d. God actively causes the reprobate to hate His glory, persecute His people, and oppose His gospel, that He may justly punish them. [Exo 7:3; 9:12; Jos 11:20; 1Sa 2:25; Psa 105:25; Rom 9:18; Rev 17:17]

e. God does not have any love toward the reprobate or any desire to save them, for God does not show love at the expense of His justice. The good things that God gives to them in this life lead only to their destruction, increasing their guilt for their thanklessness to God. Jesus Christ did not die for the reprobate in any sense, and they do not benefit in any sense from His death. Scripture, in speaking of God’s love for “all men” and “the world” is not speaking of all men without exception. Rather, these words refer to God’s love for all men without distinction – that is, regardless of their nationality or status. [Psa 2:4-5; 5:5-6; 11:5; 73:11-12; 92:7; Pro 3:32-33; 11:20; 12:2; 16:4-5; 17:15; Joh 3:16; 15:22; 17:9; Rom 9:13; 1Ti 2:4; 1Pe 2:8; 1Jo 2:2; 4:10]

f. God uses the preaching of the gospel as a special means of hardening the reprobate. [Isa 6:9-12; Mat 13:13-15; Mar 4:11-12; 2Co 2:14-16]

g. Contrary to the aspersions of the enemies of God, this doctrine of reprobation does not make believers exalt themselves over other men; instead, it humbles them and causes them to tremble before Almighty God, thankful that He has graciously numbered them among the elect rather than the reprobate. [Rom 9:15-16,23,29; 1Co 4:7; 2Th 2:11-13]