The free offer of the gospel

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Iconoclast, Jun 30, 2016.

  1. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast
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    In a spin off from another thread we have this topic;

    In the first place, we must be clear about the fact that throughout the history of the world the gospel has by no means been brought to every person.


    This too, in a certain sense, is a problem that can hardly be satisfactorily answered by the advocates of a well-meant offer. If God expresses His desire to save all who hear the gospel, and this desire is serious, well-meant, truly an expression of God's love and grace, it would seem only appropriate to the nature of God to express this desire to all men and not only those to whom the gospel comes. Yet the fact is that the gospel by no means comes to everyone.


    This was already true in the Old Testament during which only a relatively few heard the gospel. Far and away the majority of people who lived never received the gospel at all, for the gospel was bound up in the types and shadows of Israel's ceremonial life and was, therefore, limited to the nation of Israel which dwelt in Palestine. Only to them did the gospel of Christ come.

    http://www.prca.org/pamphlets/Free Offer/Chapter11.htm
     
  2. Iconoclast

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    pt 2;
    But while this is true, we have not yet answered the question why it is important for the gospel to be preached to more people than the elect. Some have answered that it is only a kind of inevitable "fall-out" from the preaching. They point to the fact that it is simply impossible for the gospel to be preached to the elect only. Human men, after all, preach the gospel. They must preach to audiences of mixed people. They do not know who in these audiences are elect and who are reprobate. They must of necessity preach to all. Therefore, while it is really not important or necessary that the gospel come to more than the elect, there is little or nothing any one can do about it, and it is fundamentally unimportant, for the reprobate cannot believe the gospel anyway.


    This is a terribly wrong and evil caricature of the idea of preaching. Never must we take this position, for it implies that God really cannot do anything about the fact that the gospel is preached to all, although it would be preferable that things be different. It is also a denial of the Canons that tell us that the promise of the gospel "ought to be declared and published to all nations, and to all persons promiscuously" (II, 5).I.e., the gospel must be so preached. It is a divine must. It is God's will.


    But we must be careful that we do not go to the opposite extreme and say that this is true because all men must have a chance to be saved. This is the kind of language that fits in perfectly with the idea of the free offer; yet it is so commonly heard today that it seems almost ingrained in the thinking of people. The idea is that God cannot justly send anyone to hell unless he at least has the opportunity to hear the gospel and reject it -- or accept it. But this simply is not true. The Scriptures plainly teach on the one hand that all men are guilty in Adam apart from any guilt that they may accumulate because of their own sins, and this guilt in Adam is itself sufficient to send every man to hell. This is taught clearly, e.g., in Rom. 5:12-14: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (for until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."


    But on the other hand, apart from that guilt, the wicked who never hear the gospel are confronted daily with the obligation to love God and serve Him alone by the things in the creation, which clearly testify of God's eternal power and Godhead ( Rom. 1: l8ff.) It is true that no man can be saved apart from the gospel, but this does not alter the fact that all men know, through the creation, that God alone is God and that He alone must be served. That they cannot serve God is not due to anything but their own total depravity for which they are themselves responsible in Adam.
     
  3. SovereignGrace

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    The gospel does not block anyone from coming to Christ. It is the unregenerate's wicked heart that does that. Unless God quickens someone to understand the gospel, it is an affront to them, being a natural, unsaved person. The gospel saves those who believe and no one else.
     
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  4. HankD

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    I'm not sure if this is a legitimate point - or perhaps I misunderstand.

    So...

    The gospel is for the elect only, therefore only those sectors of humanity which contain the elect are those sectors foreknown and/or predestined to hear the gospel.

    Please correct this statement or replace it with the wording of your preference.

    Thanks
    HankD
     
  5. Iconoclast

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    While we are to preach the gospel to all men without exception.....all men will resist unless and until the Spirit works in them effectually.
    Many have lived and died however never hearing the gospel in history, and even this very day.
    It is false to suggest that other than the light of nature and conscience. .....all men must have a "chance" to hear the gospel.
    Jesus will seek and save all that are lost.......not one will be lost.2 pet.3:9
     
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  6. percho

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    The gospel saves those who believe and no one else.

    Do they begin life in belief or unbelief? How do they get from unbelief unto belief?

    Does their move from unbelief unto belief come from something deep within their mind, heart, or belly innate within themselves?


    What is the gospel that is heard?

    God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir ( The elect?) of all things, by (through) whom also he made the worlds; Heb 1:1,2
    Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 1 Cor 15:50
    Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 2 Tim 2:8
    Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 1 Cor 15:1-4
    This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. Acts 2:32,33
    Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:7,13
    For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Rom 8:15-17

    But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Rom 8:11 Inheritors??


    This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Gal 3:2
    That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through (the) faith. Gal 3:14

    Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:6,7 ------ That hope is spoken of in Romans 8 also.

    Are the elect, elected for eternal salvation or is eternal salvation, necessary for their elected purpose in the kingdom of God?
     
  7. HankD

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    Thank you iconoclast.

    First, (FWIW) if you didn't already know from my other posts I am the BB Mugwump Baptist (or perhaps their representative, I'm sure there are more).
    I follow neither the precepts of C or A.
    I suppose most would say I am a "grace" oriented believer which is as good a label as any of which I accept.

    Second, I rarely get involved in these protracted C/A debates accept to occasionally peruse the activities as a mind stimulant as long as it is focused upon scripture (trying to read The Institutes is a marvelous sleeping pill for me).

    Third I am not a "gotcha" guy (although sometimes it may appear that way).
    Since you seem to have a great command of scripture then if you don't mind I would like to engage you in this debate.

    Lastly, a challenge to one of your statements does not mean that I do not share the belief myself but I like occasionally to keep that to myself which is allowable in the art of debating.

    So...

    There are "A" followers who would not have a problem with your objection because they indeed believe in the "elect". That God in His infinite foreknowledge knew ahead-of-time who it is that would believe the gospel and appointed these individuals as the "elect"..
    From that point on in timeless eternity they would agree with everything you have said concerning this anomaly of those who have not now or ever will hear the gospel.

    In other words God arranged the times and population demographics to include/exclude the "elect" in the time continuum.

    There is another point which I would like to address "It is false to suggest that other than the light of nature and conscience. .....all men must have a "chance" to hear the gospel"

    I disagree to an extent because of the following:

    ASV John 1:9 There was the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world.

    Here we have an odd mixtures of verbs "was the true light" - imperfect tense - started in the unnamed past but continuing to this very day "coming into the world" present participle -happening in the here and now.

    Personally I believe this is a reference to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the reproval (conviction) of sin:

    John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

    So it does appear to me that this may very well be the "fitted" to destruction of the non-elect (to fulfill all righteousness) concerning their love of sin and darkness "that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God".

    That every man coming into the world will have at very least the knowledge from God Himself of his personal wickedness : Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    I do however conclude that there is also a wordless knowledge of God concerning His right therefore to judge him and the knowledge that God is righteous in that judgment - this IMO is the fitting (perfecting) unto destruction.

    I am certainly willing to modify my views (this one is relatively certain but not chiseled in granite).

    Let me know what you think brother.

    HankD
     
  8. percho

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    I believe the gospel is a statement of what God has done and is doing through his Son Jesus.

    Which will be preached unto all.
     
  9. Iconoclast

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    In what way do you suggest....preached to all?
     
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  10. Iconoclast

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    "HankD,

    ok I am not the best at this, but I will try if you find it helpful

    So...

    We would have to have the same definitions on these topics....for example-

    Who are the elect? On what basis are they elect?
    '
    This statement for example;
    1]uses a wrong definition of foreknowledge, confusing it with God's omnicience

    2] no one would believe the gospel....so there was nothing positive to see in this scenerio.....psalm 14

    3] this statement ignores the effects that the fall and is contrary to scripture

    4] this statement denies the Covenant nature of redemption which is central to biblical revelation

    5] this statement places man as in control which is a falsehood

    I think from such a wrong base, it is not possible that agreement could take place
    this kind of thought is not necessary if we start with a proper foundation.

    I do not think JN1 or jn 12 speaks of every person ever born.

    conscience....man although fallen remains an image bearer despite sins damaging effect

    I
     
  11. HankD

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    many/most folk who claim Christ also claim to be "elect" - those chosen by God unto eternal life (without an A or C attached to this simplistic definition.
    Now as to basis or criteria we do not know. We do know it is God centered (of course):

    Ephesian 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
    12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

    We do know that whatever His criteria for selection of the elect, it was after the counsel of His own will.
    The purpose That we should be to the praise of his glory.

    The prime determining factor presumably is the helpless, hopeless inability of man to obtain this eternal life status apart from the gift of God.

    The fact that we don't know the selection criteria of the elect IMO leaves the possibility of many scenarios in the determination of the elect. Unless the Triune God of course just made the choices willy-nilly - Don't think so.

    I need to take a rest. I was just discharged from a week long stay in the hospital.

    HankD
     
  12. SovereignGrace

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    Brother, your posts confuse me pretty much all the time, as I have a hard time following your train of thought...but I will answer what I can understand from you, okay?

    The unregenerate are the ones in unbelief and unless God quickens them, they'll remain in that state until death.

    Via the quickening power of Almighty God.

    No. Solely by God quickening them unto life and imparting unto them faith and repentance.

    1 Corinthians 15:1-4 seems to sum up the gospel precisely.

    Yes.

    Not sure what you are conveying here. Please elaborate. And keep it small. Thanks.
     
  13. SovereignGrace

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    I would also like to answer this post, if it is okay with you, Brother Hank.

    As we are told “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."[Mark 16:15-16] We have to be faithful witnesses to all the lost. None of us knows who are elect and who are reprobate. The bible is replete with sayings such as 'let him who has ears hear' along with other variations of that saying. So, if Jesus states it like that, then not everyone has ears to hear with.

    So, we are to proclaim the gospel to everybody and then God saves them that are His via the word.
     
  14. Iconoclast

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    "HankD,

    I never hear anyone in non cal churhes mention election or for that matter bring up any of what are considered election verses. They ignore the topic as if it was not in the bible.
    In Eph 1....Paul gives thanks to God in prayer about it.
    I would suggest simply that the man was seen as fallen and condemned. God as tthe potter using perfect wisdom elected a multitude for His own purposes. I do not question God's right, or perfect wisdom in making this choice. Through faith I understand that whatever he does in perfect in both wisdom and Holiness. Through faith I do not question or doubt God has purposed to save all he can save with His Holy ,righteous standards being fully exercised.

    Yes...once again a proper understanding of the fall shows the absolute necessity of Divine election unto salvation.
    God never acts apart from His perfect and Divine purpose;

    9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

    10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

    11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

    When I read and meditate upon these highlighted portions I see no chance ....of anything happening by chance...that does not exist....What does exist is a created reality that God has created and defined. Every fact is a created fact. God gives meaning to every created fact.

    Another section I look to is Psalm 115; the biblical God is contrasted with the idols of the heathen-
    115 Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.

    2 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?

    3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

    4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

    5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:

    6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:

    7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.

    8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

    Hank..take your time....hope the hospital was able to help what you needed help with.
    We do not always need to agree, but iron sharpens iron...that is the value of any interaction of sincere persons.
     
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  15. HankD

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    Yes, agreed however A types would say that "he who has ears to hear" means he who is willing to hear of which we all have the power.

    HankD
     
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  16. HankD

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    Thanks I.

    I have a Dr appointment this AM but will go over your response later (DV).
    Physically, I am on the mend but a prayer would be appreciated.

    Thanks again I

    HankD
     
  17. kyredneck

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    19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the evil one, and snatcheth away that which hath been sown in his heart. This is he that was sown by the way side. Mt 13

    4 in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn upon them. 1 Cor 4
     
  18. percho

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    I was saying I believe the elect start life in unbelief and are moved by God unto belief. I believe Paul pictures that. He was going down the road in unbelief blind without knowing he was blind, when God the Father through Jesus the Son, physically blinded him as an example of his spiritual blindness then through giving him the Holy Spirit healed him unto belief.

    Moved him from the darkness of this world into the light of the world to come, the kingdom of God.

    I believe the elect are elected for the purpose of reigning with Christ in the kingdom of God at his coming which requires eternal salvation. They were called according to purpose. Predestined. Which requires eternal salvation.

    That does not mean there will not be others who have access to the tree of life.
     
  19. percho

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    God called Abraham for purpose. Abe had a neighbor 10, 50, 100 miles down the road. I believe that man will be raised from the dead then the judgement. He also, I believe will hear the gospel, during that judgement.

    The power of God unto salvation.

    (Kia) And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Heb 5:9 Is authorship tied to something? And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 1 Cor 15:17 Made perfect I believe refers to being raised from the dead.
    For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Titus 2:11 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. Gal 2:21, 3:21 It is either the works of the law of it is the grace of life.
     
  20. Iconoclast

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    Yes....I already prayed for you when you mentionedthat you went to the dr.
    Get well..
     

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