Sunday, July 14, 2013

Austin: My Precious 18 year old Son "With Christ, which is far better"

On June 1, 2013 our oldest and dear son, Austin,went to be with his, and our, Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  He was one of the best friends I ever had, a steady and constant companion, an absolute delight, and a young man of integrity who feared and walked with God.  He had my respect as his Dad. And he had my trust.  He knew how to make me laugh and worked hard on the ice and off, at school or cutting the grass or helping load a wheelbarrow.  It was just good to be around Austin, that's the kind of son he was/is. He will always be my Aust and I'll love him throughout all eternity, as we share the presence of our Lord in that land where there is no sin or death.  I love and cherish all my children equally (Austin, Calvin, Fraser and Emma) and just as they each share a special place in my heart, so does Austin, for I could not have asked for a better first born son.  I love you so much Austin, with all my heart - Your Dad.      

Austin was born on April 8, 1995 and was just 18 years of age when he was taken to glory by our Lord.  His funeral was on 10 June 2013, attended by approximately 400-450 friends and family members and also broadcast live over the Internet where friends and family tuned in around the globe.  The service was officiated by our Pastor where the gospel was clearly proclaimed, just as Austin would have wanted.

The order of Austin's funeral service was as follows:
  • Canadian RCMP Members in Red Surg:  Moment of respect & honour
  • Hymn:  A Mighty Fortress is our God
  • Tribute to Austin:  Howie, Camille, Calvin, Fraser & Emma
  • Hymn:  How Firm a Foundation ye Saints of the Lord
  • Uncles’ Tribute: Nathan, Michael, Morgan, Kevin (in absentia), Steve
  • Piano Tribute to his brother:  Fraser, A Brother’s Deepest Love, music composed by Fraser
  • Cousins’ Tribute: Chelsie, Alex, Kristy, Kylie, Jonathan, Julie-Ann, Rebecca, Rachael, Carrie
  • Hymn:  When this Passing World is Done
  • Photo Memories of Austin:  “A life lived for the glory of God, by His grace” ~ Music composed by Austin or Fraser, as well as selections from Soundforth Singers & Orchestra
  • Gospel Message from Austin’s Pastor:  Pastor J.B (Reformed Baptist Church)
  • Doxology
  • Ushers: Simon, Trong, Mark, Doug
  • Sound/Tech: Harold
  • Video: Jonathan, Lucas
My Tribute to my Precious Son, Austin (aka: Teeno, Galiantro)

June 10, 2013 Funeral.
Howie (Dad), NOTES.

Worship & Thanks to our God

From God’s Word, the Bible:   “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created... And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.... Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

Prayer - Howie

Thanks To:
  • Church.  Thank you Pastor G, elders and family of God at CBC for making available the church.
  • Many thanks to the Royal CDN Mounted Police for knocking on our door, without any media presence, flowers in hand when they found out Austin did not make it... and for coming today (on their own time and in regimental uniform) to honour our Austin; thank you.
  • Our sincere appreciation to our doctors, emergency medics and the nurses who cared for Austin throughout the years, and in crisis. 
  • And of course...  Thank you to Family, FGBC Church & God’s extended family around the globe, to our Pastors past/present, to Austin’s teammates, Heritage teachers, coaches, neighbours, friends – for all being part of Austin’s life and for supporting us in such meaningful ways during our agony.
  • And finally, thanks to my dear wife Camille and our wonderful children, Calvin, Fraser, and Emma.  Austin could not have asked for a better, more godly, more industrious, and smart Mum nor could he have asked for better siblings who share many of his wonderful traits.  He loved, respected, and cherished you all so incredibly.

Dad’s Tribute to a
son so dearly loved

Austin’s life to me as a Father was framed by the Bible text:  Honour your Father and your mother.  

And he did.  He honoured us by his:
  • Love to God and reverence for God’s Word and unwavering trust in his Saviour and God;
  • He honoured us by his deep love to us, thoughtfulness and kind ways;  by his gentle yet strong spirit, by his courage, his humour, his consistent integrity...
  • He honoured us by giving respect and attention to old folks / little kids, and everyone in between;
  • He honoured us by his adventuresome spirit, intellect and inquisitive mind; by his creativity and amazing drawing ability  in anticipation of becoming an Architect;
  • He honoured us by his gifted violin playing and music composition; and by being a patient and talented violin teacher after school;
  • He honoured us by his hard work in so many areas and by his strength and perseverance in the face of ongoing adversity and challenge;
  • He honoured us by his honesty and trustworthiness; by his smile and encouraging ways, sometimes shown by notes left on our desks or tucked into my briefcase;
  • He honoured us by being teachable and humble.  He willing gave us his respect and his heart;  He was a blessing to us and so many.

As his Dad, it was an absolute honour to call Austin my son, our son.  He was not only our son and brother -- he was our Best Friend & companion

BUT – Austin would pause me here:  “Dad”, he would say, “make sure you point out that those qualities you’ve mentioned about me are only because of the transforming love and forgiveness of Christ in me.”

  • Austin never grew up to have earthly children...    
  • In reality, it was his deepest desire that he would have spiritual children; that God would use his life as an instrument to turn people’s hearts to the living God through the infallible Word of God... and away from the “illusions of permanence” that often foolishly govern this vapour and spec of time before we all meet our Maker.
  • Austin explains this far better than I...  in his testimony written out when he was 14 he wrote:
"We are all sinners.  The Bible clearly states that in Romans 3:23.  Since the Bible is true, (we know that it is true because it is God-breathed), we know that this statement is true.  Ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, everyone born into the world is born with a sin nature.

When I was 4 years old, (almost five), I became a Christian.  We, (my family and I), had just finished our family devotions and us kids were heading off to bed.  I asked Mum if I could become a Christian,  She sat down with me and we read a portion of Scripture and then I prayed.  I knew that I was a sinful person before God.  That night, I asked the Lord Jesus Christ, My Saviour to wash my sins away with His blood.

You see, Christ died on the cross to (save me) from my sins.  He paid the penalty that no one but Him could pay.  To pay this massive debt, Christ needed to live a perfect life and then die an innocent death that was horrible down to the nails that were thrust through his hands. After he died, he was buried... but not for long.  On the third day, Christ rose from the grave -- not defeated but totally sovereign!

The Lord Jesus Christ paid my penalty.  If he had not, I would be walking, no, running headlong to Hell -- a real place.  When Christ entered my heart, I  became a new person.  I now have Christ's blood as my covering: I could not cover my own sins with my "good works". Praise God."

  • In closing...   My precious son Austin – who I love so deeply – is experiencing indescribable blessedness in heaven because he was made righteous before a Holy, just and loving God when he believed and trusted soley in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • We do not sorrow today without hope or certain expectation.  I will go to my dear son one day, because Austin has gone ahead to his, and my, heavenly Father and Saviour in heaven.
Austin’s deepest desire would be that you would have this same certain hope...  a certainty that punctuated his life and which continues to touch lives with the immense love of God in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Doubt Be Gone

Recently a Bible believing born again Christian was telling me they were having doubts about their salvation. I had to tell them that I’ve had doubts as well; in fact, every Christian does at times, because of our remaining sin -- and the corruption of unbelief that’s part of that.

The important thing is…what do we do with our doubts? Doubts come down to one thing: sin. What do we do with sin?

As Christians, when we sin as sometimes we foolishly do, we go to Christ and confess it as sin (1 John 1:9). We don’t hide or make excuses for our sin; rather, we flee to the One who died to take our sin away and seek his forgiveness! We should do the same with our “doubts” or, perhaps we would be far better to say, we should do the same with our “sin of doubt”.

Remember the Devil ALWAYS seeks to sow seeds of doubt about ANYTHING that God has said (see Genesis 3:1). The Devil is the father of lies (John 8:44). We also have the flesh and the world to deal with. We’re in a real battle, every day. Praise be to God though that “we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37). By His grace, and in utter dependence upon the Lord, we're to continually look to HIM!

God is true and what He says is Truth (Jeremiah 10:10, John 3:33, John 17:3, 1 John 5:20). It follows, of course, that His Word (i.e. what He says) is also truth (John 17:17) and thus faith comes by hearing and hearing by God’s Word (Romans 10:17). In humble dependence upon Him by His grace, cleave to God and believe what God has said. Trust alone in Him come what may -- or whatever feelings may assert against what is true -- in short, replace ANY doubts IMMEDIATELY with what is TRUE (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Be vigilant. Be ready. Have your sword always ready – and use it often (Matthew 4:3-11 and Ephesians 6:10-18).

Why doubt this, O my trembling heart?
If what the Scriptures promise clearly
Is true and firm in ev'ry part,
This also must be truth divine:
By grace a crown of life is mine.

By grace alone shall I inherit
That blissful home beyond the skies.
Works count for naught, the Lord incarnate
Hath won for me the heav'nly prize.
Salvation by his death he wrought,
His grace alone my pardon bought.

By grace! These precious words remember
When sorely by thy sins oppressed,
When Satan comes to vex thy spirit,
When troubled conscience sighs for rest;
What reason cannot comprehend,
God doth to thee by grace extend.

By grace! Be this in death my comfort;
Despite my fears, 'tis well with me.
I know my sin in all its greatness,
But also him who sets me free.
My heart to naught but joy gives place
Since I am saved by grace, by grace.

- Christian Scheidt, 1742

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest upon unchanging grace;
In ev'ry rough and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, his covenant, his blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When I shall launch in worlds unseen,
O may I then be found in him;
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

- Edward Mote, 1834

If you have trusted in Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you can confidently know and say that the living Lord God is emphatically the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). He loves you from all eternity -- and holds you securely (John 10: 29).

Be gone sin of unbelief!
Look to Him today and rejoice in what He has done, not in what you think He may not have done.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Around the World or Across the Street

I was once having a conversation with a friend who said: "It doesn't seem right that, those in pagan lands and throughout history who have never heard the gospel, should then be damned to eternal separation from God in Hell; after all, they never had a chance to learn about God in the first place so they never had a chance to accept Christ as their Saviour."

May be you've been troubled by that question, too?

My friend asked me this question expecting a written response; here's what I answered (for brevity here, I've taken some points out), in point form:

  • We first have to either accept or reject the Bible as divine authority. If we don't accept the Bible for what it claims to be (i.e. θεόπνευστος, theopneustos, "God-Breathed") and reject what Christ said concerning it (i.e. "Thy Word is truth", John 17:17), and reject the Biblical reality that "God said" over 3,000 times, then nothing that follows will grip your conscience.
  • Thus, we must first be convinced by God the Holy Spirit that He has spoken... and that He has done so generally through Creation [General Revelation] and, specifically (to the saving of the soul) through Scripture/the Bible [Special Revelation]. On that, I'd encourage you (as I do myself) to pray the Lord to graciously speak to you through His Word and give you understanding and a receptive heart to it. See Luke 24: 44-48; Psalm 119:18,133; 2 Timothy 3:15.
  • I submit the Word of God is true and it is what Christ claimed it to be. Therefore, I believe this: "Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments." (Psalm 119:137) and "The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works" (Psalm 145:17), italics mine. This means everything God does and is, is righteous; EVERYTHING. God is without any sin. He is perfectly Holy and He always does what is perfectly just and holy, in all cases and in all instances.
  • As God is perfectly just and lawful and righteous and holy it follows that all His actions will be as well. In other words, nothing He does is bad, sinful or unholy in any way or manner, regardless of what we may perceive, wonder or what might even appear as contradictory to our senses. This includes our understanding of God's dealing with those in pagan lands (past and present) where they have not had the immense privileges and blessings of a land impacted by the blessings of the gospel.
  • Consider Calvary; the cross. This was the most unjust, evil and wicked event to ever scribe the pages of eternal history. The death of the sinless Christ, when God's wrath and punishment was unleashed on Him for the sin of His people, for my sin and all those that trust in the Risen Redeemer. Where was the good in this; indeed, where was God in this we might have said with Cleopas on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24) in those dark hours following the Lord's crucifixion? Yet, looking back we clearly see that God was eternally just, perfect, wise, holy and altogether righteous (and merciful and gracious) in all He did at Calvary while His people's sin, for whom He was punished, was the diametric opposite in every sense.
  • In short, God never has, never does, or ever will, do anything unjust or sinful.
  • In that Biblical context noted, think on this: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55: 8-9). What sometimes seems to be, is not always what we imagine it to be and, what sometimes seems to be our assessment on action or thought with God, is often not what actually is.
  • So, when the Bible states over and over that God is just and right and holy and pure and lovely and wonderful and yet justly damns some men to Hell, even though they may never have heard the gospel as others, we must come back and say... I may not fully grasp that, but I still affirm that God is what He says He is: holy and righteous and just and, that being so, somehow in the economy of God's decrees that the thoughts, decrees, and sovereign actions of God in any matter past, present or future are wholly just and good and right and holy and pure in every sense. In short, we must not hold court on God our judge (Romans 9).
  • The amazing thing, actually, is that anyone is saved, not that some are lost. We are all guilty before a Holy God. Yet, in His righteous and just eternal plan he has elected and decreed some to eternal life. This is a great mystery; namely that some (dead and undeserving as they are) should hear and then be moved of God to receive His unmerited salvation and not others. In contrast, the Scripture also states that if we, who have heard God's Word, reject it, our accountability will be so much the greater.
  • Where do you stand with the God?
  • The Scripture states: "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" John 6:37. I believe this is one of the most incredible passages of Scripture! It's where our focus should land. It speaks of God's electing a people unto Himself for whom the Son will come and die for and then states that anyone that comes to Him (i.e for repentance and salvation and trusting alone in His righteousness; i.e. saved by grace through faith in Christ on the authority of His Word in the Bible) -- that He will not cast them away; in short, He will save them, sinners who are deserving of hell.
  • "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me" (John Newton).
  • Don't get distracted with trying to figure out why you can only see 3,000 stars empirically in the Northern Hemisphere on a clear night. Believe what God says (i.e. that there are more stars that can be numbered... something scientists can only recently empirically state). Believe what God says concerning Himself (that He is just and holy and good and only does what is right), acknowledge that His thoughts and ways are so much higher and greater than yours, believe what He says about your sinful and utterly lost condition outside of Christ and your absolute need to have His righteousness applied to your soul by grace (all his works and atoning death, none of ours) through faith (believing what He has said) through Christ (the sole object of true faith) on the authority of the Word (the Bible) He has so graciously provided and, even now, is printed in volumes upon volumes (millions and millions of copies everywhere) in just about every language and dialect all over the globe (where many can, but often reject, His Word).
  • There is no greater question that this: What will I do with Christ the Saviour?
"And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4: 21-25). 

Please prayerfully consider these things with open Bible; look to Christ... and then tell others all over the world (or "across the street") about His saving grace!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Don't be Fearful: World Events

Are you fearful about world events unfolding?

As of February 2011 the big uncertainties unfolding before our wide eyes are in Egypt and other Middle East countries. It seems one form of suppression is crushed, only to be replaced by what may be another more repressive tyranny.

Yet, the Lord has said: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 4:27). Note the words, "not as the world giveth" and not to let "your heart be troubled... (or) afraid".

If you hold a dispensational premillennial view of end-times (i.e. that the world is going to usher in the Anti-Christ at any moment and then the rapture will occur followed by the tribulation)*, naturally your presuppositions will automatically trigger fearful conclusions that are often driven by the latest news event... that the world giveth. This reminds me of the predictions following 911. The permutations will be many once again. In turn, many will become fretful with eyes focused on the newspaper and world events if truth be known, rather than on the Sovereign ruler of the universe who is building His church!

I believe this is reflective (as are other world events that coalesce daily) of the reality that the very much hitherto blessed West is under judgment now. Nothing new here. Unlike in the day of Hezekiah when Sennacherib (circa 704 BC, massive Assyrian empire) was poised to utterly annihilate Judah, our modern day "kings" and leaders do not fall prostrate before the Living God and seek his aid in context to their first walking with Him and in His laws (note: although a more personal and challenging question may be, do we?). Islam, like Assyria and Babylon of old, are on the march to be sure -- but only in judgment to those singularly blessed who have forsaken the God who lovingly orchestrated it all.

Take heart, God is on the throne and the Muslim Brotherhood, et al are in the hands of the Living God; and the Lord is most assuredly our Shepherd and will take care of His people for whom He shed His blood.

There is much the Lord has revealed in His Word but further still resides in His secret counsel. We must be about the bigger things and thus encourage one another continually to truly keep our eyes on the object of our faith -- Christ Jesus our reigning Lord!

"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who has been his counselor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen" (Romans 11:33-36).

The Master weaver is constantly at work -- and the quilt is beautiful.

* Note: "There is some controversy surrounding the origin of the doctrine of the pretribulation rapture. Although we cannot discuss its origins at length, suffice it to say that the doctrine was never taught before 1830. Nor is it found in the writings of any Christian author prior to the nineteenth century. Does that alone make the doctrine untrue? Not necessarily. But we should demand abundant and clear scriptural proof before accepting any doctrine that has eluded the church throughout its entire history... do dispensationalists provide scriptural support for this admittedly new doctrine? As we shall see, the answer is no". Dispensationalism, Rightly Dividing the People of God? p. 115-116, Keith A. Mathison (1995). I heartily recommend this book which can be ordered here (I collect no fees for recommendations).

© Photo above used with permission from Camille at Flowers in His Garden.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Did Christ Die for the Whole World?

 Book Review | The Death Christ Died, Dr. Robert P. Lightner

Not too long ago I was given a book to read by a kind brother in the Lord who holds an Unlimited View of Christ's atonement.

Do you recognize that term, "Unlimited Atonement"? I didn't always know what this term meant, or its deep ramifications, and confess it took a lot of solid theology to untangle what I had been taught for many years in the school of "Unlimited Atonement". When the light of truth broke through, the cardinal pieces of God’s gracious redemptive history fit like an amazingly beautiful puzzle as the term "Unlimited Atonement" flickered its last rays of influence on my theological convictions, wholly replaced by the truth of God's sovereign grace in Particular Redemption.

What then is Unlimited Atonement? Basically, the term Unlimited Atonement argues that Christ died for the whole world and not only for His elect from all eternity (i.e. so, it's strangely argued, Christ also died to save those in eternal Hell). John 3:16 is a favorite passage sited for this position even though the Greek term "world", as in other Scriptural passages, simply refers to Jews AND Gentiles and was a common phrase used in NT times to denote this (i.e. that is, the word "world" does not always mean everyone in the world... more on this below).

In contrast to Unlimited Atonement is Limited Atonement or Particular Redemption which essentially states that Christ did not die for the entire world but rather died to save his people (the church) from their sins (i.e. that is, the elect from all eternity by way of sovereign free grace). Particular Redemption states that Christ's blood was effectual -- and not just a possibility (praise God it was sovereign, for I never would have chosen Him if His choice had not preceded mine). Furthermore, Particular Redemption brings to light the incredible truth that no people are lost in Hell for whom Christ's blood was shed for, if that were the case as Unlimited Atonement ultimately must accept, then Christ's blood was not effectual -- something that would go wholly contrary to the very nature of God and His attributes... more on this below.

With a basic understanding of Unlimited Atonement and Particular Redemption, let’s turn briefly to the book under review: The Death Christ Died by Dr. Robert P. Lightner.

First, I'd like to point out that, while I disagree with Dr. Lightner's position on Unlimited Atonement, I do not bring into question his loves to the Lord as he appears to have a deep desire to know Him and instruct others in His ways; this came out in the book and it was a blessing to get that sense out of what was otherwise a real grind to get through.

Second, I concede there are a few verses in Scripture, but only a very few taken in isolation and lacking context, that could possibly be used in favour of Unlimited Atonement. In contrast, when the mass of Scripture is compared to Scripture in a systematic manner, the overall weight for Particular Redemption emerges overwhelmingly -- and dramatically so -- by a significant margin.

Third, while Dr. Lightner seeks to develop a case for Unlimited Atonement and seeks to use Scripture to support his argument, it did not alter my view on Particular Redemption but rather served to reinforce and make me rejoice more fully in God’s amazing sovereign free grace.

Below are some specific book review observations and comments:
  • I felt one of Dr. Lightner's leading missteps, if I can humbly say, was his view that Christ must have died for all men because a "provision exists as a basis of condemnation" (pg.46). In many ways, he builds his entire case around this. Yet Scripture is plain that a basis of condemnation is not needed. Man is already condemned. Man is justly condemned because he is sinful from the womb (c.p. Psalm 51:5, Romans 3: 10-19, etc); in short, a just basis of condemnation already exists. Furthermore, God is not subservient or contingent to man's condition, actions or nature (Isaiah 46:10, Acts 2:23, etc). Oddly, the author believes in total inability (totally depravity), yet postures the need for God to provide a provision as a basis of condemnation when, elsewhere, he has well argued man's guilt and God's justice in condemning men to hell.
  • In the same sort of reasoning, and as a logical follow-on, Dr. Lightner believes that God loves everyone. He states, "The fact that God despises sin and will eternally punish sinners does not mean He does not love them" (pg.112) and earlier, "God's love for the entire world not only is the clear teaching of the New Testament (John 3:16) but is also the emphatic revelation of the Old Testament" (pg. 111). Yet, the Apostle Paul under the Holy Spirit deals with the very issue the author attempts to advance and states the opposite; namely, that God does not love everyone including all those in the OT; by way of example: “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated “ (Romans 9:13). Clearly, God did not love everyone in the OT (note: the word “world” [meaning Jew AND Gentile in most cases] and it’s usage throughout Scripture is clear yet the author seems to lack a consistent and thorough hermeneutic on what becomes an all-important word to him).
  • God loves His elect, the Church, which is why he came to die in their place (Matthew 1: 21, John 10:25-30, Galatians 3:29, etc). This seems to follow common sense as well; after all, we know that love is immutable (i.e. love does not fail, does not change, does not [cannot] become what it is not, 1 Cor 13: 8) and we are certain that God does not love those who will be forever separated from Him in Hell for to assert such would be to deny God’s omnipotence and to redefine the attributes of love and of God. Instead, in God’s sovereign use of means, we can justly, obediently and honestly call all men everywhere with all fervency to repentance and know assuredly that all who come to Christ He will in no wise cast out (John 6:37) for, simply put, our choice of God is preceded by His eternal and fixed choice of us (the basis of the Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints). We can stand here on the authority of Scripture and, under the influencing power of the Holy Spirit, can go forward optimistically and with full confidence -- "across the street or around the world" -- preaching the Gospel in obedience to His Great Commission, leaving the actual results in the hands of the Author of salvation (Hebrews 12:2).
  • I see, therefore, no disconnect when holding to what I assuredly believe is theologically sound and wholly Biblical (i.e. Particular Redemption) with respect to calling men everywhere to repentance. Church history bears the same hallmarks. Indeed, countless missionaries, pastors and evangelists in ages past have gone throughout the earth believing with all optimism that God was/is graciously building his Church from age to age; that is, that it will happen, not possibly so. The powerful moving of the Spirit of God always works in direct concert with the foolishness of preaching His Word (1 Cor 1:21) as God sovereignly moves to gather in all, not possibly some, but ALL those from whom the Father has given the Son (John 6:37) and for whom the Son lived, died and rose again for.
 In conclusion, I reiterate what a Reformed Evangelical Pastor once stated so succinctly to me: "the death Christ died accomplished exactly (not possibly so) what God had eternally decreed it to do -- to save His people from their sins." In contrast, this book regrettably misses that emphatic Biblical truth because it holds to Unlimited Atonement rather than to a Particular Redemptive view of Christ's death as showcased in the pages of holy Scripture.

Another Pastor I heard once said: "Who are the called? All they who come. Who come? All who are called." Have you come to Christ for forgiveness of sin and new life? If not, come today. Fix your whole trust on Christ for the Lord Jesus says that "All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me and all who come to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." ~ Ephesians 1:3-7