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Predestination is Practical

by Jeff Robinson

In some churches, it is a word that conjures up images of an angry and capricious God who acts arbitrarily to save some, but consigns most sinners—including deceased infants—to eternal perdition. For many professing Christians, it is the mother-of-all-swear-words.

Let the pastor breathe it in the presence of the deacon board and he risks firing, fisticuffs or worse. A God who chooses is anti-American, anti democracy. It bespeaks a long-faced religion, a doctrinal novelty invented by a maniacal 16th century minister whose progeny manufactured a theological “ism” that has plunged countless souls into a godless eternity.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

God teaches us the truth that He alone is God by commanding us to “look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”

June 27, 2016 1 comment

SpurgeonNow, who are the ends of the earth? Why, there are poor heathen nations now that are very few degrees removed from brutes, uncivilized and untaught, but if I might go and tread the desert, and find the Bushman in his kraal, or go to the South seas, and find a Cannibal, I would say to the Cannibal or the Bushman, “Look unto Jesus, and be ye saved all the ends of the earth.” They are some of “the ends of the earth,” and the gospel is sent as much to them, as to the polite Grecians, the refined Romans, or the educated Britons. But I think “the ends of the earth “imply those who have gone the farthest away from Christ. I say, drunkard, that means you! You have been staggering back, till you have got right to the ends of the earth; you have almost had delirium tremens, you cannot be much worse, there is not a man breathing worse than you. Is there? Ah! but God, in order to humble your pride, says to you, “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” There is another who lived a life of infamy and sin, until she has ruined herself, and even Satan seems to sweep her out at the back door; but God says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Methinks I see one trembling here, and saying, “Ah! I have not been one of these, sir, but I have been something worse, for I have attended the house of God, and I have stifled convictions, and put off all thoughts of Jesus, and now I think he will never have mercy on me.” You are one of them. “Ends of the earth!” So long as I find any who feel like that, I can tell them that they are “the ends of the earth.” “But,” says another, “I am so peculiar; if I did not feel as I do, it would be all very well; but I feel that my case is a peculiar one.” That is all right; they are a peculiar people. You will do. But another one says, “There is nobody in the world like me; I do not think you will find a being under the sun that has had so many calls, and put them all away, and so many sins on his head; besides, I have guilt that I should not like to confess to any living creature.” One of “the ends of the earth “again; therefore all I have to do is to cry out, in the Master’s name, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God and there is none else.” But thou sayest sin will not let thee look. I tell thee, sin will be removed the moment thou dost look. “But I dare not; he will condemn me; I fear to look” He will condemn thee more, if thou dost not look. Fear, then, and look; but do not let thy fearing keep thee from looking. “But he will cast me out.” Try him. “But I cannot see him.” I tell you, it is not seeing, but looking. “But my eyes are so fixed on the earth, so earthly, so worldly.” Ah! but, poor soul, he giveth power to look and live. He saith- ”Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6

God teaches us the truth that He alone is God by commanding us to look to Christ alone for salvation

Spurgeon 3The world likes a religion they cannot comprehend! But have you never noticed how gloriously simple the Bible is? It will not have any of your nonsense, it speaks plain, and nothing but plain things. “Look!” There is not an unconverted man who likes this “Look unto Christ, and be ye saved.” No, he comes to Christ like Naaman to Elijah; and when it is said, “Go, wash in Jordan!” he replies “I verily thought he would come and put his hand on the place, and call on the name of his God, but the idea of telling me to wash in Jordan, what a ridiculous thing. Anybody could do that!” If the prophet had bidden him do some great thing, would he not have done it? Ah! certainly he would. And if, this morning, I could preach that any one who walked from here to Bath without his shoes and stockings or did some impossible thing, should be saved, you would start off to-morrow morning, before breakfast. If it would take me seven years to describe the way of salvation, I am sure you would all long to hear it. If only one learned doctor could tell the way to heaven, how would he be run after! And if it were in hard words with a few scraps of Latin and Greek, it would be all the better. But it is a simple gospel that we have to preach. It is only “Look!” “Ah!” you say, “is that the gospel? I shall not pay any attention to that.” But why has God ordered you to do such a simple thing? Just to take down your pride, and to show you that he is God, and that beside him there is none else. Oh! mark how simple the way of salvation is. It is, “Look, look, look!” -Four letters, and two of them alike! “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Some divines want a week to tell you what you are to do to be saved: but God the Holy Ghost only wants four letters to do it. “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” How simple is that way of salvation! And, oh! How instantaneous! It takes us some time to move our hand, but a look does not require a moment. So a sinner believes in a moment, and the moment that sinner believes and trusts in his crucified God for pardon, at once he receives salvation in full through his blood. There may be one that came in here this morning unjustified in his conscience, that will go out justified rather than others. There may be some here, filthy sinners one moment, pardoned the next. It is done in an instant. “Look! Look! Look!” And how universal is it! Because wherever I am, however far off, it just says “Look!” It does not say I am to see; it only says “Look!” If we look on a thing in the dark we cannot see it, but we have done what we were told. So if a sinner only looks to Jesus, he will save him; for Jesus in the dark is as good as Jesus in the light, and Jesus when you cannot see him is as good as Jesus when you can. It is only “look!” “Ah!” says one, “I have been trying to see Jesus this year, but I have not seen him.” It does not say see him, but “took unto him!” And it says that they who looked were lightened. If there is an obstacle before you, and you only look in the right direction, it is sufficient. “Look unto me!” It is not seeing Christ so much as looking after him. The will after Christ, the wish after Christ, the desire after Christ, the trusting in Christ, the hanging on Christ, that is what is wanted. “Look! Look! Look!” Ah! if the man bitten by the serpent had turned his sightless eye-balls towards the brazen serpent, though he had not seen it, he would still have had his life restored. It is looking, not seeing, that saves the sinner.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6

God teaches us the truth that He alone is God by commanding us to look to Him alone for salvation

CharlesSpurgeon1. First, to whom does God tell us to look for salvation? Oh! does it not lower the pride of man, when we hear the Lord say, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth?” It is not “Look to your priest, and be ye saved:” if you did there would be another God, and beside him there would be some one else. It is not “Look to yourself:” if so, then there would be a being who might arrogate some of the praise of salvation. But it is, “Look unto me.” How frequently you who are coming to Christ look to yourselves. “Oh!” you say, “I do not repent enough.” That is looking to yourself. “I do not believe enough.” That is looking to yourself. “I am too unworthy.” That is looking to yourself “I cannot discover,” says another, “that I have any righteousness.” It is quite right to say that you have not any righteousness; but it is quite wrong to look for any. It is “Look unto me,” God will have you turn your eye off yourself and look unto him. The hardest thing in the world is to turn a man’s eye off himself; as long as he lives, he always has a predilection to turn his eyes inside and look at himself, whereas, God says, “Look unto me.” From the Cross of Calvary, where the bleeding hands of Jesus drop mercy, from the Garden of Gethsemane, where the bleeding pores of the Savior sweat pardons, the cry comes, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” From Calvary’s summit, where Jesus cries, “It is finished,” I hear a shout, “Look, and be saved.” But there comes a vile cry from our soul, “Nay, look to yourself! look to yourself!” Ah, my bearer, look to yourself, and you will be damned. That certainly will come of it. As long as you look to yourself there is no hope for you. It is not a consideration of what you are, but a consideration of what God is, and what Christ is, that can save you. It is looking from yourself to Jesus. Oh! there be men that quite misunderstand the gospel; they think that righteousness qualifies them to come to Christ; whereas sin is the only qualification for a man to come to Jesus. Good old Crisp says, “Righteousness keeps me from Christ: the whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick; sin makes me come to Jesus when sin is felt, and in coming to Christ, the more sin I have, the more cause I have to hope for mercy.” David said, and it was a strange thing too, “Have mercy upon me, for mine iniquity is great.” But, David, why did you not say that it was little? Because David knew, that the bigger his sins were, the better reason for asking mercy. The more vile a man is, the more eagerly I invite him to believe in Jesus. A sense of sin is all we have to look for, as ministers. We preach to sinners; and let us know that a man will take the title of sinner to himself, and we then say to him, “Look unto Christ, and ye shall be saved.” “Look,” this is all he demands of thee, and even this he gives thee. If thou lookest to thyself thou art damned; thou art a vile miscreant, filled with loathsomeness, corrupt and corrupting others. But look thou here! seest thou that man hanging on the cross? Dost thou behold his agonized head drooping meekly down upon his breast? Dost thou see that thorny crown, causing drops of blood to trickle down his cheeks? Dost thou see his hands pierced and rent, and his blessed feet, supporting the weight of his own frame, rent well nigh in twain with the cruel nails? Sinner! dost thou hear him shriek, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” Dost thou hear him cry, “It is finished?” Dost thou mark his head hang down in death? Seest thou that side pierced with the spear, and the body taken from the cross? Oh! come thou hither! Those hands were nailed for thee; those feet gushed gore for thee; that side was opened wide for thee; and if thou wantest to know how thou canst find mercy, there it is! “Look!” “Look unto me!” Look no longer to Moses Look no longer to Sinai. Come thou here and look to Calvary, to Calvary’s victim, and to Joseph’s grave. And look thou yonder, to the man who near the throne sits with his Father, crowned with light and immortality. “Look! sinner,” he says, this morning, to you, “Look unto me, and be ye saved.” It is in this way God teaches that there is none beside him, because he makes us look entirely to him, and utterly away from ourselves.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6

In salvation God teaches us the truth that He alone is God

Spurgeon“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 14:22.

II. This brings us to the second portion of our discourse. Salvation is God’s greatest work, and therefore, in his greatest work, he specially teaches us this lesson-That he is God, and that beside him there is none else. Our text tells US HOW HE TEACHES IT-He says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” He shows us that he is God, and that beside him there is none else, in three ways. First, by the person to whom he directs us.-”Look unto me, and be ye saved.” Secondly, by the means he tells us to use to obtain mercy:-”Look,” simply “Look.” And thirdly, by the persons whom he calls to “look:” -”Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6

God has taught the wise men of this world the truth that He alone is God

SpurgeonAgain: our God has had much to do to teach this lesson to the wise men of this world; for as rank, pomp, and power, have set themselves up in the place of God, so has wisdom; and one of the greatest enemies of Deity has always been the wisdom of man. The wisdom of man will not see God. Professing themselves to be wise, wise men have become fools. But have ye not noticed, in reading history, how God has abased the pride of wisdom? In ages long gone by, be sent mighty minds into the world, who devised systems of philosophy. “These systems,” they said, “will last for ever.” -Their pupils thought them infallible, and therefore wrote their sayings on enduring parchment, saying, “This book will last for ever; succeeding generations of men will read it, and to the last man that book shall be handed down as the epitome of wisdom “Ah! but,” said God, “that book of yours shall be seen to be folly, ere another hundred years have rolled away.” And so the mighty thoughts of Socrates, and the wisdom of Solon, are utterly forgotten now; and could we hear them speak, the veriest child in our school would laugh to think that he understandeth more of philosophy than they. But when man has found the vanity of one system, his eyes have sparkled at another, if Aristotle will not suffice, here is Bacon, now I shall know everything: and he sets to work, and says that this new philosophy is to last for ever. He lays his stones with fair colors, and he thinks that every truth he piles up is a precious imperishable truth. But alas! another century comes, and it is found to be “wood, hay, and stubble.” A new sect of philosophers rise up, who refute their predecessors. So too we have wise men in this day wise securalists, and so on, who fancy they have obtained the truth; but within another fifty yearsand mark that word-this hair shall not be silvered over with grey, until the last of that race shall have perished, and that man shall be thought a fool that was ever connected with such a race; systems of infidelity pass away like a dew-drop before the sun; for God says, “I am God, and beside me there is none else.” This Bible is the stone that shall break in powder philosophy; this is the mighty battering ram that shall dash all systems of philosophy in pieces; this is the stone that a woman may yet hurl upon the head of every Abimelech, and he shall be utterly destroyed. O Church of God! fear not thou shalt do wonders; wise men shall be confounded, and thou shalt know, and they too, that he is God, and that beside him there is none else.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6

God has taught monarchs the truth that He alone is God

CharlesSpurgeonAgain: how has he taught this great truth to monarchs! There are some who have been most proud that have had to learn it in a way more hard than others. Take for instance, Nebuchadnezzar. His crown is on his head, his purple robe is over his shoulders; he walks through proud Babylon, and says, “Is not this great Babylon which I have builded?” Do you see that creature in the field there? It is a man. “A man?” say you; its hair has grown like eagles’ feathers; and its nails like bird’s claws; it walketh on all fours, and eateth grass, like an ox; it is driven out from men. That is the monarch who said- “Is not this great Babylon that I have builded?” And now he is restored to Babylon’s palace, that he may “bless the Most High who is able to abase those that walk in pride.” I remember another monarch. Look at Herod. He sits in the midst of his people, and he speaks. Hear ye the impious shout? “It is the voice of God,” they cry, “and not the voice of man.” The proud monarch gives not God the glory; he affects the god and seems to shake the spheres, imagining himself divine. There is a worm that creepeth into his body, and yet another, and another, and ere that sun has set, he is eaten up of worms. Ah! monarch! Thou thoughtest of being a god, and worms have eaten thee! Thou hast thought of being more than man; and what art thou? Less than man, for worms consume thee, and thou art the prey of corruption. Thus God humbleth the proud, thus he abaseth the mighty. We might give you instances from modern history; but the death of a king is all-sufficient to teach this one lesson, if men would but learn it. When kings die, and in funeral pomp are carried to the grave, we are taught the lesson- “I am God, and beside me there is none else.” When we hear of revolutions, and the shaking of empires-when we see old dynasties tremble, and gray-haired monarchs driven from their thrones, then it is that Jehovah seems to put his foot upon land and sea, and with his hand uplifted cries-”Hear! ye inhabitants of the earth! Ye are but as grasshoppers; ‘I am God, and beside me there is none else.’”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6

God has been teaching false gods, and to the idolaters who have bowed before them, that He alone is God

April 11, 2016 1 comment

CharlesSpurgeonThis morning we shall attempt to show you, in the first place, how God has been teaching this great lesson to the world-that he is God, and beside him there is none else; and then, secondly, the special way in which he designs to teach it in the matter of salvation,-”Look unto me, and be ye saved: for I am God, and there is none else.”

I. First, then, HOW HAS GOD BEEN TEACHING THIS LESSON TO MANKIND?

We reply he has taught it first of all, to false gods, and to the idolaters who have bowed before them. Man, in his wickedness and sin, has set up a block of wood and stone to be his maker, and has bowed before it. He hath fashioned for himself out of a goodly tree an image made unto the likeness of mortal man, or of the fishes of the sea, or of creeping things of the earth, and he has prostrated his body, and his soul too, before that creature of his own hands, calling it God, while it had neither eyes to see, nor hands to handle, nor ears to hear! But how hath God poured contempt on the ancient gods of the heathen. Where are they now? Are they so much as known? Where are those false deities before whom the multitudes of Nineveh prostrated themselves? Ask the moles and the bats whose companions they are, or ask the mounds beneath which they are buried; or go where the idle gazer walketh through the museum, see them there as curiosities, and smile to think that men should ever bow before such gods as these. And where are the gods of Persia? Where are they? The fires are quenched, and the fire worshipper hath almost ceased out of the earth. Where are the gods of Greece-those Gods adorned with poetry, and hymned in the most sublime odes? Where are they? they are gone. Who talks of them now, but as things that were of yore? Jupiter-doth anyone bow before him? and who is he that adores Saturn? They are passed away, and they are forgotten. And where are the gods of Rome? Doth Janus now command the temple? or do the vestal virgins now feed their perpetual fires? Are there any now that bow before these gods? No, they have lost their thrones. And where are the gods of the South Sea Islands- those bloody demons before whom wretched creatures prostrated their bodies? They have well nigh become extinct. Ask the inhabitants of China and Polynesia where are the gods before which they bowed? Ask, and echo says ask, and ask again. They are cast down from their thrones they are hurled from their pedestals, their chariots are broken, their sceptres are burnt in the fire, their glories are departed, God hath gotten unto himself the victory over false gods, and taught their worshippers that be is God, and that beside him there is none else. Are there gods still worshipped, or idols before which the nations bow themselves? Wait but a little while, and ye shall see them fall. Cruel Juggernaut, whose ear still crushes in its motion the foolish ones who throw themselves before it, shall yet be the object of derision, and the most noted idols, such as Budha and Brahma, and Vishnu, shall yet stoop themselves to the earth, and men shall tread them down as mire in the streets; for God will teach all men that he is God, and that there is none else.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6

There was God

Spurgeon 1If it were within the range of human capacity to conceive a time when God dwelt alone, without his creatures, we should then have one of the grandest and most stupendous ideas of God. There was a season when as yet the sun had never run his race, nor commenced flinging his golden rays across space, to gladden the earth. There was an era when no stars sparkled in the firmament for there was no sea of azure in which they might float. There was a time when all that we now behold of God’s great universe was yet unborn, slumbering within the mind of God, as yet uncreated and nonexistent; yet there was God, and he was; over all blessed for ever;” though no seraphs hymned his praises, though no strong-winged cherubs flashed like lightning to do his high behests, though he was without a retinue, yet he sat as a king on his throne, the mighty God, for ever to be worshiped the Dread Supreme, in solemn silence dwelling by himself in vast immensity, making of the placid clouds his canopy, and the light from his own countenance forming the brightness of his glory. God was, and God is. From the beginning God was God; ere worlds had beginning, he was “from everlasting to everlasting.” Now when it pleased him to create his creatures, does it not strike you how infinitely those creatures must have been below himself. If you are potters, and you fashion upon the wheel a vessel, shall that piece of clay arrogate to itself equality with you! Nay, at what distance will it be from you, because you have been in part its creator. So when the Almighty formed his creatures, was it not consummate impudence, that they should venture for a moment to compare themselves with him? Yet that arch-traitor, that leader of rebels, Satan, sought to climb to the high throne of God, soon to find his aim too high, and hell itself not low enough wherein to escape divine vengeance. He knows that God is “God alone.” Since the world was created, man has imitated Satan; the creature of a day, the ephemera of an hour, has sought to match itself with the Eternal. Hence it has ever been one of the objects of the great Jehovah, to teach mankind that be is God, and beside him there is none else. This is the lesson he has been teaching the world since it went astray from him He has been busying himself in breaking down the high places, in exalting the valleys, in casting down imaginations and lofty looks, that all the world might

“Know that the Lord is God alone,
He can create, and he destroy.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Sovereignty and Salvation-A Sermon Delivered On Sabbath Morning, January 6

Special Providence proved by passages relating to the human race

November 18, 2015 Leave a comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Special Providence proved by passages relating to the human race, and the more especially that for its sake the world was created.

6. But as we know that it was chiefly for the sake of mankind that the world was made, we must look to this as the end which God has in view in the government of it. The prophet Jeremiah exclaims, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps,” (Jeremiah 10:23.) Solomon again says, “Man’s goings are of the Lord: how can a man then understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24.) Will it now be said that man is moved by God according to the bent of his nature, but that man himself gives the movement any direction he pleases? Were it truly so, man would have the full disposal of his own ways. To this it will perhaps be answered, that man can do nothing without the power of God. But the answer will not avail, since both Jeremiah and Solomon attribute to God not power only, but also election and decree. And Solomon, in another place, elegantly rebukes the rashness of men in fixing their plans without reference to God, as if they were not led by his hand. “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord,” (Proverbs 16:1.) It is a strange infatuation, surely for miserable men, who cannot even give utterance except in so far as God pleases, to begin to act without him! Scriptures moreover, the better to show that every thing done in the world is according to his decree, declares that the things which seem most fortuitous are subject to him. For what seems more attributable to chance than the branch which falls from a tree, and kills the passing traveler? But the Lord sees very differently, and declares that He delivered him into the hand of the slayer, (Exodus 21:13.) In like manners who does not attribute the lot to the blindness of Fortune? Not so the Lord, who claims the decision for himself, (Proverbs 16:33.) He says not, that by his power the lot is thrown into the lap, and taken out, but declares that the only thing which could be attributed to chance is from him. To the same effect are the words of Solomon, “The poor and the deceitful man meet together; the Lord lighteneth both their eyes,” (Proverbs 29:13.) For although rich and poor are mingled together in the world, in saying that the condition of each is divinely appointed, he reminds us that God, Who enlightens all, has his own eye always open, and thus exhorts the poor to patient endurance, seeing that those who are discontented with their lot endeavor to shake off a burden which God has imposed upon them. Thus, too, another prophet upbraids the profane, who ascribe it to human industry, or to fortune, that some grovel in the mire while others rise to honor. “Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down ones and setteth up another,” (Psalm 75:6, 7.) Because God cannot divest himself of the office of judge, he infers that to his secret counsel it is owing that some are elevated, while others remain without honor.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 16-Henry Beveridge Translation