20 February, 2017

Chapter 4


In conclusion, may I begin by quoting Dr. John Gerstner again, who wrote that the well-meant offer of salvation, as supported and promoted by Murray and Stonehouse and the churches they represent, “does incalculable damage to the cause of Jesus Christ and the proclamation of His gospel.”

So what can we do now?

A. Preach the Gospel Zealously and Issue the Serious Call Faithfully

The darkness of the false gospel is best dispelled by the light of the true. Churches must be well versed in the doctrines of grace and be unashamed to promote them by all means, especially in the preaching at worship services. Believers should stop worrying about offending people when they are exalting their God in what they testify.

Preaching must always come with the call to repentance 0f sins and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. It does not matter whether the hearers are within or outside of the covenant. This call is natural and universal. In this way, as Christ is also pointed out, there is proclaimed the particular promise of God of His grace towards those who believe.

As the way of the cross is not without trials and temptation, we must guard against discouragement and unfaithfulness in the course of our labor. We must also learn how to encourage one another in the cause of Christ.

B. Expose the Evil Tendency of the Well-Meant Offer

The well-meant offer is man-centered in approach, in that it seeks to get man to make a decision—to accept the offer. As such there is a tendency to water down the content of the gospel or to sweeten it and make it more acceptable to the hearers. It is God’s truth that saves. It kills and makes alive. The truth about man must be told. The truth about the end of the world and the coming of Christ in judgment must be proclaimed courageously.

God’s people must be warned against the serious error of maintaining that God has two irreconcilable, conflicting wills. The advocates of the well-meant offer rush in where even the Arminians fear to tread. The Arminians were at pain to point in one of their Opinions that “... we do not here, as some say, acknowledge in God a holy simulation, or a double person.”1 Today the supporters of the well-meant offer, with false piety and humility, claim that their minds are too puny to understand the conflicting mind of God, thus in effect making God “a double person.” Suggesting two conflicting wills in God would ultimately rob God’s people of their assurance of salvation.

Finally, about their belief in antinomy and its result in the careless handling of God’s Word, we should listen to Robert Reymond:

... the proffered definition of “paradox” (or antinomy) as two truths which are both unmistakably taught in the Word of God but which also cannot possibly be reconciled before the bar of human reason is itself inherently problematical, for the one who so defines the term is suggesting by implication that either he knows by means of an omniscience that is not normally in human possession that no one is capable of reconciling the truths in question or he has somehow universally polled everyone who has ever lived, is living now, and will live in the future and has discovered that not one has been able, is able, or will be able to reconcile the truths. But it goes without saying that neither of these conditions is or can be true. Therefore, the very assertion that there are paradoxes, so defined, in Scripture is seriously flawed by the terms of the definition itself. There is no way to know if such a phenomenon is present in Scripture. Merely because any number of scholars have failed to reconcile to their satisfaction two given truths of Scripture is no proof that the truths cannot be harmonized. And if just one scholar claims to have reconciled the truths to his or her own satisfaction, this ipso facto renders the definition both gratuitous and suspect.2

C. Point Out the Good Effect of the Serious Gospel Call upon Christian Life and Worship

The serious gospel call addresses the conscience of fallen man, which is how the Law brings one to Christ. When our Lord was on earth He spoke as one with authority, unlike the Pharisees and Scribes. Today in that pervasive well-meant offer the preaching is robbed of its essential authority. God’s people need to be assured by the commands of God, not an offer.

When our salvation is fully in the hands of God, would we not be humble before Him and find our complete trust and reliance upon Him? To whom shall we go? He has the words of life. The serious call of the gospel promotes the healthy sense of complete and utter reliance upon God alone for salvation.

Knowing that the immutable God saves in the way of our repentance of sins and faith in His Son. Jesus Christ, helps us to be more focused in our lives. We must deal with sins in our lives. And dealing with sins we must come humbly to the cross. Knowing our infinite debt we seek to live our thankful life.

Having a constant sense of God’s greatness and of our total dependence upon Him sets for us the proper atmosphere for true worship. The proper serious gospel call calls us to the true and joyful worship of the God of our salvation. Amen.


1. Peter Y. De Jong, Crisis in the Reformed Churches, p. 227.

2. Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers), p. 105.

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