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Thread: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

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    Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

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    I would argue against this point: "The fact is, sinners are worthy of damnation from the moment of conception when original sin is imputed to them." But overall the article was good.

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    Yes, sinners are worthy of damnation simply because God determined to make them so in His sovereign plan! But I like this statement: "Such who hold to the offer concept are under the impression that the preaching of the gospel is the means by which the unregenerate become elect or reprobate, whether it is the one or the other depends entirely on their use or abuse of their imagined free will."

    Since virtually all expositors have no concept of the difference between 'Original Sin' as taught by Augustine (in his enslavement to neo-Platonist philosophy) and 'Total Depravity' (Total Inability) as taught in the revealed scriptures, the doctrine of the imputation of Adam's sin to the entire human race is alive and well. Those who deny Adamic imputation to elect and reprobate alike are not even viewed as 'the least of these my brethren' by 'Reformed' scholars, pastors, and churches: they are cast out as heretics.

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    Gery Schmidt: "Is the gospel something to be offered to the unregenerate? A great many Christians believe so. It has long been maintained that Christ himself, or eternal life, is to be offered unto the lost for their acceptance or rejection."

    "Present for acceptance or rejection" is one definition of "offer." Another definition is "to make available." The gospel should be made available (i.e., preached) to the unregenerate. The unregenerate that believe the gospel and are baptized shall be saved but the unregenerate that do not believe the gospel shall be damned (Mark 16:15-16).

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    Re: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

    Generally the offer as a "proffer" is what is rejected. Of course, presentation is to be encouraged.
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    To preach (proclaim ) is not an offer but a proclamation. To proclaim the Gospel is ordered not to offer.

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    Grammatically, "to offer the gospel" can mean nothing more than "to proclaim the gospel." We should use the best construction unless context proves that "to present for acceptance or rejection" is really meant.

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    The whole notion of the "offer" is ludicrous and against the teaching of scripture. Surely the Gospel is a proclamation "good news" of the redeemer Jesus Christ to save His people from their sins.

    The word "offer" carries with it the meaning of a benevolent and gracious intent by the "offerer" to have someone accept or reject this offer. And of course if they reject this supposed "offer", it is their fault and not the offerers fault.

    God does not offer anything! God gives! And He gives graciously and efficaciously to His elect people alone!


    Nicholas

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    Re: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint Nicholas View Post
    The word "offer" carries with it the meaning of a benevolent and gracious intent by the "offerer" to have someone accept or reject this offer.
    The presumption that the use of the word "offer" always presupposes free will to accept or to reject the gospel is grammatically incorrect. According to Merriam-Webster, "to offer" can also mean "to make available."

    Quote Originally Posted by Saint Nicholas View Post
    And of course if they reject this supposed "offer", it is their fault and not the offerers fault.

    God does not offer anything! God gives! And He gives graciously and efficaciously to His elect people alone!
    God makes the gospel available (i.e., offers) when and where He pleases to all sorts of people. The gospel is efficacious according to God's purposes (Is. 55:11; Mat. 23:37; Rom. 9:18).

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    Re: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

    The presumption that the use of the word "offer" always presupposes free will to accept or to reject the gospel is grammatically incorrect. According to Merriam-Webster, "to offer" can also mean "to make available."

    God makes the gospel available (i.e., offers) when and where He pleases to all sorts of people. The gospel is efficacious according to God's purposes (Is. 55:11; Mat. 23:37; Rom. 9:18).
    God does not merely make the gospel 'available' to anyone. In plain English, this certainly implies the ability on the part of one to whom it is made available to choose whether or not to accept it. If this is the case, there is no assurance that the gospel will certainly be efficacious toward anyone--all might consider it idiocy and reject.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    God does not merely make the gospel 'available' to anyone. In plain English, this certainly implies the ability on the part of one to whom it is made available to choose whether or not to accept it. If this is the case, there is no assurance that the gospel will certainly be efficacious toward anyone--all might consider it idiocy and reject.
    I was jut thinking this as I read gerhard's post.
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Re: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    God does not merely make the gospel 'available' to anyone. In plain English, this certainly implies the ability on the part of one to whom it is made available to choose whether or not to accept it. If this is the case, there is no assurance that the gospel will certainly be efficacious toward anyone--all might consider it idiocy and reject.
    OK, strictly speaking, the gospel is not made available to "them that are lost" (2 Cor. 4:3). No one has free will to accept or to reject the gospel; however, God does makes His blessed gospel of Christ available to the beloved sons and the gospel is efficacious for them (1 Cor. 4:14-15).

    Merriam-Webster defines "efficacious" as "having the power to produce a desired effect." I would argue that the gospel is also efficacious for the lost because it has the desired effect of being hidden from them.

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    Re: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

    Well, the free offer of the gospel inevitably implies some fashion of a bilateral conditional covenant of salvation, wherein God allegedly offers life and salvation in Christ to whosoever will receive it by faith, so that, without this act of believing acceptance of the offer, the covenant will never be "closed", effectuated, ratified, realized in the life of the one to whom it is thus offered. The truth, however, is that the gospel is not offered in this sense even to the regenerate elect. It is "preached" to them, i.e., they are the ones who are powerfully and irresistibly summoned by it to the Promise of the Gospel which is Christ Himself, the Hope of Glory. An offer always depends on the second party, whether or not it will receive the thing offered, but the gospel is so preached to the poor [in spirit], that they are made whole by it: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them (Matthew 11:5). Clearly, the spiritually blind, lame, leprous [with sin], deaf[ened by sin] and dead [in trespasses and sins] - these all refer to ONE class of spiritually defined folks - the poor in spirit, i.e., the regenerate elect. It is to them, that the Gospel is preached and through it, Christ Himself calls His own sheep by [their spiritual] name, and they are made to hear by the power of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the risen Christ, so that though they used to be "deaf" - now they hear and walk out of the grave they had been hitherto-fore...As Herman Hoeksema once said, "a gospel for all is a gospel for none". But the gospel must be so preached that the heirs of the promise may know that it is for them and for them only. Yet the offer spoils it all, like a dead fly in a costly perfume - how can the sheep hear the voice of Christ calling them by name in the proclamation of the gospel, if the gospel (and so the precious promises contained therein) is "freely offered" to all and sundry? The answer is obvious - a particular promise and a particular call cannot be generically offered around. The addressees of the call will never know that they are called if the substance of the call is offered to everybody. Nay, it is not even offered to them either - Christ does not offer His sheep to be their Shepherd IF they will follow Him, nor does He offer the [self] sinners repentance, if they will, but He calls them to repentance powerfully, etc.
    The offer of the gospel distorts and destroys the message of the gospel. But there are some also, who claim that though the offer is anti-evangelical, the universal call is not and they vehemently insist on it, that God in Christ calls BOTH the sinners and the righteous to repentance and that it is the duty of all men to believe "on Christ" (whatsoever be meant by the expression). The main problem of course is the unavoidable logical implication of a hypothetically universal atonement, for IF (hypothetically) the reprobate fulfill this alleged duty of theirs to repent and believe on Christ, what then, would they not be saved, given that all that believe shall, in fact be saved, according to innumerable scriptures? But if so, then, ON WHAT BASIS would they be saved? There is ONLY ONE possible foundation, whereupon anyone can ever be accepted and be pronounced righteous - the shed blood of Christ for them, so that, IF God calls the reprobate to repentance and His call is not duplicitous (as Holy God cannot lie), then He must mean that on the other end of repentance (to which the reprobate are allegedly called) there is an entrance into the blessed remission of sins, everlasting righteousness and life eternal, awaiting for them. But if there is no rest , no peace, no salvation possible for the wicked reprobate, because Christ did not lay down His life for them, then it is again a major distortion of the gospel to allege that God calls to repentance those whom He has not redeemed.
    Another problem with the universal call - duty faith notion is that the command of the gospel is commensurate in scope to the promise of the gospel, i.e., in scriptures, as many as are commanded to come to Christ, so many are promised rest for their souls by Him; as many, as are commanded to repent and be baptized, the same are promised the gift of the Holy Ghost, and those who are commanded to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the same are given the sure promise that they shall be saved. The scriptural principle is this: whoever is called / commanded to repent and believe, the same is promised salvation. God does not offer empty offers to those for whom there is nothing, NOR does He call folks to a nebulous hope of remission of sins.
    Hence, both the notion of the "free offer" and of an "universal call / command" must be rejected and both, ultimately, precisely on the same grounds - for both, ultimately and inevitable suggest, teach, imply - a hypothetically universal, conditional atonement, which is THE ultimate heresy of all conditionalism of all stripes.

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    Re: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

    Quote Originally Posted by solegrace View Post
    Well, the free offer of the gospel inevitably implies some fashion of a bilateral conditional covenant of salvation, wherein God allegedly offers life and salvation in Christ to whosoever will receive it by faith, so that, without this act of believing acceptance of the offer, the covenant will never be "closed", effectuated, ratified, realized in the life of the one to whom it is thus offered.
    The truth, however, is that the gospel is not offered in this sense even to the regenerate elect. It is "preached" to them, i.e., they are the ones who are powerfully and irresistibly summoned by it to the Promise of the Gospel which is Christ Himself, the Hope of Glory.
    I disagree. The gospel is freely offered in the sense that it is free and it is offered (i.e., made available) to the beloved sons. The gospel is hid to them that are lost in whom the god of this world has blinded. The fact that the gospel is hid implies that the light of the glorious gospel would otherwise shine in the lost.

    Quote Originally Posted by solegrace View Post
    An offer always depends on the second party, whether or not it will receive the thing offered. . .
    Only if you assume the second party has free will. If the second party has a bound will, the reception of gospel offer is determined by the party that controls the will of the second party.

    Quote Originally Posted by solegrace View Post
    The offer of the gospel distorts and destroys the message of the gospel. But there are some also, who claim that though the offer is anti-evangelical, the universal call is not and they vehemently insist on it, that God in Christ calls BOTH the sinners and the righteous to repentance and that it is the duty of all men to believe "on Christ" (whatsoever be meant by the expression).
    Christ does not call the righteous to repent. Christ calls sinners to repent which includes everyone. Repentance, in the narrow sense, is not a work. It's a gift. It's not a duty for anyone.

    If Christ in the gospel calls sinners to repentance, why do not all sinners repent. Because the gospel is hid from some!

    Quote Originally Posted by solegrace View Post
    The main problem of course is the unavoidable logical implication of a hypothetically universal atonement, for IF (hypothetically) the reprobate fulfill this alleged duty of theirs to repent and believe on Christ, what then, would they not be saved, given that all that believe shall, in fact be saved, according to innumerable scriptures? But if so, then, ON WHAT BASIS would they be saved?
    The faulty premise is that the reprobate could somehow fulfill a so-called duty faith command. The gospel, faith, and repentance have nothing to do with duty, commandments, or the keeping of any law.

    Quote Originally Posted by solegrace View Post
    Another problem with the universal call - duty faith notion is that the command of the gospel is commensurate in scope to the promise of the gospel, i.e., in scriptures, as many as are commanded to come to Christ, so many are promised rest for their souls by Him; as many, as are commanded to repent and be baptized, the same are promised the gift of the Holy Ghost, and those who are commanded to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, the same are given the sure promise that they shall be saved. The scriptural principle is this: whoever is called / commanded to repent and believe, the same is promised salvation. God does not offer empty offers to those for whom there is nothing, NOR does He call folks to a nebulous hope of remission of sins.
    Baptism, repentance, and faith are gifts of God not commands to be performed. If they are commands, then works would indeed save us. Only gifts of God save but the reception of these gifts is hid from some.

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    Re: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

    We are to use biblical language to teach biblical doctrine. Since the scriptures never communicate a message of 'making salvation available' through an offer that can be accepted or rejected, I am convinced we must discard such language from our gospel vocabulary if we are to honor God's revelation.

    The gospel proclaims that all whom God binds to Himself through the gift of faith ARE justified. No offer, just proclamation of a reality that brings assurance to those who are elect from eternity.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

    The gospel is hid to them that are lost in whom the god of this world has blinded. The fact that the gospel is hid implies that the light of the glorious gospel would otherwise shine in the lost. - gerhard

    "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:4

    Scripture provides no warrant for the idea that the light of the glorious gospel would necessarily shine "in" the unbelievers if it were not hidden from them for it teaches its hid lest the gospel's light shine "unto them": i.e. "shine upon" them as per the dative w/out a preposition. God did not provide the preposition "in".

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    An excellent point! The wording was a mistake on my part. I was trying to convey the idea that the gospel would "shine upon" them that are lost (i.e., be made available to them, an alternate definition of "offer") not necessarily "shine in" them.

    Nevertheless, I believe there is scripture warrant for the idea that the gospel light would necessarily shine "in" those that are lost if the gospel were not hid from them (Acts 28:23-28). However, the efficacy of the gospel ensures that the gospel will necessarily be hid from the lost.

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    Re: Article: The Gospel is Not an Offer

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    Yes, sinners are worthy of damnation simply because God determined to make them so in His sovereign plan! But I like this statement: "Such who hold to the offer concept are under the impression that the preaching of the gospel is the means by which the unregenerate become elect or reprobate, whether it is the one or the other depends entirely on their use or abuse of their imagined free will."

    Since virtually all expositors have no concept of the difference between 'Original Sin' as taught by Augustine (in his enslavement to neo-Platonist philosophy) and 'Total Depravity' (Total Inability) as taught in the revealed scriptures, the doctrine of the imputation of Adam's sin to the entire human race is alive and well. Those who deny Adamic imputation to elect and reprobate alike are not even viewed as 'the least of these my brethren' by 'Reformed' scholars, pastors, and churches: they are cast out as heretics.
    Romans 5:12-21 makes it clear that sin is indeed imputed to all men, the proof being that all men die.

    If this were not so, it makes no sense for Paul saying we were:

    Helpless Romans 5:6

    Sinners Romans 5:8

    Unrighteous [by inference] Romans 5:9

    Enemies of God Romans 5:10

    Chris

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    To discuss the doctrine of the imputation of Adam's sin, start a new thread on the subject. It is off-topic for here.

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    On the matter of God hiding the gospel--if God be sovereign this is a TRUE hiding and not a mere concealment of something that would otherwise be an opposite reality. In other words, God's will is done on Earth as it is in heaven. The non-elect are hardened in such a manner that they CANNOT believe--reprobation is the substance and essence of their souls. They are created solely for the purpose of bringing God glory in their damnation.

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