Monday, August 29, 2011

Adrian Rogers on Predestination, Calvinism

Adrian Rogers was pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tennessee and elected three times as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. He was the first president elected, and a leader in, the SBC Conservative Resurgence. His messages are still widely distributed through TV, radio, and literature. He is the favorite preacher of multitudes of Southern Baptists.

Below are a few of Adrian Rogers thoughts on predestination and Calvinism:

“Did God predestine some people for Heaven and predestine some people for Hell? Are humans just pawns on the chessboard of fate? Absolutely not!”

“There are some who…say that God has chosen some before they are born to go the Hell and others He has chosen to go to Heaven - and there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it. I don’t accept this for a moment…”

“God hardened Pharaoh’s heart because Pharaoh first hardened his own heart.”

“All God did was to crystallize the sin that was already in him [Pharaoh]. God did not take a little tender child and say, “I’m going to harden your heart and then I’m going to cast you into Hell.” 

Pharaoh “had blasphemed the God of Heaven, and God had warned him. God has sent His messenger to him, but this man stubbornly and arrogantly said “no” to God. It was then that God further hardened the heart of this man whose heart was already hardened. But don’t get the idea that God just raised up Pharaoh to send him to Hell. God warned Pharaoh, but he wouldn’t heed the warning.”

On Romans 9 and Jacob and Esau; “God is not talking about two little babies, one born for Heaven and one born for Hell. That’s not what He is saying at all. This is national, not personal.” Later, “God was not talking about salvation. He was simply saying that Israel is going to be His choice, and the descendants of Jacob are going to be His spiritual leaders in the world…Nothing is said here about one twin going to Heaven and the other twin going to Hell.”

On the Scripture, “The vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.” “Well, how did they get ripe for destruction? In his word study, Vincent reminds us that this is the middle voice, which means simply that they fitted themselves for destruction. It is not the potter than fits them for destruction. It is the potter who is long-suffering. It is the vessels of wrath who fit themselves for destruction. God never made anybody to go to Hell. God wants people saved. He wants you saved. First Timothy 2:4 speaks of ‘God who will have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth.’”

“The following Scriptures show God’s universal love for all and His promise to all who will trust in Christ.” Rogers then quotes John 3:16-17; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 8:32; 1 Timothy 2:4; 1 John 4:14; 1 John 2:2; Revelation 22:17; Romans 9:33.

After quoting 1 John 2:2 Adrian Rogers says, “In this classic passage Jesus is spoken of as the propitiation or the satisfaction, not only for the sins of those who are already saved, but for the sins of the whole world.”

“If you want to be saved, to be one of the elect, then just come to Jesus.”

“I invite you to pray like this,
‘Dear God, I know that You love me. I know that You want to save me. I am a sinner and my sin deserves judgment, but I need mercy and I want mercy. I am not going to harden my heart against You, God. I open my heart. Come into my heart and into my life right now. Forgive all my sin, save me, Lord Jesus.’
Friend, pray that from your heart, ask Jesus to save you, trust Him to do it, and He will!”

These quotes are from the sermon booklet, Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not!, by Adrian Rogers, Love Worth Finding, P.O. Box 38800, Memphis, TN 38183-0300, (; 1999; 2010. 901/382-7900.
Order the booklet today; it just costs $2. Order extra for those who have questions about this subject.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, August 29, AD 2011.

Related Articles:
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Unlimited Atonement, Jesus Died For All
Adrian Rogers on "Wit & Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow"
Paige Patterson on Calvinism
B. H. Carroll on Hyper-Calvinism
Books on Calvinism, Predestination
Wit And Wisdom Of My Dad
Ancient Wine Production and the Bible
Roy Fish on Calvinism; part 1 of 2

Other articles found in lower right margin under Gulf Coast Pastor Articles (Labels).


  1. Thankfully the in the SBC we can disagree with eachother over this issue... I think Romans 9 teaches individual election to salvation.

    1. Well. Time to take your bible out, get some context, especially around the word “hate” and how God used it. Adrian Rogers has not misunderstood the word, you have, my friend. God bless you, my brother.

  2. I believe this is the sermon I heard on VCY America radio here in Milwaukee, WI the other day. I only caught a bit of it & I believe there was even more to this subject & sermon than what is shown here. Does anyone know how I can listen to the whole sermon. Hearing only part of it on the radio left me a bit confused as I struggle with the issue of calvinism & it caused me to believe also that Adrian Rogers was a calvinist as well. Can anyone please clear this up for me & also direct me to the full sermon. Thanks:)

    1. I know you wrote this message in 2011, but for the benefit of others too. Adrian Rogers - Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not!:

  3. Nicole,
    The entire booklet or sermon, "Predestined for Hell? Absolutely Not!," by Adrian Rogers can be purchased at The link is provided in the above post.

    There are two ways to look at Adrian Rogers and Calvinism. Some would call him a non-Calvinist. Others would call Rogers a Moderate Calvinist. After all, Rogers certainly believed in Eternal Security, and, depending on how they are defined, Total Depravity and Election.

    Read Adrian Rogers booklet for more information. You might also be interested in checking out the books listed in another post, Books on Calvinism, Predestination. The link to this article is above.

    Hope this helps.
    David R. Brumbelow

  4. It is funny how the Southern "Baptist" disagree on the original 1689 Baptist statement of faith.

    1. The Moderate Calvinism of the New Hampshire Baptist Confession and the Baptist Faith and Message have been much more influential among Southern Baptists than the more Strict Calvinism of the 1689 statement.
      David R. Brumbelow

  5. Calvinistic Baptists actually have more in common with Lutherans than they do with their Arminian Baptist brothers. When it comes to the adult non-believer who converts to the Christian faith, Arminians, Calvinists and Lutherans are in full agreement: salvation occurs when the sinner believes. Baptism is not a necessary requirement to be saved. We have theological differences in how believing occurs, but we all believe that the second a sinner believes he is saved.

    Our significant denominational differences arise when we talk about the salvation of the infants and toddlers of Christian parents: how are these young children saved? What happens if, God forbid, one of them should die before reaching the age where they are capable of expressing a saving faith in Christ?

    The Arminian answer is this: God saves all infants and toddlers who die, even the infants and toddlers of non-believers. They have no hard proof from Scripture to support this belief, but they believe that King David's comments about his dead infant gives them support for their position. Infants who die are "safe" in the arms of a loving God.

    Calvinists look at their children in this manner: Their children are either the Elect or they are not. Presbyterian Calvinists will baptize their infants to bring them into the "covenant" (whatever that is!)of the Church but do not believe that baptism has any salvific value. "If my child is of the Elect he will declare himself to be a believer when he is older." A Calvinistic Baptist does not baptize his infant, but looks at Election in the same way: My child is either of the Elect or not. There is nothing I can do but bring him up in the Faith and leave the rest to God.

    Lutherans believe that when God told us to baptize all nations, he meant to baptize ALL those who are the Elect. Many Arminians and Calvinists assume that Lutherans believe that anyone that they run through the baptismal font will get into heaven. Not true! Only the Elect will get into heaven. We baptize our infants in the HOPE that they are the Elect. Is it possible that some of the infants of Christian parents whom we baptize are not of the Elect and therefore will not be in heaven? Yes! But that is a mystery of God that we do not attempt to explain or understand.

    But we believe we do our job of "baptizing all nations" (who are of the Elect)by baptizing our infants and we then leave their Election up to God. We do our job of instructing them in the Faith as they grow up, but when they are older it will be their responsibility to nurture their faith with prayer, Bible study, and worship. If they abandon their faith and turn their back on God, they may wake up one day in hell! Baptism is NOT a "Get-into-heaven-free" card! Salvation is by God's grace alone, received in faith alone.

    No faith--->no salvation--->no eternal life!

    The Calvinist position on the salvation of infants is very confusing to me. It seems to be a process. A specific event of salvation is not necessary. Is there any example in the NT of anyone being saved by a process?

    As much as I deplore Arminian theology, I do like the fact that they insist on a specific "when" of salvation. However, they are wrong to believe that the "when" of salvation is based on THEIR decision when in reality it is based on GOD'S decision.

    If Calvinists agree with Lutherans that it is God who chooses who will be saved, and it is God who chooses when to save...which approach seems more Scriptural for the salvation of our children: God saves THOSE OF OUR CHILDREN WHO ARE OF THE ELECT in a one-time event in Holy Baptism or he saves them in a nebulous, drawn-out process over a period of years? Unless, of course, Calvinistic Baptists believe that their children who are the Elect are born saved...I certainly hope they do not believe that the Elect are born saved as do some hard-core Calvinists.

    To read more:

  6. The narrow road???? The Bible seems pretty clear to me....Pharoahs heart was hardened by God who knew the outcome before and after He did it, Judas was pre-destined to do exactly what He did and was never a true believer...too much scripture supports pre-election, a hard pill to swallow, maybe, but God is a jealous God who is not all fuzzy and soft bunnies...Love and forgiveness is just a part of who God is...We cant chose to know only parts of Him because the others are too scary to accept. The wide gate is where most are heading, He says that more than once, the narrow is where those that truly know Him are headed and He has known who they will be from before we were born, the names are in the book of life before we are thought of by our human parents. God is all knowing and omnipresent, therefor to assume anything less than divine election is trying to lessen His power and fit Him in to the realm of mans understanding and I dare say wishful thinking.

  7. It is not God's will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance


What do you think?