Verdure turned to Vanity

“Many times they have distressed me from my youth, let Israel now say; they have distressed me from my youth many times, yet they have not prevailed over me. The plowers plowed on my back; they made their furrows long. Jehovah is righteous; He cuts the cords of the wicked. Let them be ashamed and turned back, all those who hate Zion; let them be like the grass on the rooftops, which dries up before it draws out; with which the reaper does not fill his hand, nor the binder of sheaves his bosom. And those who pass by have never said, The blessing of Jehovah be on you; we bless you in the name of Jehovah” (Psalm 129:1-8).

On various levels and in differing degrees, Christians have been distressed by the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction and who glory in their shame (cf. Philippians 3:19). These enemies are tireless in their labor to render the true gospel atonement odious in the sight of many. I commonly call these particular enemies of the cross, “Tolerant Calvinists.[1]

[1] Definition of Tolerant Calvinist: A person who claims to believe the gospel of sovereign grace but who says that at least some who believe in universal atonement (that Jesus died for everyone without exception) are saved. (Please note that the term “Tolerant Calvinist” is not meant to imply that all “Intolerant Calvinists” are regenerate.)

[There are many other kinds of enemies of the cross of Christ, but I chose to focus on Tolerant Calvinists and those who believe that Jesus died for everyone without exception.]

These Tolerant Calvinist heretics bless the self-righteously wicked apart from the only ground of blessing. They bless in the name of Jehovah those who are ignorant of the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel (cf. They contradict the apostle Paul’s curse in Galatians 1:8-9 and throw down a blessing in its place. To apply a quote to the Tolerant Calvinists from a profligate champion of their very own:

“Their fire ends in smoke: their verdure turns to vanity; their flourishing is but a form of withering. No one profits by them, least of all are they profitable to themselves. Their aim is bad, their work is worse, their end is worst of all” (C.H. Spurgeon).