Wednesday, January 16, 2013


(Because of the wretched state of Red Deer’s pulpit space, it is now, as predicted by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3, the time to ‘pluck up that which is planted…a time to break down…a time to weep…a time to cast away stones’ and even ‘a time to refrain from embracing.’ And it is certainly more ‘a time to speak’ than ‘a time to keep silence.’ Be that as it may, the wrecking ball of negative criticism should be followed by the laying down of truth. To this end, we introduce the sermon sketch as an intermittent blog feature. As the term ‘sketch’ implies, this kind of post, in distinction from the usually lengthy analysis, will be pithy. The source for each sketch will be indicated at the bottom of each post.)


“…God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation….” (2 Thessalonians 2.13, 14.)

Introduction. This text all by itself is enough to prove that God has made an ancient choice. In many pulpits it is regarded as a great sin to preach on election. But God has revealed this truth for a purpose. I ask that you lay aside any intolerance you might have, and hear what the Scripture says. Do not be ashamed to learn, and to give up old views. And if, after you have heard my sermon, and after you have prayed about it, you still can’t see this doctrine in the Bible, then you may reject it.

(1) Where the Doctrine is Found. Any Anglican will find it in the Articles of his church. It says there that God has, from eternity, decided to deliver from curse and damnation, those whom he has chosen. The Waldensian Creed teaches the same, and that God’s choice depends not on foreseen virtues. This is no new doctrine. This is not just Calvinism. History points to confessor after confessor of this teaching. The contrary teaching has been more rare. Our own Baptist Confession teaches election. But the important thing is, that election is in the Bible. If the Bible calls people elect, then there must be an election. Just look into Mark 13 and Luke 18. And the words appointed and my sheep teach election too. Election is taught in Colossians and Titus, and by Peter and John. The doctrine was loved in those days. And we love it especially when it is hated. Jesus himself says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15.16.) Look at Acts 13, and into Romans 9 and you will see it for sure. Shall we cut it out of the Bible if we do not like it? If it is in the Bible, we must bow down and accept it.

(2) Election is Absolute. What I mean is, election is absolutely independent of us. If men cannot be justified by deeds, then neither can election depend on them. And if faith is God’s gift, it is nonsense to say that our faith caused God to elect. “He will have mercy on whom he will.”

(3) Election is Eternal. We could never travel back to the beginning of eternity. Yet from then, before comets wandered and angels flew, God chose his people. Just run over these thoughts.

(4) Election is Personal. Some say God has chosen nations, not persons. But if election were a crime, choosing nations would be more criminal than choosing persons, because nations are made up of multitudes of persons. If you argue that God has chosen the Jews, I argue back that God has chosen that Jew, and that Jew, and that Jew. God chooses persons. Election is personal.

(5) Election Produces Good Results. God chooses persons to holiness and faith. O beloved! never think you are elect unless you are holy. And never think you are chosen unless you believe in Christ. God’s Election does not free you from Responsibility. Don’t imagine that because you are elect you may believe and live as you please. If you are destroyed, it will be your own fault.

(6) Election’s Tendencies. It tends to humble us. How can we be proud if God loved us before we existed? He who is proud of his election is not elect. It tends to make us fearless and bold. So what if the whole world is against you, as long as you are chosen by the Almighty? It tends to make us holy. Shall I sin, an elect person says, after God has chosen me? Sin after such love?

Selection from Conclusion. “What though there is an allotted number, yet it is true that all who seek belong to that number. Go thou and seek…come as a guilty sinner to Jesus.” 

{This sermon by C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) is sketched by M. H. Gaboury.}

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