Don’t believe it when people tell you that Calvinists aren’t evangelistic. Listen to this great piece from John Bunyan’s All Loves Excelling. Here he’s commenting on Ephesians 3.18-19 – specifically the length of God’s love as it applies to comfort, prayer and evangelism. (Note: I changed a few words to make it easier to read.)
“…Do not conclude that because you cannot reach God by your short arm, that therefore he cannot reach you with his long arm. Look again, “Do you have an arm like God?” (Job 40:9), an arm like his for length and strength? It becomes you, when you cannot perceive that God is within the reach of your arm, then to believe that you are within the reach of his, for it is long, and none knows how long.”
Here’s how he applies that comforting truth to prayer and evangelism.
“…Is there such a length, such a length in the arm of the Lord, that he can reach those that are gone away, as far as they can go? Then this should encourage us to pray, and hope for the salvation of any one of our backslidden friends or family members, that God would reach out his arm after them… Awake, O arm of the Lord, and be stretched out as far as to where my poor husband is, where my poor child, or to where my poor backslidden wife or friend is, and lay hold, fast hold! They are gone from you, but O you, the Hope of Israel, fetch them again, and let them stand before you.”
“…Here is in this word length matter of encouragement for us thus to pray; for if the length of the reach of mercy is so great, and if also this length is for the benefit of those that may have gone far off from God, …then let this encourage you at the throne of grace, that they may come to God again.”
Amen. And by the way, this entire book is a jewel of comfort: All Loves Excelling by John Bunyan.
One Reply to “God’s Love, Comfort, Prayer, and Evangelism (Bunyan)”
Great Stuff – thanks
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