Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Is Salvation Offered To All in the Gospel?

Hyper Calvinists deny that salvation is offered to all in the Gospel.  They think that the fact that God only desires the salvation of the elect precludes any such offer.  I want to say a few things about this.

Fuss over the word "offer"

Hyper Calvinists make much of the fact that the KJV English Bible never uses the word "offer" or "invitation," using such a fact to deny that there are any offers of God to men made in the word of God or that he ever invites men. While this is true, it is not to be inferred from this that there are no offers and invitations in the preaching of the Gospel. One word generally used in Scripture to denote an invitation is the word "called." Of course, depending upon the nature of the call, it can either be refused or heeded.


To be "called" may mean, as all know, "invited" as well as "summoned." It also of course may mean "named" as in "he shall be called Immanuel." In the New Testament the word "called" (or its forms, such as call, calling) is not uniformly translated from the same Greek word. Thus, each instance of the English word should be checked in the light of its particular Greek word. To assume, as do the deniers of offers and invitations in the Gospel (for salvation), that the word "call" never means invite is an error.

Another word generally used in Scripture to denote an invitation is the word "come."


Though this is given in the imperative mood in Scripture, denoting what is demanded or commanded, it nevertheless does not take away from its also being given as an invitation.

"Whosoever will, let him come" (Rev. 22: 17)

Who can deny that these are words of invitation? If I say to a crowd "whoever wants to eat, come and dine," is that not an invitation?

For the word "offer" we can substitute "make available," or "present," or even the word "give," which is often used in Scripture.


Who can deny that the word "give" (in the new testament is translated from several different Greek words) may be such a gift that can be either accepted (received) or rejected, and if so, then to give means to present for acceptance or rejection, and this is the nature of an "offer."

Another word that is essentially involved in this debate is the word "receive," again which in the Greek comes from one of several distinct words.


May mean to "take," which of course implies taking what is offered or presented.

It may also simply mean to obtain. Most of the time this word is given in the imperative mood and takes the form of a command. It is also most often in the active voice, and so means to welcome or to willingly take.

"And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." (Heb. 9: 15)

"Called" here is from the Greek word "kaleo" and means, according to Strong, A. to call aloud, utter in a loud voice, and B. to invite.

"Might receive" is from the Greek word "lambano" and means to "take" or to "receive what is offered."

"Bid" (bidding, bidden)

"antikaleō" - "to invite in turn"

Luke 14: 12 "bidden to the wedding"

Since the word "bid," like the other words mentioned, may mean "to invite," then how can the Hardshells and Hyper Calvinists deny that all are invited by the Gospel?

Christ "Proffered"

If one reads the old writings of the Puritans and Particular Baptists of the 17th century, he will see how they often spoke of Christ and salvation being "proffered" to men in the preaching of the Gospel. What does "proffer" mean? Webster says the word denotes "to offer or give (something) to someone." Synonyms: extend, give, offer, tender, trot out.

No comments: