Jesus the Evangelist

8 Jan

I’m often asked why Calvinists need to be enthusiastic about evangelism if God is sovereign and the elect will be saved anyway. Mark Driscoll posted this week on evangelism and reformed theology, reminding us to look at Romans 9-11; in the middle of Paul’s treatment of God’s sovereignty in salvation, he tells us that people need to tell others the gospel for them to be saved:

God is fully sovereign. In regards to evangelism, God’s sovereignty includes selecting when and where we would live, who would we meet, and granting us the opportunity to do evangelism so that the elect will be saved. This is because God is sovereign over both the means and ends of evangelism. God has not only determined who will be saved, but has also determined how He will save them—and this often includes using our evangelistic efforts, though God can also save people apart from us as He chooses. God often chooses to allow us to be involved in the process so that we might share in the joy of seeing people’s earthly and eternal lives forever transformed through Jesus.

 Driscoll continues with Jesus’ role in evangelism: 

Practically, this means that by understanding that God is already at work on the elect, we are able up to do evangelism with the greatest amount of freedom and joy. We can share the gospel of Jesus in full confidence that God will use it to save some people because they are elect. On the other hand, if some people should not respond to the gospel in faith, we should not take that personally but rather pray that God would open their blind eyes to see His love and also humbly trust God’s will and timing in all things.

Lastly, the fact that Jesus remains to this day an active evangelist is of great encouragement to me personally. It means that children who are aborted in the womb, those mentally incapable of understanding the gospel, and those people who have lived in times and places that missionaries did not visit are not necessarily beyond the hope of salvation. Indeed, Jesus could visit and save anyone anywhere because He remains The Evangelist.

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