Apologetics, Biblical Doctrines, Christian Living, Faith, Theology

A Sincere Offer of the Gospel

An Arminian Assaults Calvinism Continued…

Part IV

The Speaker’s Statement.
The speaker declares, with a voice of incredulity, that Calvinist believe that God sincerely offers the gospel to those for whom Christ did not die, and who, from eternity past, were condemned to eternal judgment. “That’s not my God. That’s not my God. God does not offer us something we cannot receive.” Then, the speaker illustrated his point saying: “I have a piece of candy in my hand. I offer that candy to my children, and as soon as they reach out for it, I take it back. God doesn’t do that. God does not offer to us what we are unable to receive.”

Response.
The Calvinist does believe in a sincere offer of the gospel to “whosoever will.” Charles H Spurgeon noted, “If the Lord had put a yellow stripe down the backs of the elect, I’d go up and down the street lifting up shirt tails, finding out who had the yellow stripe, and then I’d give them the gospel. But God didn’t do it that way. He told me to preach the gospel to every creature that ‘whosoever will may come.’” Jesus says, “and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

As far as the children’s illustration, it is a simplistic, emotional, and misleading view of a Biblical teaching. God does not withhold salvation from any of His children. But not ever sinner is God’s child. No, no. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). A relationship with God must be bestowed on “us”, those who are the called according to His purpose. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1 John 3:1).

The Speaker’s Statement.
The speaker asks several rhetorical questions by noting that John 3:16 says that God loves the world. “How can God love those He could save, but does not even offer them salvation? What kind of love is it that God loves a world He has predestined to hell?”

Response.
Calvinist do believe that God has a creator’s love for the world, but a special love for His own. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). One day Jesus met a rich young ruler and loved him. Then the Lord gave the young man a commandment he knew the man would not keep, and could not keep, because of the corruption of his heart. Jesus did no wrong in loving the rich young ruler, or letting him walk away. The story is told in Matthew 19:16-26.

The Speaker’s Statement.
The speaker rhetorically asks whether or not God will command us to do something it is impossible for us to do? For example, God commands men to repent. “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). If individuals are unable to repent, then the command is meaningless. Individuals should not be held accountable.

Response.
There are Divine commandments in Scripture which no one is capable of doing, and yet for which individuals are made accountable.

No one can be as holy as God, and yet the command comes, “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16).

No one can be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, and yet the command comes, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).

No one can love the Lord God with all their heart, mind, soul, and their neighbor as themselves, and yet they are commanded, “thou shalt”, to do just that. Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:37-40).

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