This is probably the last post in this series. We have already seen how that both the Calvinist view of Scripture and the Calvinist understanding of Election actually make it a requirement that Calvinists be mission-minded. Now we will look at the Calvinist understanding of Depravity to see that Gospel preaching is the only hope for the world.
Calvinists believe in what has been called Total Depravity. Misconceptions about this doctrine are that it is the belief that man is as bad as he can be or that man can do nothing good. What Calvinists really believe is that man has been affected in all areas as a result of the fall, and that as such, he is as bad off as he can be and can do no saving good.
Man’s mind, will, affections, and any other part that you can name have all been affected by the fall. He cannot think right. His will is corrupt and in bondage to sin. His affections are for his own pleasure. He is a man without hope. He is lost. He hears God’s commands but cannot keep them, and he is so perverse that he desires to do that which has been forbidden and neglects to do that which has been commanded. He doesn’t fall into sin, but leaps headlong into hell. He cannot see the impending judgment ready to rain down on his head at any moment. He is blind, deaf, dumb, without feeling, in short, he is dead.
This is where the Gospel comes in. The Calvinist understands that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation and the means by which the Spirit moves to regenerate the dead. So the Calvinist is left with two options;
1) Deprive the dead of the life-giving power of the Gospel, condemning the dead to hell, or
2) Declare to the dead the Gospel, depending on the Spirit of God to produce the results.
Only a sadistic, maniacal murderer would deprive oxygen to those who have drowned and still have a chance of survival. How much more should the Calvinist, armed with the life-giving Gospel, supply that to the corpse in front of him? We believe that men are hopelessly dead apart from the Gospel message, therefore, only a sadistic murdering Calvinist would deprive a lost world of that message.
So, Total Depravity demands that we Calvinists be evangelistic.
The purpose of these posts have been two-fold. First, they were intended to defend Calvinism against the false charges of so-called ‘hyper-calvinism’. Calvinists must, by our own definitions be evangelistic. Second, they were intended to be a goad for Calvinists. Don’t be what you know you’re not! Preach the Gospel to every living creature! It is the power of God and His ordained means of saving His elect.