"We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may receive what is due him for the things done in the body, whether good or evil." (2 Corinthians 5:10).
The following musing tries to comprehend Calvinism from the viewpoint of judgment day. Calvinism teaches that only those who God chose before the creation of the world have the possibility of entering heaven. Calvinists believe only those God chose before the creation of the world will be given a special kind of faith called "saving" faith and all those whom he did not choose do not have "saving" faith. Hence, Calvinists preach that all those God did not choose before the creation of the world are destined to hell and there is absolutely nothing they can do about it.
SCENE: Judgment Day at the Throne of God. The souls of history are lined up to stand before God and give an account of their life.
GOD: Step forward, stand before Me the Most Holy God, state your name and give your account.
Man: My name is Duncan Angus Campbell and I was born in the highlands of Scotland in 1947 and emigrated with my loving parents to the great land of America when I was just a wee lad. And I bow my knee before you Sovereign Lord Almighty.
GOD: Stand up and give your account.
Duncan: I was a faithful husband of one, loving father of three.
GOD: Mmmmm hmmm.....
Duncan: And oh yes, I was faithful to You and your Son.
GOD: Well, I will be the judge of that Duncan. What about your sin?
Duncan: Ah, er... eh, yes, I did use your name in vain a few times and told some lies. But, I repented of my sins and turned from my ways.
Duncan: Well, I er, umm.... yes, I did cheat on my Income Tax several times during the 80's. But I repented of my sins and turned from my ways.
GOD: Well done good and faithful servant! Go away to your eternal inheritance and the joy of heaven.
GOD: Next! Step forward, stand before Me the Most Holy God, state your name and give your account.Man: My name is John Paul Van Dyke. I was born of Dutch ancestry in Lower Manhatten in the great land of the United States of America in 1948 and I bow my knee before you Most Merciful and Gracious God.
GOD: Give your account.
John: I was a faithful husband of one and loving father of three.
GOD: Mmmmm hmmmmm.
John: Yes, and I was faithful to you and your Son.
GOD: I will be the judge of that John. And your sin?
John: Oh yes. Ummm well, let's see. I told some lies and used your name in vain several times. But I repented and turned from my ways.
John: Well, I accepted bribes as a civil servant back in the 80's. But I repented and turned from my ways.
GOD: Go away from Me you evildoer! Be cast into the eternal torment of the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
John: Whoaa. What? Wait a minute here. Was it the bribes?
John: Using your name in vain? Was it the swearing which is sending me to eternal perdition?
GOD: No, no.
John: Just wait a minute here. Why is Duncan going to heaven and I am going to hell? I must tell you that I am quite bewildered over this unfortunate turn of events.
GOD: Duncan repented of his sins.
John: Yeah but so did I.
GOD: But Duncan was elect and you were not.
John: Please wait Most Holy God. Can you give me a morsel of your eternity?
GOD: Very well. Just be reminded this is the Day of the Lord and a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day.
John: What should I have done in my life to be saved?
GOD: There is nothing you could have done. You were not elected to be saved.
John: Then what is the purpose of giving an account of our life?
GOD: It's a rewards quantity / torment quality issue.
John: So.... Duncan suffers for his evil deeds in heaven but I suffer for mine in hell?
GOD: No, no, John.
John: Frankly, Most Holy and Gracious God, I am rather confused on the matter.
GOD: Very well John. Duncan went away to eternal glory and lost out on some rewards he might have had.
John: And me?
GOD: You, on the other hand (my left one), go away to eternal torment and are tormented according to the sins you committed.
John: But why am I going to hell and Duncan is going to heaven?
GOD: As I said before. Duncan was elect. You weren't.
GOD: For the purpose of my good pleasure and will!
John: But what could I have done? How could I have been elected?
GOD: John, as I, Most Holy and Mighty God hath said before, there is absolutely nothing thou couldst have done to be elected. Indeed, there is nothing Duncan could have done to avoid election and entering into eternal glory.
John: I just don't get it. Please explain Most Holy God.
GOD: John, before the creation of the world, I elected Duncan and several others to be saved and I predestined them to that end for my good pleasure. There is nothing they could have done about it.John: And?
GOD: That's it John. You were not elected, therefore, you are reprobate and there is nothing you could have done about it. So don't be too hard on yourself.
John: Most Holy, Gracious, Merciful and Righteous God, allow me try to understand what is going on here. Before you created the world, did you elect Duncan for salvation and ignored me for salvation which would mean I would have to go to the damnation of hell by default? OR did you intentionally elect Duncan for salvation and intentionally elect me for damnation?
GOD: Well John, I myself personally don't see the difference between those two viewpoints. However, there are those here who ascribe to supralapsarianism, infralapsarianism or sublapsarianism. This is an oft debated issue and lengthy subject and we do not have time here.
John: Okay, let's see if I understand yet. Duncan was a sinner; I am a sinner. Duncan sinned; I sinned. But I, unlike Duncan, go away to eternal torment.
GOD: You sinned; Duncan sinned. But My Son died for Duncan's sins.
John: And mine?
GOD: My Son's atonement was a "particular redemption."
God: Yes, limited to atone for the sins of the elect.
John: Well then, what on earth could I have done? I did not realize I was not elected.
GOD: As, I most Holy, Powerful and Almighty Sovereign God hath sayeth beforehand, there is nothing you could have done. If I had elected you before creation and predestined you to be born again so that you could believe with a saving faith, you would have been saved and known that I had elected you to believe and be saved so that you would know this is in fact what I did. However, that not being the case.....
John: But I DID believe in you Most Holy, Merciful, Compassionate, Longsuffering, Kind and Loving Creator.
God: Yes, I am quite aware of that John. However, you unfortunately did not possess "saving faith."
John: And what kind of faith is that?
GOD: That's the kind the elect had.
John: And how could I have believed with saving faith?
GOD: You couldn't. You were not elected.
John: So what of my life, my trials, my devotion, my prayers? Why was I even born.?
GOD: That's a complex issue.
John: My God, why have you forsaken me? What could I have done?
GOD: Nothing. There is nothing you could have done. Technically, its your fault you are going to hell.
GOD: Because you are a sinner and you sinned.
John: And there was nothing done to take care of my predicament?
GOD: For you, No.
John: And having my sins washed away was not ever a real possiblity because you did not preordain Christ to die for me as you did for Duncan.
GOD: That's right John.
John: So, you are telling me the only way I could have gone to heaven like Duncan is if you had chosen me before the creation of the world to be saved and because you did not choose me before the creation of the world to be saved, there is no way I could have believed in you with saving faith and be saved, and so there is absolutely nothing I could possibly have done in my life to avoid eternal damnation and be saved to heaven. In other words, you decided which people were going to be saved before any of us existed and those you did not choose, whom you also predestined to exist, were ultimately going to be damned because you did not choose them for salvation, and there is nothing anyone could have done to change their predicament, so they would be saved on this Day. So you are saying that you created a world where I would exist without any possibility of being saved on this Day and I would most certainly be damned on this Day without possibility or opportunity to change that outcome and it is my fault I am going away to damnation on this Day although you created me into a situation where there was nothing I could have done about it because you did not preordain that I would be able to do anything about it and have an opportunity to avoid going away to damnation and the torment of eternal fire.
GOD: Now you understand.