The Daily Encounter
“Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God”
You did not choose me, but I chose you...
John 15:16 (ESV)
As we wrestle with the concepts of election and predestination, one of the greatest challenges we face is reconciling God’s sovereign choice and our personal calling to share the Gospel with passion and faithfulness. I mean, if God has already chosen those who will be His children, then why do we have to do anything?
One of the wisest and most effective voices for us to learn from in this conversation is Professor J.I. Packer. His book Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God is one of the great treasures of the faith that can shed light on this incredible topic.
Two words of encouragement:
“In the Bible, divine sovereignty and human responsibility are not enemies. They are not uneasy neighbors; they are not in an endless state of cold war with each other. They are friends, and they work together.”
“What Is the Motive for Evangelizing? There are, in fact, two motives that should spur us constantly to evangelize. The first is love of God and concern for his glory; the second is love of man and concern for his welfare.”
“The preacher should work to convert his congregation; the wife should work to save her unbelieving husband. Christians are sent to convert, and they should not allow themselves, as Christ's representatives in the world, to aim at anything less. Evangelizing, therefore, is not simply a matter of teaching, and instructing, and imparting information to the mind. There is more to it than that. Evangelizing includes the endeavor to elicit a response to the truth taught.”
“We should not be held back by the thought that if they are not elect, they will not believe us and our efforts to convert them will fail. That is true; but it is none of our business and should make no difference to our action. In the first place, it is always wrong to abstain from doing good for fear that it might not be appreciated. In the second place, the non-elect in this world are faceless men as far as we are concerned. We know that they exist, but we do not and cannot know who they are, and it is as futile as it is impious for us to try and guess. The identity of the reprobate is one of God's 'secret things' into which his people may not pry. In the third place, our calling as Christians is not to love God's elect, and them only, but to love our neighbor, irrespective of whether he is elect or not.”
For His Name's Sake,