It is written:
“’Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you. 27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you.” (Leviticus 18:24-28)
Just as the religious teachings and practices of the Canaanite nations influenced Israel in terrible ways, so the teachings and practices of the Gnostics began to corrupt the early church. Indeed, their corruption continues even to this day.
John Calvin was a leader of sorts in the Protestant Reformation. Sadly, his teachings continue today to influence our world. Some element of his teachings are taught in nearly every denomination of Christendom. They are often summed up in the acrostic TULIP.
T-Total Hereditary Depravity (this is the belief that children are born as wicked sinners, stained with the sin of Adam and condemned to Hell. As a result of this condition, humans are unable to do anything inherently good).
U-Unconditional Election (the teaching that God-before the foundation of the world-arbitrarily decided which humans would be saved and which be dammed to Hell, irrespective of their freewill and choice).
L-LIMITED ATONEMENT (the claim that Jesus did not die for every sinner on the Cross, since God actually deeply and powerfully hates most sinners and wants them to be dammed).
I-IRRESISTIBLE GRACE (the notion that God will so work on a sinner that they will be forced to be converted to Him and follow Him-there is no way that they can resist His “call”).
P-PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS (the doctrine also known as “once saved, always saved.” This is the idea that a person who is saved may never be able to forfeit his salvation. It is also known as “once in grace, always in grace.”)
As we will see in our studies, Calvin did not get these teachings from the Word of God.
So where did Calvin get these ideas?
The answer lies in the deep history of Christianity, a time when pagan heretics infiltrated the church and brought terrible harm to God’s people.