Our Only Hope of Success in Evangelism

June 6th, 2008 | 3 Comments | Evangelism, Sovereignty Our Only Hope of Success in Evangelism |  Facebook

J.I. Packer, in his excellent treatise Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, states:

“The sovereignty of God in grace gives us our only hope of success in evangelism.”

Packer explains (emphasis mine):

“Some fear that belief in the sovereign grace of God leads to the conclusion that evangelism is pointless, since God will save His elect anyway, whether they hear the gospel or not. This . . . is a false conclusion based on a false assumption. . . . So far from making evangelism pointless, the sovereignty of God in grace is the one thing that prevents evangelism from being pointless. For it creates the possibility–indeed, the certainty–that evangelism will be fruitful. Apart from it, there is not even a possibility of evangelism being fruitful. Were it not for the sovereign grace of God, evangelism would be the most futile and useless enterprise that the world has ever seen, and there would be no more complete waste of time under the sun than to preach the Christian gospel.”

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3 Responses to “Our Only Hope of Success in Evangelism”

  1. Chris says:

    This may actually give me the boldness to start witnessing more. Thanks Ben.

  2. Loretta says:

    I used to think that we were responsible for leading people to “make a decision to accept Christ”. Now I believe and understand that God alone saves people by His grace, through His Word, through reading or hearing the Gospel and it is all Him, and we are ambassadors of His Gospel.

    I don’t think I would be able to spend a lifetime witnessing, if I did not believe this. I would not have the hope or confidence, or joy.

  3. Ben Davis says:

    That’s right, and in the end a lot of people would be in Hell because YOU didn’t make the most convincing arguments. It’s ridiculous to think that salvation depends on us intellectually persuading someone to be a Christian. What a hopeless gospel…

    “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

    But, people who reject the sovereignty of God in salvation often do so because they think it is “unfair” (Rom. 9:14, 19). But if their idea of salvation is correct, how do they explain the kid who dies at 15 and goes to Hell, while the 99 year old repents on his death bed. Hardly a “fair” opportunity to repent according to their standards. It’s good to believe a gospel that actually saves sinners, rather than a gospel that only has the potential of saving sinners, and which, in the end, pretty much entirely depends on our own strength and wisdom…


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