Should we mention the doctrine of election to the unbeliever?

Greg Elmquist



Some have told us that this great Biblical truth is an "in-house debate" and should not be brought up to the unbeliever. We should meet them at the place of their responsibility and never mention their inability, we are told.

First, let me say with no uncertainty, the doctrine of election is not a "debate". It is a biblical truth that is uncatagorically essential to the marvelous gospel of God's free and sovereign grace. To deny election is to dethrone God. The gospel of "man's free will" is another gospel. Read Galations 1:6-10 to see what God says about that. The doctrine of election is not a "deep truth" that requires the exercised intellect of a trained theologian to comprehend. It is a simple truth that all of God's children rejoice to believe.

Second, the scriptures give plenty of examples of this great truth not being "in-house". Let me briefly mention just two. The first is none less than our Lord's own evangelistic ministry. In Matthew 15, and Luke 7, we have recorded Jesus encounter with the Syrophenician woman. After pleading with the Lord for mercy on her demon possessed daughter, Jesus told her that He came for the lost sheep of Israel (the elect), and that He could not take the bread from the children and give it to the "dogs". The Bible says, "she worshipped Him". The Lord declared the doctrine of God's sovereign election to bring this woman to understand her only hope was to bow in humble submission to the One who alone could save her. The second example is the conversion of the apostle Paul in Acts 9. God sends a disciple by the name of Ananias to confirm the gospel to this last and greatest (or least as he saw it ) apostle with the message of election; "he is a chosen vessel of mine" v.15.

The modem evangelistic appeal, devoid of God's sovereign election, in essence, invites the unbeliever to "make a decision" without confronting them with the Sovereignty of God. It presents them with an "invitation", an r.s.v.p... let them decide if and when they are ready. It feeds the pride of man. The true gospel message is one of sovereign grace that humbles the sinner to beg for a crumb of bread from the Master's table. God gives grace to the humble. .'.He resists the proud.


GREG ELMQUIST IS PASTOR OF
Grace Gospel Church
LONGWOOD, FL