—Reaching the Elect

By on

Someone emailed:

Love what I read last nite in one of your books when u showed the partial error of one of Spurgeon views on the gospel.  U said that the purpose of the Gospel was to reach the elect!!   I almost fell over. Could u extrapolate??

On page 209 of your book, [Salvation Results From God Bestowing Free Grace Upon His Elect not from the Erroneous Notion of Man Having “Free Will” To Choose To Be Saved — The Charles H. Spurgeon Election, Predestination, and Calvinism Collection, 299pp., pb., 17.50 + P&H], Spurgeon is quoted “the whole tendency of the preaching of the gospel is to persuade you to turn from sin unto righteousness, from your wicked ways to Jehovah”.  And then you stated (p. 210) that this is not true.  “The purpose of the Gospel is to reach the elect”.  That completely floored me.  And I believe that because without that we have no deliverance, but can you u extrapolate a bit further on that comment!!  Thank you!!


My reply:

The issue is not man attempting to persuade sinners.  Man does not persuade (though he may try, and indeed, it is our job to do our best, but...) the Holy Spirit regenerates to life and those regenerated cry out “Abba-father.”  Lazarus was not persuaded from the dead.  While one or two verses may employ the word persuade, that has to be understood in context of the whole truth of Scripture and salvation.

“...it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”  It certainly would be a matter of boasting for one who “chose” to “accept” the truth that was presented, in that he was “smart” or “good” enough to “choose”, while others who did not so choose were clearly evil or stupid.  Scripture says that there is NONE righteous, there is NONE good, no not one—there is NONE that seeketh after God.  Therefore, those who do seek God, those who seek after righteousness and goodness are only those whom the Spirit draws unto Christ to lead to the Father, which is what Scripture clearly tells us.  “No man cometh unto Me except the Father draw him.”

The truth of the Gospel was sent out solely to the elect because God’s Word will not return unto Him void, but perform that which He intended.  It was not sent to the nonelect for it has no effect on them.  God says that He shut the eyes, ears, hearts, minds, and opens only those of the elect; that is why Christ said “he who has ears to hear...”  This shutting refers to spiritual death and no man can open what God has shut.  The Holy Spirit quickens to life.  The wind blows where it determines... so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.

The truth of the Gospel is sent out to reach the elect, like water reaching a seedling which in God’s Good Time, with the warmth and light of the sun, will germinate.  No one can persuade a dead man to come to life.  No one can persuade a deaf man to hear.  The Power and Grace of God must first quicken to life and open the eyes, ears, hearts, minds to receive the Word.  They don’t receive the Word based upon our speaking, but based upon God determining and quickening.  We are the tool that God determines to use in some cases.  “It is required in a steward that a man be found faithful.”  God controls the harvest.  He does not need laborers, but that is what He determined, in most cases, to be the means by which He affects what He ordained.

The Arminianist Model is that we have to go out and witness and save people or they will go to Hell.  The Calvinistic Model is that God ordained who shall be saved and who shall be damned and we should be faithful and share the truth with those whom we know to be God’s people because He has commanded us to seek out the lost sheep; and though God alone knows which of His people He has ordained unto life and although God alone controls the progress of that harvest He blesses our obedience and grants us the inestimable honor of being the tool that He uses to bring many sons into glory.