Compel Them to Come In: Calvinism and the Free Offer of the Gospel – Donald Macleod (2020)

Donald Macleod, Compel Them to Come In: Calvinism and the Free Offer of the Gospel (Geanies House, Fern, Ross-shire: Christian Focus Publications, 2020), 155 pp.

C.H. Spurgeon was well-known for pleading with sinners to come to the foot of the cross for salvation. “Fly to Christ,” Spurgeon would say. Yet, far too many pastors fall short in the gospel appeals. Donald Macleod’s Compel Them to Come In: Calvinism and the Free Offer of the Gospel offers a necessary antidote for the contemporary pulpit.

Macleod responds systematically to the prevailing arguments that seek to undermine the biblical imperative to invite sinners to turn from their sin and trust the Lord Jesus Christ. The primary arguments that militate against the free offer of the gospel concern the spiritual bondage of sinners, the doctrine of predestination, definite atonement, and God’s sincerity. The author is gracious in his presentation of these arguments but responds with the full force of Scripture.

With stunning clarity, Macleod explains how God utilizes both means and ends, which in the final analysis, leaves the hyper-Calvinist with nothing left to argue. For instance:

For from waiting for sovereign grace or some special providence to awaken the sleeping souls in front of him, he has to engage in an awakening ministry. He knows full well, of course, that conviction of sin, and the creation of a broken and contrite heart, is something that in the last analysis only God the Holy Spirit can accomplish; and sometimes, as in the case of the Philippians Jailer, He does it without any human agency. He sends an earthquake. But His usual way is to awaken sinners through His Word …

Macleod drives his point home by demonstrating our responsibility to plead with sinners: “The more we believe that only awakened sinners will seek a Savior, the more we should strive to awaken them … We need to be as free with the call to repentance as with the call to faith.”

The book concludes with practical counsel for anyone who is prepared to offer the gospel freely and indiscriminately.

Compel Them to Come is a much-needed book, especially for Reformed preachers. Such preachers do not have a good track record when it comes to the free and indiscriminate offer of the gospel.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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