When John McArthur’s book, The Gospel According to Jesus, came out, an elder in the Bible church that I had just started attending, gave me a copy.
Before I finished the book, I had lost all confidence that I had really been saved in the first place.
There was no way, in my understanding of what John McArthur was saying, that I could even have been remotely saved.
So, the next thought was, then, did I need to get saved?
Then, there was no way that I could get to the point where I felt that I could even ask him to save me.
All I kept seeing was how far my true heart was from total surrender.
No matter what I confessed, and attempted to surrender to his Lordship, I kept discovering deeper, darker, un-surrendered parts of my heart.
I finally realized that it would be absolutely impossible for me to maintain an Arminian view of salvation with John McArthur’s teaching.
The closer I looked at my relationship to his Lordship, the more I realized how far away I really was.
Only a Calvinist view of salvation could work with John McArthur’s teaching.
There is no way possible for me to fully surrender simply by the power of my own free will – no child of Adam could.
Total surrender, while still lost, is something that a lost, fallen man cannot do, at least not “fully”.
To “fully” surrender while still lost and dead in trespasses and sins would take the miraculous work of the Holy Ghost.
He would have to do it, he would have to break my will into submission.
Why? Simply because the closer I looked at my will, the more I realized that pride was controlling my will.
Pride won’t surrender, unless it is humbled or broken. And full surrender requires being fully humbled or fully broken.
A lost man doesn’t do that to himself. Pride doesn’t commit suicide.
So, if John McArthur was to be right, I needed to be a Calvinist.
However, I was newly saved, and I certainly was not a Calvinist. I was a 4 point Arminian, i.e. I still believed in eternal security.
Therefore, I went before the LORD and begged him to let me know if I really had gotten saved, before.
I believe that he convinced me that I was already saved.
I gave the man back John McArthur’s book.
However, as an already born again Christian, I realized that I did need to strive towards fully surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus.
I’m still not “fully” there yet, but I believe that I’m really saved, and I am convicted in the areas that I still need to surrender.