Are Some Christians Not “Gospel Wakeful”?
July 17, 2012, 4:05 pm
Filed under: Gospel, Tolerant Calvinism

by Mark Mcculley

I Corinthians 5:20—“we implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

As ambassadors FOR Christ, we command all who hear, “’be ye reconciled”.  Even though II Cor 5 is addressed to Christians only, the message taken by Christians to the lost is not for the elect only.  The “be ye reconciled” is for those who have not yet been already justified.

Some “high Calvinists” don’t have a category for lost elect people.   They would tell you that you were never lost, but that you only didn’t know you were already saved.

Many pastors (who are not Calvinists at all) like to say to people who are still legalists: some of you didn’t know the motives and how reconciliation worked, but you were already reconciled.

The elect have already been judged at the cross; everybody else will be judged, since all will be judged.  But not all who were judged at the cross have been “baptized into that death” yet by God’s legal imputation. Since this is so, we should NOT talk to people assuming that they are Christians even though they don’t know the gospel yet.

To those who are still ignorant of the gospel, we don’t talk only about gratitude and freedom. Yes, we tell them that those for whom Christ died are thankful and free and pleasing to God. But we also tell them: if you don’t know the gospel and believe it yet, then you should be shut up to nothing but legal fear.

If Christ did not die for you, you should be afraid. Being afraid won’t save you. But legal fear is the reasonable response to not knowing the gospel. Because not knowing the gospel means knowing that you are not yet justified.

I do not want to preach terror to Christians. But we must not assume that people are Christians.

Do we address the people in church as if we are all elect, who have been believing some form of the gospel all along? “Close as in horseshoes”? Or do we say: some or all of you may need to be reconciled. Nobody is born reconciled. Let’s not presume. Let’s not beg the question.

Jerry Bridges, p34, Transforming Grace—“if you are trusting TO ANY DEGREE in your own morality, or if you believe that God will somehow recognize any of your good works as a reason for your salvation, you need to seriously consider if you are truly a Christian.”


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Ortlund writes:”The pharisees went to temple, the place of substitutionary sacrifice, and they believed in with their head but not in their head.” Ortlund seems not to know what the Bible says about the “heart”. But he is still ready to judge others for judging.

Does he need to find other people who are judging so that he can judge them for judging? A guy who writes: “we need somebody to scapegoat” does not think of himself as part the we: he is ready to scapegoat those who scapegoat .
He is ready to exclude those who exclude. He needs those who need somebody to be wrong to be wrong. Their thoughts are not bold and independent and noble like his thoughts about them.

But some of us do not fear the party which fights against the five points against Arminianism. Even when they judge us in the name of love and tolerance and the broad coalition.

Comment by markmcculley

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