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 ….