Exclusive and Inclusive

Greg Elmquist



The gospel of God's grace in Christ Jesus is both exclusive and inclusive. It is a double-edged sword. It cuts people out and it cuts people in. The exclusivity of God's gospel will not allow a person to be saved while believing another gospel. One's complete hope and trust must be in THE Christ revealed according to the Scriptures. He is The Way and He Is God's Way. To deny Him is to be excluded by the sword of the gospel. Just as the door of your home is used to keep out unwelcome guest, so Christ stands at the entrance of the sheepfold to keep out those that would rob Him of His glory.

But, never let us forget that God's gospel is also inclusive. Put the positive side of two magnets together and they will repel one another with an irreconcilable force. When we come to the positive righteousness of Christ with any amount of our own righteousness we are repelled. But, turn the negative side of that magnet to the positive side of the other and they will be attracted with a force irresistible. So it is with Christ. The only condition for salvation is to repent of your righteousness (which is altogether filthy rags) and trust in the Christ of true righteousness as your only Lord and Savior. It matters not who you are or what you have done. 'Whosoever will' may come. If we are kept out it is because we refuse to come on God's terms. Jesus said, 'you are not willing to come to me'. Again He said, 'Light has come into the world but men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil'. The gospel includes everyone who is willing. No man can say, "I was willing to come but He was unwilling to save me". Unregenerate men are by nature unwilling. You can not be more willing to be saved than God is to save you. "Thy people will be made willing in the day of Thy power" (Psalm 110:3). "Oh Lord, make us willing." Can you say with the hymn writer, 'He included me?'


Greg Elmquist is pastor of
Grace Gospel Church
Orlando, FL