By John G. Reisinger
John Reisinger's Web Page 'Sound
TRUTH No. 1
God, in eternity, sovereignly chose "some"
sinners to salvation, and this choice was not based on anything
foreseen in man.
" . . . GOD hath from the beginning chosen you
to salvation . . ." II Thes. 2:13.
" . . . the children being not yet born, neither
having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to
election might stand..." Rom. 9:11.
TRUTH No. 2
God, in time, sent His Son, the Lord Jesus
Christ, into the world to make certain the salvation of the same "some"
sinners who had been sovereignly chosen. Christ came as the Shepherd of
the sheep (not sheep and goats). He actually secured, through His
righteous life and obedient death, the complete and certain redemption
of every one of the same "some" sinners given to Him by the Father.
Christ lived and died for "all those given Him," and all of those for
whom He died will be, yea they must be, saved.
"I am the Good Shepherd: the good shepherd
giveth his life for the sheep." John 10:11.
" . . . I lay down my life for the sheep." John
" . . . other sheep I have . . . them also I
must bring, and they shall hear my voice . . ." John 10:16.
". . . the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth
his own sheep by name . . ." John 10:3.
"As thou hast given him power over ALL flesh,
that he should give eternal life to as MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM. . .
I pray for THEM: I pray NOT FOR THE WORLD, but for them which THOU HAST
GIVEN ME; for they are thine." John 17:2,9.
TRUTH No. 3
The Holy Spirit of God, through the preaching of
the gospel, regenerates every one of the same "some" sinners whom the
Father chose and for whom Christ died. Dead sinners are made alive and
enabled to repent and believe the gospel and thus be saved entirely "by
grace through faith."
"And you hath he quickened, who were dead . . ."
Eph. 2:1. "Not by works of righteousness . . .
but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration,
and renewing of the Holy Ghost . . ." Titus 3:5
TRUTH No. 4
Nothing in time or eternity, no power in heaven
or earth, no person (including the devil) or "anything" (including the
will of man), can or will frustrate the plan of God's salvation for His
elect people as outlined above. The work of the triune God will be
accomplished. The Holy Spirit will apply the salvation purchased by the
Son to all whom the Father elected to salvation.
"He is of one mind (purpose), and who can turn
him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth." Job 23:13.
" . . . I blessed the most High, and I praised
and honoured him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting
dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the
inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according
to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the
earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?"
"Therefore hath he mercy on whom He will, and
whom He will hardeneth." Rom. 9:18.
"And this is the will of him who sent me, that I
shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the
last day. John 6:39
TRUTH No. 5
The Bible commands us to preach the gospel of
our Lord Jesus Christ to every person, or all men without either
distinction or exception.
" . . . Go ye into all the world, and preach the
gospel to every creature." Matt. 16:15
TRUTH No. 6
The gospel message that is to be declared to all
men is to include the duty, necessity, and responsibility of all men to
repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"And he said . . . that repentance . . . should
be preached in his name among all nations . . ." Luke 24:46,47.
". . . GOD . . . now commandeth all men
everywhere to repent . . ." Act 17:30,31.
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let
him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And
whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Rev 22:17
TRUTH No. 7
The gospel message, in addition to repentance
and faith, must also include the promise of complete forgiveness of
sins and total acceptance with God to every person who truly repents
and believes the gospel.
". . . preach the gospel
to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16: 15,16.
". . . repentance and
remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. . .
" Luke 24:46,47.
"Be it known unto you
therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you
the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified . .
." Acts 13: 38,39.
"All that the Father
giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise
cast out. John 6:37
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto
thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a
hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!" Mt 23:37
SOME CONCLUSION TO THESE BIBLICAL TRUTHS
Although I cannot say "God loves all men the same"
because I know the Bible clearly teaches that He loves only His elect
in the way of redemption, yet I dare not fail to say that God, in His
word, pleads with all men to repent and believe the gospel. God treats
all men as rational, responsible creatures that He Himself has created.
He emphatically, sincerely, continually and earnestly warns them of
their plight and entreats them to turn to Him and live.
"Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I
have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn
from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why
will ye die, O house of Israel?" Ezek 33:11
"I have spread out my hands all the day unto a
rebellious people, . . . which walketh in a way that was not good,
after their own thoughts . . ." Isa 65:2
Although I cannot say "Christ died and paid for
all men's sins" because God's Word emphatically teaches the truth of
Particular Redemption, yet I must hold up Christ before every sinner
and assure him that everything he, or any other sinner, needs is to be
found in Christ the Lord. I can, and must, tell every sinner the
promise free and complete in the gospel to all who receive Christ as
their Lord and Saviour.
I cannot tell lost men that they "can" (have the
power or ability to) repent and believe because the Scriptures clearly
state that man is totally unable to either repent or believe before he
is regenerated by the Holy Spirit. However, I must obey my Master and
tell dead sinners that they must repent and believe or else they will
be justly condemned to hell for their unbelief. I must go further and
tell them that the whole blame for both their need of forgiveness and
their unwillingness and inability to desire it is all their own fault
and God can in no way be blamed for either their sin or their
I cannot tell men that "God has done all He can
possibly do and it is now entirely up to the sinner" because the Bible
clearly teaches that God can, and does, open the heart of any person
whom He chooses and enables them to trust Christ. Likewise, I cannot
say "God sincerely hopes that all men will somehow `give Him a chance'
to save them," or that He has done all He can do to make it possible.
The Bible clearly shows that God does for His elect alone what He
neither purposes nor performs for the non-elect, yet I must still tell
all men that God's message to them, which I am responsible to preach
and they are responsible to believe, is that He sincerely promises
forgiveness to every sinner who truly desires it. I must go further and
declare that it is God's revealed will that He has "no pleasure" (Ezek
33:11) in the death of the wicked but contrary-wise He does have
pleasure in forgiving them when they turn to Him in faith.
Although I cannot understand how the absolute
unchangeable decrees of God (which cannot in any way be frustrated by
anyone) and the message of God through the law and the gospel (which at
times appear, because of our finiteness, to be frustrated by men) are
to be reconciled when they seem to contradict each other, yet I must
not deny either truth or fail to declare them both with equal force and
This short article has dealt with a subject that
has caused problems to many people. It has split Calvinistic
denominations and has caused some men who loved the Doctrines of Grace
to be called Arminians and other men to be called hyper-Calvinists. The
real question concerns the preaching and application of the gospel to
lost sinners. More specifically, it concerns the right interpretation
and proclamation of such texts of Scripture as Ezekiel 33:11. We have
neither the ability nor the desire to straighten out "hypers" of any
kind. However, we do want to try and be helpful to God's people. It is
for this reason that we print such articles that give a balance to
truth. We want to try to keep people from becoming lop sided. Now, as I
said, I am not trying to `straighten out' anyone. In a later issue of
Sound of Grace, we hope to show that both the Arminian objection to
Particular Redemption, and the hyper-Calvinistic objection to Universal
Proclamation are groundless. Our primary intention here is to show how
clearly the Bible sets forth both sides of truth. God used the
following text in my life in the area under discussion as well as in
"The secret things belong unto the LORD our GOD:
but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children
for ever, that we may do all the words of this law." Deut 29:29
God's decrees, or secret purposes, are sure and
final, but, as the text says, they belong to God alone. The secret
things are not revealed to us and therefore can give us no direction in
what to do or not to do. You and I, and all men, are responsible to the
things that are revealed, namely, the law and the gospel. And lastly,
God has revealed enough that we, and all men, are left without excuse
for any failure to believe, obey, and proclaim His whole Word of Truth.