Hello All! I mentioned in my previous post that on Saturday, April 7th, I will be teaching on the Perseverance of the Saints. Admittedly I’ve had a hard time focusing with all the excitement of the young women’s ministry! What can I say? I can’t stop thinking about our girls! Thankfully my little brain is starting to kick in gear! 🙂
One of the chief objections to the doctrine of perseverance is that the teaching gives men and women license to live any way they want. In seeking to drive home the point that the promise of God does not diminish diligence, Charles Spurgeon shares a personal illustration. Given that Spurgeon was a cessationist, I found this a little surprising.
“It happened to me when I was but a child of some 10 years of age, or less. Mr. Richard Knill, of happy and glorious memory—an earnest worker for Christ, felt moved, I know not why, to take me on his knee, at my grandfather’s house and to utter words like these, which were treasured up by the family and by myself especially—“This child,” said he, “will preach the Gospel and he will preach it to the largest congregations of our times.” I believed his prophecy and my standing here today is partly occasioned by such belief. It did not hinder me in my diligence in seeking to educate myself because I believed I was destined to preach the Gospel to large congregations—not at all—the prophecy helped forward its own fulfillment I prayed and sought and strove, always having this Star of Bethlehem before me, that the day should come when I should preach the Gospel. Even so, the belief that we shall one day be perfect never hinders any true Believer from diligence, but is the highest possible incentive to make a man struggle with the corruptions of the flesh and seek to persevere according to God’s promise. “Well, but,” says one, “if God guarantees final perseverance to a man, why need he pray for it?” Sir, dare he pray for it if God had not guaranteed it? I dare not pray for what is not promised, but as soon as ever it is promised, I pray for it! And when I see it in God’s Word I labor for it.”
Of course, a discussion of the apostolic gifts is an absolute rabbit trail for me. I’m not even sure why I am posting this since I am trying to stay focused on the “P” in TULIP! BUT, if anyone is interested in reading more, Phil Johnson has highlighted some of Spurgeon’s thoughts and sayings on this topic. You can read that here: http://phillipjohnson.blogspot.com/2005/11/spurgeon-on-private-prophecies-and-new.html
Also, the entire sermon for the above excerpt can be found here: http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols13-15/chs872.pdf
More later ….
I wish I could be there for your study on perseverance of the saints. I love that doctrine after many years of wondering if I would be able to make it to the end.
Thanks for the link to Phil Johnson’s post. It looks very interesting.
~ Patricia says
Thank you for this, Christina. And the young women’s ministry? What joy…and what a gift you are to the Body of Christ! xo
Petra Hefner says
I think it’s rather commendable to stay focused on the P. 🙂
Christina, I’m an incurable rabbit trailist – We actually have a stuffed rabbit @ our home small group that we throw at each other when we get too far afield. Ha. I read Phil’s post and thought Spurgeon did a good job of “splainin” it. I’ve never been remotely Charismatic in my theology – au contraire – but I will never put God in such a small box that I would dogmatically believe that He does not communicate with us through “impressions” – verbal “Thus sayeth the Lord?” Ixnay on that bizness- we have the complete Word of God and adding to that spells Trouble for us!.
Again, I think Spurgeon’s explanations were good.
Just my humble opinion – no rotten tomatoes please.