But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.”
Paul claims that he is of the same nature as these unbelievers, and tells them they should turn to the living God. “Preach” in this text is evangelize, which is comprised of good news. Yes, it is good news that we, or anyone else, can turn to the Living God!
However, putting on my High Calvinist hat for a moment, Paul was preaching a wicked false gospel, because he is “dumbing down the depravity of man,” knowing full well that only by an extravagant grace [buzz word alert for Irresistible Grace] could they turn to the living God.
Calvinist, Jeff Noblit, states: “...any preacher who tries to dumb down the doctrine of sin, the depravity of man, and the necessity of repentance is not preaching the true gospel. This approach is not new or clever but wicked--dooming men’s souls and leading millions to false assurance.” (A Southern Baptist Dialogue: Calvinism, p.102, emphasis mine)
First of all, how anyone can doom the already doomed [alleged] non-elect is a mystery. As John Wesley pointed out, if we could doom people’s souls, then we are the biggest fools, since God has taken our work out of our hands, by dooming them preemptively through non-election, and He does it more effectually.
Second, Paul speaks with the expectation of their repentance, just as equally as his own. Thus, Paul speaks from a non-Calvinist mind-set. Moreover, Paul wouldn’t have told them to turn to God if he didn’t know for sure that Jesus would receive them. He wasn’t wondering who had an invisible E on their forehead when he preached!