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Salvation – Chance or Certainty?

This time we will conclude our comments on the radio sermon, “Make Up Your Mind”, by showing how the mixture of truth and error abrogates truth and glorifies the lie.

The above mentioned sermon contains many sentences and paragraphs that verify the contention that the sermon as a whole is premised upon the modernistic supposition that the salvation of man is a “chance thing”, depending upon the choice or will of man himself; a sort of take or leave affair with God on His part willing to do His share and urging man to cooperate in order that the whole process may he successful. The urgency of man’s acting is stressed by the emphasis upon “It may be forever too late”. This is not particularly strange since the author is addicted to the Arminian lie that “there is a certain favor or grace of God which He shows to His creatures in general which is evident from the Scriptural passages, etc. which deal with the general offer of the Gospel” (Point 1, 1924).

But let us note, in addition to what has already been quoted from this sermon, the following statements taken at random from this sermon:

“You may think there are other things that are more important and more pressing than your salvation. God can wait. Or He can come back some other time. You have heard the call of His gospel again and again, and so you probably think it will continue to come. At any rate, you can’t `take a chance on it’.” (Pg. 5)

“Here was an opportunist who lost his greatest opportunity. He not only postponed the salvation of his soul until it was too late, but he even tried to make his postponement profitable. As a matter of fact, he never did say No to the gospel. He didn’t ever turn his back on it. He was interested in it. He was impressed by it. He summoned Paul again and again, so they could talk about it. But it was never convenient for him to believe it. It was never convenient for him to be saved! It was never convenient for him to answer the urgent call of God! It was never convenient for him to put his trust in the crucified and risen Lord! It was never convenient for him to make sure that he would go to heaven instead of to hell.” (Pg. 7)

“There are many people who come so close to salvation, and then turn back. They cannot make up their minds, and so they begin to drift farther and farther away from God.” (Pg. 8)

“Who are you to keep God waiting, to expect Him to come back again and again with His offer of salvation? What makes you think that He should wait for you to make up your mind about Him?” (Pg. 9)

“Yes, it does happen that way (eleventh hour conversions), but don’t count on it. These are the exceptions that prove the rule. There are many more who kept God waiting too long. Either He didn’t come back to call them again, or they didn’t live long enough to get another chance.” (Pg. 5, 6)

There is more but this is sufficient for the reader to feel the pulse of this and of a great deal of so-called Reformed preaching in our day. The underlying false notion is that God wants to save all; that man has it in his own power to improve himself by accepting God’s salvation! Quit procrastinating and come to God’s assistance for your own good. Rev. Eldersveld says.

“And so when this great God turns to you from that cross and calls you to come and stand there with Him, not only to save your soul but to join Him in saving His world – when He calls you, earnestly and tenderly, but firmly and emphatically, how do you dare to make Him wait?” (Pg. 10)

All that he has said in this sermon denies that the God he preaches is a great God. He is not a great God who can be put off by mere man and is dependent upon that sinful piece of humanity to accomplish His purpose. That kind of God is what the Hollanders rightly call “een afgod“.

But now let us feel another pulse; the pulse of truth; the heart-beat of our Reformed Confessions that proclaim salvation not as a chance-thing but as the positively certain work of the Almighty God!

We already quoted Canons III-IV, Art. 11 in a former article. Read it again! Study it! Compare it with the quotations from “Make Up Your Mind”. Place the two side by side before those who like to say, “There is no difference. We have the same confessions…” Bah!

But note also Canons II, Art. 8. (Italics are mine). “For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of His Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation; that is, it was the will of God, that Christ by the blood of the cross . . . should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who from eternity were chosen to salvation and given to Him by the Father, that He should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, He purchased for them by His death; should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing; and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in His presence forever.”

No chance! No procrastination! No resistance of grace!

Sovereign, effectual, sure is the work of God!

And Article 9 of the same chapter immediately adds:

“This purpose. . .has from the beginning of the world to this day been powerfully accomplished, and will henceforward still continue to he accomplished. . . so that the elect in due time may be gathered together into one, and that there never may be wanting a church composed of believers… which may steadfastly love, and faithfully serve Him as their Savior…”

In the light of the Reformed Confessions I cannot understand the philosophy of the sermon “Make Up Your Mind” other than that it is a total abrogation of all truth.

This it is!

And it glorifies the lie!

Beware of apostasy, deception and seduction from the truth!