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Page 132


Can God use His general revelation of creation, providence, and the voice of conscience in converting sinners? When this happens, does God work through His Word or does He use general revelation to lead sinners to His Word? Explain.

 

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who bath believed our report?

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

- Romans 10:14-17

And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

- Mark 16:15

And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

- Luke 24:47

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.

- Revelation 14:6

 

  • Indiscriminately - Without distinction or favoritism
  • While God calls sinners to the knowledge of His existence through creation, providence, and man's conscience, these do not proclaim the way of salvation in Jesus Christ - the gospel.

    The word "gospel" means "good news" or "glad tidings." The gospel declares the way in which God can manifest His love to sinners and in which sinners can be restored into communion with God. It testifies of Jesus Christ and His substitutionary and mediatorial work. Through Jesus Christ a way is opened for sinful people to again approach, and be received in favor by, a holy God; a God who opened a way where fallen man could not. This is "good news" for sinners - this is the gospel message.

    The calling work of the Holy Spirit, God's external and internal calls, refers to the call of the gospel - God's calling of sinners to salvation in Jesus Christ. Therefore, God's external and internal calls do not come to every person. God's external call is heard by those who are brought in contact with His Word - the gospel. God's internal call is the application of the gospel message to the hearts of all His elect - all those who are and will be saved. While God's law is necessary to work conviction of a person's sin and lost condition, it is the gospel which proclaims and offers God's plan of redemption in Jesus Christ. God's call to salvation is the gospel call.


    GOD'S EXTERNAL CALL

    God's external call is His declaration of the gospel to all people wherever His Word is brought. It includes the following three elements:

    1. A declaration of the plan of salvation - the content of the gospel

    2. A sincere, well-meant declaration of the offer of salvation - the invitation of the gospel

    3. A declaration of the promise that all who repent and believe will be saved - the promise of the gospel

    The content of the gospel refers to the presentation of God's plan of salvation in Jesus Christ and His redemptive work. The gospel is to be indiscriminately proclaimed to all. It is to be preached to all ages, ranks, nationalities, and classes of people; to both the just and the wicked.


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