Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Evangelism and the Evangelist’s Cry

What is astounding to me is to listen to various evangelistic preachers on the Internet.  You can listen to an Arminian, Calvinist, or even a Pelagian evangelist and they will all sound the same.  All three will cry out, “Repent of your sins.  Turn to God through faith and repentance in Christ Jesus.  Trust Him alone to be saved.”  All three will use these words when preaching to the lost.  All three groups agree that Jesus alone saves and that He is the only way to be saved (John 14:6).  All three agree that faith and repentance are necessary for eternal life.  All three agree that the Spirit of God must work on the sinner to draw them to salvation.

No doubt there is much difference between the three especially between the Calvinist and the Pelagian.  The Pelagian would agree with the Arminian that humans have free will though Arminians differ in that we teach that while the will is free, it is free to sin.  To come to faith in Christ, the Spirit of God must woo the sinner and draw the sinner (John 6:44; Acts 16:14-15).  Arminians, such as myself, deny that we can just come to Christ in our own free will powers.  The Spirit of God must be at work and He works through the gospel to draw sinners to salvation (Mark 16:15-16; Romans 10:14-17; 1 Corinthians 1:21.

The Calvinist evangelist, while crying out for the lost to repent, likewise agrees with the Arminian that the lost can only come as the Spirit of God works.  Both the Arminian and the Calvinist believe that salvation is accomplished by the grace of God who draws the sinner to Himself by the gospel.  Both affirm that faith and repentance will come forth by grace.  The key difference would be whether this salvation is conditional or unconditional.  The Calvinist evangelist will tell the lost to repent but he knows that the lost will not repent unless they are elect.  The Arminian would preach justification by faith alone and would call the sinner to repent.  This repentance would come forth by the sinner’s will that is freed to either believe or reject the gospel.  God does not force the sinner to repent but He allows the sinner to repent out of his will that has been freed to hear the gospel and be saved.  Even the Calvinist evangelist would acknowledge that people who believe the gospel do so on their own free will.  The Calvinist would say the sinner was “made willing” through the special inward call that goes out to the elect.  The Arminian would say that the Spirit of God opens the eyes of the sinner and allows them to repent and place their saving faith in Christ and thus becomes the elect of God although God foreknow (1 Peter 1:2).

My point all here is not to ramble.  I simply wanted to point out that the gospel message of these three will often sound the same.  Repent.  Faith.  Trust in Christ alone.  Turn from your wickedness.  All these three groups would preach this.  The difference would be the results.  If a sinner repents, the Calvinist evangelist would say that this was the sovereign work of grace.  The Arminian would agree but note that the sinner did believe and was saved.  The Pelagian would say that through the exercise of the will, the sinner was saved by grace through faith.

Interesting.  We are different but oddly sound the same.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

04/23/2013 at 10:07 AM

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