Of the Gospel, and of the extent of the Grace thereof.
Chapter 20, Paragraph 3.
“The revelation of the Gospel to Sinners, made in divers times, and by sundry parts, with the addition of Promises, and Precepts for the Obedience required therein, as to the Nations, and Persons, to whom it is granted, is merely of the Sovereign Will and good Pleasure of God; not being annexed by virtue of any Promise, to the due improvement of men’s natural abilities, by virtue of Common light received, without it; which none ever did make, or can so do; And therefore in all Ages the preaching of the Gospel hath been granted unto persons and Nations, as to the extent, or straitening of it, in great variety, according to the Counsel of the Will of God.”
We are commanded to proclaim the Gospel throughout the earth. But what happens if we don’t? Will those with whom we fail to share the good news approach us some day and say, “Why didn’t you tell me?!”
If salvation were up to us, we would be crushed under such expectations. Not only would we have to ensure our own salvation, but the salvation of every other person we knew would be solely dependent upon whether or not we made sure to tell them about Jesus. If we miss someone, we would have ourselves to blame.
Now, can someone be saved without hearing of Christ? No. Christians do have a responsibility to give an account for the hope that is in them. Yet ultimately God is sovereign over who hears the Gospel. Some nations have heard it in abundance; some nations have never heard it. Is the one nation somehow better than the other? Do they receive knowledge of the Gospel because they were more advanced intellectually? Of course not. Whatever nation hears the Gospel preached, it hears based on the counsel of God alone.
Especially for those Christians who are citizens of the United States, this truth should humble us. Such freedom has been granted in sharing the Gospel in this country that we sometimes assume that we deserve it. Keep guard against such airs of superiority. The blessing of the Gospel does not mean we are worthy.
Questions to Consider
- Do you find yourself thinking that some peoples deserve to hear the Gospel over others?