The Offer Of The Gospel

True Or False?

By Dr. Ken Matto

(Rom 10:13 KJV) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We have all been in churches where the preacher or evangelist pours out their heart in preaching the Gospel, then at the end of the service, they will make an appeal to those in attendance that the "offer of the Gospel" is open for you, and that you should come and receive Christ and become saved. In many churches, even those that tout the Reformed Doctrines of Grace will claim that the "offer of salvation" is open to all. I have heard it said that the offer is sent forth, but only God’s Elect will respond to that call. This is true, for if God qualifies a person to respond to the Gospel for salvation, then they will come.

However, the question really is, "Does God send the offer of salvation to the entire world?" Is this what the Bible teaches concerning evangelism? The answer is a resounding NO! Nowhere in the Bible does God make an offer of salvation to anyone. He doesn’t even offer the Gospel to His Elect! The following statement should clear up your understanding of God’s call to the Elect in the world:

“The Bible teaches that the Gospel will be “preached” to the entire world but God will only apply it to the Elect.”

The Bible never uses the word “offer” or “proffer” in connection with the Gospel. The word that is used in conjunction with it is “preached” or “proclaimed.” Salvation through Jesus Christ is to be proclaimed throughout the world, but never is an offer to be made to accept Him or for salvation.

(Mat 24:14 KJV) And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

(Mat 26:13 KJV) Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

(Mark 6:12 KJV) And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

(Mark 16:20 KJV) And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

(Luke 4:44 KJV) And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

(Acts 8:5 KJV) Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.

(Acts 9:20 KJV) And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.

(Acts 13:5 KJV) And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.

(Acts 14:7 KJV) And there they preached the gospel.

(Col 1:23 KJV) If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

The term “preached” in the New Testament is used sixty times. These ten verses are extremely representative of the entire sixty verses. Two of the words, which are used in the Greek, denote a “proclaiming” or “a bringing of good news.” These words teach us that the Gospel is preached and there is never an offer conjoined to that proclamation. Nowhere in the Scriptures do we ever find the blasphemous idea that God is begging or pleading with sinners to "accept" His Son. If God makes no offer of salvation to the non-Elect, neither should we. That is a very false and misleading method of trying to bring people into the Kingdom. I find it especially appalling by those who claim to attest to the Doctrines of Grace. We are to just preach and proclaim the Good News, and God makes the application to those that He has predestined.

This idea of the "offer of salvation" comes from the belief that spiritually dead people can regenerate themselves by their own free will unto salvation. They will be able to do that when physically dead people can raise themselves back to physical life. And it will never happen! In Scripture, any time dead people were restored back to physical life, it was God doing it. So upon reading these resurrections in Scripture, how can one believe that a spiritually dead person can raise themselves to newness of life? Spiritual resurrection must be done by an outside source, and that source is the Lord Jesus Christ.

(John 10:28 KJV) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

(John 17:2 KJV) As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Notice what these two verses are teaching. They are very straightforward that the Lord Jesus Christ gives Eternal Life to His Children. He does not offer it to the world, but gives it to His Children. Let me reiterate. Salvation is applied to the Elect, but never offered. It is preached to the world, but never offered.

You started off this study with one of those “whosoever” verses. How does this fit in with your “no offer” belief?

First of all, it is not a belief, for my beliefs do not establish Truth. The Bible establishes Truth! Whenever we have heard the “offer of salvation” given, normally the “whosoever will may come” is attached to it. However, there is a problem in trying to make “whosoever” mean “free offer to all.”

(Rev 22:17 KJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

(John 1:12-13 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: {13} Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Did you see that? The “whosoever will” is not the “will” of the man to accept Christ freely, but only an Elect person responds to the Gospel by the Will of God. Where many make their mistake is believing that “whosoever” means “anytime, by anyone.” That is not the definition of “whosoever.” In Rev 22:17, the word “whosoever” is the Greek word “qelw” (thelo) which means “a desire” or “to be willing.” Who will desire the things of Salvation?

(John 5:39-40 KJV) Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. {40} And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Notice this verse says that people will not come to Christ, and this is because the unsaved person is spiritually dead and must be regenerated from the outside to the inside, and not the other way around. He is not just speaking of any unbelievers here. The Lord is speaking to those who search the Scriptures! Even the unsaved who search the Scriptures will not come to Christ, never mind the man on the street who doesn’t even know the name of one of the Books of the Bible.

(Isa 65:1 KJV) I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name.

Notice in Isaiah 65:1, God is saying that He is sought of those who did not seek Him. How could this be? The only way a person can seek the Lord, and we clearly saw this in John 1:13, is through the Will of God. If a person is predestined for salvation, they will hear the Gospel, because it is being applied to them.

(Acts 13:48 KJV) And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

The word “ordained” may also be understood as “appointed.” So those who are appointed to eternal life will believe the Gospel, because of application to their dead souls. Then when salvation is applied to those dead souls, they are regenerated unto newness of life.

(Rom 6:4 KJV) 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.

Your physical body stayed the same, but something happened in your soul. Before your appointed time, you were dead to the things of the Lord, but after application, you are now alive unto the things of the Lord. So now how is this group categorized?

(Isa 62:11-12 KJV) Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. {12} And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.

We do not seek the Lord, but God calls us “Sought out.” Is this principle found anywhere else in Scripture?

(Ezek 34:11 KJV) For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

So we see that the spiritually dead person does not respond to any offer of the Gospel, those who become saved are those whom God has ordained to eternal life, and He applies it to their souls to regenerate them.

Now let us return to the whosoever verses and look at one more word to help us in this study.

(1 John 4:15 KJV) Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

The word “whosoever” in this verse is the Greek word “os” (hos), which carries with it the meaning of “who, which, what, or that.” In other words, this word is just saying that “whoever confesses.” It is in no way implying that an unsaved person can become saved whenever they want, based on the whosoevers. For example, if you go into a church, then whosoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God is saved. Then whosoever does not confess that Jesus is the Christ, then they are unsaved. The word “whosoever” just designates individual people and its definition is defined by its usage. Any meaning beyond that is a misuse of the text. The idea of the offer of the Gospel cannot be legitimately based upon these pronouns. I call that "Textual Prostitution," because any time we skew a passage toward a belief we want to hold, then we are guilty of spiritual adultery. This is how false teachings are born and then multiply. In the following verse, “whosoever” is also speaking of unbelievers.

(John 8:34 KJV) Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

Final Thoughts
As we have seen, there is no evidence in Scripture that God offers the gift of salvation to anyone. God applies it to those He plans to save. While the Gospel is preached to the whole world, it is only applied to the few. God never begs or pleads with unbelievers to accept His Son, because He already knows who He has planned to save. The only reason we take the Gospel to the ends of the earth is because we do not know who He plans to save, plus we are commanded to go forth. The “whosoever” system is absolutely invalid and has no Scriptural base for its existence. The “offer of salvation” system is absolutely invalid and has no Scriptural base for its existence. The only reason these two systems exist is because of the pride of man and the refusal to remove himself from the throne of salvation. Co-regency in the Christian life is dangerous and also has no Scriptural basis.