IDENTIFYING GOD’S SHEEP
“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” [1John 4:6]
This God cannot be known by ‘walking an aisle’, ‘saying a little prayer’, signing a ‘decision card’ or getting baptized when you are old enough, but only by REVELATION!
“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast HID THESE THINGS from the wise and prudent, and hast REVEALED THEM unto babes”. [Matt 11:25]
Again – “Unto YOU (His elect) it is GIVEN to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: [why?] That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them”. [Mark 4:11,12]
Now THIS is the God I came to know shortly after my salvation. THIS is the God of the Scriptures! To the unbelieving heart and even the nominal religious Christian THIS God described above is nothing short of a monster!
A.W.Pink once wrote to a brother he was ministering to – “PREACH ELECTION, AND YOU WILL KNOW WHO THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS ARE!” I would say a hearty “Amen!” to that, for I am convinced that the doctrine of divine predestination is not some high doctrine only to be understood by ‘older divines’ and ‘Fathers’ in the lord, but a truth that can be grasped EVEN BY A BABE IN THE LORD.
I have personally labored much to present the truth of divine Predestination in many a pulpit in our land as the Lord gave me the opportunity. But I was to them as one who spoke in a strange tongue. And the reason for this is that very few in Christendom today are REGENERATED CHRISTIANS who ‘know the Lord’ or rather are ‘known of Him’. A great majority (99%) of those who warm the pews are ‘NATURAL MEN’ who worship A GOD OF THEIR OWN MAKING. Only a babe in Christ will desire the ‘sincere milk of the Word’. And believe me, what is preached in the existing ‘pulpits’ of our day is NOT EVEN ‘MILK’ let alone ‘MEAT’. It’s just plain hogwash!
THE CHRIST OF NOMINAL CHRISTENDOM IS NOT THE SOVEREIGN, ALL-POWERFUL, DISCRIMINATING GOD OF THE BIBLE!
In one of his letters to Erasmus, Luther said, “Your thoughts of God are too human.” Probably that renowned scholar resented such a rebuke, the more so, since it proceeded from a miner’s son. Nevertheless, it was thoroughly deserved. I, too, pose the same charge against the vast majority of the preachers of our day, and against those who, instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves, lazily accept the teachings of their Seminaries. The most dishonoring conceptions of the rule and reign of the Almighty are now held almost everywhere. To countless thousands, even professing Christians, THE GOD OF SCRIPTURE IS QUITE UNKNOWN.
Of old, God complained to an apostate Israel,
“THOU THOUGHTEST THAT I WAS ALTOGETHER SUCH AN ONE AS THYSELF” (Psalm 50:21).
Such must now be His indictment against apostate Christendom. MEN IMAGINE THE MOST HIGH IS MOVED BY SENTIMENT, RATHER THAN BY PRINCIPLE. They suppose His omnipotency is such an idle fiction that Satan can thwart His designs on every side. They think that if He has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, CONSTANTLY SUBJECT TO CHANGE. They openly declare that whatever power He possesses must be restricted, lest He invade the citadel of man’s free will and reduce him to a machine. They lower the all-efficacious atonement, which redeems everyone for whom it was made, to a mere remedy, which sin-sick souls may use if they feel so disposed. They lessen the strength of the invincible work of the Holy Spirit to AN OFFER OF THE GOSPEL which sinners may ACCEPT or REJECT as they please.
All that to say, whether it is our salvation, our knowledge of God and His ways or our works for Him, in every thing ALL the glory is due to Him and Him alone. This is one reason why I am convinced that I am one of His elect. For His Spirit has in His grace and mercy revealed to me WHO HE IS!
AND THE DOCTRINE WHICH HE HAS TAUGHT ME GIVES GOD ALL THE GLORY AND PUTS MAN WHERE HE BELONGS ….IN THE DUST!
This is how I know that I am one of His elect! And this is how I recognize OTHERS who are elected with me. They have come to believe the GOD OF THE SCRIPTURES AS HE IS REVEALED IN THE SCRIPTURES!
While for some sheep it may take a while to fully grasp truth of the Sovereignty of God and the impotence of man in regards to salvation, if notwithstanding even after many years of being exposed to the truth of Sovereign Grace they still insist and harp on Creature Ability . . . it is plain that IT IS NOT GIVEN UNTO THEM! [Matt 13:11]
It is best to – LET THEM ALONE! [Matt 15:14]