Friday, June 11, 2010

R.C. Sproul on Election

This message from R.C. Sproul deals with election & the sovereignty of God in salvation.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


One of the things that, has sadly been on my mind recently, is, of all things, death. Within a matter of about 3 weeks, at least 4 people that I know of have passed away. I myself have lost my own father to cancer about 10 years ago, when I was only 11 years old.

According to King David: “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.”
(Psalm 103:15-16)

One of the verses that I can’t get out of my mind, a passage that’s convicting for me, myself is: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’" (James 4:13-15)

I struggle with this, myself, but, it seems that a lot of us, and as I said, myself included, don’t live in light of an impending death. We read a parable that Jesus tells in Luke 12, to a person who insisted that He tell his brother to divide his inheritance: "The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?' And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?' So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:16-21)

In fact, Peter writes, to Christians, no less: “But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly…But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2nd Peter 3:7 & 10-13)

Along the same lines, the author of Hebrews writes: “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27)

In the New Testament, we have three main pictures of judgment.

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Matthew 25:31-46)

“So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (2nd Cor. 5:9-10)

“Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:11-15)

Now, in light of this, we, as Christians must realize that there is an impending day of death and judgment. Although we certainly aren’t saved by our works, we will be held accountable for our works before a Holy and righteous God.

However, it must be stressed, our hope is in heaven, and a joyful eternity with Christ. To sum it up, I’ll use the words of Paul: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain…My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” (Philippians 1:21 & 23) Furthermore, we read: “Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (2nd Cor. 5:8)

And, we also get this brief description of heaven in Hebrews 12: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:22-24)

On the other hand, if there are non-Christians reading this blog piece, REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL!!! Seven times (Matthew 8:12, 13:42, 13:50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30 & Luke 13:28) hell is referred to as a place of “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Furthermore, in Matthew 8:12, 22:13 & 25:30 hell is described as darkness & in Matt. 13:42 & 13:50, hell is referred to as a furnace.

It’s also worth noting: "If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name." (Revelation 14:9-11)

Furthermore, we read the words of Christ: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” (John 3:36)

I apologize for the rambling nature of this blog piece. But, that being said, my point is, life is short. According to King David: “As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.” (Psalm 103:15-16)

And, although, in context this was in reference to God’s judgment on wayward Israel, I think these words should ring true for all of us: “…prepare to meet your God..” (Amos 4:12)