Ministerial Offers and The Lord’s Invitation

A few months ago I found a few works of Job Hupton (1762-1849) online. He was a Baptist minister in the UK and preached the Gospel for 65 years. He wrote, “Ministerial Offers of the Spiritual Blessings Not Warranted by the Scripture” and find his conclusions convincing. The Gospel is, “Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness, but to them that are called…”
Hupton explains, “The non-elect indeed, many of them, hear the gospel where it is preached. Before them Christ is evidently set forth as crucified, and life and salvation are proclaimed in their ears. They hear of all that Jesus has done and suffered for sinners, and the immense blessings unnumbered which flow from the celestial throne, through his obedience and wounds to the guilty and undone ; of the mighty work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of millions ; and the graces and comforts which arise from his operations in all the saints ; and of the kingdom, perfection, and glory, which God has promised to all that believe. But among all the abundance, and almost endless variety, which they hear, there is not one offer of any thing sent to them from God. To this add, that since the scriptures declare of the non-elect, that they are a people of no understanding, therefore he that made them will not have mercy upon them ; and he that formed them, will shew them no favor; that to them that are wit6ut, it is not given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom; and that he who is the Lord of heaven and earth, has hid those things from them ; it is hardly rational only to suppose, that he offers them the favour that he will not shew them, and tenders to them the things which he hides for ever from their eyes. To say that God designs spiritual blessings for all where he sends the gospel, is to renounce Calvinism and establish Arminianism ; and to say that he never designed spiritual blessings for any but the elect, and yet offers them to all, is to impeach his sincerity, and represent him as deceitful, and as mocking and tantalizing his creatures. Such representations of that Being, whose nature, names, and conduct, are all perfection, is, I must say, highly reprehensible, and quite unworthy the man of God; it is therefore necessary in order to support the character of God, our own reputation, and the honour of his gospel, to abandon offers, tenders and overtures.”

J.C. Philpot writes in “The Lord’s Invitation to the Ends of Earth,

“When the Law is placed upon the elect we flee “unto the ends of earth” in sorrow. Philpot tell us, “But when, in soul feeling, we are thus at the ends of the earth, we learn lessons there which cannot be taught us in any other place. There we learn what it is to be at a distance from God, with a desire to be brought nigh; there we are brought to know the exceeding sinfullness of sin, and there begin to learn the value of the blood of Christ to purge the conscience; there we become clothed with shame and confusion of face; there we are taught to feel our thorough helplessness and complete inability to bring ourselves spiritually and experimentally nigh, and feel what it is to wander in confusion without being able to get near the source of light, life, and truth, or feel access of soul to God. Thus, to be at “the ends of the earth,” is a painful but a profitable place; for there we learn lessons which we could not learn anywhere else, and are taught to feel something of the purity of Jehovah. and of our own defilement before Him. Now, it is to those who thus feel themselves to be at “the ends of the earth,” that the Lord speaks in the text. He will never encourage presumptuous professors, those I mean who daringly rush on without His sanction, leadings, or drawings. It is better to tarry at “the ends of the earth” all our lives long, than to rush unbidden into the sanctuary, or advance presumptuously into the presence of the Most High. For there is a day coming when the Lord will “thoroughly purge His floor;” and then how many presumptuous intruders into His sanctuary, how many burners of false fire, and offers of unclean sacrifices, will be detected, and driven out! If the will of God be so, it is better to be poor, condemned criminals at “the ends of the earth,” waiting in humility for a smile, pleading in sincerity for a promise, than rush presumptuously on, and claim His gifts as our right and due.”
This is where the Gospel is preached. It is proclaimed here, the evangelical grace (Baptist Confession, 1689) of God is given here, we are moved to believe by the power of God.

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