R.C. Sproul

The Last Enemy

“Halt! Who goes there?” Such might be the words of a sentry who confronts a mysterious stranger in the darkness. The sentry must discern the identity of the trespasser to determine whether he is a friend or foe. Armed to protect his territory, the vigilant guard wants to avoid two evils: 1) the entrance into the compound of an enemy bent on destruction and 2) the mistaken shooting of an ally stumbling about in the dark.
There is an intruder in our garden—the one called death. Our task is to determine whether his grin is the fiendish mask of a mortal enemy or the benign smile of a friend come to rescue us from this vale of tears. Should we greet him with strident protests or with open arms?
The Bible describes death as an enemy. It is not the only enemy of the Christian, but it is described as the “last enemy.” In 1 Corinthians, Paul affirms that Christ will reign until He has put all enemies under His feet, and the last of those enemies will be death (1 Cor. 15:25–26). It should be a great comfort to the believer to know that the One in whom he places his trust is Christus Victor. We see this clearly in Hebrews, where the author describes Jesus as our archegos, or the “supreme champion” of His people.
The champion motif is central not only to Hebrews but to the entire Bible. We think of the famous episode of the match between David and Goliath. The Israelites and Philistines had agreed that the outcome of their war would be determined not by a full confrontation of the armies but by a contest between champions who would represent each side. Goliath, the gigantic champion of the Philistines, struck terror into the hearts of the Jewish soldiers because he appeared invincible. No one volunteered to go up against him until the shepherd boy, David, stepped forward to assume the task. His conquest of Goliath was astonishing, but it pales into insignificance when placed alongside the victory of David’s greater Son, who was also David’s Lord and David’s champion. As David went up against the power of Goliath, Jesus went up against the power of Satan himself.
Notice the link between Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 15 and that found in Hebrews 2.
First Corinthians 15:26–28 says:
The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For ‘He has put all things under His feet.’ But when He says ‘all things are put under Him,’ it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Now note Hebrews 2:8ff:
For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we do not yet see all things put under Him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church

Written by R.C. Sproul |
Friday, May 20, 2022
The union of believers is grounded in the mystical union of Christ and His Church. The Bible speaks of a twoway transaction that occurs when a person is regenerated. Every converted person becomes “in Christ” at the same time Christ enters into the believer. If I am in Christ and you are in Christ, and if He is in us, then we experience a profound unity in Christ.

“One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty . . .” We say it. We argue about it (especially the “under God” part). But is it true? In reality, how united is the United States? The “more perfect union” sought by Lincoln is hardly perfect in terms of harmony. We are a nation—morally, philosophically, and religiously—deeply divided. Yet there remains the outward shell of formal and organizational unity. We have union without unity.
As it is with the “United” States, so it is with the unity of the Christian church. The “oneness” of the church is one of the classic four descriptive terms to define the church. According to the council at Nicaea (325 AD), the Church is one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic.
Few church bodies today give much regard to being Apostolic. Fewer still seem concerned with the dimension of the holy. When these two qualities become irrelevant to the minds of church people, it is a mere chimera to speak of catholicity and unity.
The church, organizationally, is hopelessly fragmented. Since the birth of the “Ecumenical Movement,” the church has seen more splits than mergers. The crisis of disunity is on the front pages following the Episcopal Church’s decision to consecrate a practicing, impenitent homosexual to the role of bishop.
Is unity a false hope? Is it, in its historic expressions, merely an illusion?
To answer these questions we must consider the nature of the unity of the church.
In the first instance, the deepest and most significant unity of the Church is its spiritual unity. Though we can never separate the formal from the material with respect to the Church’s unity, we can and must distinguish them.
It was Augustine who taught most deeply about the distinction between the visible church and the invisible Church. With this classic distinction Augustine did not envision two separate ecclesiastical bodies, one apparent to the naked eye and another beyond the scope of visual perception. Now, did he envision one church that is “underground” and another one above ground, in full view?
No, he was describing a church within a church. Augustine took his cue from our Lord’s teaching that until He purifies His Church in glory, it will continue in this world as a body that will include “tares” along with the “wheat.” The tares are weeds that grow along with the flowers in Christ’s garden.
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Is It Arrogant to Say Jesus Is the Only Way?

Written by R.C. Sproul |
Thursday, May 19, 2022
It’s the New Testament that says, “There is no other name under heaven through which men may be saved, except that of Christ.” It’s the New Testament that says, “To whom shall we go? Thou alone hast the words of eternal life.” It’s God who says, “This is My only begotten son.” And again, and again, and again, the New Testament reiterates either through the lips of Christ or through the writings of the Apostles this theme that Jesus is uniquely the Redeemer of mankind.

I was taking a course in English literature. I was a second-semester freshman at the time, and I had become a Christian the first semester of my freshman year. And I did not keep my Christian commitment a secret on the campus. And there were some faculty members at the college where I attended that were very hostile towards Christianity. And the person who at least manifests the greatest amount of hostility of all the faculty happened to be the professor of this English literature course I was taking. The teacher was a woman. She had distinguished herself as a journalist and as a war correspondent during World War II prior to taking on the task of collegiate teaching. I think out of her background in the war effort, she was kind of a hardened person, and she had a very great ability to intimidate students.
In the middle of a class one day, she called on me, and she said in front of the whole class, “Mr. Sproul, do you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to God?” I thought, Of all the questions to be asked in front of the whole class, she had to ask me that one. And I went through a very severe moral crisis at that point because I knew if I answered what I believed that that would be very unpopular. But if I knew also that if I denied what I believed, I would be guilty of committing treason to Christ. So very weakly and very meekly I said to her, “Yes, ma’am. I do believe that Jesus is the only way to God.” But when I said that in that classroom, she absolutely exploded. And she started to dress me down right in front of the whole class. And she said, “That’s the most conceited, that’s the most arrogant statement I’ve ever heard from the mouth of a student.” And I offered no defense; I offered no rebuttal. I just tried to sneak down in my chair as far as I could go while she carried on in front of the whole class about how narrow-minded, conceited, and arrogant that that was.
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The Ascension

Written by R.C. Sproul |
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Jesus says that their hearts will not simply be touched by sorrow or grief or disappointment, but there will be a fullness of sorrow that saturates the chambers of their hearts. They will be overcome with grief. Their mourning will reach the limits of its human capacity. But Jesus says the condition that they will experience will be temporary, that the sense of abandonment they may feel for a moment will give way to unspeakable joy.

These men had spent three years in a state of unspeakable joy. They had witnessed what no human beings before them had ever seen in the entire course of history. Their eyes peered openly at things angels themselves longed to look into but were unable. Their ears heard what ancient saints had a fierce desire to hear with their own ears. These men were the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. They were His students. They were His companions. Where He went, they went. What He said, they heard. What He did, they saw with their own eyes. These were the original eyewitnesses of the earthly ministry of the Son of God.
But one day, these men heard from the lips of their teacher the worst of all possible news. Jesus told them that He was leaving them. He told them that the days of their intimate companionship in this world were coming to a hasty end. Imagine the shock and profound panic that filled the hearts of these disciples when Jesus said that it was just about over.
In John 16 we read what Jesus said:
A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me. So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.”
“Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, ‘Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, “A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me”? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you’ ” (John 16:16–22).
Just shortly before this enigmatic statement, Jesus had said to His disciples:
But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:5–7)
In the first instance, Jesus says that their hearts will not simply be touched by sorrow or grief or disappointment, but there will be a fullness of sorrow that saturates the chambers of their hearts.
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Jesus, Our Substitute

Written by R.C. Sproul |
Saturday, April 23, 2022
The idea of being the Substitute in offering an atonement to satisfy the demands of God’s law for others was something Christ understood as His mission from the moment He entered this world and took upon Himself a human nature. He came from heaven as the gift of the Father for the express purpose of working out redemption as our Substitute, doing for us what we could not possibly do for ourselves. We see this at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, when He initiated His public work by coming to the Jordan River and meeting John the Baptist.

The word vicarious is extremely important to our understanding of the atonement of Christ. The late Swiss theologian Karl Barth once said that, in his judgment, the single most important word in all of the Greek New Testament is the minuscule word huper. This little word is translated by the English phrase “in behalf of.” Barth was clearly engaging in a bit of hyperbole in making this statement, because many words in the New Testament are arguably as important or even more important than huper, but he was simply seeking to call attention to the importance of what is known in theology as the vicarious aspect of the ministry of Jesus.
He made satisfaction for our debt, our enmity with God, and our guilt. He satisfied the ransom demand for our release from captivity to sin. However, there is another significant word that is often used in descriptions of the atonement: substitution. When we look at the biblical depiction of sin as a crime, we see that Jesus acts as the Substitute, taking our place at the bar of God’s justice. For this reason, we sometimes speak of Jesus’ work on the cross as the substitutionary atonement of Christ, which means that when He offered an atonement, it was not to satisfy God’s justice for His own sins, but for the sins of others. He stepped into the role of the Substitute, representing His people. He didn’t lay down His life for Himself; He laid it down for His sheep. He is our ultimate Substitute.
The idea of being the Substitute in offering an atonement to satisfy the demands of God’s law for others was something Christ understood as His mission from the moment He entered this world and took upon Himself a human nature. He came from heaven as the gift of the Father for the express purpose of working out redemption as our Substitute, doing for us what we could not possibly do for ourselves. We see this at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, when He initiated His public work by coming to the Jordan River and meeting John the Baptist.
Imagine the scene at the Jordan that day. John was busy baptizing the people in preparation for the coming of the kingdom. Suddenly he looked up and saw Jesus approaching. He spoke the words that later became the lyrics for that great hymn of the church, the Agnus Dei: “‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29b). He announced that Jesus was the One Who had come to bear the sin of His people.
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What Difference Does an Inerrant Bible Make?

Written by R.C. Sproul |
Monday, April 11, 2022
At the end of the day, inerrancy is inseparable from Christology. If Jesus didn’t teach this view of Scripture, the argument would be over. The issue is not the sacrosanctity of a book, a “paper pope,” or bibliolatry. The issue at stake is the integrity of the person and work of Jesus

Does it matter whether the Bible is errant or inerrant, fallible or infallible, inspired or uninspired? What’s all the fuss about the doctrine of inerrancy? Why do Christians debate this issue? What difference does an inerrant Bible make?
Before answering that question, we should consider in what way inerrancy doesn’t make a difference. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy states:
WE AFFIRM that a confession of the full authority, infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith. We further affirm that such confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ. WE DENY that such confession is necessary for salvation. However, we further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without grave consequences both to the individual and to the church. (Article 19)
The statement strikes a delicate balance. It affirms that the doctrine of inerrancy is “vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith” and that to deny it has grave consequences for the individual and the church. However, this statement also makes clear that belief in inerrancy is not necessary for salvation. While inerrancy is crucial for understanding the Christian faith and “increasing conformity to the image of Christ,” a person does not have to hold to it to be a Christian.
The Authority of Christ
But what difference does the inerrancy of Scripture make? Why does it matter? There are many ways in which it matters a great deal. However, ultimately, the inerrancy of Scripture is not a doctrine about a book. The issue is the person and work of Christ.
Allow me to illustrate. Years ago I was speaking in Philadelphia on the question of the authority of Scripture. After my lecture I came down to the front of the church, and I saw a man making his way toward me. Instantly, I recognized his face, even though it had been about twenty years since I’d seen him last. His name was Charlie. We were roommates in college and prayer partners. We made our way through the crowd and embraced one another.
We dismissed ourselves from the conference and went out for dinner. As we sat down, Charlie said to me, “Before we have a conversation, there is something I have to tell you.” I said, “What’s that?” He told me, “I don’t believe any more what I used to believe about Scripture when we were in college together. Back then I believed in inerrancy, but I’ve been to seminary and have been exposed to higher criticism. I just don’t believe that the Bible is inerrant anymore. I wanted to clear the air so that we can go on from there.” I replied, “Fine, Charlie, but let me ask you this. What do you still believe from the old days?” And triumphantly Charlie said, “I still believe that Jesus Christ is my Savior and my Lord.” I was happy to hear that, but then I started to ask questions that clearly made Charlie uncomfortable.
I asked, “Charlie, how is Jesus Lord of your life?” He replied, “What do you mean?” I said, “Well, a lord is someone who exercises authority over you, who gives you marching orders, who has the ability to compel you to obey, and who requires you to submit to obligation and duty. If Christ is your Lord, aren’t you saying He has sovereign authority over you?” “Yeah,” he said.
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The Methods Versus the Message

Written by R.C. Sproul |
Tuesday, April 5, 2022
Ultimately, evangelism is less about the method one uses and more about the message one proclaims. Evangelism, remember, is the proclamation of the gospel—telling the story, announcing the news.

Many Christians go their entire lives without being used by God to be the human instrument and means by which a person comes to Christ. My own calling is not as an evangelist, but seeing another human being come to Christ is the most meaningful ministry experience I’ve ever had.
I once was hired by a church to be the minister of theology, which meant that my job was to teach. They also added to my job description “minister of evangelism.” I said I didn’t know anything about evangelism. So, they sent me to a seminar to train in evangelism.
The minister leading the seminar talked about how to memorize an outline, how he uses key questions to stimulate discussion, and how there’s a pattern to the way in which evangelism is to flow. The idea behind the method he used was to focus attention on the ultimate issue of a person’s individual redemption—how can he justify himself before God? Most people will say that they have lived a good life; very few will say that they have been justified by faith alone in Christ alone.

A Great Salvation

Written by R.C. Sproul |
Saturday, March 12, 2022
If you neglect what Jesus says, and you neglect what God proves, then we’re back to the theme. There is no escape. Beloved, if you come to church every Sunday, every single Sunday of your life, and go to Sunday school every week of your life, you may still be neglecting this great salvation. Is your heart in it? That’s what I’m asking you. I can’t answer that question for you. You know if you’re neglecting your salvation. I don’t have to tell it to you. I just have to tell you what the consequences are if you continue in that neglect. So I pray with all my heart that God will awaken each one of us today to the sweetness, the loveliness, the glory of the gospel declared by Christ.

Doctrine and Practice
Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will —Hebrews 2:1–4
Did you notice the “Therefore” that begins this text? What the author of Hebrews is getting at is the perfect marriage between doctrine and practice. If we believe the things that he has declared in the first chapter, that has radical implications for how we live our lives. He’s beginning to show that now when he says, “Therefore we must pay much closer attention.” There’s a little grammatical problem in the words of that particular translation. The tension of these words is because it’s not certain grammatically whether the author is using a comparative or a superlative. And so I would prefer that he would simply say that we therefore must pay the most possible attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
Think of that image of drifting. Some people go fishing in boats, and they don’t set the anchor down. They allow the boat to move with the current, and they just drift. Where they end up can be somewhat problematic. The Scripture uses this kind of figurative language elsewhere when it talks about an anchor for our soul, which is the hope we have in Christ. Here he is saying, “Don’t allow yourselves to drift aimlessly away from what you’ve heard.” Again, he’s speaking about this marvelous comparison that he’s given in chapter 1 about the superiority of Jesus over the angels and over all created things. You’ve heard that. Don’t drift away from it; instead pay the closest possible attention to it. Verse 2 says, “For since the message declared by angels . . .” The author is referring back again to the Old Testament and the idea hinted at in Deuteronomy 33 of the law being mediated by the angels. When Moses received the law from God, there were myriads and myriads of angels present on that occasion.

So he says, “For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution . . .” Again, the comparison continues. If the law that came from the angels was ignored by the people in the Old Testament and received a just retribution, a punishment, how much more responsible are we to that which has come to us directly from Christ? Now, beloved, the central theme of this chapter, or at least this portion of the chapter, is the theme of escape. When you think of escape, you think of some kind of deliverance from a dire and threatening life situation, like escaping from a kidnapper. Or you think of soldiers who are surrounded in battle and finding a way to retreat safely. That’s an escape. But the most common idea with which we associate escape is imprisonment, not just from any jail, but from those prisons that are the most notoriously inescapable, such as the former condition of Alcatraz in this country, or Devil’s Island, or perhaps the most dreadful of all French prisons, the Château d’If.

A Great Escape
You remember the story; it’s my second-favorite novel. Edmond Dantes is falsely accused and unjustly convicted of a crime. He is sent forth to the most dreaded prison, Château d’If. There he suffered for years in solitary confinement, until one day he met a co-prisoner, an aged priest who had been there for decades and had spent much time trying to dig a tunnel to escape. But he didn’t do his math correctly and ended up burrowing into Dantes’s chamber. So the two met and had fellowship together. The old priest became Dantes’s mentor and counselor, teacher of science and philosophy and theology. The priest also told Dantes about a map that led to a vast treasure, hidden under the waters in the sea. The old priest died in prison. Through an extraordinary series of circumstances, the death of the priest led to the possible escape of Edmond Dantes from Château d’If. Dantes found the vast treasure that financed the rest of his life and his nom de plume became the Count of Monte Cristo.
What an escape story that one is. But as dire and as dreadful as the circumstances were in the Château d’If, there’s even a greater and more dreadful kind of captivity. The author of Hebrews speaks of an escape from this captivity when he asks the question, “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?” Beloved, this is a rhetorical question. The answer to the question is simple. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? The answer is, we can’t. Alcatraz could possibly be escaped from, or Devil’s Island, or even the Château d’If. But the one prison from which no one ever escapes is hell. There’s no escape route. You can’t dig under it. You can’t climb over it. No guard can be bribed. The sentence cannot be ameliorated. So the author of Hebrews is saying, “Do you realize what we have heard from the Word of God Himself about a great salvation?” We use that word salvation all the time in the church. What does it mean?
When somebody says to me, “Are you saved?” the first question I want to say is, “Saved from what?” The idea of salvation suggests the idea of some kind of escape or deliverance from a dire circumstance. The Greek verb sodzo in the New Testament is used in a variety of ways. If you are saved from a threatening illness, as people were in the New Testament by the touch of Jesus, Jesus might comment, “Your faith has saved you.” He’s not talking about eternal salvation. He’s speaking about their rescue from a dreadful disease.
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Abundant Love

Written by R.C. Sproul |
Friday, March 4, 2022
By adoption in Christ, every believer shares in this divine love of complacency. It is the love enjoyed by Jacob, but not by Esau. This love is reserved for the redeemed in whom God delights—not because there is anything inherently lovely or delightful in us—but we are so united to Christ, the Father’s Beloved, that the love the Father has for the Son spills over onto us. God’s love for us is pleasing and sweet to Himself—and to us.

Love of Complacency
In his monumental biography of Jonathan Edwards, George Marsden cites a passage from Edwards’ Personal Narrative:
Since I came to this town [Northampton], I have often had sweet complacency in God in views of his glorious perfections, and the excellency of Jesus Christ. God has appeared to me, a glorious and lovely being chiefly on account of his holiness. The holiness of God has always appeared to me the most lovely of all his attributes. (p. 112)
If we take note of Edwards’ language, his choice of words to describe his enraptured delight in the glory of God, we observe his accent on the sweetness, loveliness, and excellence of God. He reports of enjoying a “sweet complacency” in God. What does he mean? Is not the term complacency a word we use to describe a certain smugness, a resting on one’s laurels, a sort of lazy inertia that attends a superficial sort of satisfaction? Perhaps. But here we see a vivid example of how words sometimes change their import over time.
What Edwards meant by a “sweet complacency” had nothing to do with a contemporary dose of smugness. Rather, it had to do with a sense of pleasure. This “pleasure” is not to be understood in a crass hedonistic, or sensual, sense but rather a delight in that which is supremely pleasing to the soul.
The roots of this meaning of “complacency” are traced by the Oxford English Dictionary (vol. 3), where the primary meaning given is “the fact or state of being pleased with a thing or person; tranquil pleasure or satisfaction in something or some one.” References are cited for this usage from John Milton, Richard Baxter, and J. Mason. Mason is quoted, “God can take no real complacency in any but those that are like him.”
I labor the earlier English usage of the word complacency because it is used in a crucial manner in the language of historic, orthodox theology. When speaking of God’s love, we distinguish among three types of that love—the love of benevolence, the love of beneficence, and the love of complacency. The reason for the distinctions is to note the different ways in which God loves all people, in one sense, and the special way He loves His people, the redeemed.
Love of Benevolence
Benevolence is derived from the Latin prefix bene, which means “well,” or “good,” and it is the root for the word will. Creatures who exercise the faculty of the will by making choices are called volitional creatures. Though God is not a creature, He is a volitional being insofar as He also has the faculty of willing.
We are all familiar with Luke’s account of the nativity of Jesus in which the heavenly host praises God declaring: “Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:8–14 NKJV).
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Fear Not

Written by R.C. Sproul |
Wednesday, March 2, 2022
The assurance we need the most is the assurance of salvation. Though we are loathe to think much about it or contemplate it deeply, we know if only intuitively that the worst catastrophe that could ever befall us is to be visited by God’s final punitive wrath.

We are fragile mortals, given to fears of every sort. We have a built-in insecurity that no amount of whistling in the dark can mollify. We seek assurance concerning the things that frighten us the most.
The prohibition uttered more frequently than any other by our Lord is the command, “Fear not.” He said this so often to His disciples and others He encountered that it almost came to sound like a greeting. Where most people greet others by saying “Hi” or “Hello,” the first words of Jesus very often were “Fear not.”
Why? Perhaps Jesus’ predilection for those words grew out of His acute sense of the thinly veiled fear that grips all who approach the living God. We fear His power, we fear His wrath, and most of all we fear His ultimate rejection.
The assurance we need the most is the assurance of salvation. Though we are loathe to think much about it or contemplate it deeply, we know if only intuitively that the worst catastrophe that could ever befall us is to be visited by God’s final punitive wrath. Our insecurity is worsened by the certainty that we deserve it.
Many believe that assurance of eternal salvation is neither possible nor even to be sought. To claim such assurance is considered a mask of supreme arrogance, the nadir of self-conceit.
Yet, if God declares that it is possible to have full assurance of salvation and even commands that we seek after it, then it would be supremely arrogant for one to deny or neglect it.
In fact, God does command us to make our election and calling sure: “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall” (2 Peter 1:10).
This command admits of no justifiable neglect. It addresses a crucial matter. The question, “Am I saved?” is one of the most important questions I can ever ask myself. I need to know the answer; I must know the answer. This is not a trifle. Without the assurance of salvation the Christian life is unstable. It is vulnerable to the debilitating rigors of mood changes and allows the wolf of heresy to camp on the doorstep. Progress in sanctification requires a firm foundation in faith. Assurance is the cement of that foundation. Without it, the foundation crumbles.
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