Now if we were to imagine that Christ only did this for a certain, select group of “elect” - people that were chosen before the foundation of the world – if we understood that these were the only ones on His mind as He suffered and died, we could not honestly look into the face of any man, woman or child and tell them that Christ had done this for him/her, because the fact is, we would have no way of knowing if he/she was one of these “elect.”
Having talked to many of them who hold to this limited work of God, we know how they deal with this. These don’t use the words “Jesus Christ died for you.” These do not personalize the gospel in that way. These say “Jesus Christ died for sinners.” Or “Jesus Christ died for those who will believe.” (These are confident that they will not be pressed into answering the “next” question – “Yes, but did He die for ME?”)
So by saying “sinners” or “those who will believe” – these carefully, and in an unspoken way, limit the scope of those for whom Christ died, without coming out and saying so. IOW, “sinners” in this presentation means “some sinners” and “those who will believe” is an end-run around the scope of the provision, but is rather a reference to those who appropriate the provision.
I find this all to be a bit crafty. If one holds to the “glorious truth” of the doctrine of eternal predestination and election of individuals to faith, why not just tell people that?
It might sound something like this, unless I am mistaken:
“God has chosen to save a small number of people before they were ever born. He did x, y and z to accomplish this. He may give you the gift of faith and works to prove that you are one of them. Won’t you trust Him today?”
That would seem to be more of the honest gospel invitation of those who hold that the saving work of God is limited to a preterdermined and limited group who are unconditionally elected. Or does someone have a better one?