After living out the doctrines of grace since my conversion, I've discovered there are a lot of so-called sovereign grace believers. These people come in many different varieties. There are the Reformed Baptists, the Sovereign Grace Baptists, the Calvinistic Landmark Baptists, the Primitive Baptists, etc.. There's also the OPC, the CRC, the URC, the PRC, the PCA, the FPC, the DRC, etc.. Whether or not there are true believers involved with these organizations or not is not the point of this post. However, I would like to comment on how conditionalism almost always seems to raise its ugly head amongst the professed Calvinists.
Earlier last year, my wife and I visited a local primitive baptist church. They had some crazy ideas that we didn't agree with such as making foot washing an "official ordinance", rebaptism requirements for "membership", and some weird "baptist successionism" that some of the members held dear to their hearts. These are all things that I disagree with, but the preachers always preached grace. Or at least I thought they did! Of course, hearing grace preached from the pulpit is something I enjoy immensely, and I was even considering looking past their other errors and joining the church. But sadly conditionalism, as usual, raised its ugly head.
One Sunday after the sermon something didn't sit right with me and I asked an elder about assurance or what some primitive baptists call "conditional time salvation". I of course believe that all the elect come to a knowledge of their Lord through faith alone. This is the cardinal doctrine of the reformation, and anything that goes against this is plain anti-christ. What continued to spill out of this man's mouth was that salvation "in time" or assurance of salvation is conditioned upon our works. I was horrified beyond belief! How could someone proclaim grace so well in the pulpit and fifteen minutes later have the audacity to proclaim that God's people are saved "in time" by their works?
It's my opinion that many "calvinists" haven't gone to the school of Grace. They refuse to make it the center of doctrine. Any teaching that says any part of salvation that is not conditioned upon Christ Alone is an attempt by men to rob Christ of His glory and destroy the message of the Gospel. This includes justification, sanctification, regeneration, assurance, conversion, etc. All these things are dependent upon Christ and His Grace; and a refusal to recognize this is a denial of Him.
Christ is the believer's all in all. Every true believer will look to Christ for their justification, for their sanctification, for their assurance, for their faith, for their everything! We as those who love the Gospel of Grace cannot stand for anything less in our fellowship with one another. Will we give lip service to the reformed doctrine of solo Christo? May God forbid!