2nd Corinthians 5:20

2nd Corinthians 5:20-21 (see also 1st Timothy 2:4)
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Calvinist, James White: “One of the first things any person honestly studying the Reformed faith comesto understand is that we believe that God ordains both the ends and the means. God has not only  elected a people unto salvation but has chosen to use particular means to accomplish His purpose. Specifically, He uses the preaching of the gospel to bring His elect unto salvation. Since we do not know who the elect are, we are to preach the gospel to every creature, trusting that God will honor His truth as He sees fit in the salvation of His people.” (Debating Calvinism, p.321, emphasis mine)

Dave Hunt: “[James] White says, ‘Since we do not know who the elect are, we…preach the gospel to every creature.’ But he can’t tell ‘every creature’ that the gospel is for him!” (Debating Calvinism, p.334, emphasis mine)

Calvinists like to say that since they do not know who the elect are (i.e. Calvinism’s elect), they therefore preach the gospel to all men. Ok, then, if God is making an appeal to the lost, through them (the human messengers), then: (1) it is an appeal to all of the lost, whether they are of Calvinism’s elect or the Calvinism’s non-elect, and (2) that appeal is one of reconciliation, which according to 5-Point Calvinism, would be a message of reconciliation toward most who have no Savior, and thus no means of reconciliation, otherwise making the beg of the appeal contradictory. In other words, Be reconciled, those of you who have no Savior.” As an example, imagine if a particular college rejected your application, but also sent you a letter, begging you to complete your education at their university. That would seem to send a mixed signal. So, too, the appeal of 2nd Corinthians 5:20, together with a Limited Atonement, would send the same type of mixed signal. One cannot exclude people from the Atonement, and simultaneously beg for their reconciliation. It would make no sense. Only an Unlimited Atonement could make sense of the apostles appeal.

​Question: How would it make sense for God to be making an appeal for reconciliation, to those whom He has intentionally excluded from the Atonement by design, as per the Calvinist doctrine of a Limited, Particular or Definite Atonement?

Answer: In other words: “Be reconciled, those of you who have no Savior, be reconciled!” Ok, but how can they be reconciled, if they have no Savior’s Atonement available to them?

​Question:  If God is making an appeal to the lost for reconciliation, then how can some Calvinists say that God does not have a universal salvific will?

Answer: Calvinists need to clarify what they think that “reconciled” means.

​Question: If the “appeal” of 2nd Corinthians 5:20 is directed indiscriminately to all the lost, and not just “groups,” as in, “some of each [elect] kind,” and if reconciliation implies an appeal toward salvation, then wouldn’t that simple fact then confirm the Arminian interpretation of 1st Timothy 2:4, insomuch as desiring the salvation/reconciliation of all men, and not just groups?

Answer: This verse can really unravel Calvinism, both with intent and scope.

​Question: If there existed an alleged eternal flock of the Father, who are given Irresistible Grace, as per Calvinism, then why would Paul need to “beg” them to be reconciled?

Answer: This is just another example of how Paul didn’t preach like a Calvinist (1st Corinthians 1:17), didn’t pray like a Calvinist (Romans 10:1), and didn’t think like a Calvinist. (Romans 9:1-3) The reason why is perhaps because he wasn’t a Calvinist (or proto-Calvinist).

James White: “Jesus does not seek to ‘woo’ them to a ‘freewill decision,’ nor does He strike up a lengthy invitation hymn and try to overcome their stubborn rejection of truth through an emotional appeal.” (Debating Calvinism, pp.121-122, emphasis mine)

Then why does Paul beg” the lost?

​Question: Is the world already reconciled to God?

Answer: No. This is not the ministry to declaring who is already secretly reconciled, but the ministry of becoming reconciled, as each person becomes saved. The meaning of “be reconciled to God” is to become reconciled to God, through turning to Christ.