Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I want to try to put down my thoughts systematically on what I believe about Evangelism. I know that there is some confusion by some of you about where I stand on outreach, and I want to try to put everything down. Many of you know I take the title Calvinist, and therefore don't think I believe in Evangelism. That is not the case, I do believe in Evangelism, and I believe all Biblical Calvinists believe in Evangelism. I think that if you really wrestle with what seems to be a paradox, you come to come conclusion. It's a paradox. The Bible is full of paradoxical statements. Christ is 100% man and 100% God. One person can't be 100% of two things, yet Christ is. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are 3 people, yet one person. That can't work, yet it does, because it's God. I believe that man cannot come to God on his own, he must be drawn by God, yet is completely and 100% responsible for his actions, including what he does with Jesus.

There you go, it's a paradox. You cannot seek God on your own, yet you are required to place your faith in Christ. Your will, you placing your trust in Jesus is your responsibility, 100%, that is Biblical. Confess, repent, turn from your sins and embrace salvation. Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord of your life and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead.

At the same time, you will not seek God on your own. The Bible is clear, no one seeks God, we are totally depraved and incapable of seeking God on our own. Our only hope is that God will have mercy on us and reach down and call us, bring us to Him and send His Holy Spirit to work in our heart. Somehow, our will and the sovereign glory of God work together, in a paradoxical relationship to bring man and God together as work of God and a duty of man.

Are you confused? It's confusing. I think part of the issue is that we put God in our time frame. We view time from past to present and future. God doesn't not exist inside our time frame, and He works out salvation throughout time at the same time. I believe that predestination works partially through foreknowledge. God knows you, know what you will do, what you won't do, and what you need. Some people have been created by God, and God understands that person will spend eternity in Hell, and that person is 100% responsible for their actions, their choice and their decisions. Man is 100% responsible for rejection of Christ. It would make logical sense that man is 100% responsible for accepting Christ, and I would agree . . . sort of.

I don't believe in free-will. Free will would mean that you can use your will to choose God or choose to reject God. The book of Romans is clear that you are slaves to sin, and you are incapable of choosing God, so your will is not free. Once you are saved, you are a slave to Christ, you are then again still not free, you are not your own, you are purchased by the blood of Christ. If this is the case, the will is first in bondage to sin, and then in submission to Christ. The scripture is clear, the will is not free.

When we accept Christ, it is not through a process of will. The acceptance of Christ is not an intellectual decision. When you hear the Gospel preached, then God comes into your heart and convicts you of sin and reveals Grace. This is the part it gets tricky. Can man reject this salvation, this act of God in your heart. I am torn, because I believe that you can, but you won't. God has all knowledge present and future, I don't believe that God calls someone who is going to reject the call. I totally believe that when God opens your eyes and your heart, you accept the gift of salvation with joy and excitement.

Now, what that being said, I believe Salvation is God's work. This works into some of my previous blogs about comments by others about pleading souls into the kingdom. I don't think that is Biblical, I think it's a man-centered approach. I believe we pray people to the kingdom, and we pray that God opens their hearts and then we preach the word. I believe that we are responsible to tell the truth, I believe that God works with us and through us. God moves through His people preaching and teaching the word, Romans 10:14. We partner with God for lack of a better term, and God moves and speaks through His word as it is preached.

I hope it doesn't seem as confusing and convoluted as it feels. I believe that Salvation is God's work alone, but as humans, we are responsible for our actions. My convictions as of late are two fold. First, we have taken God out of the equation too far and put man into the glory too much. I think we have minimized the role of God as Savior and maximized the role of man. I believe in the work of the preacher, but not without the power of God. Preaching and Divine convection brings salvation. Divine conviction can bring salvation. Preaching alone can not. We need to make sure we give God the glory for the work of Salvation. It is His moving, doing His work for His glory for our benefit. Make sense?

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