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Double Double, Toil & Trouble: Part 4 - Chapter 15 - My Final Answers

Double Double, Toil & Trouble: Part 4 - Chapter 15 - My Final Answers

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Published by Rob Wilkerson

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Published by: Rob Wilkerson on Jun 29, 2012
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Chapter SixteenMy Final Answers
 Throughout his sermons and works, Charles Spurgeon absolutelyrefused to try to reason out how certain persons who were not electcould be held accountable for not trusting Christ. If they were not elect,then there was no chance of them ever coming to Christ. So how couldthey be held responsible for not coming if they never would have in thefirst place? Spurgeon never made a single attempt to answer suchseeming contradictions.What were his grounds for refusing to quarrel about matters likethis? Simply, the Scriptures were his grounds. The Bible never offers anexplanation about this matter. It merely teaches that God does indeedpredestine some to enjoy his glory forever, and that He also predestinessome to be abandoned to sin and judgment forever. As stark and scaryas it sounds just writing that last half, it’s right from the Scriptures. The Bible teaches that those who are not elect are responsible fortheir sinful choices and for their rejection of Jesus Christ, the onlysacrifice for their sins. But the one thing the Bible does not teach is howthese truths are to be “harmonized” or “reconciled.” Therefore,Spurgeon would not fall into the trap of trying to do so. In his mind, andtherefore in our minds, we ought not to do such a thing either. Thesetwo truths do not need harmonizing. It is our finite minds that pinpointsuch supposed contradictions and presumptuously assume they needreconciling. But the Bible presents both truths as truth and does notpresume that they are contradictory.It was enough for Spurgeon that there is a salvation to bepreached with love to all and that he call to come to Christ and to say,“If he died for all those who trust him, I will trust him; if he has offeredso great a sacrifice upon the tree for guilty men, I will rely upon thatsacrifice and make it the basis of my hope.”
1
It is based on this verytestimony and thought process that I give you my final answers on thismatter. And though some may think it odd or strange, these answersare all focused on the matter Spurgeon raised – the necessity of man tohear the gospel and follow Jesus Christ.
Double-Predestination Makes Christians Cry, “Why Me!”
First, the doctrine of double-predestination makes the elect cry toGod, “Why me!” It makes a believer reel in shock and wonder that Godsaved him and not the other guy. It makes one so intimately aware of their own sinfulness as they look at another who is without mercy.
1
 
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit,
vol. 19, p. 280. Quoted in Murray, p. 99.
 
“What difference is there between us, O God?!” Nothing whatsoever.And that was the original point back in verse 11. There’s nothing goodor bad that separates you, but only God’s sovereign choice to love youand hate (or love less) the other. This doctrine makes you acutelyaware of your own unmeritorious standing before God, realizing that youhad absolutely nothing to do with God’s setting His affection on you. Hedid it because it was part of His purpose. And He didn’t do it for theother person because that was part of His purpose too. I don’t knowwhy, and I don’t have any earthly idea. But it’s what the Scriptures say,and its all about God’s glory. That’s truly humbling, reader.
Double-Predestination Makes Christians Cry, “Send Me!”
Second, this doctrine also makes the elect cry “Send me dearLord!” With the lack of understanding as to why God did it for them andnot for others, the heart surges with urgent desire to go and tell them of God’s mercy so that perhaps God’s sovereign election might includethem too in His purpose. I believe it was Spurgeon who somewhereprayed, “God save the elect, and elect some more!”We don’t really know who the elect are, do we? A formercolleague in ministry suggested that it would be nice if we could tell whothe elect were by looking at their belly-buttons! If you’re an “inny”you’re in, and if you’re an “outy” you’re out! Spurgeon suggestedsomething similar, preaching that we cannot lift up their shirts and seewhether or not there’s a gigantic “E” for elect tattooed right on theirbacks.So if we can’t know who the elect are, and if we don’t know, if we’ll never know for sure in this world who they are, that means we’vegot to get out and tell them all! Now! Yesterday! I mean, if we don’treally know why He showed us mercy in the first place, and if we arekeenly aware of nothing different between us and the unsaved guy, thenwe really don’t know if God will not save the lost guy after all, right? It’sthe biblical logic of double-predestination that smashes the criticismsleveled against it. It demands evangelism and missions. It demandsthat others be told because we really don’t know what God’s ultimateplan and purpose is for that person.
Double-Predestination is All About God’s Glory!
Finally, “It’s not about us! It’s all about Him! It’s all about theglory due His holy name!” Those words from my buddy Steve Camp(
Desiring God
, 2002) ring true in my ears yet again. The glory of God isthe end of it all. And the sovereignty of God, or the right of God to dowith His creation what He wills, is what guides that glory. In other
 
words, He will by any and all means necessary do whatever He must anduse whatever He must, or whoever He must, in order to glorify Himself and make His saving name known throughout all the earth.So let the lost serve as a warning to your soul, that you could havebeen there were it not for grace. Let it make you hate pride with allyour being, since you had nothing to do with any of this! And let it makeyou long to drink more deeply of His grace and mercy toward you. Lostpeople should make you glory in His salvation! And again, this doctrineshould motivate you and compel you to snatch the lost into thekingdom, pouring out your energy to see them saved from thedestruction that awaits them. Who knows but that God may have mercyon them…but only if you tell them!
Conclusion: A Passionate Call to Missions and Evangelism
My final answers lead me from Romans 9:22-23 to a passionatecall for evangelism and missions, locally and abroad. This was thenecessary consequence of the doctrines of election and reprobation forPaul in Romans 9-11. Election and reprobation were a call to evangelizebecause that was how God was going to get glory for Himself throughoutall the earth. The fact that those who have been predestined by God fordestruction are a stimulus to the elect to fall more and more in love withGod for His sovereign mercy leads to the call that Paul makes in chapter10. Those who become vessels of God’s mercy have a responsibility. Yes, once again our finite minds clash with the truth of God’ssovereignty in Romans 9 and the responsibility of man in Romans 10.Nevertheless, the means of becoming a vessel of mercy is faith in Christ.According to verses 1-13, to be accepted by God and forgiven, we musthave the righteousness of God. We get that by believing in the work of Christ. We don’t get it by working in such a way as to try to acquire ourown righteousness. To do that will only leave us ashamed on judgmentday.God’s righteousness is available to anyone who will believe. There’s no distinction between people groups.
 Anyone who calls on thename of the Lord will be saved.
There’s the promise from God to theresponsibility of man. But the questions then present themselves to usin rapid firing succession.“How are they to call on one they have not believed in?And how are they to believe in one they have not heard of?And how are they to hear without someone preaching tothem?And how are they to preach unless they are sent?

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