Arminianism is pollution to Evangelicalism. It is the main reason Evangelicalism is in disarray, today. Man-centered thinking permeates theology like a poison in the body. It has no good effect.
Ignorance of this intrusion, within the successors of Puritan Protestantism, renders Evangelicals inept. It positions them as purveyors of a false gospel, and it drives many back to Roman Catholicism and Greek Orthodoxy.
Ask your average Evangelical what faith is, and you will get this, “Faith is a decision of the will, by which a person is saved.” The decision is based on an offer, which is pitched by a Christian preacher. Sales people offer products and services, which consumers decide to buy or not to buy. This is precisely what Arminianism does with salvation, only in this case, it is a free give away.
Creating a felt need is the precursory work of the Arminian preacher. He will create a sense of dissatisfaction. The promise of one’s best life now is the offer to rectify one’s dissatisfaction.
This is the basis of Christian counseling, too. Instead of focusing on who God is, the counselor employs the techniques of secular psychology, with a Bible verse or two to make it Christian. The focus of therapy is the person and their self-improvement. This, too, is man-centered.
Why do these gospel-pitch men try to “offer” what God has already given? It is because they do not understand salvation. If they did, they would not be offering it in the hope that somebody, anybody, or everybody would take it.
Salvation is a gift of God. It is the gift of Himself, imputed to sinners, by His grace (Eph 2:8–9). It is pre-planned by God (Acts 2:23; Eph 1:4–5). It is made a reality, by Christ’s death on the cross for His people (1 Cor 15:3), to save them from their sins (Mt 1:21). He died for us (1 Thess 5:10), His church, whom He loves (Eph 5:25).
The gift of salvation is only given to an elect, redeemed remnant of humanity, both Jews and Gentles (Gal 3:28). The actual giving of the gift is the Father and the Son sending the Holy Spirit, to an elect soul, at God’s appointed time (Jn 14:26; 15:26).
God is not offering anything to anybody, when He sends a Spirit-filled preacher to proclaim Christ and Him crucified (Rom 10:15; 1 Cor 2:2). The preacher is a herald of news, which God says is, “Good News (Gospel).” It certainly is good news, for those who believe the preacher’s report. Why do some believe and others do not?
Faith apprehends the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even as the heart receives the Spirit of Christ (Rom 5:5). The baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, in God’s elect, causes them to be born again of God (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). These people are made alive in Christ, by the Spirit giving them the life of God (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13).
Jesus alone gives life, and He does this by the life-giving Spirit (Jn 6:63). It is the Spirit who brings enlightenment to the Word of life, which causes the chosen soul to hear the voice of Christ, who gives the ears to hear, and who gives faith to believe, as a gift (Rom12:3; Phil 1:29; 2 Pet 1:1).
In the old sense of the word, “offer,” we have the idea of “presentation.” The word, “offer,” today, means, “to pitch,” or “to sell,” which is exactly what the Arminian is saying. The salesman expects acceptance or rejection, and so does the Arminian preacher, who offers life for free, upon the condition of self-generated faith.
Christians must forsake the term “offer” for this very reason. It either adds confusion to the announcement from heaven, or it is a deliberate deception to accumulate conversion numbers, by soft selling salvation, to both elect and reprobate souls. It falsely gives the sense that anyone and everyone could possibly be saved. It also positions spiritually dead sinners, as self-saviors, by the mere work of choosing Christ, through a mythical, autonomous free will.
Brethren, some must repent in this matter. We must require that preachers stop selling Jesus, as an agreeable product or service, to help out with one’s quest for a better life. We must re-learn the Gospel of sovereign grace that proclaims God, as the only Savior of sinners, with no cooperation nor compliance required of men, dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1).
Salvation is by God, from God, through God, bringing His holy ones to Himself (Rom 11:36). In this, God alone is glorified for accomplishing what totally depraved sinners never could do themselves. God saved us (Titus 3:5). We did not save ourselves (Jn 1:12–13).
Finally, God does not offer life to anyone. He Himself is life (Jn 14:6), and He gives His life to the ones, He sets His love upon (Dt 7:7), by His gracious choice and free will (Rom 11:5). Give thanks to God that He raised your dead soul to life, and subsequently announced what He has done for you. This is grace proclaimed…not a sales pitch.
July 30, 2022