Perhaps you have heard of those preachers who boast themselves to be Arminian in the pulpit and Calvinist on their knees. They make an attribute out of their ambiguous theology. Yet we fear that many who profess themselves to be free-offer Calvinists play precisely the same role as these double minded misfits without being quite so blunt.
Our free-offer brethren employ all the language of free-will teachers. They build their pulpits on reformed confessions but employ them to preach sermons that are indistinguishable from those heard in most Arminian churches any day of the week. The beauty of the distinctive, free-grace message is marred by lobbying for responses. In their eager pursuit of additions to the church they blur the distinction between a Holy Spirit conversion and a man-made decision.
The Lord was not so minded. He knew that many who professed Him as their teacher were none of His. In John 6:53, He spoke of His flesh that must be eaten and His blood that must be drunk in order to have eternal life. Many of His disciples were offended. They had come by way of the flesh, their own wills, their own efforts and knew nothing of the quickening, life giving Spirit.
Our Lord Jesus stated clearly ‘that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father’, John 6:65. Now are we to tone this ‘offensive’ language down because the natural man cannot receive such teaching? Are we instead to massage the arrogance of the sinner by assuring him that God loves him and wants to save him if he will only believe!
Free grace preachers preach Jesus Christ as the sole facilitator of salvation for His chosen people. Within the eternal Godhead our Saviour always was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world. He planned His people’s redemption. In time He came and bought it, securing it with His own blood and bestowing it through the life giving power of the Holy Ghost.
In the experience of the elect He brings salvation to fruition, ushering His people, with sovereign power, from darkness to light and from death to life. He humbles our natural pride and breaks our rebellious spirit. He brings us down to raise us up anew. Christ does this. God is at work here! For except it is given by the Father none can come to Christ, and He is the only Saviour of His people.
We challenge our free-offer brethren to be free-grace men in the pulpit and free-grace men on their knees. Perhaps then they will see more of the fulness of Christ and be satisfied to wait upon Him adding to the church such as should be saved.
Peter Meney is the Pastor of New Focus Church Online and the Editor of "New Focus Magazine" and publisher of sovereign grace material under the Go Publications imprint. The purpose and aim of the magazine and books is to spread as widely as possible the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of free, sovereign grace found in the Holy Bible, the Word of God.