What we must never forget is divine election as we see in v27 is not incompatible with the free offer to all we see in vv28-30. How could this be true? All unregenerate humans stubbornly cling to their sinful rebellion. In fact all are spiritually dead outside of God’s grace. Unless God “quickens” people unto the New Birth they will never see their spiritual bankruptcy. However, once He does that, once the incredible gulf between God’s Holiness and Righteousness and their utter spiritual bankruptcy is revealed to them, they respond in brokenness. They are now Poor in Spirit. They see their utter lostness for the first time. But Jesus is calling them to come to Him for rest. They then respond by repenting and believing. Now they have rest for their souls because they are now saved by grace through faith. They are the Poor in Spirit and theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 (NASB)
One the most disturbing aspects of the churches who practice Christianity “lite” is the nearly total abandonment of a call for personal holiness. Even more discouraging is the fact that they preach a version of the gospel that has had any mention of repentance severed from it. The reasoning behind this, of course, is that they are building bridges to the unchurched. If they preach the whole gospel they will drive them away not draw them to join their churches. The problem with that sort of reasoning is that it is all pragmatism. It is based on fleshly reasoning and the ways of the world. It is actually unbelief in the form of ministry. The architects of Christianity “lite” do not believe that God is still building His Church, therefore, they will do it themselves using marketing techniques constructed around “relevancy.” They reason that if they build cool churches that it will draw people who hate traditional “church.” They may not go to the old Baptist Church on main street, but they might go to a gathering that is more of an entertainment venue than a church.
They claim that they are bringing thousands into the Kingdom by doing church this way. However, we must remember that the gospel they preach goes something like this: God’s got a great plan for your life. Jesus wants you to be happy and fulfilled. So, why not let Jesus come into our life so He can redecorate it in such a way that you will find true happiness.” Of course, this is just one example, but the gist of this sort of gospel call is all people based. It presents God as the servant and man as the determiner. There is no mention of sin and the fact that all sinners are condemned in their sin because our Holy God cannot even look upon it. Since this is never mentioned then the call to repent and believe on Jesus is never mentioned either. Instead, it is a call to ask Jesus into their life. Of course, since these folks are not regenerate, they continue in their sins. They may feel guilt about not living like a Christian consistently, but they are not Poor in Spirit. They are not broken and grieving over their sin. Their Christian leaders tell them that their faith has saved them and there is really no need to worry about obedience and repentance. They counsel them to try to live holy lives, but they have no way to help them do so because they don’t believe that Christians are actually changed at the new birth.