Recently a third party known to all involved wrote to our mutual friend what we find below. How would you respond?
The well meant or free offer of the Gospel has long been a debated point among Reformed Churches and to date those who champion the “free offer of the Gospel” have, for the most part, won out in the contemporary Reformed Church. The well meant or free offer of the Gospel teaches that God offers the Gospel to be accepted by those He has ordained, from eternity past, to be passed by in terms of salvation. Those Reformed who have opposed the well meant or free offer of the Gospel have done so on the basis of its contradictory nature. They have noted the inconsistency in saying that God offers the reprobate to saved all the while having determined that they are vessels created for wrath.
The opposition to the well meant or free offer of the Gospel is not the same as opposition to the General call that finds all men everywhere being commanded to repent. One can deny the well meant offer of the Gospel and still be a passionate evangelist.
The dangers of the well meant offer of the Gospel is not only found in its contradictory nature but also in what it potentially works on those who hold to it. Those who hold to the well meant (free) offer of the Gospel run the danger of being so earnest about seeing souls saved that they will define down law so impoverishing gospel in order to make it easier for people to enter into the Kingdom. If God really intends for those He has determined to pass by to have a bonafide opportunity to accept the Gospel, so the reasoning goes, then we must do everything in our power to remove every obstacle. What eventually begins to happen is that the obstacles of the legitimate demands of the Law are removed so that people can more easily accept the offer of what is now a non Gospel, “Gospel.” God has a well meant offer of the Gospel for everyone, elect and reprobate alike, therefore we must make sure that nothing gets in the way of that well meant offer — even the truth.
Next, we must think through the implications of the Free offer of the Gospel. If we posit that there is, on God’s part a universal desire to save all in some sense based upon an intrinsic reluctance in God to bring wrath to bear on humans, then that same reluctance exists to have brought the wrath to bear on Christ the human. This would give us then a universal reluctance, on the Father’s part to save any. If the free offer of the gospel is predicated on this universal reluctance to punish then we likewise must posit a universal retraction of the gospel.
Dr. Landon Jackson