Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Evangelism and Predestination

Last Sunday I preached at The King's Church Mid-Sussex on the subject of "The Mystery of Predestination".  As the great Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones said “Here we are face to face with a great and profoundly mysterious subject”.

One of the questions that often gets raised when it comes to predestination is this: "If God has already chosen those who will be saved, what is the point of evangelism?" It is an understandable question. 

Though this is in no way a comprehensive response, here are a few pointers for us to consider.

1. We are on mission and do evangelism out of obedience to Christ. The Bible is clear that we are to go and make disciples (Matthew 28 v 19), that we are to be Christ's ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5 v 20) and that we should not be ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1 v 16).  Though we may not fully understand how sovereign grace and human responsibility work together, the Bible is clear, that Christians should live out and declare the gospel of Jesus Christ. So firstly, in obedience to Jesus, we should give ourselves to evangelism.

2. God is the Alpha and the Omega - the beginning and the end.  He has a plan for salvation and he also has a way to carry out this plan. The Bible is clear that his plan is that his wisdom be made known through the church (Ephesians 3 v 10) and that he wants to make his appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5 v 20).  Somehow, we get caught up into God's eternal salvation plans - he chooses us to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to people.

3. Knowing God has chosen people for salvation should increase our zeal and passion for evangelism.  The Apostle Paul believed in the doctrine of predestination but was also a fierce evangelist, church planter and missionary. This was because he believed that there would always be some fruit because of God's eternal plans, as Wayne Grudem says "It is as if someone invited Paul to come fishing and said 'I guarantee that you will catch some fish today - they are hungry and waiting'".

4. Being on mission connects us with the heart of God and therefore is vital for our own sanctification. God's heart is that none should perish (2 Peter 3 v 9) and he is a God of perfect love. If we back off from declaring and demonstrating the gospel, we disconnect ourselves from the very people whom God longs for. As we get involved in evangelism and mission, we stay connected with God's heart for people and in doing so, we become a bit more like Jesus.

If you want to dive deeper into this subject then let me recommend to you "Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God" by J I Packer.

If you would like to listen to the message "God chose us...the mytsery of predestination" than go to

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jim Partridge,

    I've just found your blog and notice your emphasis on evangelism. I wonder if you have seen my friend's page and resources about online evangelism, at