Beloved, God gives gifts. Let us pray that, in his rich grace, he would visit the congregations of the Bible Presbyterian Church. May our God bolster and shape our weekly worship. May he give us strong and loving families built upon faithful marriages. Specifically, let us pray that our God would also give to us a deep, driving desire to make Jesus known to unbelievers. May he encourage our evangelism.

In our day, Reformed Christianity does not enjoy a reputation for being evangelistic movers and shakers. “The Reformed,” so the unfair caricatures of us goes, “are simply not interested in evangelism. See, they think that God will save only the elect! What’s more, they think that God is ‘completely sovereign’ in saving them, so Calvinists don’t need to worry about evangelism. God will do it.” And so it goes. I have never met this “Calvinist,” but he sure has talked to a lot of Arminians.

I think that Christians of all stripes struggle with evangelism. There is nothing within Calvinism that would inhibit evangelism or even tend toward inhibition. The Reformed really do believe that God is 100% sovereign over the salvation of sinners. We also believe that only the elect will be saved. (That, by the way, is not at all distinctly Reformed.) We believe that God will certainly save every elect person, and we believe that he accomplishes that through ordinary means. The ordinary means of saving a sinner is through the church’s proclamation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ has commissioned his church to proclaim that gospel and to teach obedience to all nations (Matt 28). In short, God has organized it in such a way that he uses us to save other sinners. God has chosen to use his people to save the world, and he won’t do it without us. By his design, we are part of the process. Don’t forget: God is sovereign over the means just as he is over the end. He will certainly redeem his elect, and he will just as certainly use his church to accomplish that end.

The Reformed are interested in evangelism because  we want to be obedient to our King. Our King calls his church to bear faithful witness to the world, and so that it our purpose. Further, we want to see the whole world flood into the Kingdom. We long to see his churches full, to see the nations stream into Israel with their increase. Finally,  we know that (generally speaking) none of this will happen except by God’s grace though our actions. Don’t get me wrong, God can (and will) do whatever he wants to do: “Our God is in heaven, and he does all that he pleases” (Ps. 115:3). He can speak through an ass if he wants (methinks I’ve heard a couple Arminian preachers that qualified…)[1], but preaching asses are quite extraordinary; they are not his stated, ordinary means. We are that means.

The sovereign God uses us to save sinners. Got that? So, let’s get busy! On an individual level, let’s be ready in season and out of season. Look for opportunities to be charitable and kind. Pray for eyes to see the spiritual needs of the people around you. Wake up knowing that you are on mission.  Be God’s man / woman / boy / girl in the moment and at the place God has you today. Have the Word of Life in your heart and on your lips. Walk in the Spirit. Let’s not let up until all is leavened.

[1] Just kidding!! Settle down.

Tim Prussic

Aside from his dashing good looks, consistent fresh breath, and rapier wit, Tim's a normal, likeble guy... and a good spellr.

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