Why is this Issue Important?
In the chapter How Convinced are You? (in the section What About Those Without the Gospel?), we saw, unless a Christian is truly convinced that the people "without the gospel" are going to Hell, he will not whole heartedly seek their deliverance. A large number of Christians are uncertain as to what they believe about the "heathen;" they find the whole subject confusing and conflicting. As a result, they find it difficult to whole heartedly endorse aggressive foreign missions projects. Although these Christians are not fully convinced the heathen are destined to Hell, they often attend churches that support dozens of missionaries. In fact, many of these people have personally given to missionary projects themselves. Surprisingly, there are also many missionaries who are uncertain as to what they believe about those who are without the gospel.
You may wonder about this contradiction; why would someone support something in which they don’t believe? It’s important to understand these Christians are not against missionary outreaches, they simply are not convinced everyone who is without the gospel is lost. Unfortunately, this lack of conviction is part of the reason why the world still has not been evangelized after 2000 years.
Selective salvation is another reason why some people are not convinced it is necessary to whole-heartedly pursue world evangelism. Selective Salvationists teach that everyone who is supposed to get saved will get saved, with or without our effort. As a result, many Christians feel there isn’t a need to make tremendous sacrifices to reach the lost. They feel it is not necessary for Christians to live in deplorable conditions and endure incredible hardships in order to bring the gospel to remote areas. They feel it is not necessary to endanger their lives by going into areas where religions or governments are hostile to the gospel. They believe if the people in these areas are chosen to be God’s children, they will be become Christians without these great sacrifices.
If it is actually true that God has chosen only certain people to be his children, we can rest assured people are not needlessly dying and going to Hell. Everyone who is supposed to get saved will get saved. Those who are not chosen to be His children have been chosen to be condemned to Hell. There is nothing we can do to help them find the Lord. They have been condemned to Hell from the day they were born. Actually, they have been condemned to Hell long before they were even born and committed their first sin.
Considering the above, you would think the people who hold this belief would not be involved in missionary outreaches. Surprisingly, some of them are. Although they do not promote missions nearly as much as other Christian groups, they still send out missionaries.
Selective Salvationists feel privileged to be part of the "chosen," and they feel it is an honor to be able to present the gospel to the other chosen few. This is why they claim to have such an aggressive missionary outreach. Believe it or not, Selective Salvationists actually claim to have more missionaries than all other protestant groups. The statistics, however, don’t support this claim. In fact, their missionary outreach is very small. The chapter Calvinism versus Hyper-Calvinism explains why their missionary outreach is much smaller than what they claim.
I have asked many people who believe in selective salvation, "Why would a person become a missionary if the chosen are going to get saved anyhow." The answer I usually receive is something like, "For the joy of leading a person to the Lord." Unfortunately, if this is the missionary’s motivation, he is in the wrong occupation. Missionary work is slow and difficult, requiring years of groundwork we often take for granted here in the United States. Many missionaries will go years, or even decades, without ever leading a person to the Lord. In fact, some missionaries have never led a person to the Lord while serving on the foreign field. Their toils, of course, were not in vain. Their years of work built a foundation for future missionaries and thousands have eventually become Christians because of their toils. For these missionaries, however, there was no "joy" of leading a person to the Lord.
As mentioned before, if it is true God has chosen who will be His children, we can rest assured people are not needlessly going to Hell. However, if it is not true, then this belief has left Christians with a false sense of security and billions of people are needlessly going to Hell. I believe people are going to Hell because of this belief, and this is the reason I am addressing it in this book.
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