Why should a Calvinist Preach the Gospel?


By Dr. Ken Matto


Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. (1 Thessalonians 1:4)


I used the moniker of Calvinist because no matter how many times we show from the Scriptures these doctrines, they still call us “Calvinists.”  One of the most common questions which is asked of us who have embraced the biblical doctrines of predestination and election is “If God has already chosen who is to be saved, then why do we need to preach the gospel?”  It is a fair question but mainly asked in a very pejorative manner.  Normally it is asked by those who espouse the false system of free will believing that salvation is all up to man because God has done his part and now it is up to us to do our part.  The problem is that man in an unsaved state is spiritually dead and the word used to describe that state is “nekros” which means “dead, lifeless, or useless.”  The word is used 132 times in the New Testament.


And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (Ephesians 2:1)


And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (Colossians 2:13)


The biblical teaching is that no person in and of themselves can progress from spiritual death to spiritual resurrection. That is solely the work of God.  Man being spiritually dead can only be spiritually dead and that is why they must be spiritually resurrected by God.  The only participation that man has in his salvation is to receive it.  He cannot initiate it nor can he complete it.  It is a total work of God.  The word “quickened” in Colossians 2:13 means “made alive.”  It teaches that God made us alive and not we ourselves.


Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)


Hebrews 12:2 teaches us that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith and not us.  Christ did not start it on Calvary and then we finish it by accepting it.  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:30)  What was finished?  The price was now paid for all the Elect of God from the first named one in the Old Testament to the last named one in the New Testament.


You ask a question that many people have asked over the years.  “What then is the point of preaching the Gospel at all?” I would like to give five biblical reasons why we go out and preach the gospel to the world while believing in the doctrines of Grace.


1) We preach the gospel because we are commanded to by God himself.  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)  The Greek word behind “preach” carries with it the meaning of “publish or proclaim.”  And the Gospel must first be published among all nations. (Mark 13:10)  “Published” is the same word as “preach.”  At this point in history, the gospel has been proclaimed in every country in the world.


2) We do not know who the Chosen Elect of God are and we are commissioned to send forth the gospel with the word of God and those whom God has chosen will hear the word of God and will become saved.  Sometimes we witness to a hundred people and only one or two might become saved.  So that is why we continue to send forth the gospel.  A lady once came to Spurgeon and asked him, “Aren’t you supposed to be preaching to all the Elect?”  To which Spurgeon replied “Bring me all the Elect and I will preach to them.”  Do you think both the Christians and Jews in Paul’s time would have ever thought that Paul would become a true believer?  Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: (Acts 9:13)  In 1977, David Berkowitz who was known then as “The Son of Sam” who killed 6 people in a rampage in New York City and was finally caught and sent to prison for life.  Did anybody ever think that he would become a very vibrant Christian?  This was David’s verse.  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalm 34:6)  I have known David since 1998 and his conversion and life are real.


3) We are to go and teach all nations, especially believers, as commanded so even those who do not become saved cannot say they never heard the gospel.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:19)  When a person becomes saved, they need to be taught in the word of God so they can continue to bring the gospel to others in their countries but if they are biblically illiterate, they would not be able to give an answer to those who ask them about the gospel.  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (1 Peter 3:15) 


4) We touched on this briefly and that is because people are spiritually dead before salvation and must hear the word of God being preached or proclaimed either through voice or written.  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)  God has ordained all believers to go forth and proclaim the word so those who are the Elect will be spiritually resurrected in their souls and raised to newness of life.  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4) 


5) Christ is the only way to the Father and salvation is the paved road.  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)  In the day we live in, there are literally thousands of religions, each with their own path of salvation which, of course, leads to eternal damnation.  The Lord Jesus Christ is seen as a way rather than “the way” of salvation.  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)  Those who are the Elect of God will never be so deceived by false religions before they become saved that the truth of the gospel will not penetrate the lies and bring them into the truth of Christ and become saved.  Many true Christians have come out of Roman Catholicism, eastern religions, New Age, and others.  The true gospel has the authority to bring the Elect from a state of spiritual death to everlasting life.



The reasons to evangelize are obvious and they overlap the same reasons of those who believe in free will.  The free willer evangelizes in hopes a spiritually dead person has the ability to raise themselves up and the person who espouses predestination evangelizes in the hopes that God would open the spiritual heart and mind of those named from the foundation of the world.  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (Ephesians 1:4)  There is not one verse in Scripture, when studied correctly and not taken out of context, which agrees with the free will concept!  For the dead to live they must be resurrected as we saw with Lazarus, the son of the widow of Nain, and the daughter of Jairus.  Which one of them raised themselves?  The embracing of the doctrines of grace does not negate the responsibility of that Christian to evangelize.  They are responsible for their part as any other Christian!