John Calvin and Michael Servetus – The Untruth of The Concept of Predestination

Abstract: We will compare and contrast the personalities of Michael Servetus and John Calvin to see one of them was mean, rigid, and unforgiving. The other was full of grace, concern, and love. I will argue that predestination is the latter person. Jesus is full of grace, concern, and love for all people! He does not have any characteristics of the former person in this discussion. So we can propose and see that the Lord is good, and he does not predestinate anyone to an eternity in hell.

Key to blog text

Bold highlighting = Important terms and concepts. Blue highlighting = Words, terms, and concepts containing primarily a spiritual sense or TRUTHRed highlighting = Words, terms, and concepts containing a sense directly related to The Lord Himself or LOVE.  Gray highlighting = Words, terms, and concepts relating to Evil and Hell.  Italic letters in (parentheses) = My emphasis


But I think Bible Scripture makes it a clear fact, that humans are not robots. They have free-will in making decisions.  This is the divine design. The Creator longs for and woos His creation out of Love to join with Him forever in a marriage ceremony. To enter into a covenant to share eternal life. When rejected by the offer, the Creator is greatly saddened. Death is a waste.  But because of Love, a decision is not forced upon anyone.  Free-will will not be violated under any circumstances.  This is divine design.

Photo by burak kostak from Pexels

We are told the Gospel story in the Bible.  God built a bridge between our world and His. He made “A Way“.  That old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame.  But we have to meet Him halfway.  We have to overcome our selfish free-will.  It is our struggle and life’s journey to find the path of LOVE.  Love does not seek its own.  It is our natural inclination to seek our own.  Never shall the two meet unless we accept the Lord’s gracious offer.  We are most certainly the greater benefactor of His offer.  


The concept of predestination is a pernicious and cruel concept.  It is insidious, subtle, and harmful. It spreads in a hidden and usually an injurious way.  It casts a dark pall on the Creator.  It makes Him appear to our vision as cruel, mean, revengeful, and showing favoritism.   


I think this truth can be illustrated in the life of two different men.  One was named John Calvin.  The other was named Michael Servetus  

Calvin espoused the concept of predestination and the absolute sovereignty of God in the salvation of the human soul from death and eternal damnation.  

“Michael Servetus was a brilliant scientist, discoverer of the circulation of the blood, a polymath, and a fugitive from ecclesiastical authorities.  He was known as a Protestant theologian who boldly criticized the doctrine of the trinity and infant baptism.” (Wikipedia)

Servetus wanted to reach Calvin and share his views on Bible truth and to try and change the mind of Calvin even though he was under death threats if he did so.  Servetus decided to try and meet with Calvin anyway.  Calvin gave Servetus the impression he was willing to do so.  At the appointed meeting time Servetus was captured.  Calvin then gave the order to have Servetus burned at the stake as a heretic.

We can see the character of these two men through this meeting.  The Lord Jesus taught of people who had a like character as Calvin,

Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit”  (Matthew 7:15-18)

The principal architect of predestination slaughtered an innocent man.  And now the true character of predestination was also seen.  Calvin appears to our vision as cruel, mean, revengeful, and showing favoritism for his own prideful mind. The very character attributes of things the concept of predestination accuses God of possessing.

Michael Servetus on the other hand only wanted to tenderly draw and convince Calvin of the Truth, even at the peril of his own death.

Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]”  (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 AMP)


If we can look past our frail pitiful weakness and look up to see in our OWN SELF-DETERMINATION that only the LORD JESUS is the answer.  We will then gladly MAKE A DECISION that this is MY CHOSEN DESTINY.

This is why in the Bible they are called the “chosen ones

Glory in His holy name, let the heart of those who seek Jehovah rejoice. Seek Jehovah and His strength; seek His face continually. Remember His marvelous works which He had done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth, O seed of Israel His servant, sons of Jacob, His chosen ones”  (1 Chronicles 16:10-13)

The creation has made a decision to enter into an agreement with the creator! They “Seek Jehovah. They have chosen to be a part of God’s everlasting kingdom and family forever.