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The Wednesday Word: Is Jesus Enough for our Reward? Part 2

October 31, 2018 2 comments

All believers are headed for glory and our reward. But what exactly will that be?

Let’s ask ourselves, what do we want it to be? Do we want the reward of a big mansion or a castle in glory? Or, would Jesus be enough?

Do we want Him?
Do we love Him?

Can we say with the Psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” (Psalm 73:25).

Is Jesus enough?

Every believer, when our work has been examined at the Judgment throne, will receive a reward. So, let’s say for example, that our work passes through the Judgment with flying colours and we go on to our reward, what do we want it to be? Do we want literal crowns and mansions? They may be there. But so what?

I am persuaded that our greatest reward is Him, the Lord Jesus.

Consider the Levites of the Old Testament, they got no inheritance in the land, but they were given Him (Deuteronomy 10:9;18:1-2). The Lord was their inheritance and they had the privilege of ministering to Him.

They got the best deal in Israel!

The Lord is our reward. He told Abraham, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1). Isaiah 40:10 tells us; “Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him.”

Is He enough for our reward or do we want more?

I love what the hymn writer wrote about this; he said;

Finish then thy new creation:
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

We will cast our crowns before Him for He is enough. What a sublime thought!

So what exactly will Heaven and life there be like? We don’t know for eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him (1 Corinthians 2:9). But this much we do know; in Heaven, we not only encounter Jesus but we also encounter Heaven in Jesus

He is the Light of Heaven.
He is the Bread of Heaven.
He is the Delight of Heaven.
He is the Glory of Heaven.
He is the Joy of Heaven.
He is the Reward of Heaven.
His presence there makes Heaven into Heaven. If He left, it would no longer be Heaven! Jesus is the centre of Heaven, Jesus Himself is heaven and heaven is Jesus.

Jesus is enough.
And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XI-Unconditional Election-Continued-B

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XI

Unconditional Election [contd]

The Doctrine of Reprobation is Based on the Doctrine of Original Sin; No Injustice is Done to the Non-elect

It Is obvious that this part of the doctrine of Predestination which affirms that God has, by a sovereign and eternal decree, chosen one portion of mankind to salvation while leaving the other portion to destruction, strikes us at first as being opposed to our common ideas of justice and hence needs a defence. The defence of the doctrine of Reprobation rests upon the preceding doctrine of Original Sin or Total Inability. This decree finds the whole race fallen. None have any claim on God’s grace. But instead of leaving all to their just punishment, God gratuitously confers undeserved happiness upon one portion of mankind, — an act of pure mercy and grace to which no one can object, — while the other portion is simply passed by. No undeserved misery is inflicted upon this latter group. Hence no one has any right to object to this part of the decree. If the decree dealt simply with innocent men, it would be unjust to assign one portion to condemnation; but since it deals with men in a particular state, which is a state of guilt and sin, it is not unjust. “The conception of the world as lying in the evil one and therefore judged already (Joh_8:18), so that upon those who are not removed from the evil of the world the wrath of God is not so much to be poured out but simply abides (Joh_3:36, cf. 1Jo_3:14), is fundamental to this whole presentation. It is therefore, on the one hand, that Jesus represents Himself as having come not to condemn the world, but to save the world (Joh_8:17; Joh_8:12; Joh_9:5; Joh_12:47; cf. 4:42), and all that He does as having for its end the introduction of life into the world (Joh_6:33, Joh_6:51) ; the already condemned world needs no further condemnation, it needs saving.”19

Guilty man has lost his rights and falls under the will of God. God’s absolute sovereignty now comes in and when He shows mercy in some cases we cannot object to His justice in others unless we would call in question His government of the universe. Viewed in this light the decree of Predestination finds mankind one mass of perdition and allows only a portion of it to remain such. When all antecedently deserved punishment it was not unjust for some to be antecedently consigned to it; otherwise the execution of a just sentence would be unjust.

“When the Arminian says that faith and works constitute the ground of election we dissent,” says Clark. “But if he says that foreseen unbelief and disobedience constitute the ground of reprobation we assent readily enough. A man is not saved on the ground of his virtues but he is condemned on the ground of his sin. As strict Calvinists we insist that while some men are saved from their unbelief and disobedience, in which all are involved, and others are not, it is still the sinner’s sinfulness that constitutes the ground of his reprobation. Election and reprobation proceed on different grounds; one the grace of God, the other the sin of man. It is a travesty on Calvinism to say that because God elects to save a man irrespective of his character or deserts, that therefore He elects to damn a man irrespective of his character or deserts.”20

This reprobation or passing by of the non-elect is not founded merely upon a foresight of their continuance in sin; for if that had been a proper cause, reprobation would have been the fate of all men, for all were foreseen as sinners. Nor can it be said that those who were passed by were in all cases worse sinners than those who were brought to eternal life. The Scriptures always ascribe faith and repentance to the good pleasure of God and to the special gracious operation of His Spirit. Those who conceive of mankind as innocent and deserving of salvation are naturally scandalized when any portion of the race is antecendently consigned to punishment. But when the doctrine of Original Sin, which is taught so clearly and repeatedly in the Scriptures, is seen in its proper setting, the objections to predestination disappear and the condemnation of the wicked seems only just and natural. Thus salvation is of the Lord alone, and damnation wholly from ourselves. Men perish because they will not come to Christ; yet if they have a will to come, it is God who works the will in them. Grace, electing grace, both draws the will and keeps it steady; and to grace be all the praise.

Furthermore, out of a world of sinful and rebellious subjects, none of whom were in themselves worthy of saving, God has graciously chosen some when he might have passed by all as He did the fallen angels (2Pe_2:4; Jude 6). He has taken it altogether upon Himself to provide the redemption through which His people are saved. The atonement, therefore, is His own property; and He certainly may, as He most assuredly will, do what He pleases with His own. Grace is given to one and withheld from another as He sees best. It is to be noticed also that the withholding of His grace from the non-elect is but the negative cause of their perishing, just as the absence of a physician from the sick man is the occasion, not the efficient cause, of his death. “In the sight of an infinitely good and merciful God,” says Dr. Charles Hodge, “it was necessary that some of the rebellious race of man should suffer the penalty of the law which all have broken. It is God’s prerogative to determine who shall be vessels of mercy, and who shall be left to the just recompense of their sins.”21

Since man has brought himself into this state of sin, his condemnation is just, and every demand of justice would be met in his punishment. Conscience tells us that man perishes justly, since he chooses to follow Satan rather than God. “Ye will not come to me, that ye may have life,” said Jesus (Joh_5:40). And in this connection the words of Prof. F. E. Hamilton are very appropriate: “All God does is to let him (the unregenerate) alone and allow him to go his own way without interference. It is his nature to be evil, and God simply has foreordained to leave that nature unchanged. The picture often painted by opponents of Calvinism, of a cruel God refusing to save those who long to be saved, is a gross caricature. God saves all who want to be saved, but no one whose nature is unchanged wants to be saved.” Those who are lost are lost because they deliberately choose to walk in the ways of sin; and this will be the very hell of hells, that men have been self destroyers.

Many people talk as if salvation were a matter of human birthright. And, forgetful of the fact that man had and lost his supremely favorable chance in Adam, they inform us that God would be unjust if He did not give all guilty creatures an opportunity to be saved. In regard to the idea that salvation is given in return for something done by the person, Luther says, “But let us, I pray you, suppose that God ought to be such a one, who should have respect unto merit in those who are damned. Must we not, in like manner, also require and grant that He ought to have respect unto merit in those who are to be saved? For if we are to follow reason, it is equally unjust, that the undeserving should be crowned, as that the deserving should be damned.”22

No one with proper ideas of God supposes that He suddenly does something which He had not thought of before. Since His is an eternal purpose, what He does in time is what He purposed from eternity to do. Those whom He saves are those whom He purposed from eternity to save, and those whom He leaves to perish are those whom He purposed from eternity to leave. If it is just for God to do a certain thing in time, it is, by parity of argument, just for Him to resolve upon and decree it from eternity, for the principle of the action is the same in either case. And if we are justified in saying that from all eternity God has intended to display His mercy in pardoning a vast multitude of sinners why do some people object so strenuously when we say that from all eternity God has intended to display His justice in punishing other sinners?

Hence if it is just for God to forbear saving some persons after they are born, it was just for Him to form that purpose before they were born, or in eternity. And since the determining will of God is omnipotent, it cannot be obstructed or made void. This being true, it follows that He never did, nor does He now, will that every individual of mankind should be saved. If He willed this, not one single soul could ever be lost, “for who hath resisted His will?” If He willed that none should be lost, He would surely give to all men those effectual means of salvation without which it cannot be had. Now, God could give those means as easily to all mankind as to some only, but experience proves that He does not. Hence it logically follows that it is not His secret purpose or decretive will that all should be saved. In fact, the two truths, that what God does He does from eternity, and that only a portion of the human race is saved, is enough to complete the doctrines of Election and Reprobation.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

Many other illustrations of this law of first mention might be given, but the above are amply sufficient to exemplify its reality and value- They reveal how important it is to trace things back to their source

How indicative are the opening words of the Bible: “In the beginning God.” Here man is taught the first grand truth which he needs to know: that God is first and foremost, the Author of all things: the source and spring of all good. The first appearance of Satan in Scripture reveals to us his subtle character, the methods he employs, that God’s Word is the chief object of his assaults, and stamps him as the arch-liar. How the first recorded words of the Redeemer,

Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49),

summed up His mission and all His subsequent teaching, as well as intimated that such would be neither appreciated nor understood by men. Many other illustrations of this law of first mention might be given, but the above are amply sufficient to exemplify its reality and value. They reveal how important it is to trace things back to their source, and show that God has hung the key on the door for us to make use of. And they demonstrate the Divine authorship of the Bible, displaying as they do that the later books invariably employ terms and phrases with uniform significance and in perfect harmony with their initial mention. What proofs that He who knew the end from the beginning inspired holy men of old in the very words they selected and the use which they made of them.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The other translation is advocate

The other translation is advocate. Have you ever thought how the Holy Ghost can be said to be an advocate? You know Jesus Christ is called the wonderful, the counsellor, and mighty God; but how can the Holy Ghost be said to be an advocate? I suppose it is thus: he is an advocate on earth to plead against the enemies of the cross. How was it that Paul could so ably plead before Felix and Agrippa? How was it that the Apostles stood unawed before the magistrates and confessed their Lord? How has it come to pass that in all times God’s ministers have been made fearless as lions, and their brows have been firmer than brass, their hearts sterner than steel, and their words like the language of God? Why, it is simply for this reason, that it was not the man who pleaded, but it was God the Holy Ghost pleading through him. Have you never seen an earnest minister, with hands uplifted and eyes dropping tears, pleading with the sons of men? Have you never admired that portrait from the hand of old John Bunyan? A grave person with eyes uplifted to heaven, the best of books in his hand, the law of truth written on his lips, the world behind his back, standing as if he pleaded with men, and a crown of gold hanging over his head. Who gave that minister so blessed a manner and such goodly matter? Whence came his skill? Did he acquire it in the college? Did he learn it in the seminary? Ah! no; he learned it of the God of Jacob; he learned it of the Holy Ghost; for the Holy Ghost is the great counsellor who teaches us how to advocate his cause aright.

But, besides this, the Holy Ghost is the advocate in men’s hearts. Ah! I have known men reject a doctrine until the Holy Ghost began to illumine them. We who are the advocates of the truth are often very poor pleaders; we spoil our cause by the words we use; but it is a mercy that the brief is in the hand of a special pleader, who will advocate successfully and overcome the sinner’s opposition. Did you ever know him fail once? Brethen, I speak to your souls has not God in old times convinced you of sin? Did not the Holy Ghost come and prove that you were guilty, although no minister could ever get you out of your self-righteousness? Did he not advocate Christ’s righteousness? Did he not stand and tell you that your works were filthy rags? and when you had well-nigh still refused to listen to his voice, did he not fetch hell’s drum and make it sound about your ears, bidding you look through the vista of future years and see the throne set, and the books open, and the sword brandished, and hell burning, and fiends howling, and the damned shrieking for ever? and did he not thus convince you of the judgment to come? He is a mighty advocate when he pleads in the soul-of sin, of righteousness, and of the judgment to come. Blessed advocate! plead in my heart, plead with my conscience. When I sin, make conscience bold to tell me of it; when I err, make conscience speak at once; and when I turn aside to crooked ways, then advocate the cause of righteousness, and bid me sit down in confusion, knowing my guiltiness in the sight of God.

But there is yet another sense in which the Holy Ghost advocates, and that is, he advocates our cause with Jesus Christ, with groanings that cannot be uttered. O my soul, thou art ready to burst within me! O my heart, thou art swelled with grief; the hot tide of my emotion would well-nigh overflow the channels of my veins. I long to speak, but the very desire chains my tongue. I wish to pray, but the fervency of my feeling curbs my language. There is a groaning within that cannot be uttered. Do you know who can utter that groaning, who can understand it, and who can put it into heavenly language and utter it in O celestial tongue, so that Christ can hear it? Oh! yes; it is God the Holy Spirit; he advocates our cause with Christ and then Christ advocates it with his Father. He is the advocate, who maketh intercession for us, with groanings that cannot be uttered.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Comforter,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 21, 1855

Update on converting Bunyan to Pdf

Good morning. I hope and pray that all is well with the readers of this blog.

I can’t remember if I mentioned that I was converting John Bunyan’s works to Pdf, seeing that I work 3 hours a morning on this endeavor and then work 10 hours a day at my place of employment.

Anyhow, all is going well with the placing of Bunyan in Pdf format. I am almost done with his works. However, my storage space on my site has grown thin, so I may just offer the work up for a low price on Cd. This will allow me to purchase more web space. We shall see how this goes as the Lord leads me in this move.

Have a blessed day.

Your brother in Christ,

Hershel L. Harvell Jr.

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The Covenants-Chapter 4c-The Covenant of Redemption

That this covenant came into being before the fall of man, is a truth sustained in the divine word by the clearest evidence.

It is fully supported by Peter, when he says, addressing Christians in all lands:- “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation [manner of life] received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith, and hope, might be in God.” Paul bears concurrent testimony in the declaration that “God who cannot lie, promised us eternal life before the world began.” He says, “He hath saved us, and called us, with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose, and grace, given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began.” And yet more:-” Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love.” The covenant of redemption was, therefore, brought into being before the creation of the world.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 192

TO YOUNG PEOPLE

MENTONE, December 20, 1887.

DEAR BOYS, —

I wish you all a merry Christmas. My son, Mr. Charles Spurgeon, will tell you that it is a great trouble to me to be away from you all at Christmas, but I hope you will all enjoy yourselves none the less, and be as happy as kittens. I am very pleased to hear that as a rule you are a good lot of fellows, obedient, teachable, and true; therefore you have a right to be happy, and I hope you are. I always wish everything to be done to make you love the Orphanage and feel it to be your home, and in this all the Trustees join, and so does Mr. Charlesworth. We want you to be very jolly while you are with us, and then to grow up and go out into business, and to turn out first-rate men and true Christians. Boys, give three cheers for the Trustees, who are your best friends, and then the same for Mr. Charlesworth, the matrons, and the masters. Don’t forget the gentlemen who send the shillings and the figs. Hip, hip, hurrah!

Where are the girls?

DEAR CHILDREN, —

I hope you will be happy too, with Miss Moore and the other kind folks. You cannot make quite so much noise as those uproarious boys, but your voices are very sweet, and I shall be glad one day to hear them when I get well and come home. Enjoy yourselves all you can, and try to make everybody happy in your new home. I hope my first little girls will be specially good ones. Ought not the first to be the best?

Your friend always,

C. H. SPURGEON.