Is The Gospel Offer to the Reprobate A "Sincere" Invitation?

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Puritan Board Junior
I think the question is confusing. "Sincere" seems to imply free will of some form. The offer is certainly free - that is, there is nothing we offer in exchange for the promise of the Gospel. But we can not believe the Gospel unless we are called, given the faith to believe the Gospel.

If the "reprobate" are the un-elect, and "sincere" means "free to accept or reject"; then no, there is no sincere offer of the Gospel to the reprobate. If "sincere offer of the Gospel" means "everlasting life is offered freely to those who are given faith to believe", then yes, the offer is sincere.

But to even ask the question, is God is sincere, seems to question God's motives, or to imply man has free will. We are in no place to question God's motives, and human free will undercuts God's sovereignty.


Puritan Board Sophomore
R. Scott Clark writes:

Each of these passages has to be read carefully and in context. We know God hates sin and sinners, and will punish those who are impenitent and unbelieving in time and eternity.

We also know, however, that God loves sinners. Consider e.g., "Esau have I hated..." This refers to God's decree of reprobation about which we know only because it was revealed specially in the canon. Otherwise we would not know.
Great point and for my belated :2cents: this is all I´ve ever heard anyone who denies the so-called "œWell Meant Offer" assert. If it´s agreed that God hates sin and sinners and hated Esau in accordance with His decree of reprobation, then it would follow that God does not love all sinners since we do know of at least one that He does not so love. I would say God loves sinners because of Christ and the specific class of sinners that He loves are the ones for whom Christ died. Not one drop of Jesus´ blood fails to secure the salvation of each and every one for whom it was shed. 1 John 3:16a; We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us . . . ." Now, clearly the "œus" John has in mind isn´t everyone head for head or it would follow that Jesus Christ laid down His life for those 1) God hates in accordance to His decree of reprobation which puts into question Christ´s deity, or, 2) the love of Christ as evidenced by His shed blood is ineffectual in accomplishing its intended purpose in at least some.

There is no question whether God hated Esau from eternity, the question is what should be our stance toward the Esau's of the world today?

How do we know one is an Esau? We can't know! The canon is closed. No one knew Esau was reprobate in his life. We know now, because we're given a narrator's pov. Those in the history of redemption didn't have that pov. We don't know the decree.
Now this I don´t understand. So what if we don´t know the Esaus of the world today? How would that impact the message that is to be preached in accordance with the Scriptures and the promiscuity of its proclamation? The point is we know Esau and therefore to infer God´s universal love for all men through the preaching of the gospel is to paint a caricature of the God of Scripture and is to misrepresent God´s plan of salvation. Jesus Christ came to die to save a particular people for Himself; i.e., all those whom the Father gave Him from the foundation of the world and not one will be lost.

So, what is our stance toward all who make no credible profession? Do we play, "Guess the Reprobate?" or do we preach the law and offer Christ "indiscriminately" and "seriously" and "freely" to all?
My point exactly. But, I think we should be clear, those who advocate the universal love of God which extends to all men even through the preaching of the Gospel want to add some very definite elements to the preaching which, per the above, do not comport with the teaching of Scripture. For what it's worth I can think of no example in Scripture where we see the Gospel being framed in terms of "œGod loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life . . . ." That´s not the Gospel nor can such a universally distributive proposition be validly inferred from Scripture. It may be true some cases, but then it may not be in others. As Dr. Clark correctly infers, we just don´t know.

I apologize if I´m digging up old remarks, but I´m just making my way around these boards and starting with familiar territory. Some really excellent discussions and insights. Makes me want to get my feet wet in areas where I am considerably less familiar.

I think I can really benefit from the participants here. :detective:

[Edited on 1-31-2006 by Magma2]
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