Only Comfort, and No Command “To Be Ye Reconciled”?

2 Corinthians 5:10 All must appear before the juddgment of Christ– Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we seek to persuade

John 5:24 Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has lasting life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.

2 Corinthians 5:20 We PLEAD on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 now is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation

The preachers who only talk about about unregenerate people becoming regenerate are not talking about the good news of justification.
Those who think their gospel is good news that comforts everybody they preach to seem to think that the gospel tells sinners which sinners are elect

The gospel is not good news to those who have not yet believed the gospel.
Preachers are not to confuse the law with the gospel, and therefore they should teach clearly both law and gospel.

All sinners are commanded to believe the gospel, but the gospel tells nobody that they personally have believed the gospel. All sinners who have not yet believed the gospel are not only still unregenerate but still under God’s legal hostility Matthew 5:24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled with them.

What is reconciiliation?

If you go to your neighbor “to be reconciled”, this is not because your neighbor is at fault, but because you have done something wrong to your neighbor , which is why you need to go to your neighbor to obtain “reconciliation”. If all this could be reduced to you changing the attitude in your own heart, then you would need to get reconciliation from the neighbor. Therefore, reconciliation is not a regeneration or a change in our heart. Reconciliation is about alienation and enmity from the neighbor. Reconciliation is a solution to an external problem.

What can effectively be done later after the wrong was done? Between humans, we can do things. But when our wrong is against God, and then we go to God “to be reconciled to God”, there is nothing we can do.
What we need is not a change in our hearts, but a propitiation, a reconcilation, not something we are to do but something God has done to take away God’s wrath (from the elect).

But some predestinarian preachers deny the problem, and teach that only we have any enmity, and that God never had problem (in terms of wrath against elect sinners).

What is the Righteousness of God, 2019, Bill Parker p 145—“The only way the elect have ever been under God’s wrath is as they always stood legally in Christ…This means
that God’s elect have never personally been under God’s wrath.”

But this raises the next question: was Christ Himself ever under God’s wrath?

If God never had aay personal wrath to an elect sinner, what would be the need for such a thing as a reconciliation or propitiation to remove God’s wrath from Christ the surety ofeelect sinners? In what real historical way was Chrsit himself ever under law, beaaring gult, and needing to die for sins? If God never has any enmity to the elect—then our own Enmity is only our Problem, and we don’t need propitation or even expiation.

Who is at enmity? Are you at enmity with the other person? or is the other person at enmity with you? To define reconciliation, you have to define what the hositlity was. Romans 5:11 “We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation

It is a giant OVER-REACTION to those who say that Christ was made corrupt to also deny that Christ was ever made legally guilty before God. Christ was not only “made incarnate” but “became the righteousness”? Or do you see Christ as having only been imputed with guilt in God’s purpose but never in history?. Romans 8:3 God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son IN FLESH like ours under sin’s guilt, and for sin. Christ’s death was not only to take away the enmity of the elect in their hearts to God, Christ’s death was propitiation, legal appeasement because of God’s own LEGAL AND OBJECTIVE enmity to elect sinners.

Ephesians 2: 13 “But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away…”

by our hostility or by God’s hostility?

“have been brought near by the blood of Christ 14 For Christ
is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility, in his flesh”

whose hostility?
our hostility or God’s hostility?
by the new birth ending our hostility or
IN HIS FLESH, Christ’s blood ending God’s hostility?
(when the death is imputed, when the reconciliation is imputed)

by regeneration in our hearts
or by the cross?

did Christ put the hostility to death by regeneration?
or did Christ put the hostility to death by His death?
whose hostility?

Ephesians 2: 16 Christ did this in order to reconcile both to God in one body through the cross and put the hostility to death by it.

2. Who is being told to “be ye reconciled”. If a sermon is all gospel and no law, then whatever the preacher says is going to be thought of as gospel, even when he’s talking about law. Some preachers teach only law and think that’s gospel. The answer to these legaliss is not to teach comfort for everybody, and no law or wrath for anybody. The solution is to talk about both law an gospel, so thaat people know the difference. The Solution is NOT to be told “to believe that you are reconciled (or have always been reconciled).

The plea (2 Corinthians, persuade) is to obey the gospel, the command to believe the gospel. Be ye Reconciled. The gospel does not tell anybody that they have believed the gospel.

John Owen—Sharing the gospel is not a matter of telling people that God has set his love on each of them and Christ has died to save each of them, for these assertions, biblically understood, would imply that they will all infallibly be saved, and this cannot be known to be true. The knowledge of being the object of God’s love and Christ’s redeeming death belongs to the individual’s assurance, which in the nature of the case cannot come before believing the gospel. The knowledge of being the object of God’s love is to be inferred from the fact that one has believed, not proposed as a reason why one should believe.

Election is before faith
Justification is not before faith
Faith in the gospel is a result of God’s imputation of Christ’s death
Imputation of Christ’s death is before faith, but receiving the reconciliation is not apart from faith or before faith
2 Peter 1: 1 To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ

What does “eternity” mean?—-does it mean “timeless”?

Does “from eternity” means “justified by God as much from the future as from the past”?

Does “from eternity” mean not only “always was reconciledd” but also always being reconciled, never done being reconciled?

Are the elect no more justified after justification than they were before justification?

Since we agree that “justification” is not about “making us change on the inside” , why would we need to think that God’s legal transfers and legal declarations are only real in “God’s mind”?

If only what’s in God’s mind is real, and if everything else is mere “as if” legal symbolism, why did God condemn sin by the flesh of Christ in death?

Reconciliation before God is not a change IN the sinner
Reconciliation before God is a legal change FOR a sinner.
But is it possible for the Holy God to justify an ungodly elect sinner? Yes
Is the only way the Unchanging God can justify an ungodly sinner to have always justified that sinner? No
Is the only way the Unchanging God can mpute Christ’s death to an ungodly sinner is to have always imputed Chrst’s death to that sinner? No

Is the only way the Unchanging God could have Christ be imputed with the guilt of the elect ia to have always had and still have Christ be imputed with the guilt of the elect? No
Not according to Scripture. Romans 6: 9-10 Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Christ 10 For in light of the fact that Christ died, Christ died to sin once for all time. . In fact Christ now lives

Hebrews 9: 28 Christ having been offered ONCE IN TIME to bear the sins of many, will appear a SECOND TIME, NOT TO BEAR SIN, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

Teaching two justifications
results in two confusions–
1. a confusion of justification with election, as if being in Christ
by election meant being already in Christ in every other way
2. a confusion of justification with regeneration, as if God never had any enmity with elect sinners and it was only elect snners who had enmity with God

Before we were regenerate, sure we were enemies of God in our own minds, But here’s the question I keep asking –what about God? was God ever our enemy?

Were the elect always justified in Christ?
Were the elect always “new creation” in Christ?

This is not about what we see or feel
This is about what was or was not legally objectively true

Was recononciliation always accomplished?
Was it necessary for reconciliation to be obtained by Christ’s death?

Had all the elect always received by imputation the reconciliation?

Romans 5: 8 When we were still sinners, Christ died for us! 9 Much more then, since we HAVE NOW BEEN declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, WHEN we were enemies, we WERE reconciled to God through the death of His Son.
Does this mean that only we were enemies and that God was never our enemy? No.

Romans 5:10 then how much more, HAVING BEEN reconciled, we WILL BE SAVED by His resurrection 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in
God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have NOW RECEIVED THE RECONCILIATION through Him.
Is this talking about our not being enemies of God? No.
Is this talking about the reconciliation in history by which God was
satisfied/ propitated for the guilt of the elect? yes

Must the “receiving the reconciliation ” be at the same time in history as the reconciliation was obtained by Jesus Christ? no
The reconciliation is received first by God’s imputation and then by faith

Romans 6: 9 Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Christ 10 For in light of the fact that Christ died, Christ died to sin once for all time. .

Romans 8:3 God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son IN FLESH like ours under sin’s guilt, and for sin

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7 Comments on “Only Comfort, and No Command “To Be Ye Reconciled”?”

  1. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Bavinck—As a reaction against this came the development of
    anti-neonomianism, which had justification precede faith, and
    antinomianism which reduced justification to God’s eternal love…But
    the gospel mentions no names and does not say to anyone, personally: Your sins have been forgiven. Therefore it is not proper for any man to take as his starting point the belief that his sins have been forgiven.

    exactly who will continue to believe the gospel is not revealed in the gospel
    election is revealed in the gospel
    you being elect is not revealed in the gospel
    progress cannot assure me, because progress cannot save me

    preachers saying “you” cannot assure me
    preachers thinking that election can be left out
    cannot assure me because
    sins imputed to Christ which end up still imputed to me
    leave me under the wrath of God

    Romans 3: 24 Those who are justified are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a propitiation THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD to demonstrate God’ s righteousness
    if Christ was never under the the wrath of God, then the sins of the
    elect were never imputed by God to Christ
    if the elect were never under the wrath of God, then there was never
    any need for God to either offer or to accept propitation by Christ’s

  2. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Godd’s gospel makes a promise to all who believe but also only to those who believe. Romans 8:30 Those who have been called were not always called but they stay called. Those who have been justified were not always justified but they stay justified after they are justified.

    Christ had not always secured the permanent redemption (Hebrews 9), but now that Christ has secured that reconciliation, it is permanent. Christ is not still in the process of securing redemption, because Christ’s death paid the price for redemption, and once that price is imputed to the elect, they become redeemed and stay redeemed. None of this fits with the false
    idea that the elect were never guilty

    John 6: 36 But as I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not
    believe. 37 Everyone the Father gives Me will COME to Me, and the one who COMES to Me I will never cast out
    John 5:24 I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has lasting life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.
    John 5:40 And you are not willing to come to Me in order to have life.

    s it sin for an unbeliever to not believe the gospel?


    is it sin for a non-elect sinner to not believe the gospel?


    is it sin for an elect person to not believe the gospel?


    is belief of the gospel evidence that a sinner was already justified
    when not believing the gospel?


    When the Holy Spirit convicts an ungodly sinner of sin (condemntion
    and corruption) , some say that this is proof of their prior
    regeneration. But, if the Holy Spirit is only teaching the gospel to
    hose who have already been regenerated, then would the Holy Spirit be telling the truth about them being ungodly ?

  3. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Romans 1:16 The gospel is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believe 17 For in the gospel God’s righteousness is revealed ….The righteous will live by faith. 18 God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against the godlessness of all those who by their
    unrighteousness suppress the truth

    Tianqi Wu—“Only believers in Christ are justified” is not a
    secondary deduction a believer may or may not come to realize, but
    part of the true gospel prope. If you exclude this promise from the gospel, then you do not have the true gospel, but a counterfeit

    If you don’t think the promise to those who believe is part of the
    gospel, you have opened the door to people who believe someone who never believed in the gospel are also saved by the blood of Christ. You might disagree with them about that, but you will also think of them as merely wrong on how to identify the elect, which you do not think to be part of the gospel.

    (In fact, you also opened the door to many more: e.g. people who
    believe the elect are those who are predestined to receive water
    baptism. These people can all agree with you about the “accomplished redemption” but apply it to the WRONG set of people.)

  4. Mark Mcculley Says:

    William Rushton—While their doctrine has a direct tendency to
    obscure the glory of Christ it tends to magnify themselves. Their
    followers, instead of hearing the voice of Christ, are brought into
    subjection to their preacher and this preacher becomes the bond of union among them. “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to DRAW AWAY DISCIPLES AFTER THEM.” (Acts 20:30)
    This spirit which began to work in the days of the apostles, is the
    foundation of all that clerical dominion which constitutes the very
    strength of antichrist and the support of his accursed kingdom

  5. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Self-righteousness is not our only sin. Sin against the gospel is not the only sin. Adam did not sin against the gospel because (before sin) there was no gospel. Adam sinned against the law. The law is not of faith.

    they say that only the gospel teaches what sin is
    because they think self-righteousness is the only sin

    but when they say that it’s not preaching unless it’s gospel
    they confuse law with gospel
    because they don’t think they are preaching any law

  6. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Romans 5: 1 since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God
    Gospel error says that since we are declared righteous by His blood, therefore don’t put anything else in there, therefore don’t say “declared righteous by faith”, because that sounds Arminian.
    Romans 5: 2 We have obtained access through Christ by faith into this grace in which we stand,
    Gospel error corrects this verse to say that we have obtained access through the blood and therefore justification before God has nothing to do with faith in the gospel
    Romans 5: 6 While we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly.
    Gospel error teaches that because God had always purposed Christ’s death, we were always justified and there was never a time when we
    were ungodly or charged with sins before God. Some gospel error even teaches that there was never a moment when Christ before God was ever charged with imputed sins or personally under law or wrath.
    Romans 5: 8 God shows His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!
    Gospel error teaches that God only loves us because God already saw us as justified. Gospel error teaches that God only elected us because we were already always declared not sinners.
    Romans 5: 11 We have now received this reconciliation through Him
    Gospel error teaches that there is no difference between Christ’s
    reconciliation and our receiving that reconiliation. Gospel error
    teaches that a reconcilation which is not yet received or imputed is not yet reconciliation.
    A different gospel error teaches that the only reconciliation which
    ever happens in history is in our own hearts, because this Gospel error teaches that Christ was always loved and therefore never under law. Gospel error teaches that because God is the one who reconciles, God is never ever at enmity with elect sinners, because those elect sinners are never imputed with sins, even when these sinners are still believing in legalism.

  7. Mark Mcculley Says:

    Tianqi Wu It is true that the gospel alone brings true comfort, yet many false messages bring comfort to sinful men while they cannot find comfort in the true gospel. The sinfulness of man means subjectively perceived “comfort” could not be the criterion for what the true gospel is.
    When I believed in the “gospel” that teaches many for whom Christ died will be lost, I could find no comfort in the gospel that teaches
    everyone for whom Christ died will be saved. Conversely, after I
    believed the gospel that teaches everyone for whom Christ died will be saved, I can no longer find comfort in the “gospel” that teaches many
    for whom Christ died will be lost. These are two different messages
    that bring comfort to different sets of people. But only one message
    is true, and only one set of people has true comfort.
    The gospel does not simply “jump to the conclusion” of comfort. The
    gospel is, first of all, a message that reveals/glorifies the true God
    and the Christ that he sent. Any comfort in a message that does not
    reveal/glorify the true God and his Christ is comfort in a lie.
    This is why I insist on doctrines, as well as on judging by these
    doctrines. Because these doctrines *identify* the true God and his
    Christ from the counterfeit ones. Which doctrines you deem “essential knowledge” is also what you deem *identifying characteristics* of Christ.
    Arminians worship an idol and follow a stranger. Those who consider Arminians believers in the gospel are people who can’t distinguish Jehovah and Baal, Christ and Antichrist. Those who think one can be justified apart from believing the true gospel are people who deny the gospel promise of justification through faith.
    If this takes away your comfort, then it is a false comfort, and it
    will be taken away if God has mercy on you. When I first learned that
    double predestination and limited atonement were true, I lost all my
    comfort I had when I believed in “God loved all and Christ died for
    all”. I realized I had not known the true God but had trusted in an
    idol. I realized all those who believed in this false gospel,
    including my former self, were still in their sins and have not yet
    been justified by faith.

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