What would John the Baptist say today?
Those in the Calvinist camp are very adamant about their election and calling. To them their knowledge of God’s predestination is an immovable foundation to their assurance that they are saved and this is completely based upon God’s sovereign will. The strict Calvinist hold to the understanding that they have absolutely nothing to do with their salvation, that there is no free will involved.
So what would John the Baptist come and preach to us today who have be called, who have been elected by God, who God foreknew? What would John the Baptist preach to us today, who say we are secure in our predestination, calling and election?
I know a group of people who like us have the promise of adoption as sons. I know a group of people who like us have the divine glory. I know a group of people like us who have the covenants, old and new. I know a group of people like us who worship God. I know a group of people like us who had the promises of God and unlike us could brag the linage of Christ.
For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
I know a group of people who like us took for granted their calling and election. I know a group of people like us who thought their place in God’s calling, His promises to them, their adoption of sons, and their linage made it impossible for them to be separated from God.
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
So what would John the Baptist in the spirit of Elijah say to us today who put our confidence in our calling and election?
You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in accordance with your repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, “We are guaranteed our position by predestined and election.” I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up those predestined by election. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
The Scribes and Pharisees took for granted their position and calling by God and felt eternally secure. We have nothing over the people of Israel when it comes to our election and calling. We too have to produce fruit in order to have a hope of salvation. God foreknowing us, His calling and His election of is no guarantee of eternal security. Nor does it take away our free will. It didn’t take away the free will of those in John’s day and it doesn’t take away the free of us today.
In my advocating of the gospel, I have been defending the position that we have a hope of salvation. I have been told by others that we hope for nothing because we are predestined, called and elected and therefore saved, and this without any freewill on our part. I have advocated in my book The Gospel According to the Gospel we have freewill and a valid part to play in our hope of salvation. That we are not saved and our freewill decisions will impact our receiving our promise of salvation.
Is this anything different than what we see John saying to those of his day that were the called election? No it is not. By your freewill produce fruit in keeping with your repentance. The Scribes and Pharisees blew it bad with their own version of Calvin. Do we really what to follow in their footsteps?
 Romans 9:3-5
 Matthew 3:7-10