ARE THEY RESPONSIBLE IF THEY HAVE HEARD AND REJECTED THE GOSPEL?

I would say that the Bible clearly teaches that those who have heard the gospel and rejected it are indeed responsible for their rejection.  It is “a sin against the remedy.” “The sin of sins is the rejection of Christ.”  Salvation is of the Lord … but God’s Sovereignty does not negate man’s responsibility.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.

Matthew Henry Commentary:

First, His words were such as merited their love (v. 22):

“If I had not spoken unto them, to court their love, they had not had sin, their opposition had not amounted to a hatred of me, their sin had been comparatively no sin. But now that I have said so much to them to recommend myself to their best affections they have no pretence, no excuse for their sin.”

Observe here,

1. The advantage which those have that enjoy the gospel; Christ in it comes and speaks to them; he spoke in person to the men of that generation, and is still speaking to us by our Bibles and ministers, and as one that has the most unquestionable authority over us, and affection for us. Every word of his is pure, carries with it a commanding majesty, and yet a condescending tenderness, able, one would think, to charm the deafest adder.

2. … “If I had not spoken to them, if they had ever heard of Christ and of salvation by him, they had not had sin.”

(1.) Not this kind of sin. They had not been chargeable with a contempt of Christ if he had not come and made a tender of his grace to them. As sin is not imputed where there is no law, so unbelief is not imputed where there is no gospel; and, where it is imputed, it is thus far the only damning sin, that, being a sin against the remedy, other sin would not damn if the guilt of them were not bound on with this.

(2.) Not such a degree of sin. If they had not had the gospel among them, their other sins had not been so bad; for the times of ignorance God winked at, Lu. 12:47, 48. 3. The aggravated guilt which those lie under to whom Christ has come and spoken in vain, whom he has called and invited in vain, with whom he has reasoned and pleaded in vain; They have no cloak for their sin; they are altogether inexcusable, and in the judgment day will be speechless, and will not have a word to say for themselves.

Note, The clearer and fuller the discoveries are which are made to us of the grace and truth of Jesus Christ, the more is said to us that is convincing and endearing, the greater is our sin if we do not love him and believe in him. The word of Christ strips sin of its cloak, that it may appear sin.

People’s New Testament Commentary:

15:22 If I had not come… they had not had sin. Certain conclusions follow:

(1) The degree of our sin is measured by our opportunities;

(2) increased opportunities bring a consciousness of sin; light in the room enables us to see the dirt;

(3) the sin of sins is the rejection of Christ. Since he came there is no cloke, no covering, no excuse. Those who refuse Christ die in their sins, because they will not part from them.

See also  … JUDICIAL BLINDNESS

About Cathy

I am a born again Christian, saved in 1988 at the age of 38. My mother was born again in her old age, in her 80's. Her name is Giannina which means "God is gracious."
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