I know this will certainly provoke the ire of the Reformed brothers on Facebook perhaps even cause them to frown upon me. While my Arminian brethren (Or those consistent with their beliefs but reject the label) may write me off. Either way my friends list may go down. Here also I must add a disclaimer in that all contributors to this blog may not hold my view.
Though I am studying this matter further my position is that I deny what has come to be known as the “well-meant offer” of the Gospel. That is God, in some way, desires the salvation of all men both of those He elects and those He condemns. In other words God in eternity has decreed only to save some sinners in Christ out of His sheer love, mercy, grace and for His own good pleasure and glory. But for those He reprobates even though He determined within Himself not to save them but to leave them in His judgement, when the Gospel is proclaimed to them, He in some way really loves and desires to save them even though He has decreed their judgment.
Since I carry no theological weight I must defer to those that have it (even though they are frowned upon). For this I will cite David Engelsma:
The recourse of some to the “mystery” to solve the problem of the contradiction between the free offer and the Reformed doctrine of reprobation is both desperate and erroneous, Such like to speak of the paradox of God’s two wills: His will to save and His will to not save the same man. For God to love and to hate the same man, to be gracious in the preaching of the Gospel towards and to harden the same man is sheer contradiction. The reality of the twofold will of God is quite different. It has to do with the fact that God at the same time decrees that a man shall not be saved (the will of God’s decree) and commands that man repent and believe (the will of God’s precept)…Replying to critics who objected that he taught an atonement which failed to save all those for whom it was made, (Harold) Dekker showed them that this was no different from their teaching that God desired to save all but failed to do so, that is, universal atonement is really no different from the well-meant offer of the Gospel: “Why are my critics unwilling to recognize a paradox between a universal atonement and a limited redemption when this is so plainly taught in the Bible? Why are they unwilling to recognize a paradox of a redemptive love which does not always redeem when this is so clearly the presentation of Scripture? Do they suppose that such paradoxes as these are any greater or any more difficult to accept than the paradox which they affirm of a God who sincerely desires the salvation of all men and yet does not save them all?*
Of course I’m still studying these issues and am listening to both sides but so far have not been impressed with the advocates of the “well-meant offer.”
17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (Re 22:17).
Soli Deo Gloria!
*David J. Engelsma, Hyper-Calvinism &The Call of The Gospel ((Grand Rapids, MI.: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1994), p. 60, 62-63