Bobby Bullington's False Gospel Call
Not too long after the February 2001 issue of Outside the Camp (in which the lead article was "The Free
Offer and Conditionalism") was distributed, David Adkins of Eager Avenue Grace Church (EAGC) sent me
a booklet authored by Bobby Bullington, an elder at EAGC. EAGC is the church at which Bill Parker is the
Bullington begins the booklet by saying that the "free offer" is not a main issue because "Arminians have no gospel to offer anyone." What Bullington fails to realize is that the "free offer" is promoted by professing CALVINISTS, and these professing Calvinists who promote the "free offer" INCLUDE BULLINGTON HIMSELF. My article was not against the Arminian "free offer"; it was against the CALVINIST "free offer." Bullington easily disposes of the straw man that he erected, and then he goes on to actually PROMOTE the damnable free offer. As you will see, Bullington's gospel call is nothing more than the conditionalism that he claims to eschew.
In the section on "God's Gospel Defined," Bullington puts forth to whom the gospel is addressed:
"God's gospel addresses all lost sinners without exception as being guilty, defiled, ungodly sinners who are alienated from God, enemies of God, spiritually dead in trespasses and sins, without anything either to qualify or recommend them unto God!"
If by "addresses" Bullington means that the gospel is to be preached to all lost sinners without exception, then this is true. But take a good look at what he says next:
"To such sinners, God's Gospel is His absolute and unconditional promise to freely give them and entitle them to all of salvation including all the work of the Holy Spirit in them, BEFORE they ever begin serving the Lord, all based on the imputed righteousness of Christ!"
Here, Bullington puts forth his gospel call and his gospel. He first says, "To such sinners." Which sinners is he talking about? From the sentence prior to this, it is obvious that Bullington is talking about all lost sinners without exception. Now what does Bullington's gospel tell such sinners? Bullington's gospel tells sinners that God promises to freely give THEM (all lost sinners without exception) and entitle THEM (all lost sinners without exception) to all of salvation, based on the imputed righteousness of Christ. Bullington is saying that God promises EVERY LOST SINNER WITHOUT EXCEPTION who hears the gospel that he will save them based on the imputed righteousness of Christ.
Now when God promises something, does He ever fail to keep His promise? If He did that, He would not be God. So when God promises to save someone based on the righteousness of Christ, will He ever fail to keep His promise to save that person based on the righteousness of Christ? Of course not. Yet Bullington says that God promises EVERY LOST SINNER WITHOUT EXCEPTION that he will saved them based on the imputed righteousness of Christ. If this were true, then there are two possible outcomes: (1) Since God always keeps His promises, God will save every lost sinner without exception who hears the gospel. (2) Although God promises to save every lost sinner without exception who hears the gospel, some do not believe this promise and thus render God's promise ineffective for him.
"Without knowing it, those who insist on telling their hearers that God's promise, God's gospel is real and sincere to the elect only ..."
Here, Bullington again tells us that he believes that God's promise is not only to the elect but to the reprobate. Bullington believes that God promises salvation to EVERYONE WITHOUT EXCEPTION, including the reprobate. Yet, since Bullington believes that some who hear God's gospel end up going to hell, he believes that this promise to save EVERYONE is CONDITIONED on their belief of the gospel. God makes a promise to everyone who hears the gospel, but the only way God's promise can be fulfilled is if the sinner meets the condition of faith. And what of the others to whom God promised salvation who end up in hell? God's promise to them is made null and void by their unbelief. Thus, Bullington's god is a god who really, sincerely promises to save ALL LOST SINNERS WHO HEAR THE GOSPEL but who is powerless to make his promise come to pass. This god is dependent upon the sinner to make his promise come to pass. It's like the man who promises everyone in his audience that he will give them a cookie but then later says, "Only if you say 'Please.'" It turns out that the promise is not a promise at all; instead, receipt of a cookie is conditioned on what each person in the audience says. Now if this man had said, "I promise to give everyone who says 'Please' a cookie," then he would be more honest. But note - Bullington does not believe that God promises salvation JUST TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE. If he said that, he would be saying that the promise is just to the elect. But what does Bullington say? He says that God promises salvation TO ALL LOST SINNERS WITHOUT EXCEPTION who hear the gospel, whether they be reprobate or elect. In Bullington's unregenerate mind, the reprobate (those who will end up in hell) are PROMISED SALVATION based on the imputed righteousness of Christ! What kind of promise is it of God promises to bestow something He never bestows? And what kind of GOD is it who would do such a thing? Well, Bullington says what kind of promise it is and shows what kind of god it is. Bullington says that it is a REAL, SINCERE promise. Do you see what he is saying here? He is saying that God REALLY and SINCERELY promises EVERYONE within the sound of the gospel, INCLUDING THE REPROBATE, salvation based on the righteousness of Christ. So God sincerely promises to save those whom He has predestined not to save. What does this sound like? The old Murray & Stonehouse paradoxical "free offer."
Here's more of Bullington:
"Think about this. If a person spends the majority of his message ... telling them that God's promise of salvation based on the imputed righteousness of Christ is only sincere and real to the elect, to all that the Father gave to Christ ... They are not really interested in the Gospel of promise of promise because the preacher has already told them the promise is sure and sincere only to the elect. God forbid!"
Consider what this man is saying! He is saying that God's promise of salvation based on the imputed righteousness of Christ is SINCERE and REAL to the reprobate as well as the elect. And not only that, Bullington is saying that God's promise is SURE - look at it for yourself!! - God's promise is SURE to the reprobate as well as the elect. What does "SURE" mean? In this context, it means "bound to come about or to happen" (thanks to Webster's)!! Synonyms include UNFAILING, CERTAIN, and DOUBTLESS!! So Bobby Bullington, a teacher and an elder at Eager Avenue Grace Church, is promoting the DAMNABLE HERESY that God's promise to save EVERYONE who hears the gospel, INCLUDING the reprobate, is SURE, UNFAILING, CERTAIN, and DOUBTLESS!!! He even exclaims "God forbid!" at the thought of anyone preaching that the promise is sure and sincere only to the elect! He HATES the thought of God just promising salvation to His people and no other! He HATES the thought of preachers preaching that God's promise is SURE, UNFAILING, CERTAIN, and DOUBTLESS to the point that EVERYONE to whom this promise is made WILL BE SAVED, NO EXCEPTIONS! Even though he talks about an "unconditional promise," he actually HATES the promise of God in which God ACCOMPLISHES what He PROMISES with NO CONDITIONS. He LOVES the idea of a conditional promise! He is right there among the Arminians whom He claims are unregenerate!
Bullington concludes by saying,
"God commands His preachers to tell all without exception that His promise of eternal salvation is real and sincere to all who hear it!"
Bullington believes that God sincerely and really and surely promises to save everyone without exception who hears the gospel. He believes that this is the gospel. This is NOT the gospel that I believe. Bullington believes in a DIFFERENT gospel than I believe. I do not believe in a gospel that is God's promise to save all without exception based on the righteousness of Christ. I believe that the gospel is GOD'S PROMISE TO SAVE HIS PEOPLE BASED ON THE ATONING BLOOD AND IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST ALONE. The promise is to His people. My God is One who ALWAYS, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, makes His promises come to pass. My God is not a god who makes a promise in which the fulfillment of that promise is dependent on the one to whom it is promised. My God PROMISES and ACCOMPLISHES ALL HE PROMISES. My God does not lie by telling people he will save them and then not save them. My God CANNOT lie. My God is an INFALLIBLE PROMISE-KEEPER.
"For as many PROMISES as [are] of God, in Him [they are] YES, and in Him [are] AMEN, for glory to God through us" (2 Corinthians 1:20). Let God be true but every man a liar.