Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The role of the sinner is to freely accept the universal gift of salvation and confess Jesus as Lord. God has given all men the right to freely choose to accept or reject Him (Joshua 24:15). And even though God desires all mankind to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) sinners are commanded to, “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). God has made His choice to make humanity savable; now people must individually choose to be saved (Acts 2:40).
When sinners hear the gospel preached they have a free choice to either come to God and be saved or remain in rebellion and condemnation.
Some theologians have falsely claimed that the sinner has no real role in their salvation because whomever God wants to save, He will save by irresistibly drawing him to salvation. They deny that man has a genuine free will or a real choice in the matter- they teach that the choice of salvation is solely dependent on God. According to them God chooses to lovingly save some and willingly damn others by overlooking them and leaving them in condemnation.
This kind of “fatalistic” thinking makes the gospel a charade because they claim that the sinner is so dead in their sins that they can’t even choose to have faith to believe in Christ, thus, they have to be “dragged” by the Spirit into believing in Jesus. However, this is the exact opposite of the clear and plain teachings of the Bible. Not to mention that this horrible belief system also states that Jesus didn’t die for the sins of the whole world, but only limited His atoning sacrifice for the “elect” and “chosen.” God have mercy!
John Wesley said in regards to this kind of misunderstanding of biblical passages, “Whatever that Scripture proves, it never proved this; whatever its true meaning be… this I know, better it were to say it had no sense, than to say it had such a sense as this. It cannot mean, whatever it mean besides, that the God of truth is a liar. Let it mean what it will, [but] it cannot mean that the Judge of all the world is unjust. No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works.”
Sadly, this kind of man centered philosophical thinking can easily impugn the character of God from being a loving and merciful Creator to being a merciless dictator who joyfully dams His own creation simply because it pleases His sovereign will. In contrast, Jesus clearly taught that God loved the whole world (John 3:16) and wants all nations to be His disciples (Matthew 28:19). Also, John wrote that Jesus is, “The atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). Therefore, I praise God for Jesus’ great universal love and sacrificial atonement!
As a result, when the message of God’s grace and salvation is preached to the sinner all they have to do is willingly choose to obey Jesus and declare Him the Lord of their lives. This simple act of obedience brings them from death unto life, from lost to found and from a child of wrath to a born again child of God! This is not because of anything they have done, but because of what Jesus did on the cross on their behalf (Ephesians 2:8-10).
In light of God’s great love, let us preach the glorious truth of the gospel to sinners having full assurance that Jesus loves the whole world and desires everyone to be saved!
Do you believe God loves the whole world and desires everyone that hears the gospel to be saved?
- Repent if you have ever believed in the false teachings of Christian fatalism (“Calvinism”). Rather consider Arminianism and Molinism.
- Preach the gospel to all people believing that God desires to save everyone.
- Teach the lost to freely put their faith in Jesus and confess Him as the Lord of their lives.