The glad tidings of great joy are for all men to hear. The Gospel of God is publicly proclaimed as news to be heralded (Mt 24:14; Mk 16:15). God promised something, and then God fulfilled His promise…end of story. Have you not heard? Is it not written?
The promise was announced in Genesis 3:15, following Adam’s fall into sin. With Paradise lost, some placed their hope in the Word of promise, while others despised the Word. The cosmic battle, a rebellion by fallen angels, would produce great strife between the offspring receiving the promise and those for whom the promise was never made. Thus, the distinction between the children of God and the children of the devil (1 Jn 3:10) was made known from the beginning. History has proved God’s Word to be true.
The promise, which is the heart of the news from God, was evident in Noah’s ark and rainbow (Gen 6–9). It was sealed with an oath and covenant to Abraham. This man, God revealed, was carrying the seed (singular), who would bless the nations (Gen 12:1–3). The promise was realized in the advent of Jesus Christ. This is why the Gospel is also called, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ.” He is the promise of God, incarnate (Jn 1:14).
When God promised to send the seed of the woman, the seed of Abraham, the seed of King David, He was not offering man the opportunity to help Him in His eternal plan of salvation. God was telling His people throughout the Old Testament what He was doing. His promise was the Gospel of their salvation.
God never asked His people to believe His Word of promise, as a condition to be saved. God gave faith to Abraham, and Abraham’s faith increased, as he learned how faithful God was…to be with him, to be for him, and to bless him. God’s faithfulness in Abraham’s daily walk stirred within the believer, a trust in God’s promise, for his becoming the father of many nations.
Abraham’s faith was amazing grace in action, considering the obstacles he faced. This was true for Abraham’s progeny, those in whom God renewed His unconditional covenant of grace, always replete with His Word of promise.
A promise, where God says, “I am going to save My chosen people and give them My kingdom, as heirs of promise,” could never be a conditional offer for all men everywhere to decide whether or not they were heirs. Heirs do not decide they are heirs. They are revealed as heirs in the will of the testator. The Word of God, the Bible, is the will and testament of God. He has promised His children that He is giving them His kingdom. This is why it is called, “The Gospel of the Kingdom.”
When Jesus Christ appeared as the realized seed of promise, the incarnate Word of promise, He preached, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In other words, the fulfillment of the promise was present. God’s people must turn from unbelief, regarding God’s faithfulness to keep His promise to them. He was keeping His promise, and He came in the flesh to remind them…and then show them!
Jesus Christ, being the Mediator between God and man, shed His blood on the Cross. His blood of the unconditional covenant of grace was not an offer for men to help Him make atonement for their sins. Simply put, the Son fulfilled the promise of the Father.
The covenant promise was that God would be God for His covenant people, and they would delight in Him being their God (Gen 17:7). The promise, to Abraham and His believing offspring, is for “you and your household.” For men to take this Gospel of peace between God and His elect people and offer it as a cheap consumer product, to make someone’s life better, is blasphemy. The tragic deception of victims of evangelical gimmickry, through fabricated revivals, decision tours, etc. is an inspired work of the devil, to blind these people from seeing the Gospel of grace. The Gospel is offered to no one for their decision unless it is a false gospel.
God promised to save His chosen people. He gave faith to His chosen people throughout the ages. God, then, fulfilled His covenant promise in Christ’s life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, enthronement, and sovereign rule over all. The Gospel of grace He proclaims, today, is one declaring the finished work of the seed of Abraham, promised to be a blessing to every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 5:9).
God offers this heralded news to no one because it is simply news of His promise fulfilled. It is heard and believed by the heirs of promise, who were elect from before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4–5). The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19), and He comes to them in the Spirit (Mt 3:11; Jn 14:26; 15:26; Acts 2:38; 10:47). The Spirit preaches God’s Word, giving elect heirs faith to believe the promise, and they are manifest as the children of promise. Thus, we see there is absolutely no offer of the Gospel, but only a glorious promise of God the Father, fulfilled by God the Son, and heralded by God the Spirit, who causes God’s people to be born again of God (1 Pet 1:3), as heirs of the promise of salvation.
Spokane Valley, Washington
September 4, 2021