The third sesson of the True Church Conference 2010 “The Quagmire of Hyper-Calvinism”.
The morning session closed with a lecture by Jonathan Sims, a pastor in Shelbyville, Tennessee. His topic was urging all to repent and believe. His text was Acts 17:30-34. Why should we urge all men to repent and believe the gospel? Because that’s what God did. Because that’s what John the Baptist did. Because that’s what the apostles did. Because that’s what Jesus did.
Acts 17 is the story of Paul in Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens. In Thessalonica he preached that Jesus was the Christ. In Athens he disputed with the learned men. He urged these men to repent and believe.
1. We must urge all men to repent and believe because all men are ignorant (verse 30). All men are spiritually blind. All men are depraved. The men in Athens were ignorant. Consider their altar to an unknown God. Paul made a call to all men of Athens to repent and believe.
2. We must urge all men to repent and believe because God commands all men everywhere to repent (verse 30). He does not suggest, he commands, and his commands are meant to be obeyed. “Flee the wrath that is to come.” Repentance is a gift from God, but it is also the command of God.
3. We must urge all men to repent and believe because all men will one day face the judgment of God (verse 31). The day has been appointed. The standard is righteousness. The proof of judgment lies in the resurrection of Jesus Christ which guarantees the resurrection of man. We all fall far short of the standard of Jesus Christ. However, we also have assurance in Jesus Christ (verse 32). Men are ignorant of the wrath to come without the gospel preacher.
4. We must urge all men to repent and believe because some will repent and believe (verse 34). Some will mock (v. 32). Some will be unsure, they will procrastinate (v.32). But some will repent and believe. Just to see one cleave unto Jesus Christ is worth it. God’s plan is to save some by preaching the gospel to all. Not to save all by preaching to all. Not to save some by preaching to some. And certainly not to save some by preaching to none. It’s not about the preacher, it’s about the message.
5. We must urge all men to repent and believe because this is our calling. See Acts 9:15-16. And we must not be disobedient to the call. See Acts 26:19-20. Spurgeon sees the dichotomy. He recognizes that repentance and conversion are a gift of God. But he also sees the commission to preach to all men repentance and conversion.