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The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XIV- The Perseverance of the Saints

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XIV

The Perseverance of the Saints

7. SCRIPTURE PROOF

The Scripture proof for this doctrine is abundant and clear.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness or peril, or sword? Nay, In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 8:35-39.

“Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace,” Romans 6:14. “He that believeth hath eternal life,” John 6:47. “He that heareth my word, and believeth Him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life,” John 5:24. The moment one believes, eternal life becomes a reality, a present possession, and not merely a conditional gift of the future. “I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever,” John 6:51. He does not say that we have to eat many times, but that if we eat at all, we shall live for ever. “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life,” John 4:14.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ,” Philippians 1:6. “Jehovah will perfect that which concerneth me,” Psalm 138:8. “The gifts and calling of God are not repented of:’ Romans 11:29. “The witness is this, that God gave unto us eternal life,” 1 John 5:11. “These things have I written unto you that ye may know that ye have eternal life,” 1 John 5:13. “For by one offering He bath perfected for ever them that are sanctified,” Hebrews 10:14. “The Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will save me unto His heavenly kingdom,” 2 Timothy 4:18. “For whom He foreknew, He also foreordained …. and whom He foreordained, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified:’ Romans 8:29. “Having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,” Ephesians 1:5.

Jesus declared, “I give unto them (the true followers, or ‘sheep’) eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand,” John 10:28. Here we find that our security and God’s omnipotence are equal; for the former is founded on the latter. God is mightier than the whole world, and neither men nor Devil can rob Him of one of His precious jewels. It would be as easy to pluck a star out of the heavens as to pluck a saint out of the Father’s hand. Their salvation stands in His invincible might and they are placed beyond the peril of destruction. We have Christ’s promise that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church; yet if the Devil could snatch one here and another there and large numbers in some congregations, the gates of hell would to a great extent prevail against it. In principle, if one could be lost, all might be lost, and thus Christ’s assurance would be reduced to idle words.

When we are told that “There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, who shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, IF POSSIBLE, even the elect,” Matthew 24:24, the unprejudiced believing mind readily understands that it is IMPOSSIBLE to lead astray the elect.

The mystic union which exists between Christ and believers is a guarantee that they shall continue steadfast. “Because I live, ye shall live also,” John 14:19. The effect of this union is that believers participate in His life. Christ is in us, Romans 8:10. It is not we that live, but Christ that liveth in us, Galatians 2:20. Christ and the believers have a common life such as that which exists in the vine and the branches. The Holy Spirit so dwells in the redeemed that every Christian is supplied with an inexhaustible reservoir of strength.

Paul warned the Ephesians, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption,” Ephesians 4:30. He had no fear of apostasy for he could confidently say, “Thanks be to God who always leadeth us in triumph in Christ,” 2 Corinthians 2:14. The Lord, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah said, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love,” 31:3, — one of the best proofs that God’s love shall have no end is that it has no beginning, but is eternal. In the parable of the two houses, the very point stressed was that the house which was founded on the rock (Christ) did not fall when the storms of life came. Arminianism sets up another system in which some of those who are founded on the rock do fall. In the twenty-third Psalm we read, “And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The true Christian is no temporary visitor, but a permanent dweller in the house of the Lord. How those rob this psalm of its deeper and richer meaning who teach that the grace of God is a temporary thing!

Christ makes intercession for His people (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25), and we are told that the Father hears Him always (John 11:42). Hence the Arminian, holding that Christians may fall away, must deny either the passages which declare that Christ does make intercession for His people, or he must deny those which declare that His prayers are always heard. Let us consider here how well protected we are: Christ is at the right hand of God pleading for us, and in addition to that, the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, Romans 8:26.

In the wonderful promise of Jeremiah 32:40, God has promised to preserve believers from their own backslidings: “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, and I will not turn away from following them, to do them good; and I will put my fear in their hearts, that they may not depart from me.” And in Ezekiel 11:19, 20, He promises to take from them the “stony heart,” and to give them a “heart of flesh,” so that they shall walk in his statutes and keep his ordinances, and so that they shall be His people and He their God. Peter tells us that Christians cannot fall away, for they “by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed at the last time,” 1 Peter 1:5. Paul says, “God is able to make all grace to abound unto you; that ye, having always all sufficiency in everything, may abound unto every good work,” 2 Corinthians 9:8. He declares that the Lord’s servant “shall be made to stand; for the Lord hath power to make him stand,” Romans 14:4.

And Christians have the further promise, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, and will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it,” 1 Corinthians 10:13. Their removal from certain temptations which would be too strong for them is an absolute and free gift from God, since it is entirely an arrangement of His providence as to what temptations they encounter in the course of their lives, and what ones they escape. “The Lord is faithful and will establish you and guard you from the evil one,” 2 Thessalonians 3:3. And again, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them,” Psalm 34:7. Amid all his trials and hardships Paul could say, “We are pressed on every side, yet not straightened; perplexed, yet not unto despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; smitten down, yet not destroyed; …. knowing that He that raised up the Lord Jesus Christ shall raise us also with Jesus,” 2 Corinthians 4:8, 9, 14.

The saints, even in this world, are compared to a tree that does not wither, Psalm 1:3; to the cedars which flourish on Mount Lebanon, Psalm 92:12; to Mount Zion which cannot be moved, but which abideth forever, Psalm 125:1; and to a house built on a rock, Matthew 7:24. The Lord is with them in their old age, Isaiah 46: 4, and is their guide even unto death, Psalm 48:14, so that they cannot be totally and finally lost.

Another strong argument is to be noticed concerning the Lamb’s book of life. The disciples were told to rejoice, not so much over the fact that the demons were subject to them, but that their names were written in the Lamb’s book of life. This book is a catalogue of the elect, determined by the unalterable counsel of God, and can neither be increased nor diminished. The names of the righteous are found there; but the names of those who perish have never been written there from the foundation of the world. God does not make the mistake of writing in the book of life a name which He will later have to blot out. Hence none of the Lord’s own ever perish. Jesus told His disciples to find their chief joy in the fact that their names were written in heaven, Luke 10:20; yet there would have been small grounds for joy in this respect if their names written in heaven one day could have been blotted out the next. Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Our citizenship is in heaven,” 3:20; and to Timothy he wrote, “The Lord knoweth them that are His,” 2 Timothy 2:19. For the Scripture teaching concerning the book of life, see Luke 10:20; Philippians 4:3; Revelation 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12-15; 21:27.

Here, then, are very simple and plain statements that the Christian shall continue in grace, the reason being that the Lord takes it upon Himself to preserve him in that state. In these promises the elect are secured on both sides. Not only will God not depart from them, but He will so put His fear into their hearts that they shall not depart from him. Surely no Spirit-taught Christian can doubt that this doctrine is taught in the Bible. It seems that man, poor, wretched and impotent as he is, would welcome a doctrine which secures for him the possessions of eternal happiness despite all attacks from without and all evil tendencies from within. But it is not so. He refuses it, and argues against it. And the causes are not far to seek. In the first place he has more confidence in himself than be has any right to have. Secondly, the scheme is so contrary to what he is used to in the natural world that he persuades himself that it cannot be true. Thirdly, he perceives that if this doctrine be admitted, the other doctrines of free grace will logically follow. Hence he twists and explains away the Scripture passages which teach it, and clings to some which appear on the surface to favor his preconceived views. In fact, a system of salvation by grace is so utterly at variance with his every-day experience, in which be sees every thing and person treated according to works and merits, that he has great difficulty in bringing himself to believe that it can be true. He wishes to earn his own salvation, though certainly he expects very high wages for very sorry work.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

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Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” from the Bondage of Sin

Let us now examine a little more closely, in what our liberty consists.

I. And first, my friends, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” from the Bondage of Sin. Ah! I know I shall speak feelingly to some of you when I talk about the bondage of sin. You know what that misery means. Of all bondage and slavery in this world, there is none more horrible than the bondage of sin. Tell me of Israel in Egypt preparing their tale of bricks unsupplied with straw; tell me of the negro beneath the lash of his cruel task-master, and I confess it is a bondage fearful to be borne; but there is one far worse-the bondage of a convinced sinner when he is brought to feel the burden of his guilt; the bondage of a man when once his sins are baying him, like hounds about a weary stag; the bondage of a man when the burden of sin is on his shoulder-a burden too heavy for his soul to bear-a burden which will sink him for ever in the depths of everlasting torment, unless he doth escape from it. Methinks I see such a person. He hath never a smile upon his face; dark clouds hath gathered on his brow; solemn and serious he stands; his very words are sighs; his songs are groans; his smiles are tears; and when he seems most happy, hot drops of grief roll in burning showers, scalding furrows on his cheek. Ask him what he is, and he tells you he is “a wretch undone.” Ask him how he is, and he confesses that he is “misery incarnate.” Ask him what he shall be, and he says, “he shall be lost in flames for ever, and there is no hope.” Behold him alone in his retirement: when he lays his head on his pillow, up he starts again: at night he dreams of torment, and by day he almost feels that of which he dreamed. Such is the poor convinced sinner under bondage. Such have I been in my days, and such have you been, friends. I speak to those who understand it. You have passed through that gloomy Slough of Despond; you have gone through that dark vale of penitence: you have been made to drink the bitter cup of repentance: and I know you will say, “Amen” when I declare that of all bondage this is the most painful-the bondage of the law, the bondage of corruption. “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me” from it? But the Christian is free; he can smile now, though he wept before; he can rejoice now, whereas he lamented. “There is,” he says, “no sin upon my conscience now, there is no crime upon my breast; I need not walk through the earth fearful of every shadow, and afraid of every man I meet, for; sin is washed away; my spirit is no more guilty; it is pure, it is holy; there no longer resteth the frown of God upon me; but my Father smiles: I see his eyes-they are glancing love: I hear his voice-it is full of sweetness. I am forgiven, I am forgiven, I am forgiven! All hail, thou breaker of fetters! glorious Jesus! Ah! that moment when first the bondage passed away! Methinks I recollect it now. I saw Jesus on his cross before me. I thought on him, and as I mused upon his death and sufferings, methought I saw him cast a look on me; and when he gazed on me, I looked at him, and said,

Jesus, lover of my soul,

Let me to thy bosom fly.”

He said “come,” and I flew to him and clasped him, and when he let me go again, I wondered where my burden was. It was gone! There, in the sepulcher, it lay, and I felt light as air; like a winged sylph, I could fly over mountains of trouble and despair; and oh! what liberty and joy I had! I could leap with ecstasy for I had much forgiven and now I was freed from sin.” Beloved, this is the first liberty of the children of God. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty “from the bondage of sin.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855

The Wednesday Word: This is Gospel Truth!

What is the Gospel? The simple answer is; the Gospel is the person, doing, dying and rising again of the Lord Christ. The pure Gospel is not about you and not about me. It is about Jesus.

This is Gospel Truth!

The Gospel, among other things, reveals God’s plan, accomplished in Christ, for the recovery of fallen, sinful people from the deplorable state into, which sin had brought them.

This is Gospel Truth!

God came to this earth in the person of His Son.

This is Gospel Truth!

As our apostle, He came from God to us. As our priest He takes us to God… Hebrews 3:1.

This is Gospel Truth!

He, as a man, obeyed God’s laws and requirements on our behalf. This is Gospel Truth!… Hebrews 4:15; II Corinthians5: 21, John 15:10

He made a suitable and satisfactory atonement for His people’s sins by his death and gave us the gift of the favour of God …Ephesians 1:7.

This is Gospel Truth!

The Holy Spirit opens our hearts to receive the Gospel, but the Spirit´s work is not the Gospel. The Work of the Holy Spirit does not redeem us but rather brings us to where we receive as our own Christ’s accomplished redemption …Ephesians 2:1.

This is Gospel Truth!

Faith is the channel of salvation but faith itself cannot justify us. Faith was not tried, found guilty and executed on our behalf. The power to believe is generated by the Holy Spirit. It is from the heart we believe. Yet this quickening (making alive) by the Spirit does not justify us. Nothing within us saves us. We are entirely saved outside ourselves by the finished work of Christ. The Spirit has baptised us into Christ and in Christ all blessings are discovered.

This is Gospel Truth!

Christ Himself is the object of faith. He is our salvation, not our faith and not our experiences. We depend on neither faith nor feelings but upon the Lord our God Himself!

Come ye weary, heavy laden,

Bruised and mangled by the fall;

If you tarry till you’re better,

You will never come at all.

Not the righteous, Not the righteous, Not the righteous;

Sinners Jesus came to call.

This is Gospel Truth!

Because of the Gospel, He has made us Kings and priests unto our God and has brought us to God by His blood.

This is Gospel Truth!

He has brought us into the holy of Holies

If we feel our sin, it ought not to drive us away from Christ. No indeed, the feeling of our sin ought to propel us towards Christ.

The curse and damnation of His people fell on Christ 2000 years ago. He was slaughtered, and we were set free. He was raised from the dead in power and majesty and we were raised with Him

Faith claims Jesus as king

As our all-atoning Priest;

It claims no merit of its own,

But looks for all in Christ.

And that´s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XIV- The Perseverance of the Saints

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XIV

The Perseverance of the Saints

6. PURPOSE OF THE SCRIPTURE WARNINGS AGAINST APOSTASY

Arminians sometimes bring forth from the Scriptures the warnings against apostasy or falling away, which are addressed to believers, and which, it is argued, imply a possibility of their failing away. There is, of course, a sense in which it is possible for believers to fail away,—when they are viewed simply in themselves, with reference to their own powers and capacities, and apart from God’s purpose or design with respect to them. And it is admitted by all that believers can fall into sin temporarily. The primary purpose of these passages, however, is to induce men to co-operate willingly with God for the accomplishment of His purposes. They are inducements which produce constant humility, watchfulness, and diligence. In the same way a parent, in order to get the willing co-operation of a child, may tell it to stay out of the way of an approaching automobile, when all the time the parent has no intention of ever letting the child get into a position where it would be injured. When God plies a soul with fears of falling it is by no means a proof that God in His secret purpose intends to permit him to fall. These fears may be the very means which God has designed to keep him from falling. Secondly, God’s exhortations to duty are perfectly consistent with His purpose to give sufficient grace for the performance of these duties. In one place we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart; in another, God says, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes.” Now either these must be consistent with each other, or the Holy Spirit must contradict Himself. Plainly it is not the latter. Thirdly, these warnings are, even for believers, incitements to greater faith and prayer. Fourthly, they are designed to show man his duty rather than his ability, and his weakness rather than his strength. Fifthly, they convince men of their want of holiness and of their dependence upon God. And, sixthly, they serve as restraints on unbelievers, and leave them without excuse.

Nor is any more proven by the passages, “Destroy not with thy meat him for whom Christ died,” Romans 14:15; and, “For through thy knowledge he that is weak perisheth, the brother for whose sake Christ died,” 1 Corinthians 8:11. In the same manner the influence of a particular person, when looked at merely in itself, might be said to be destroying our American civilization; yet America goes ahead and prospers, because other influences more than offset that one. In these passages the principle asserted is simply this: Whatever their divine security, the responsibility of the one who casts a stumbling block in the path of his brother is not decreased; and that anyone who does cast a stumbling block in the way of his brother is doing all he can towards his brother’s destruction.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

Liberty of the text is no such freedom as this: it is an infinitely greater and better one

I have commenced with this idea, because I think worldly men ought to be told that if religion does not save them, yet it has done much for them-that the influence of religion has won them their liberties.

But the liberty of the text is no such freedom as this: it is an infinitely greater and better one. Great as civil or religious liberty may be, the liberty of my text transcendently exceeds. There is a liberty, dear friends, which Christian men alone enjoy; for even in Great Britain there are men who taste not the sweet air of liberty. There are some who are afraid to speak as men, who have to cringe and fawn, and bow, and stoop, to any one; who have no will of their own, no principles, no voice, no courage, and who cannot stand erect in conscious independence. But he is the free man, whom the truth makes free. He who has grace in his heart is free, he cares for no one; he has the right upon his side; he has God within him-the in dwelling Spirit of the Holy Ghost; he is a prince of the blood royal of heaven; he is a noble, having the true patent of nobility; he is one of God’s elect, distinguished, chosen children, and he is not the man to bend, or meanly cringe. No!-sooner would he walk the burning furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego-sooner would he be cast into the lion’s den with Daniel, than yield a point in principle. He is a free man. “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” in its fullest, highest and widest sense. God give you friends, to have that “Spirit of the Lord;” for without it, in a free country, ye may still be bondsmen; and where there are no serfs in body, ye may be slaves in soul. The text speaks of Spiritual liberty; and now I address the children of God. Spiritual liberty, brethren, you and I enjoy if we have “the Spirit of the Lord” within us. What does this imply; It implies that there was a time when we had not that Spiritual liberty-when we were slaves. But a little while ago all of us who now are free in Christ Jesus, were slaves of the devil: we were led captives at his will. We talked of free-will, but free-will is a slave. We boasted that we could do what we pleased; but oh! what a slavish and dreamy liberty we had. It was a fancied freedom. We were slaves to our lusts and passions -slaves to sin; but now we are freed from sin; we are delivered from our tyrant; a stronger than he has cast out the strong man armed, and we are free.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Spiritual Liberty, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855

The Wednesday Word: Our Faithful God

We are assured by Jesus himself that “not one sparrow can fall to the ground without permission¨ (Matthew 10:29).

Our God is faithful!

We are also told that we are of more value than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31). And no wonder we are valuable. We are the purchase of blood. God’s blood (Acts 20:28). We, as His purchased possession, have the assurance that He is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9).

All is well! He has not lost sight of you. He will supply.

He is faithful!

One of our problems is that we usually don’t go to the Lord Jesus with our trials. We choose worry rather than trust. We don’t; “Cast our burdens on the Lord.” We forget that He will “sustain us” (Psalm 55:22).

He is faithful!

By the way, the word ‘sustain’ contains a promise of support. Christ’s sustaining hand surrounds us whether we feel it or not. As we grow in grace, we learn to trust where we can’t trace. In other words, we don’t let our feelings dominate and guide us.

He is Faithful!

It is promised, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers (us) out of one or two of them” (Psalm 34:19). Are you serious? No! He delivers us from them all! Try Him! Trust Him! Venture yourself on Him!

He is Faithful!

Also, think of these further sustaining promises from our Faithful God: Philippians 4:2 ” Thy God shall supply all your need according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Isaiah 33:16 “Bread shall be given, water shall be sure,”

Are you worried about finances? Here’s some good news .. we have a faithful God. He isn’t suffering a lack of funds. Look at Haggai 2:8 “The silver is mine, the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.” Then there’s Psalm 50:10 which tells us that, “The cattle upon the thousand hills” are His. We are being cared for by the One who owns and possesses all and He’s a giver not a taker.

The Lord can and does provide from the most unusual sources. This is clearly seen in Matthew 17. Money was needed for the temple tax. So, being near the lake, Jesus told Peter to throw out the line and take the first fish he caught, open its mouth and the money would be there.

The Lord Jesus provided money from a fish so let’s be open to His abundance of supply coming to us in any manner.

” This God is the God I adore,

A faithful unchangeable friend;

His love is as great as his power,

And knows neither beginning nor end.

‘Tis Jesus, the first and the last,

Whose Spirit shall guide me safe home;

I’ll praise him for all that is past,

And trust him for all that’s to come.”

Frances Havergal, the hymn writer, could have felt forgotten by God. She suffered terribly from peritonitis and died from it in her early forties. On the last day of her life, she asked a friend to read Isaiah 42 to her. When the friend read the sixth verse, “I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee,” Miss Havergal stopped her. She whispered,

“Called;”

“Held”

“Kept.”

“I can go home on that!”

And, later that day she did go home on that, resting in the faithfulness of her God and Saviour Jesus Christ. One of her best-loved Hymns is, “Like a River Glorious.” The third verse reads,

“Every joy or trial falleth from above,

Trac’d upon our dial by the Sun of Love;

We may trust Him fully all for us to do;

They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.”

It was true for her; it has been true of every one of God’s elect,

Called;

Held;

Kept.

We can go home on that! Even when God seems to have forgotten us, we can trust Him and find Him wholly true.

He is the Faithful God.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XIV- The Perseverance of the Saints

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XIV

The Perseverance of the Saints

5. ARMINIAN SENSE OF INSECURITY

A consistent Arminian, with his doctrines of free will and of falling from grace, can never in this life be certain of his eternal salvation. He may, indeed, have the assurance of his present salvation, but he can have only a hope of his final salvation. He may regard his final salvation as highly probable, but he cannot know it as a certainty. He has seen many of his fellow Christians backslide and perish after making a good start. Why may not he do the same thing? So long as men remain in this world they have the remnants of the old sinful nature clinging to them; they are surrounded by the most alluring and deceptive pleasures of the world and the most subtle temptations of the Devil. In many of the supposedly Christian churches they hear the false teaching of modernistic, and therefore unchristian, ministers. If Arminianism were true, Christians would still be in very dangerous positions, with their eternal destiny suspended upon the probability that their weak, creaturely wills would continue to choose right. Furthermore, Arminianism would logically hold that no confirmation in holiness is possible, not even in heaven; for even there the person would still retain his free will and might commit sin any time he chose.

By comparison the Arminian is like the person who has inherited a fortune of, say, $100,000. He knows that many others who have inherited such fortunes have lost them through poor judgment, fraud, calamity, etc., but he has enough confidence in his own ability to handle money wisely that he does not doubt but that he will keep his. His assurance is based largely on self-confidence. Others have failed, but he is confident that he will not fail. But what a delusion is this when applied to the spiritual realm! What a pity that any one who is at all acquainted with his own tendency to sin should base his assurance of salvation upon such grounds! His system places the cause of his perseverance, not in the hands of an all-powerful, never-changing God, but in the hands of weak sinful man.

And does not the logic of the Arminian system tell us that the wise thing for the Christian to do is to die as soon as possible and thus confirm the inheritance which to him is of infinite value? In view of the fact that so many have fallen away, is it worth while for him to remain here and risk his eternal salvation for the sake of a little more life in this world? What would be thought of a business man who, in order to gain a few more dollars, would risk his entire fortune in some admittedly questionable venture? In fact, does it not at least suggest that the Lord has made many mistakes in not removing these people while they were true Christians? The writer, at least, is convinced that if he held the Arminian view and knew himself to be a saved Christian he would want to die as soon as possible and thus place his salvation beyond all possible doubt.

In regard to spiritual matters, a state of doubt is a state of misery. The assurance that Christians can never be separated from the love of God is one of the greatest comforts of the Christian life. To deny this doctrine is to destroy the grounds for any rejoicing among the saints on earth; for what kind of rejoicing can those have who believe that they may at any time be deceived and led astray? If our sense of security is based only on our changeable and wavering natures, we can never know the inward calm and peace which, should characterize the Christian. Says McFetridge, in his very illuminating little book, Calvinism In History, “I can well conceive of the terror to a sensitive soul of dark uncertainty as to salvation, and of that ever-abiding consciousness of the awful possibility of falling away from grace after a long and painful Christian life, which is taught by Arminianism. To me such a doctrine has terrors which would cause me to shrink away from it for ever, and which would fill me with constant and unspeakable perplexities. To feel that I were crossing the troubled and dangerous sea of life dependent for my final security upon the actings of my own treacherous nature were enough to fill me with a perpetual alarm. If it is possible, I want to know that the vessel to which I commit my life is seaworthy, and that, having once embarked, I shall arrive in safety at my destination.” (P. 112.)

It is not until we duly appreciate this wonderful truth, that our salvation is not suspended on our weak and wavering love to God, but rather upon His eternal and unchangeable love to us, that we can have peace and certainty in the Christian life. And only the Calvinist, who knows himself to be absolutely safe in the hands of God, can have that inward sense of peace and security, knowing that in the eternal counsels of God he has been chosen to be cleansed and glorified and that nothing can thwart that purpose. He knows himself to be held to righteousness by a spiritual power which is as exhaustless and unvarying as the force of gravitation, and as necessary to the development of the spirit as sunshine and vitamins are to the body.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination