Preaching the Gospel to Franklin Graham
The salvation of God is a gift of God’s grace to unjust men, dead in their trespasses and sins (Rom 3:24; Eph 2:1, 8–9). Dead men do not make choices, nor do they make decisions to save themselves. Of course, we speak of spiritual matters, which the natural man does not and cannot accept (1 Cor 2:14).
The free gift of God, which is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23), is irrevocable because God and His eternal decree are immutable (Rom 11:29; Heb 6:17). For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son that He might be the first-born among many brethren and whom He predestined those He also called, and whom He called, these He also justified, and whom He justified, these He also glorified (Rom 8:29–30).
Sinners need to be justified in order to avoid the just judgment and wrath of God for eternity (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:11, 14–15). The elect are called, and they follow the voice of their Good Shepherd for one reason: the gift of the Holy Spirit given to them.
Having been baptized by the Spirit of Christ (Mt 3:11), the chosen people of God have the merits of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection apportioned to their account, by His grace. This occurs while they remain spiritually dead to God. The regeneration of the Spirit makes elect sinners alive in Christ (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13). Their citizenship is transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13). These called out ones now claim heavenly Zion as their home, with Yahweh as their Father (Rom 8:15).
Chosen, unjust, sinners have received God’s grace unto adoption as sons. Having received His Spirit proves they have also received His declaration of “not guilty” because of the justifying blood from the death of their substitute sacrifice…the Lord Jesus Christ. Adopted children do not choose their parents, and neither does the adopted child of God choose God to be his or her Father (1 Jn 3:1).
Grace is an exclusive work of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God’s chosen people are saved from the just judgment and wrath of God…by God. He has mercy upon them because Christ’s sacrifice was perfect payment for their debt of sin. Debt-free, the child of God is no longer a slave to sin and Satan (Rom 6:6; Eph 6:6).
The power of God has accomplished all things for good, for believers (Rom 8:28), given new life by grace alone (Eph 2:8–9). The witness of the Spirit-filled Christian is simply, “I was deaf to God’s voice, but now I hear Him; I was blind to God’s Gospel, but now I see Him.” The wisdom of God has brought salvation in a way that guarantees all glory to our Trinitarian God, and no glory for man.
Saved sinners are the product of God at work, accomplishing the whole of salvation for their benefit. Even when a believer bears witness of this salvation of God, it is God’s Spirit who is proclaiming Christ to both elect and reprobate souls. It is the Holy Spirit, who empowers the Gospel proclamation for the glory of God. It is not I who preaches, but it is Christ living in me, whose Word brings faith and life to those He foreordained to eternal life (Acts 13:48).
Christian, it is imperative for you to preach Christ in a manner that assures all people that salvation belongs to God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1), meaning it is His will and His work, alone. Those who preach another Jesus, other than this One, are to be reproved, if not rebuked, for preaching that each man decides for himself if Jesus is Savior or not. The Bible confirms that Jesus Christ alone is the Savior of sinners.
If any one comes to your city preaching the false gospel of easy believism, of free will decisionalism, then let him be anathema. God’s predetermined plan is according to God’s eternal will, which declares God’s free and sovereign grace, as the sole wisdom and power to save elect sinners, redeemed by Christ, and made alive by His Spirit, alone.
Spokane Valley, Washington
October 24, 2021