"Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it." (Acts 28:28)
What is sent? salvation or the message? When Paul says "they will hear it," what is the antecedent of the pronoun it? If it is "salvation," how can one hear it? If what is heard is the message of salvation, then does the apostle not equate the singular term "salvation" with what is heard, or with the gospel message?
Obviously when Paul speaks of "salvation" he equates the term with the gospel message itself. He uses the word "sent" and then uses the word "hear," but you would think that he would have rather used the word "receive" rather than "hear." Thus, we would read the verse as saying in English - "this salvation is sent to the Gentiles and they will receive it."
Thus, one of two things are obvious. First, Paul equates the Gospel being "sent" to the Gentiles with "salvation" being "sent" to them. Second, Paul's idea of hearing the Gospel is all the same as receiving. And, is it not true in both cases? That in sending the Gospel to the Gentiles God was sending salvation (a fact denied by the Hardshells)? And, second, that to hear is the same as to receive? (And this latter fact also denied by today's Hardshells)
So, what can the Hardshell do with this text? Seeing he refuses to acknowledge that "the salvation of God" is sent via the Gospel, what then will he do? What kind of twisted interpretation can he offer to the verse to make it compatible with hardshellism? I dare say that most of them will opt for the "time salvation" defense, affirming that it is a mere temporal salvation that is sent and received. But, does this solve the difficulty for them? Or (as I will show in the next posting), does it not rather create innumerable problems for them?
From Dr. Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
"Be it known therefore unto you,.... Unbelievers and despisers, take this along with you at parting, and do not say you were never acquainted with it:
that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles; meaning the Gospel, which is a publication and declaration of that salvation, which God contrived from all eternity..."