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God’s "offer" of Salvation or His "declaration"? (12/12/2005)
From: Keith Lockwood

A common phrase I hear on Christian Talk radio programs is "if only people would let God save them!" I do not think they realize the shot they are taking at God's sovereignty when making this comment. I know they are attempting to put the responsibility on the individual the choose whether or not to believe in God's saving work through His Son, Jesus Christ, while also attempting to clear God of any blame for a person choosing not to believe. The Bible is very clear about who is "choosing"; Romans 9:16, "Consequently, then, it is not of him who is willing, nor of him who is racing, but of God, the Merciful" and verse 18; "consequently, then, to whom He will, He is merciful, yet whom He will, He is hardening." In Romans chapter 9 God makes it very clear that He will be merciful to whom He chooses to be (verse 15) and not only is He responsible for forming the vessels of honor but also the vessels of dishonor fit for destruction (verse 22)! Each vessel has a purpose which God has intended for them. Later in this epistle to the Romans, Paul, writes that in order for one to have faith they must hear the "declaration of Christ" (10:17). Note that it is NOT an "offer" of salvation which God can only give you if you let Him, but it is a "declaration" of the wonderful work that God has fully accomplished through His Son, Jesus Christ, to His own glory. Modern evangelicals have taken the "declaration" of God the Merciful, and made it into an "offer" from god the only sovereign enough to save those who choose it for themselves. These modern evangelicals are very passionate about their work because, according to their theology, a person's eternal destiny hinges on this one decision they will make during this lifetime, sending them either to a blissful afterlife in heaven or an eternity of torment in hell's fires. But, alas, all of that passion and work to help the lost make the right decision about God's salvation only clouds the straight and simple declarations of the bible that God, in Christ, reconciled the world to Himself, not reckoning our offenses to us (2 Cor. 5:18). It inflates our egos and tickles our ears (2 Timothy 4:3) to think that we have a part in deciding our eternal destiny, but in the end it is God and God alone Who makes this decision. Thank God that He also has made known the glorious end, that at the consummation of the eons, God will be All in all on His creation (1 Cor. 15:22-28)!

 

 

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