God’s Sovereignty in Evangelism

I have been asked, on occasion, that if I believe God is sovereign, then what is the point of sharing the Gospel?

As a believer, I do believe that God is sovereign over his creation.  That includes you and me.  I cannot, for one second, believe that God created this universe, this world, this humanity and then believe at the same time that he has no control over it.  We can read the Bible and discover the attributes of God – who He is – and see that God is sovereign.

In Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith, we read:

God’s omnipotence means that God is able to do all his holy will.  There are no limits on God’s power to do what he decides to do. (98)

This means that God has “all power” – omnipotence – to accomplish his perfect and holy will.  In regard to sharing the Gospel, some may say that because God is able to all that He wills, there is no need to share the Gospel, because, after all, if God wants to save someone, he is perfectly capable of doing it on his own.  When William Carey, the English missionary, sought to encourage Baptist ministers in the late 1700’s to share the Gospel “to the end of the world”, he was told,

Young man, sit down! You are an enthusiast.  When God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without consulting you or me.

J.I. Packer, in his book Evangelism and the Sovereignty of Godsays that God’s “sovereignty in grace gives us our only hope of success in evangelism.”  He states,

Some fear that belief in the sovereign grace of God leads us to the conclusion that evangelism is pointless…So far from making evangelism pointless, the sovereignty of God in grace is the one thing that prevents evangelism from being pointless.  For it creates the possibility – indeed, the certainty – that evangelism will be fruitful.  Were it not for the sovereign grace of God, evangelism would be the most futile and useless enterprise that the world has ever seen, and there would be no more complete waste of time under the sun than to preach the Christian gospel.

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