In our first post on this topic, I explained what inclusionism is, and now we will hold it up to the truth of Scripture.
One of my favourite Scriptures is Deuteronomy 30.19 which says that God has set before us life and death and we can choose. We are told to choose life, but it is definitely seen as a choice. We have the power to choose life or choose death. You have the power to choose life or choose death. God has never and will never force us into the path of life.
This is the worst part of inclusionism – it presents a God who has forced us into the path of life. It denies the Biblical instruction to choose life and the loving, kind God who lets us choose life, and instead gives us a God who forces life on all of us. This destroys faith and harms people’s trust in God.
Ephesians 2.8-9 tells us we are saved by grace through faith. For many years, the church has struggled to grasp the role of grace, and praise God recently many people have been travelling the world and getting on media and sharing about the power of grace and there has been a grace awakening around the church. But inclusionism attacks and misrepresents salvation from the other side: it minimises the role of faith. But doing that makes the grace message equally unfruitful as legalism does.
In trying to exalt grace to the highest place, inclusionism forgets that we are saved, healed, blessed and succeed in life by grace through faith. When you teach that everyone was included in the resurrection of Jesus, that everyone is born born again, then you are ignoring the blessed truth that we need to choose life, we need to believe the gospel, we need to embrace God’s will for our life willingly.
God does not force His grace on anyone. Forced grace is not grace. Grace that was shoved into your life before you were even born is not grace. A God who will not respect a “no” for an answer is not a God of love.
Do you realize inclusionism presents a God who forces Himself on us and will absolutely ignore our choices, refuses to listen to our “no”, and will not ever wait for us to believe His Word? If you realize this then you will realize that inclusionism is absolutely incompatible with the idea that God is love. Inclusionism tells us “everyone is saved”, but the Biblical truth is this: Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved (Acts 16.31).
Biblically, God has moved by grace at the cross, and now God waits us to respond by faith to His move. Our faith will then receive salvation from the grace. The gospel is presented so clearly in Scripture:
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10.8-13 NKJV)
Read that passage very carefully. You have to believe, you have to confess, you have to call on the name of the Lord, to be saved. It is not automatic, it is not done for us. All the payment is done for us, all the grace has been provided for us, but we have to believe to receive, it is not forced on us.
So, let’s go back to the beginning of this article. If grace is not forced on you, if life is not given to us without our request, without our consent, then you have to do what the Scripture says: choose life.