Adrian Rogers on Calvinism—Part Three
This sermon excerpt on unconditional election is from Reformed Theology by Adrian Rogers. (Archived by Louisiana College) Read the full sermon.
Now, let’s move to the second thing. I also reject the hyper-Calvinist view of UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION. Now, when God gives us salvation, there are no strings attached. God doesn’t say, “I’ll save you if you will perform good works” or whatever. It comes out of the grace of God. It is to the praise of the glory of His grace. Sometimes people talk about sovereign grace like they just discovered the term. Friend, God is sovereign and we’re saved by grace. Anyone who doesn’t believe that has been baptized seven times in ignorance. We are saved by the sovereign grace of God…but never interpret unconditional election as the fact that if we have faith that is something we do for salvation. That’s playing with words. That is really ridiculous.
God puts no conditions, but there’s always a condition from humans…from our viewpoint. And that condition is faith. You’ve got to believe. Again, John 1:12: “He came to His own and His own received Him not, but as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God.” If I were to give you these keys and say, “You have the car that goes with them,” and then I said, “It’s just a gift…unconditionally”…you’d still have to receive it. If you didn’t receive it, it would do you no good at all. Man does have a condition in order to be saved…Acts 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”
Now, if you say that only certain people are elect and only certain people, therefore, can be saved, you take all the “whosoever’s” in the Bible and make them a lot of mumbo jumbo. The Bible is full of “whosoever will.” Turn to Matthew 23. This is the story of Jesus on His way to Jerusalem… the crowds are there and they’re casting their palm branches and their garments in front of Him and saying “Hail Him! Hail Him!” Soon they’re going to be saying, “Nail Him! Nail Him!” They’re going to be crucifying Him and Jesus knows what’s about to transpire and begins to weep great salty tears. Jesus begins to lament over Jerusalem and this is what He says in verse 37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that kills the prophets and stones them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not.”
Now, friend, if they could not rather than they would not, this is the biggest charade in history. Jesus is weeping salty tears, and He said, “I would, but you would not.” That’s not unconditional election. The idea that a child is born into this world in the city of Memphis today, having done neither good nor evil, and that child does not have one-half of one chance to go to heaven…that child is going to hell because that child is not one of the elect…I totally, totally reject that with every bit of my being that there’s a child born in this city anytime any day where God says that there is no opportunity…none whatsoever…there are only certain ones who are unconditionally elected. Jesus said, “I would have, but you would not.”
(Stay tuned for PART FOUR…)