Is the Gospel an Offer or Command?

Scott Price

Scripture says the gospel is to be preached to everybody (1). We are not to be anti-evangelistic, or anti-means. None of God’s Elect will be converted without the means of the gospel of grace heard, understood, and believed (2).

God commands sinners to believe and repent (3), not offers them salvation. Faith and repentance are gifts (4) through revelation and are not offers. Doesn’t it sound crazy to think of God saying,” here is faith (belief). Do you want it?” You either believe or you do not. Unregenerate people do not automatically have a reserve of faith that they can exercise towards Christ at any given time (5). The Bible also speaks about people disobeying the gospel (6). Can a person disobey an offer? They can only disobey a command. Does this mean we toss out “whosoever will”? No!

God desires the salvation of the Elect only. Many “free offer” people say that God desires the salvation of the Reprobate. I have a question: If God wanted the Reprobate to be saved why didn’t  He choose them in election. Would God want anyone saved for who Christ did not die? Why would God want to save someone He does not love? God is not confused or frustrated (7)! He does not sit back, waiting and wondering if the Reprobate will believe, saying, “There is still room for you”. The spaces were set before the world began when God wrote the names of the Elect in the Lambs book of life (8).

The problem with some who call themselves Calvinists is they do not think God is absolutely sovereign. They want to limit Him in this area. Some do not think God decreed Adam to sin. Some believe God only elected to eternal life and not elected the Reprobate to condemnation. Some think reprobation is conditional in time. These errors are consistent with the free offer error. For many, next comes the argument of sufficient/efficient of His death, then comes He died for all in “some sense”, them before you know it some will go for a full-blown universal atonement. It does not matter where they go from that point since that last step mentioned shows there is something else that makes the difference between Heaven and Hell besides the death of Christ (9).

Nobody knows exhaustively everything about His sovereignty because some things are not revealed but we do know His purpose He revealed will be accomplished without fail or frustration. So also shall He accomplish His purpose that He has not revealed. If He could not He would not be God.

God has purposed to give righteousness to the Elect whom He loves by way of the cross of Christ (10). As a result of that established and imputed righteousness there flows a fountain of gifts and blessings such as justification, regeneration, faith, repentance, glorification, etc. The Reprobate, who God hates (11), gets none of these gifts of grace. God knew that when, in His sovereignty, He purposely reprobated them. Surely you do not think it was an accident? He is a faithful God of love, grace, and mercy and He gives righteousness to who He wants to (12). Those are the Elect whom Christ died for as their substitute and surety.

Scripture references:

(1)   Mt 28:19, Mk 16:15
(2)   Rom 1:16, 6:17-18, 1Cor 1:18, Eph 1:13
(3)   Acts 17:30, 1 Jn 3:23
(4)   Acts 5:31, 11:18, 2Tim 2:25, Eph 2:8-9, Phil 1:29, Mt 11:27, Col 2:12, Heb 12:2, 1Jn 5:20
(5)   2Thes 3:2
(6)   2Thes 1:8
(7)   Eph 1:11, Isa 46:9-11, Dan 4:35
(8)   Rev 13:8, Eph 1:4-5, Rom 8:29-30
(9)   Gal 5:4, Rom 11:6,
(10) Rom 4:5-8, 5:9, 1Cor 1:30, 2Cor 5:21
(11) Rom 9:11-23, 1Pet 2:8, Jude 4, 1Thes 5:9, Psm 5:5, Psm 11:5
(12) Rom 9:15

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