Once you stop believing that the offer of the Gospel is valid for lost sinners, then it only leads you to no longer evangelize. Yet no lost sinner in the Bible is ever told that they cannot come because there is no sufficiency in Christ’s atonement.
Tim: I want you to think with me tonight. Some of you know that recently, I did a series on “When Calvinism goes bad.” I was dealing with Hyper Calvinism. If you don’t know what those terms mean that’s ok, but; basic error with Hyper-Calvinism is this: That the sovereignty of God, which is clearly displayed for us in scripture. God does according to His will. All things work according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the council of His will. God is indeed. They call Him, did they not? When they pray to Him, in Acts 4. “Sovereign Lord” He is Sovereign. Sovereign means: He reigns over all. He is the “Totalitarian Monarch.” Everything happens according to Him. Including salvation, Jonah said: “Salvation is of the Lord.” God is in control, God says: That he declares the end, it works according to His purpose. Scripture is not silent, or even quite, about God’s control of things, about His sovereignty. Hyper-Calvinism takes the sovereignty of God, and it comes to conclusions with that sovereignty that scriptures never come to.
That is the error. That is the problem. That is the mistake of Hyper-Calvinism. It sees the depravity of man. It sees the sovereignty of God, and it concludes In ways that are logical to men, but it’s not a good logic. It’s a carnal logic, it’s not a biblical conclusion. I don’t want to get into all that tonight. We looked at that in those messages before, but Here’s one that we didn’t get into, that I want us to think about. After I preached the first or second message on Hyper-Calvinism.
I had a brother that’s been attending this church for awhile, come up to me and he said, “I don’t even feel like I can take the gospel to the lost, at large any more, just anybody,” and he said,”because he feels like, it’s not a sincere offer.” He said, “it feels like an empty offer.” He said, he feels like if he goes out to a guy on the street with the gospel. Well he looks at him, then he thinks. ” I don’t know, he might not be elect.” “And if he’s not elect, Christ didn’t die for him. So, I don’t have anything to offer him.” “I can’t tell him, Christ ransomed him. I can’t tell him that Christ died for him. I can’t tell him that God loves him.” That is one of the bad conclusions of Hyper-Calvinism. This sense that it’s not a legitimate offer anymore. You can all imagine this. If you don’t think it’s a legitimate offer It’s not going to be too long before you’re not going to make that offer. If you really don’t think that God is interested in saving people, you’re going to make a very poor evangelist. And that’s just a reality. We have a question, because what’s happened is this Hyper-Calvinism series has gotten out there on the internet now, so people are responding with questions. In fact we had a Q&A time, when I preached this series over in Houston, and Questions came up there as well. I want to deal with some of these.
Question: Here’s the question from Michelle: “I’ve listened to the recent four ‘When Calvinism goes bad’ sermons. They’ve helped me a lot, to strive to stay Scripturally focused and balanced. I was however kind of confused during the fourth sermon, when Pastor Tim talked about 1 Timothy 2.”
Tim: Her confusion has to do with 1 Timothy 2:3: “This is good, and it’s pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Now, as we dealt with this in our hermeneutics class, one of the things that I’ve been really stressing to the men is… listen to what it sounds like the scripture is saying. Now, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when we’re forced to draw a meaning from a text, where the meaning is somewhat hidden or that we have to come to a conclusion based on the context. That on the surface it doesn’t immediately sound like it’s saying, we have to dig it out. But by and large, and as a rule.
You want to take, it’s just like in any kind of communication. You know when somebody comes and they begin communicating to you. You don’t immediately start looking for secret meanings, in what they say. First thing you want to do. You’re listening to people to hear what it sounds like they’re saying, right? We want to do the same with the Lord. The Lord wrote to us, to communicate to us. First thing you don’t want to think, is that; “Oh, it must have some other meaning than what it sounds like on the surface, it means.”
What you want to do is a proper method of Bible interpretation is: What does is sound like it’s saying? And it’s amazing how many that fall into the camp of Hyper-Calvinism, they have to spend so much time explaining away, what verses seem like they’re saying on the surface. And in fact, oftentimes after they’ve explained it all away. They come up with a meaning that is actually 180 degrees opposite to what it sounds like the text is actually saying. So, here you have it. This is where her problem comes in. God our Savior who desires all people to be saved, and to come into the knowledge of the truth.
Now, I think it was in the fourth message, that I preached here in San Antonio. I dealt with this text, and I just mentioned how it was interesting to me that those who have been Calvinistic. Those who have believed in the sovereignty of God. Those who believe in election. Those who believe in the depravity of man, total depravity. Those who believe those truths. But, who have likewise been very evangelistic, and soul-winners. They have often taken this verse at face value. God our Savior desires all people to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Let me ask you this: If language means anything, and you took this at surface, plain, just english understanding. God our Savior desires all people to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth. You, as well as I know what it sounds like it’s saying. We don’t have to put any spin on it. Just like that, if I say it just like that. God our Savior desires all men, or all people to be saved, and to come into the knowledge of the truth. You know what it sounds like it’s saying. Sounds like God desires all people would be saved. Now, depending on the setting that we put that verse in, all by itself. We can say: If God desires that all people to be saved, and He is sovereign and in control, if here’s a God who is Almighty, and a God you’re telling me entirely in control, if He desires all people to be saved, then all people will be saved. But we know from Scripture, that all people are not saved. So the conclusion that people come to is: 1) God must not be totally in control; or 2) He must not really desire to see all men saved.
And typically your Calvinist, who can’t give ground on the sovereignty of God, they go with the second. The Hyper-Calvinist typically goes there. And yet, as I showed in that message that historically evangelistic men have often taken it at face value. I read these quotes, I think part of them I read here before. I read them in our Theology class. Let me just give you something that Charles Spurgeon said. Spurgeon unashamedly Calvinistic through and through. But he was a soul winner. Probably as much as any Calvinist that we know that was a soul winner. Spurgeon: “What then, (speaking about this verse) shall we try to put another meaning into the text, than that which it fairly bears. I think not most of you must be acquainted with the general method in which our older Calvinistic friends (Hyper-Calvinist) deal with this text. All men, say they; that is, some men, as if the Holy Ghost could not have said some men, if he had meant; some men. All men, say they, that is some of all sorts of men. As if the Lord could not have said, all sorts of men. If he had meant that. The Holy Ghost by the Apostle, has written all men. And unquestionably he means, ALL MEN. Now, that was Spurgeons’ take. He took it at face value.
Charles Simeon, he was an Anglican. But likewise a calvinistic evangelical, a soul-winner. Simeon said the same thing. He says: “It’s truly lamentable, to see how men in every age have strained and wrested the Holy Scriptures, in order to make them speak the language of their own particular creed.” What he means is, people want to support their theological system before they just want to read what scripture says. “Some, averse to the idea that God should express His good will to all the sinners of mankind, limit the word all, and make it signify nothing more than some of all descriptions in characters. It were well, that instead of contending for human systems. We were content to receive the scriptures as little children. How delightful is the truth here intimated, and how strange it is, that instead of enjoying it and adoring God for it. Men will only make it a ground for acrimonious contention. Now here’s the thing. If I said to you this; If I said, God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. Would I be quoting scripture? I would. But nobody limits that. Isn’t this at least in the same neighborhood of that truth? If God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of the wicked, then what would he take pleasure in? Seeing them not die in their wickedness. I mean it’s really the opposite of what this verse at face value is saying. And look, if I quoted another verse before we quoted this one. And I said; God commands all men everywhere to repent. Is that Bible? Well, that is Bible? Well, if God commands all men everywhere to repent. Then is it God’s desire that all men everywhere repent? I mean certainly we would say that it is. And if his desire that all men everywhere repent. Then to say: Then it’s his desire all men would believe. or be saved, or come to a knowledge of the truth. It ought not be a stumbling block for us, it wasn’t to these men. They felt like they could take it at face value.
But here’s where Michelle, Michelle heard that, and she was half inclined to go there. And look when I mentioned this, in Houston, and when I mentioned it among the men. When I mentioned it here. I’m just saying to you all, this is worth consideration. You need to wrestle with these. I think wrestle with these verses. Wrestle with God’s willingness to save sinners. We need to wrestle the meanings on these, and there’s lots of Calvinist’s and probably borderline Hyper-Calvinist’s or full blown Hyper-Calvinist’s, That have written lots of things and commentaries and everything. You can find these verses explained away. But look, this is not a minor matter. Because what I’m driving at is this. Do you and I believe That when we’re eyeball to eyeball with a red-blooded sinner. That we really believe God desires him to be saved. That’s what it comes down to.
Because I’ll tell you this: If you’ve gotten to the place, where this brother who came up to me, and said. “I can’t even hardly offer the gospel to people anymore, because it doesn’t sound like a sincere offer.” He didn’t feel like sincere offer to him. I’ll tell you that’s big trouble. And you know what the next step is going to be? Before long, he’s not going to be out there sharing the gospel with anybody anymore. You only take the gospel to people and feel like it’s an empty offer for so long, and the next thing you know you’re not doing it. And that’s where Hyper-Calvinism leads. Cold, dead, Hyper-Calvinism. You’re not going after souls anymore. Because you so resting on the sovereignty of God, that God’s going to save His elect, and you just are convinced that you don’t have a message … …that really has any sincerity behind it. That’s why this matters. You do not want to be robbed.
Well, here’s the deal. Here’s where Michelle has the problem. This came up in our theology class. If you look at the context here in 1st Timothy chapter 2. Yes, you see all; you see all in verse 4. Who desires all people to be saved. But, the problem that people have, is verse 5. There’s One God, there’s One mediator between God and man. The man Christ Jesus. Who gave himself as a ransom for all. Which is the testimony given at the proper time. Well now, this tends to be a problem. Because people say: Well certainly the “all” in verse 4 and the “all” in verse 6 are the same “all.” and so, if He has actually ransomed the “all”; then this “all” must actually get saved. Because they’ve been ransomed. If these are people who actually get saved, then maybe the “all” back in verse 4 isn’t what Simeon and Spurgeon think. Or maybe the “all” is being used two different ways.
But let me suggest something else to you. Let me suggest that Jesus may have paid a ransom price that is so vast, that many of the problems that we feel kind of pull us in different directions, with regards to our system. It maybe helped. It may help us quite a bit. If we view the atonement a little bit different than perhaps we have, and I want to talk about this because, here’s what I’ve discovered. I think this is no little thing. I have discovered that historically this idea, of limited atonement, or may be better; particular redemption. There are particular people. The Particular Baptist of the 18th century. They got their name; over against the General Baptist, because some believed in a general atonement, some believed in a particular atonement. That’s where those names came from. But there are basically two main views. among Calvinist’s concerning the atonement. and what I have found very interesting is this. The Hyper-Calvinist. I was exposed to a lot of these Hyper-Calvinistic guys, when I was a young christian. They believe one view about the atonement. Where as the guy’s like Simeon, and Spurgeon, Fuller, Kerry, Owen. The men who I deem to be soul winners, they had a different idea about the atonement.
And so let’s bring this term up. We have discussed it quite a bit in our theology class. The idea of the “pecuniary” view of the atonement. p-e-c-u-n-i-a-r-y is just a fancy term, that means money. Got the idea of a financial transaction. As an engineer, when I first was converted, not only being somewhat systematic in my thinking and numeric in my thinking. But at the same time, as a new Christian being exposed to a lot of Hyper-Calvinism up in Michigan and the authors that I was stocking my library with. It was easy for me to buy into this pecuniary view. Let me tell you what it is. Pecuniary View says this: We quantify our sin. So let’s say this: There’s this sister has $20 worth of guilt, for her sin. I’m going to count you a relatively good person. I have $50. $20 / $50. This sister has $30, your worse than she is. So we have 20, 50, 30. That’s the measure of sin. We’re the only 3 elect in the world. And Jesus Christ comes. The pecuniary view says this: He went to the cross and paid 100 dollars. He paid for us, we’re the elect. Nothing else can be said about the atonement, there’s no value, there’s no worth for any of the rest of you.
And now guess what? Not only have we been paid for by an atonement that only has value for us, but then our Lord tells the 3 of us; To go take the gospel to you guys. So we come to you and say: “Be reconciled to God. Everything is prepared. Come to the Marriage Feast.” Can you see how very quickly you start to feel like that brother came to me after I preached that message? And he’s saying: I don’t feel like it a sincere offer. You know why? The same way, that we wouldn’t feel that way. Because we’re feeling like, there’s nothing for the un-elect. It’s not a sincere offer. God’s being insincere, or somehow this thing is just. The pecuniary view says: That if all of the sudden it was discovered I had five more dollars worth of sin. Well, Christ would have had to pay exactly that much more at the cross. Or if it was suddenly discovered And He’d already gone to the cross, and paid the hundred dollars, and all of the sudden it was discovered, that one hundred and five dollars was owed. He’d have to go to the cross again. It’s that kind of mentality, and by the way the Hyper-Calvinist have typically held that view. And you can see it. It just lends itself, to getting to a place; you don’t want to go tell anybody the gospel. The gospel is only for the elect. God only has love for the elect. There’s only sufficiency in the atonement for the elect. You certainly don’t want to offer anything to the non-elect.
So what do they do? They sit and wait for evidences that you’re elect. You start to show indications that God is at work on you. You start to feel like God is regenerating you. Well, then you have warrant. So they say. So they believe. But, I want to challenge you all. When scripture talks about a ransom, when scripture talks about the atonement. I mean I want you to think. Think about the Marriage Feast. I mean think about it. What are the people told? Do you remember we looked at it before. They said they couldn’t come, why? I have a piece of property. I have an ox. I have a wife. I can’t come! But what were the servants told to tell the people? Everything is ready. And guess what, do you remember? What is actually said in the story there? Those who were bidden to come now can’t come. Why can’t they come? Because they picked their life over Christ. They picked the ox over Christ, and now the Master of the feast is angry, and He tells the servants. Now they can’t come. The people who can’t come there are a picture of who? You better believe they are a picture of a lot of people. But who in Christ’s day, were they a glowing picture of? The Jews. Those to whom the offer was given, to the jew first. Now they can’t come.
So are they elect or not elect? When it’s all said and done. Are they elect or not elect? They’re not elect. Why? Because they’re never going to get saved, because now they’ve been invited, and now they can’t come! Because they refused to come, when the invitation came. Now they can’t come. But remember this. The invitation came to them, and what was the invitation? You can’t come because you’re not elect? The invitation was: Everything is ready. In other words, everything is in place. I want you to think with me. Our Lord Jesus Christ said to the rich young ruler, He said. If… remember he said all these things I kept from my youth up. Jesus didn’t argue with him. He said; “one thing you lack. Go and sell your riches, because he had wealth. Go and sell it, and give it to the poor.” And He said this. “You come and follow me”, and he said, “you’ll have treasure in heaven, you’ll have eternal life, and treasure in heaven.” Guess what he was promising? He was promising what His atonement purchased.
Now, was it an empty offer? Listen, you know what you never find in scripture? You never find anybody told that they can’t come because there’s not sufficiency in Christ’s atonement for them. We are told to be reconciled to God. In 2 Corinthians 5. Immediately followed by this truth. That He who knew no sin, became sin. That is the basis upon which we are told: To be reconciled to God. You tell people to be reconciled to God, who are not reconciled to God. Based on this reality. That He who knew no sin, became sin. That we might, in Him become the righteousness of God. That is the truth of scripture. The atonement is set forward that way. And think with me here, think with me. Because there’s another part of the imputation. The imputation is not just; our sin to Christ. Which so often that’s what’s viewed. You know He paid so much. But, my sin had so much debt, He paid so much.
But listen, there’s another side to this. Jesus Christ – think about His life. He came and He lived for how many years? We don’t know exactly. We surmise, 33. But it was limited right? He had a very precise life span, in which He came: The Word became flesh. God Incarnate, came under the law. and He was obedient, remember? Though He was a son. He learned obedience by the things He suffered, not that He was ever disobedient. But His obedience was tested by greater and greater suffering. Philippians 2 says: He was tested all the way to the suffering of the cross. Jesus did a precise, limited number of righteous acts. I mean right? He lived a certain length of time, in which He did a certain number of righteous deeds. Those righteous deeds are counted with infinite value, for a multitude of sinners. Here’s what I’m getting at: A limited number of righteous deeds on Christ’s part, have infinite value of righteousness for a multitude of people, and in the same way I would argue. That in a limited number of sins imputed to Christ. His atonement has an unlimited merit, and unlimited value. If you can connect. You’d think about this: A certain number of acts in Christ’s obedience literally imputed, or transferred to us. Just as a certain number of sins were transferred to Him. And the thing is; that when you take the person of Christ with all His glory, stamped with divinity. His preciousness as the God man. It makes His righteous works, makes it a ground of justification. To a multitude that nobody can number of believers. And so, you think about the sins transferred to Him. To Him, who is Himself God. We might reason that there is a sufficiency there to pardon any numbers of sinners. Let me just tell you something, when I was first saved. I bought into this pecuniary view. Dollar for dollar, payment for payment. But, I’ll tell you. I think there is something to think about. As to: Does it make the offer of the gospel invalid? Can we really say everything is ready, if everything is not ready? But, I think more in the later years. What I’ve really contemplated is this. There are certain things that are impossible with God. Like God can’t lie. Why? Because it’s contrary to His nature, and I’ve really gotten to think. It’s really like that thought there. When you take Christ, and anything He does is stamped with divinity. It’s kind of like we were talking in the theology class today, and there was a time.
When over at Charlene and Roel’s, I was riding my bike by heading over to the Grace House, and I saw that they had Jehovah’s Witnesses at their house. And so, while Roel – you know how they usually travel in pairs. They usually have one that’s the senior “JW”, and then they have the disciple. Well, the senior one usually leads the way, and she was leading so she was up on the step, right there talking to Roel at the door. Where the disciple was kind of back. Well, I came in from behind. Hence I was able to pick off the disciple, and get her away by herself. Which was really causing consternation in the main one, cause she didn’t want to lose Roel. But she saw she was losing her, and she was kind of torn. She was looking back both ways. I pulled this girl aside and I said, let me ask you something. I said. “You know if you didn’t have any sin, and it was allowed in a court. That I deserved the death penalty” I said, “You could perhaps see how a court might let you die in my place. If you had no sin.” “If you had sin of your own, it doesn’t work.” Which the “JW” will readily recognize that Christ had no sin. But I said, “How could one man, just man, have the value and the worth. To die for a multitude of sinners.” “How does he have that? One for one we might comprehend. But one for a multitude !?” “Where does he get his value? That preciousness that worth?” And you know what? She’s like “yeah, I’ve never thought of that.” And now the primary lady up there, she did not like that at all. I actually had this girl thinking.
But, I want you to think on the same basis. Think of His value. That’s what I’ve been thinking of is: Is it impossible for the God-man to actually have made this payment in a way that we could even limit its value? And I don’t think so. In fact I think that is impossible for God to have constructed an atonement where by it’s limited in value, if that atonement involved his son because by his very nature and the preciousness of his person, stamped by his divinity. It made it impossible to limit the value. Now Listen! I’m not talking universal atonement, because God designed it for a very specific purpose. To save a very specific people. But there is a value in it such that it makes the offer of it to mankind, a very valid and genuine offer.
And like I say, these two views: the pecuniary view, and the non-pecuniary view. They’ve been held by Calvinist, the Hyper-Calvinist have typically gone with the pecuniary view, at least in my study, now I don’t know history perfectly. I certainly have not studied the belief system of every single Calvinist that has ever lived. But I can tell you among those men that are well known, and among those that have written. That where you find Hyper-Calvinistic tendencies you typically, at least in my experience. Somebody out there is gonna hear this and there gonna undoubtedly prove me wrong. But there may be exceptions, but as a general rule what I have seen is that the men who broke out of Hyper-Calvinism. Fuller, Carey. They did not believe that the value of the atonement was limited. They believe that God designed it for a particular people, yes, but that the value of it was not limited.
And so when we go to a lost world, I can tell this world: Everything is ready… Everything is ready!… Come. Now just to give you an idea about history. Before I give you some glimpses at history, I would just say this. That in our theology class; the example that I used, Zeke was sitting there, and I told the guys. If I heard that Zeke had some sort of financial need and I said. “Hey zeke.. I’ll give you a $100 if you need it.” And he said, “No, that’s all right my mom told me that she was going to help.” And then theology class got over, and he went home. One of the guys stayed behind and I said. “I didn’t really have a hundred dollars in my wallet.” And this brother went down to Zeke’s house and said. “You know you probably were thinking pretty highly of Pastor Tim, when he offered you the hundred dollars,” “But you know what he told me after you left? He didn’t really have a hundred dollars in his pocket.”
I mean, you tell me. Does that speak of integrity? If God’s having us go all over the world and tell people: All things are ready; and really all things are not ready. Really everything is not in place. I mean what in the world did Christ’s words mean? He’s telling this guy, “If you will sell it all.” Isn’t that what’s said to everybody? You see, what you don’t find. You never find that the reason that people cannot come is; not everything really is ready. It’s only ready for the elect, but it’s not ready for everybody. What you find is that. What the atonement has purchased, is offered to men. Not as elect and non-elect. It’s offered to men as sinners, and if you will have it, you can have it. That’s how it’s offered in scripture. But let me just give you an idea about history. You know typically when we talk about Calvinism we are referring to the Synod of Dort. When we talk about Calvinism, Calvinism goes back to that; the followers of Calvin. They came head to head with the followers of Arminius, back in the early 1600’s.
Let me just tell you. In the Synod of Dort, we get the acronym Tulip from this. When the Synod of Dort was all done, they wrote what are called the Canons of Dort. Let me just tell you, this is what they believed. The second head of doctrine: The Death of Christ and the redemption of men thereby. Listen to what they say. Second Head article three: The death of the Son of God is the only, and most perfect sacrifice, and satisfaction for sin. And is of infinite worth and value. Abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world. If you got the prototype Calvinist’s; wouldn’t you say the Synod of Dort produced them? Listen to the Second Head article Four: “This death is of such infinite value and dignity.” “Because the person who submitted to it, was not only really man and perfectly Holy.” “But also the only begotten Son of God, of the same eternal and infinite essence with the Father and the Holy Spirit.” “Which qualifications were necessary to constitute Him a Savior for us, and moreover, because” ” it was attended with a sense of the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin.”
Don’t you see what they’re saying? They’re saying that because He was the Son of God. There was a value and dignity because of the person who submitted to this. … I didn’t know that’s what these guys had said. I’ve been mulling this over in my own mind. And then when I start looking into all this. It wasn’t really till I got looking at Hyper-Calvinism, that I even realized these guys held to this view. And they’re not the only ones. Let me tell you about what John Owen says: “The dignity, worth or infinite value of the death of Christ.” This you can find in his Death of Death, which is Book four, Volume four in His set; Chapter One. The Death of Death, and the Death of Christ. He says that the distinction between what the atonement of Christ isn’t itself sufficient for, and what it is; as applied under the sovereign will of God. Is made by Doctor Owen, as well as many others. This isn’t exactly quoting him.
But here it does. Speaking of the dignity, worth, or infinite value of the death of Christ. Owen ascribes it: “Partly to the dignity of his person, and partly to the greatness of his sufferings.” You see what he’s saying? Because of who He was, and what He suffered. What did He suffer? The infinite wrath of God. Because of His infinite value as a person, and the infinite wrath of God. Owen believes that there is No Limit. There’s infinite value here. Spurgeon said. “I always feel very fidgety, when theologians begin making calculations about the Lord Jesus.” In other words, doing what I did here. 20, 50, 30. He says, he gets fidgety when people talk. Anytime people start talking the pecuniary view, he says he gets fidgety. “There used to be a very strong contention about particular redemption, and general redemption.” “And though I confess myself to be, to the very backbone a believer in Calvinistic doctrine,” “I never felt at home in such discussions.” In other words. He’s saying. Hey, I believe in particular redemption to the hilt. But this pecuniary view. He says; I don’t go there. “I never felt at home in such discussions. It’s one thing to believe in the doctrines of grace but quite another thing to accept all the encrustations which have formed upon those doctrines, and also a very different matter to agree with The Spirit which is apparent in some, who profess to propagate the pure truth. I can have nothing to do with calculating the value of the atonement of Christ. I see clearly the specialty of the purpose, and intent of Christ.”
See, they all admit that. You have to. To hold the Calvinistic view of the atonement. We recognize that there is a specific purpose, for which Christ died. God has an end in view. There is a remnant He plans to save. That’s not in dispute here. But, what’s being called into question is: Is there not a value in what Christ did, so that there is sufficiency of ransom price. There’s a sufficiency of value, where by: We may bid all men to be reconciled to God. Based on the fact that He who knew no sin, became sin. Based on the fact that all things are ready. Based on the fact that men, who preached the word in the early church. They could freely offer this gospel, without feeling like this brother who came and said it feels to me like a hollow offer. Jesus Christ himself did not indicate that there was any hollowness in that offer. He was absolutely legitimate, sincere, affectionate, to that rich young ruler. If you will do that. You will everything that I’m going to lay down my life, to buy. Everything! You’ll have it. He wasn’t lying to him. You going to call Christ a liar? You see, he was dealing with him not as an elect, or not elect. He was dealing with him as a sinner. Who if he will flee to Christ would have everything the atonement offers. Spurgeon says: “I see clearly the specialty, or the speciality of the purpose and intent of Christ.” “In presenting His expiatory sacrifice, but I cannot see a limit to it’s preciousness.” See what he’s saying? There’s no limit to the value of it. “I dare not enter into computations; as to its value, or possible efficacy.” “Appraisers and valuers, are out of place here. “Sirs, I would like to see you with slates and pencils. Calculating the cubicle contents of the Amazon.” “I would be pleased to see you sitting down and estimating the quantity of fluid in the Gangues, the Indus,” “and the Orinoco, but when you have done so, and summed all the rivers of this earth.” “I will tell you that your task was only fit for school boys,” “and that you’re not at the beginning of the arithmetic which can sum up the fullness of Christ.” “In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. His merit, His power, His love, His grace, surpass all knowledge.” “And consequently all estimate. Limits are not to be found, neither shore nor bottom are discoverable.” “All idea of stint, or insufficiency is out of place in reference to the Lord Jesus.” “When any man inquires: Is there enough merit in the Savior’s death to make atonement for my sin?” “The answer is: The blood of Jesus Christ His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.”
You know what? Fuller, Andrew Fuller in the 1700’s. He came to recognize these same things. He came to lead the theological contentions against the Hyper-Calvinism of his day, and he believed that there was such sufficiency in this atonement. As to warrant that all men should come, and that there is no insufficiency. He believed that, he argued that. That it was those truths that just laid hold of William Carey and burned in his heart. So that when he went off to India, he didn’t think it was empty to go offer the gospel to hoards of lost Hindu’s in India. This is critical, why?
Look, I’m just asking you all to consider these things. Consider these realities. If you come to a conclusion that telling folks the gospel is an empty offer. You come to a conclusion that Jesus Christ never came to, Paul never came to. None of the followers of Christ ever came to. And the reason that men and women come to those conclusions based on the sovereignty of God. Is because they come with their own carnal conclusions about what the sovereignty of God means. Look. If you’re NOT keeping your nose in the scripture all the time, and feeling the balance of scripture. Checking your own conclusions by scripture, all the time. You will land in error. You will either say. It’s a valid offer, therefore God is not sovereign. Or you’ll say God is sovereign, and therefore it’s not a valid offer. And neither are proper conclusions.
The proper conclusion is this: Are men depraved? Through and through? Naturally?——Yes ! Is God sovereign? Yes!… Is salvation of the Lord? Yes! Is it impossible to men to come unless the Father draws him? Yes! Are men bidden to come? Yes! If they come will they be saved? Yes! …Are they responsible to come and be saved? Absolutely, they are! Does scripture speak as though there is sufficiency in the atonement. That if they come they will find it sufficient. To save them, and wash them of all their sin?… Absolutely ! If men don’t come is it seen to be criminal? …Yes! If they don’t come, their inability is they love their idols more. There’s only one thing that keeps men from coming to Christ. It’s because they are wickedly married to their sins. That is what scripture says, and they are so guilty, God is going to throw them into Hell, and punish them for their rebellion, and their crimes against Him, and their refusal to come. If men will believe, then the condemnation of God will not hang over their head, and they will most certainly be saved. And if they will not believe, it’s because they will not believe, and Jesus said you will not come unto me, that you might have life, and because they won’t come, they will perish in their sin, and they will be held responsible. And that is what scripture says, and we are to take the gospel forth, and tell men. To be reconciled to God. Based on the sufficiency of the atonement, and all things are ready. If they don’t come, the master of the house is going to have every reason to be angry. and His anger will burn on them right to the pit of hell. And that’s what scripture teaches.
And in the end is there an elect people of God? You better believe there is! But nobody is ever excused because they’re not elect. Sinners are addressed in scripture as sinners! Who is they will lay down their weapons of their rebellion, and they will surrender into those merciful arms of Christ. They will find salvation. Many do hear, and they repent and they believe, and they are saved. And if they don’t hear, scripture says it’s because they won’t hear, they won’t come, they won’t believe. Because they love the praise of men, and they love the field, and they love the ox, and they love the wife. Therefore they are unable to come, and it condemns men for not coming, and it puts the finger right on the fact that it is their wickedness that they are personally responsible for. Men are criminal, because they will not come. Their hearts are adverse to God. They Hate God. That’s why they do not come. That is not an excuse. That is valid before God. That is a crime that will be punished with the severest; every bit according to justice. But it is severe justice, because it is such criminal activity, that you know not the depths of, to sin against God. Their heinous crimes, and that is how scripture deals with it. And the fault is laid in the lap of men who refuse to come.
We can be grateful to God, that He overcomes the hardness of our heart, and He softens it, and He gives us ears to hear. We can thank God, that He doesn’t leave us all just to love our sin, and go to hell. And the thing is everybody that does go to hell. They got what they wanted. They loved their sin, and all God did was leave them to have what they love, and nobody is going to fault God, in the end. That God left them to have what they wanted. They wanted their sin, and God let them have it. We need to balance out the sovereignty of God, and the responsibility of man. In the end how you make it perfectly fit, Scripture doesn’t try and where Scripture is silent.
You know what? They’re a lot of people who just think they have to give it an answer. But the thing is there are certain things scripture does not answer for us. Where it doesn’t answer, we don’t need to feel compelled to have to answer. But we can see both sides of this reality. And I guarantee you, there is not emptiness. Look! Jesus Christ wept for sinners. Jesus Christ said; “I say these things that you might me saved.” The Father is seen as extending His hand to a contrary people all day long. Bidden to come. Come unto Me. The invitations are many, there’re multitude in scripture. I mean, nobody is going to go to hell, for a lack of the most affectionate pleas. You remember it when I dealt with this. I mean how is God portrayed? As the prodigal is coming within sight of his home. The father is portrayed as one who RUNS to receive the sinner. That’s not a contrivance of my imagination, or Charles Spurgeons. That is how God reveals himself.
So, I’m not going to guarantee you can fit everything together. But I do want you to start. If you have not in the past, thought about an atonement of Christ. When I was over in Houston: What I was going to say. If you have not yet thought about an atonement that has infinite value. I really want you to start wrestling with that. Somebody asked the question in the “Q & A” time over there: “So what did Christ actually purchase for the non-elect?” But what my response was: “That is asking a question, that isn’t really asked in scripture.” I mean that’s viewing it from the pecuniary mind set. When the truth is, scripture doesn’t talk that way. Scripture doesn’t talk about the atonement specifically. As the gospel invitations are given forth, it’s not to the elect or non-elect. The benefits of the atonement are offered in the gospel as a message to sinners. Not to elect or non-elect. But to sinners in their sin, who if they will come and surrender. Will find that the benefits are there.
Now look, I’m not going to say that you can’t go into Scripture and find out that God’s effectual purpose behind an infinite precious atonement is not found. It is. He lays down His life for His sheep. He gave Himself for His Bride, for the Church. We see that in scripture. Ultimately the end, after it’s all worked out. We will see that a limited number were actually saved. Jesus said: “Few that be that find it.” And they, and they alone, will be partakers of the value of the atonement. But there’s no lack of value. That this offer can be offered to ten million worlds, and there’s sufficiency there. There is a vastness of sufficiency. We don’t want to be discouraged. We don’t want to have the gospel wrested from our hands, to where we feel like. Uhh, this is not a legitimate offer. If you ever feel that way, just see Jesus. It’s said there in Mark’s gospel. To the rich young ruler, and since He loved him. He’s inviting him. He’s setting this offer before him. You can be as sincere to the sinner, as Jesus was to that man. Through and through sincerity. And when he rejected, Christ loved him. You can show that love, and you can show that sincerity. And it’s real, you say: I can’t make it fit with so and so. That’s okay. We don’t always have to make everything fit.
Anyway, Michelle asked the question, and I would just ah. I throw these things out for consideration. Think about these things. I know that there are going to be people who may see this. They’re so sold on the pecuniary view.â¨ I want to challenge people just to think about this. Because if indeed, if my observations hold any weight. Basically what I’ve seen. The Evangelical Calvinist, like Charles Simeon. I’m assuming William Carey, because he was so much a product of the conclusions that Fuller came to. But Andrew Fuller, Charles Spurgeon, we see it from Owen, we see it from the Synod of Dort divines. If you’ll let me use that word. We see that historically, such a view was held among those who had a burden for souls. Whereas those who have fallen into the Hyper-Calvinism. They’ve tended to really limit the value. To truly limit the value of the atonement. Think on these things. Wrestle with these things. Go to scripture. See if these things are so.
Father, I pray that you would lead us into all truth. For Christ sake, for His glory, for the sake of the gospel. We pray that it would be so. Amen