"HOPE YOU DON'T SLIP UP AND
OF THE NONELECT SAVED!" [04/19/04]
Recently, a Primitive Baptist
(Hardshell) Baptist preacher sent me an email, informing me that he was going to
make a trip overseas. "Now, I am preparing for my sixth preaching trip to
India," he wrote to say.
I think this preacher is in fellowship with the
Hardshell Baptist element which has in recent years taken more interest in doing
something on the order of missionary work. I know there has been some heated
controversy and division which has developed among them over this matter, and
the tag "Liberal Movement" is being used of those who are engaged in any
missionary work. Some information about this rift among the Hardshells may be
read at one of their website:
have known of this particular Hardshell preacher who wrote to me for quite
sometime, and is one of those who left his former association with missionary
Baptists to join the Hardshells. He said in a recent email "I did at one time"
believe as we do concerning the place of the Gospel in salvation, but now he
believes as the Hardshells -- "pre-faith regeneration" -- and pastors a
Primitive Baptist Church in Mississippi.
When he wrote and said he was
going to India, I wrote him back a brief line, saying,
"Have a nice trip.
Hope you don't slip up and get any of the nonelect saved! "
reason, the Hardshells, hypers, hybrids, and supra Calvinists frequently display
an inordinate fear of encouraging a lost person to believe or make a "confession
of faith" in Christ. It makes me wonder, "Are they afraid they might get one
of the nonelect saved?" Since they say that no one is going to believe but
the elect, one wonders, "Then why worry about the matter? Must we erect a fence
to keep out the nonelect?"
There are some that are opposed to public
invitations, or similar efforts which encourage people to publicly confess
Christ in church serices. Some do not believe in private, personal
witnessing efforts, urging a lost person to believe in Christ for
salvation. Some oppose child evangelism, apparently thinking that a very
young person is not ready for salvation. Some don't seem to like any type of
effort which calls for an immediate response to the Gospel.
remember years ago, we published a little monthly evangelistic paper called
"Salvation," which was exclusively designed for unsaved readers. I was passing
out sample copies after the services at a church where I had gone to hear a
guest preacher, and one of the members refused to take one. When I asked him why
he refused it, he said that at that church they didn't believe in such
literature, designed to encourage lost people to believe in Christ. He then
began to repeat the Hardshell doctrine that men are regenerated without the use
of means. They did not even have a Sunday School for children.
don't understand it: are they afraid they might get one of the nonelect to
believe and confess Christ? What are they afraid of? Even if they got a
profession of faith from one of the nonelect, what harm would it do that person?
Will they become "more" nonelect than they already are?
Spurgeon said he
expected conversions. He had confidence in the power of the Gospel,
blessed by the Holy Spirit. When he closed his sermons, he pressed upon his
hearers the truth of the Gospel, urging them to respond in faith.
says, "I have preached this gospel for many years, and I do not think I ever
finished a sermon except in one way -- by trying to explain what is meant by
this trust in the Lord Jesus Christ " (MTP, Volume 51, page 105).
his magazine, The Sword and the Trowel, year 1865, page 128, we find the
following about an invitation to the unsaved following an address by
"Now came the direct reference to the
"This was introduced by a most earnest and awakening
address by Mr. Spurgeon, and was responded to in prayer by Mr. Stott and Mr.
Varley. A hymn followed, commencing thus, 'Once a sinner near despair.'
Mr. Teal and Mr. Burton then prayed, and Mr. Spurgeon closed with
prayer. Inquirers were then encouraged to retire to the lecture Hall, where
ministers and elders would be glad to converse with them; and many responded
to the invitation."
I don't recall the reference right now, but I do
remember Mr. Spurgeon referring to one of his members who was a "bird dog,"
watching for any concerned souls in the audience, and when he spotted them, he
would go to them afterwards and try to win them to faith in Christ.
reference to the methods of his close friend, Evangelist D. L. Moody, who
preached in Spurgeon's Tabernacle, Spurgeon said--
>>Tell it out
then, tell it out, you who have been lately converted, do not hide your light
under a bushel. Imitate Brother Gwillim over yonder, and others in this
place who are always glad to have a word with the anxious, after the service is
over; speak up for your Lord whenever you have the opportunity. I believe that
it is a great help in bringing people to decision when Mr. Moody asks
those to stand up who wish to be prayed for. Anything that tends to
separate you from the ungodly around you, is good for you. Now, if
you have given yourselves to Christ, tell it out; for, after that, you cannot go
back to the world, you will feel that the vows of the Lord are upon you.
When Caesar landed on a certain shore, he burned the boats behind him, so that
his men might know that they must conquer or perish. I advise you to do
likewise; burn your boats by a clear and explicit declaration, “The Lord hath
wrought this great change in me by his grace, and I am his servant henceforth,
and for ever.”>> (MTP, 1897, page 516).
If Divine Providence
has worked in such a way to bring a lost soul under the sound of the Gospel, may
we not presume that such a one is likely to be convicted by the Word preached,
and should be urged to openly trust Christ as his Savior? -- Bob L. Ross
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