“How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”
“I said, Behold Me, Behold Me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people..”
“We trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”
1 Tim. 4:10
The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel:
Is God’s revealed, loving and gracious will that Gospel hearers should receive salvation as it is offered in Christ by the gospel.
This sincere desire for gospel hearers (including the reprobate) to be saved is in a different sense than God’s always efficacious eternal decrees and Limited Atonement, and is therefore compatible with it. The condition of faith (LC #32) to receive Christ as held out in the offer (WCF 7.3; 10.2) is instrumental and non-meritorious, and is provided and given by God to his elect.
See also, The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel in the Westminster Standards and Divines as well as Thomas Ridgley on the Terms ‘Offer’ and ‘Invitation’, and Samuel Rutherford’s The Gospel is Conditional.
Where to Start?
The best place to start is with the Scriptures. The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel forms no small part of the teaching of God’s Word:
Fentiman, Travis – Bible Verses on Common Grace and the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel, 2014, 34 passages with commentary
Fentiman, Travis – John 3:16 – God’s Love for all Mankind in the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel, 2014, 16 paragraphs
For two rich gospel sermons from Isaiah 55 and Matt 11:28 sincerely offering salvation for free to poor penny-less sinners, see:
Durham, James – The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, Buy †1658, see especially: Sermon 3, ‘Gospel Presentations are the Strongest Invitations’, pp. 43-79 and Sermon 6, ‘The Best Wares at the Lowest Rates’, pp. 136-160. See here for some choice excerpts.
The best medium length article on the topic, though it is dense, is by Adam Gib.
The Open Door of the House of Mercy, 1774, 7 pages
This is the best theological analysis of the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel. Gib posits the grounds of the Sincere Free Offer in the Revealed Will of God, as opposed to the Decrees of God and the Extent of the Atonement. He distinguishes and guards the doctrine from a General Atonement of the Arminians on the one hand, and relates it to Biblical Limited Atonement on the other hand. Gib was a mid-1700’s Scottish minister from the Seceder tradition.
Concerning the Gospel Call and the Warrant of Faith 1747, 31 pages, from his The Present Truth: A Display of the Secession Testimony, vol. 2, Progression 5. With an introduction by Rev. Fentiman.
This is the larger section from which the above shorter article was selected. Read the whole thing!
For an all out Biblical and historic defense of the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel, see the book by Rev. Silversides:
Siversides, David – The Free Offer: Biblical and Reformed Buy 2005 128 pp.
This is the most extensive work defending the Biblical view of the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel. It also includes a valuable, extensive anthology of excerpts from historic, reformed writers demonstrating that the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel has always been a regular part of reformed gospel preaching.
Here is Ian H. Murray’s review of the book.
To hear an example of sincere free offer preaching, try this audio sermon:
Fentiman, Travis – The Lord’s Feast, a Sermon on Isa 55:1,2, note that the sermon starts at about 20 seconds. Preached at a free to the public, evangelistic Thanksgiving Feast.
Isa. 55:1 – “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.“
“The cross was a pulpit in which Christ preached His love to the world.”
“God has taught me that what they call Calvinism is God’s way of grace and salvation – that is evangelical Calvinism, with the free offer of the gospel.”
“Men evangelized cannot go to hell but over the bowels of God’s great mercies. They must wade to it through the bood of Christ.”
John “Rabbi” Duncan