Why I am Telling You the Truth about Hard Doctrines
These truths we hold are not self-evident. They need to be preached. They need to be taught.
For many, it is a long wait to hear a man of God expound upon predestination, election, reprobation, the sovereignty of God and the denunciation of human, free will. Even when a person is exposed to these doctrines, the first reaction is unbelief. An inquiry made to a pastor is met with similar unbelief and his warning to avoid the doctrines of grace.
Why is a high view of God so foreign, and offensive to the flesh of natural man? Why is there such hesitation by called, Bible preachers and teachers? Why should people claiming to be Christians pursue the knowledge of the “hard teachings?”
First, remember that sinful flesh is in rebellion against Almighty God. Man’s vain quest, a product of the deceiver, is to be like God (Gen 3:5). Thus, by sinning, man sets himself up in hostility toward God. Man hates God (Rom 1:30), and he works to suppress the truth of God (Rom 1:18).
The truth of God is manifest in Jesus Christ, the God-man, who came into the world (Jn 1:14; 14:6). In growing in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18), one is being guided into all truth (Jn 16:13), by the Spirit of truth, who is our Teacher (Jn 14:26), sent from God the Father and God the Son (Jn 14:26; 15:26).
Despite the natural man’s love of darkness and lies (Jn 3:19; 8:44), the sun of righteousness dawns in the hearts of those God has graciously chosen to save (Mal 4:2; Rom 11:5; 2 Cor 4:6; 2 Thess 2:13). He saved us (Tit 3:5); that is, the Father saved us in election; the Son saved us in redemption; and the Holy Spirit saved us in baptism and regeneration.
The blessed assurance of salvation is afforded to the adopted child of God (Rom 8:15, 23; Eph 1:5), in that, salvation belongs to God (Ps 3:8; Jon 2:9; Rev 19:1) and His gracious choice (Rom 11:5) to secure a people for His own possession (Dt 7:6), to be the sheep of His pasture (Ps 100:3). In contrast, there is no true assurance for those who imagine they are saved because of their free will choice of Jesus Christ, the Savior.
Man’s supercilious claim to elect God to be his Savior should be met with vigorous and rigorous protest, by the Bible preachers and teachers, called by God. We must not assume that those presenting themselves as clergy are actually appointed by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28). Many false teachers, including all women preachers, have gone out to deceive people with heresies and practices galore (1 Tim 2:9–15; 2 Pet 2; Rev 2:20).
If a man of God overtly preaches the doctrines of grace, he will likely be thrown out of the local church. Parishioners do not want to hear about the total depravity of hell-bound humanity. They do not wish to consider that God wrote the names of His elect in the Lamb’s book of life, from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8; 17:8). They utterly and absolutely do not want to hear about Jesus Christ dying for a particular group of people (Eph 5:25; 1 Pet 2:9), specifically given to Him (Jn 6:37; 17:2, 4, 24), by His Father, before Creation, which He calls, “My church (Mt 16:18).”
These same pew sitters are not interested in learning about the unstoppable grace of God, which accomplishes the drawing (Jn 6:44, 65) and calling of God’s people to His beloved Son (Rom 8:30; Col 1:13; 2 Thess 2:14). Despite the loathing of these aforementioned biblical truths, the deceived are not so quick to dismiss blessed assurance, which they call, “eternal security.” They insist they have it, despite their unbelief, regarding the rest of these doctrines. The deception is great.
With our sinful flesh hostile to the sovereignty of God, and with the preacher’s silence about God’s sovereignty in salvation (for fear of losing his job), the illumined Christian must take note of these things. He or she must pursue knowledge and understanding in these matters.
Those who diligently seek sound doctrine will have their reward in doing so, for God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Heb 11:6). With such force of resistance against the knowledge of the truth, the query might be, “What should I do to better understand the sound doctrine of God’s grace?”
First, pray and ask that God would grant you wisdom and understanding from the Scriptures, which reveal the truth of God’s sovereign grace.
Second, open God’s Word of truth to study, to meditate, and to work through, the correlation of passages that form biblical theology.
Third, seek counsel from friends and family who openly profess the doctrines of grace. You are looking for help in finding a church, where this set of doctrines is freely taught by the minister of the Word. Don’t stop until you find it!
Fourth, seek counsel on who and what to read, in terms of literature (ie. A.W. Pink, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones; Herman Hoeksema; J.I. Packer; R.C. Sproul; John Frame; Joel Beeke; Iain Murray; the Puritans; the Reformers; etc.).
My dear reader, be diligent in these matters because of the dangers of false, man-centered theology. Press on toward understanding because the testimony of those who have gone before you…is that it is totally worth it.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
November 13, 2020