The evidence that one is an heir of grace and a child of God is that they will desire to witnesses as new creatures in Christ. These “sit-on-the-stool-of-do-nothing” people of whom you refer which give no evidence of the “fruit of the Spirit” would be questionable if they were even born of God’s Spirit.Just as we have been caused to love God because He FIRST loved us, we desire to walk in the Spirit as witnesses of Christ’s so great salvation because it is HE that is our motivation as the Spirit causes the new man to desire to please God. We are blessed to obey by grace.
God’s people will manifest evidence of a desire to be like Christ because He lives in us…..The bottom line is, they which do not manifest evidence of Christ’s Spirit by demonstrating a love and devotion to seek Him and follow Him, would make one question if they are a child of God.—Don Martin, minister
Helps in Making Your Calling and Election Sure
Lost sheep need to come to cry to God for mercy, by realizing they ARE lost in sin and need a Savior. But they DON’T need to be fearful all their days that maybe they are NOT elect. A balanced teaching of the Holy Scriptures teaches against a lifetime of fear.
Three things are plain, here. There is such a thing as God having a CHOSEN people called “the elect,” and a need for all people to biblically make self-examination. Thirdly, there IS such a thing as “making your calling and election SURE.” Searching soul, may there be some guidance and comfort here for you. Let’s get into it, shall we?
FIRST THING IS that every concerned soul should know who God is. That means, that He is a holy God, a sovereign God that has the right to do what He will in the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth. For anyone to live with Him forever, they, too, must be made holy, and forgiven of their sins. A new nature must be planted in them to control their old nature while on earth
Among humankind, He chose a vast number to be His sheep. They are His sheep because they were chosen as His sheep, chosen “in Christ from before “the foundation of the world.” All these sheep, at one time, were LOST sheep, “dead in trespasses and in sin.” They come to LIFE only because God by His Holy Spirit implanted in them from above the “new birth,” what the Bible calls “quickening.” Only then are they empowered to believe in Christ as Savior, drawn to love Him. They are the ones “drawn” to their Father by the Father, by the Spirit of God.
Study the Bible for yourself, and see WHO this God describes Himself to be and WHAT His purpose is in salvation, and HOW He accomplished it all by Himself, without help from man. NO man was there who could help!
Now if you see from the Holy Scriptures who this sovereign, electing, loving God is, and you see yourself as hopeless without His mercy and salvation, then you can have something in common with the poor publican who smote himself on the breast, not even daring to look upward to heaven, but cried, “God, be merciful to me, a SINNER.” Take note, that this poor publican, though election is ever true, did not ask the Lord if He were one of the elect. He simply cried for mercy from the one and only merciful, sovereign God OF MERCY!
And every lost sheep, brought to see his sin and sinful nature, must, in one way or another, go up this road that leads to the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ! There is no other way, for HE IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE, the ONLY Savior.
Now make no mistake about it: ELECTION is in the Bible and that is God’s work and God’s business, in His righteous acts. All that He does is RIGHT. But you really don’t need anyone to force you to think so much about election or to understand it. Has God showed you that you are a sinner, unable to do ANYTHING to save yourself, or to help save yourself? If so, you can go and cry for our merciful God to save you for Christ’s sake and not “pass you by.” That, again, is what the poor publican did. And the Lord says he went “down to his house justified.”
NOW some are so concerned that people NOT be deceived, that they become judgmental and mean-spirited, which is unlike Christ Himself! I have heard that some in a judging sort of way, will ask a professing Christian (whether he be a true born-again Christian or not), “How do you know you are saved? You have to be one of the chosen elect if you are to be saved—and how can you know that?” That is a cruel way to confront anyone, and that often is done with a harsh unkind tone and attitude, which, again, is unlike Christ. It may even magnify doubts to the point of forming a perverted doctrine.
See if this does not sound better: “You say you are a Christian? I am glad to meet you. I love to hear the different ways our Lord has dealt with His people and how they were drawn to Him. And you and me both should be always ready ‘to give a reason for the hope’ that is in us. That is what the Bible teaches. Do you care to tell me how the Lord drew you to Himself, giving you to believe and trust in the mercy of Christ our Lord? What was it that brought you to love the Lord?”
Note that NOTHING was said at this point about “election.” Now if his answer shows that he is actually trusting in his own good works, or something he was smart enough to do to obtain salvation, THEN you can go deeper, still showing him extreme love and compassion and gently, with the love of God. Show him the way more perfectly and show him needed scriptures for him to study. Help him in his search. Meet him where is at, at the moment.
Now, if you are concerned about whether or not you are one of the “elect,” and though, I repeat, the doctrine of election IS part of the truth of God that He wants us to know, I point out that when the apostle said to “make your calling and election sure,” be WAS speaking to professing Christians, and we ALL need to be examining ourselves. But when Christ was talking to people, I don’t see Him saying anything like “you must be one of the chosen elect, and how do you know that you are?” The truth, of course, is there, but look at what the Lord DID say. He gives evidences of election without even mentioning it! And, after all, if we are to search our hearts and examine ourselves, it is EVIDENCES and FRUIT that we are looking for. So see what Jesus Himself said, and how He taught. I will underline the qualifying evidences that are necessary and that will only be found “in the elect.” Read on.
See the blessed comforts and consolations out of the Lord’s own mouth. The words I underline ARE evidences of ones election!
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which DO HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER RIGHTEOUSNESS, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs IS the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3-10)
Is anything more necessary for searching your heart? Of course more could be added, but is this not enough? Note that the Lord did not need to harp on “election” which is still eternal truth that must NOT be fought against. But the Lord here names the FRUIT of election, the FRUIT of one who has the Spirit of God within Him. He was showing us that His people that He came to save will have and will bear this fruit when they are converted and have been born-again. All this is EVIDENCE OF ELECTION AND SALVATION!
How gracious and loving is the Lord Jesus Christ. Note that the sovereign Christ who gave His life only for His sheep in all the world, the same Jesus that said, in John 6:44, “No man CAN come to Me, except the Father which sent Me DRAW him”; and the SAME Jesus that said in John 6:39, “And this is the Fathers will which hath sent Me, that of ALL which He hath given Me I SHOULD LOSE NOTHING, but should raise if up again at the last day”; and the SAME sovereign Christ that said to His Father, in John 17:9, “I pray NOT for the world, but for them Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine”; and again to His Father in Matthew 11:25, “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. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight”—all this is the SAME Lord Jesus that said—
“COME UNTO ME,
ALL YE THAT LABOR
AND ARE HEAVY LADEN,
AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.”
You see, the Lord Jesus, of course knows the fruit and the evidences of the born-again elect, and He focuses in on and emphasizes the very EVIDENCE of those elect sheep that He came to redeem, that they have when they have been born again and have the Holy Spirit within their souls. That is all He needed to say. No wonder He said, in warning us of “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” And in the parable of the Tares and the Wheat, it is learned that the tares and the wheat look just alike until the Wheat matures enough to be bearing FRUIT. And we see much herein of what that fruit looks like. And for even more, here is a list of the “fruit of the Spirit,” all of which would be and is evidence of a truly saved person, one of the elect.
You might ask another Christian if YOU bear such fruit as these:
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS
LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFING,
GENTLENESS, GOODNESS, FAITH,
. . . And they that are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh
with the affections and lusts.
If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Now a false professor, a goat, or a wolf, cannot bear this kind of good fruit, for they have not the Spirit of God. So, in looking at yourself, or asking others if they see such fruit in you—if the answer is in the affirmative as to your life-style and character, then that is strong, very strong evidence that you ARE among the elect. If you DESIRE the sovereign God with all His rights and love Him anyway, and hunger after Him and His righteousness, living in His love and fear, that is the mark of a child of God! But the Lord is the one to give assurance of His own love.
Examine your own selves.
Short Excerpts from Others
An Exortation to Those Who Tend to Be Harsh and Judgmental
Richard Wurmbrand was a Lutheran pastor in Romania who was imprisoned by the communist for 14 years. I don’t know if he understood election or not, but I DO know that the Christian leader the Lutheran denomination was named after, Martin Luther, DID indeed believe in election and the sovereignty of God, and gave no credence to the human will for spiritual realities.
Richard Wurmbrand told of a story that happened to him in prison. He was a witness of Christ to fellow prisoners, some of whom were political prisoners though communists and atheists. On one occasion, one of the prisoners, upon hearing of Jesus, asked Richard Wurmbrand, “This Jesus you speak of, I have never seen Him. What does he look like.”
Richard Wurmbrand knew he himself was to be a living epistle to be seen and read before men. He knew that this prisoner had not been taught the gospel, being reared in atheism. So how could he know anything about how the Lord Jesus looked unless he saw it in His people? But in prison, who was there that looked like Jesus? Richard knew at that time he was a lone witness there for this prisoner. So, with all humility, he answered the prisoner by saying, “Jesus looks like me.” To which the prisoner, as I imagine his being somewhat taken aback, replied back, “Then if He looks like YOU, then I want Him.”
Now I ask you, if Richard Wurmbrand had not been so conformed to the image of Christ that he radiated His love for others, do you imagine that the prisoner would have ever been led to say, “If H
He looks like you then I want Him”? Some professing Christians are so harsh and unloving that the reaction from hearts of unbelievers might rather be, “If He looks anything like you then I DON’T want Him.” And they would be more inclined to run even further away. That is why we must want to be “living epistles,” “read of all men,” showing love.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27)
“All things are delivered unto Me of My Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him. Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden [note the qualification for “coming”] AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.” (Matthew 11:28)
IN NO WAY TRUST IN YOUR OWN PERFORMANCES!
Just as the sun rises in the east and gradually mounts up into the meridian sky, dispersing with every ray light, warmth, and gladness; so this blessed Lord Jesus, as the Sun of righteousness, is ever dispersing the beams of his grace and the rays of His favour; and whenever those beams come, and those fall, there is light and life, and everything to make the soul holy and happy.
Now a man would act very foolishly if, wishing to have light in his room when the sun was shining at noonday, he should shut all the shutters, and strike a match to give him a little light for a few moments. Let us not then be so foolish as to look for happiness or comfort in our own performances when the glorious Sun of righteousness is at the right hand of God, and shining thence upon believing hearts.
But when the veil is over the heart, it is like shutters in a room: there is no light to show who, what, or where Jesus is. And then need we wonder that men strike a light and make a fire, that they may “walk in the sparks of their own kindling”? But what is God’s word against all such? “This shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow” (Isaiah 50:11).
J.C. Philpot (1802 – 1869)
Dear Concerned Reader:
Maybe you are plagued with doubts as whether you are one of the “elect” or not. Maybe you have not studied the Bible enough to know if there is such a thing as “election.” Maybe you have been taught it does not exist or is nothing that matters.
Or, maybe you have experienced on FaceBook or elsewhere people unduly judging you and where you stand with the Lord. Maybe some of them have been or seemed too harsh. Then this booklet may help you. We are all for “speaking the truth in love,” even to those who naturally don’t know better than to reject it.
But sometimes those that are too harsh, just have a burden for not wanting another soul to be deceived, maybe not realizing that he or she herself could also be deceived on some points, since we ALL “see through a glass darkly.”
So be assured that whatever your state or position is before our holy and sovereign God, this booklet is sent to you in the spirit of love.
Here are a few points that can indicate someone being deceived with faulty teaching, thus indicating a real need for search and self-examination: (1) Do you rely or trust in anything you have done in your natural ability to help you “get saved” or come alive in Christ? (2) Do you think Jesus died for every child of Adam and if they don’t “let” Him save them, then He will not be able to populate Heaven as successfully as He wants? (3) Do you believe “a new creature in Christ Jesus” can lose his salvation? And if not, why not? Again, just know that, like the apostle John, our joy is to see God’s children “walk in truth.”—Glen Berry
Dear Offended Soul,
You may be offended at a professing Christian who has questioned your salvation. Maybe he has been too judgmental of you, in not really knowing you. Maybe that is why you feel offended. But some are offended because they are, in reality, offended at a Jesus that does not match the “Jesus” they have been taught of and assumed, both by natural reasoning and by an “Arminian” system. Jesus Himself spoke of people being offended at Him.
Realize and think, too, of the possibility that the person “judging you,” if he is a real Christian, may be speaking to you because he wonders if you may be where he once was—deceived about what salvation is really about, and who Jesus really is. He needs love and wisdom to approach you, but it may be that he would like to see you delivered from the same error from which he himself was once delivered. Now, in his heart he really wants to help you. That is a possibility, you know.
So at least pray for the Lord to give you a searching mind, an open heart and His divine guidance.
See the next page for a quote of a faithful preacher that I know to have this love and concern.
From a man burdened for souls who are deceived in any way
“One of the greatest crimes committed by this present Christian generation is its neglect of the gospel, and it is from this neglect that all our other maladies spring forth. The lost world is not so much gospel-hardened as it is gospel ignorant because many of those who proclaim the gospel are also ignorant of its most basic truths.
“The essential themes that make up the very core of the gospel—the justice of God, the radical depravity of man, the blood atonement, the nature of true conversion, and the biblical basis of assurance—are absent from too many pulpits. Churches reduce the gospel message to a few creedal statements, teach that conversion is a mere human decision, and pronounce assurance of salvation over anyone who prays the sinner’s prayer.
“The result of this gospel reductionism has been far-reaching. First, it further hardens the hearts of the unconverted. Few modern-day “converts” ever make their way into the fellowship of the church, and those who do often fall away or have lives marked by habitgual carnality. Untold millions walk our streets and sit in our pews unchanged by the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and yet they are convinced of their salvation because one time in their life they raised a hand at an evangelistic campaign or repeated a prayer. This false sense of security creates a great barrier that often insulates such individuals from ever hearing the true gospel.—Paul Washer, The Gospel’s Power and Message
One Evidenc of Salvation
One evidence of true salvation is CONVICTION OF SIN. Conviction of sin in the conduct — and of sin in the heart. We are all sinners — but only a few know what sin is, and what a fearful thing it is to be a sinner. Sin is
. . . the breach of the divine law, an insult offered to every one of the divine attributes, and that horrible thing which God hates. Sin rooted in our nature, grows with our growth, strengthens with our strength, flows from our hearts as naturally as water from a fountain, or light from the body of the sun.
Every action we have performed, every word we have spoken, every thought we have conceived—has been defiled by sin, and deserves eternal death!
The nature of sin is most dreadful, and the effects of sin are most fearful. But man untaught of God has no such views of sin, or of himself as polluted by it; but when the Holy Spirit quickens and enlightens the immortal mind, when he brings home the law as the standard of holiness and the rule of conduct — then the sinner discovers his state, and fears the consequences. He is alarmed, distressed, and inquires, “Who, what can save me?” He fears his sins are too numerous and aggravated to be pardoned, being ignorant of the extent of the grace of God, and the infinite merit of the blood grace of God, and the infinite merit of the blood of Christ. He fears presumption — and he dreads despair. He cannot laugh at sin or longer trifle with eternity; he can no more dare the justice or slight the mercy of God. He is concerned for his safety, being conscious of his danger. He longs for a pardon, being convinced of his guilt. He trembles at the thought of justice — but hopes when he hears of mercy. Sensible of his lost condition, he presents the heartfelt prayer, “God be merciful to me a sinner!”
But we are not to judge our conviction of sin by its depths — but by its nature. If it drives us to despair, then it is natural. But if it drives us to Jesus, then it is spiritual. If your conviction
leads you to see your need of a Savior,
prevents your resting on anything but Christ Jesus, leads you frankly to confess your crimes before God, and to seek for salvation solely by the grace of God— then they are spiritual convictions, and the evidence of spiritual life. None could produce them, but the Holy Spirit; and none ever experience them, but those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life!—James Smith
Law terrors, death and judgment, infinite purity, and eternal vengeance will not soften or break a sinner’s heart. But if he is led to view a suffering Immanuel, and a sweet testimony is raised up in his conscience that those sufferings were for him—this, and this only will break his heart all to pieces. Thus, only by bringing a sweet sense of love and blood into his heart does the blessed Spirit show a sinner some of the depths of the tender mercy of God.—J. C. Philpot (1802-1869)
The Christian who has ever known what it is to worship God in spirit and in truth has a God to help him in his direst extremities; for as long as the spirit of prayer abides in his bosom—and that spirit once given is never taken away—he can at times and seasons pour out his heart before God, and find help and strength in Him. —J. C. Philpot, England
Nothing But This Can
Really Break the Sinner’s Heart
“Law and terrors do but harden,
All the while they work alone;
But a sense of blood-bought pardon
Soon dissolves a heart of stone.”
Swimming Waters of Eternal Delight
Any intimation of an interest in the everlasting love of God is a blessing beyond all price; for the Lord never gives any such intimation but as a certain pledge, earnest, and foretaste of immortal bliss. He can neither disappoint nor deceive. Once blest, blest for ever.
We may indeed for a long time together cease to enjoy the comfort, and even may fall into the greatest depths of darkness and confusion, so as to lose sight of almost all our evidences; but the foundation of God standeth sure: “The Lord knoweth them that are His.” The river of eternal love may seem to flow by and not reach our breast, so high are the banks and hidden out of sight the stream. Still if ever it has watered our soul it will be one day “waters to swim in” of eternal delight.
—J.C. Philpot (1802 – 1869)
“Do I live as carelessly and worldly as unbelievers while professing to be a follower of Jesus? If so, I am exposing Christianity to ridicule and leading people to speak evil of the holy name by which I am called.—Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Spurgeon, That Prince of Preachers, Said It
“Free will carried many a soul to hell, but never a soul to heaven.”
“The greatest enemy to human souls is the self-righteous spirit which makes men look to themselves for salvation:
“My evidence that I am saved does not lie in the fact that I preach, or that I do this or that. All my hope lies in this: that Jesus Christ came to save sinners. I am a sinner, I trust him, . . . He came to save me, and I am saved.”
“ ‘You are no saint,’ says the devil. Well, if I am not, I am a sinner, and Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. Sink or swim, I go to Him; other hope, I have none.”
“The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”
“None are more unjust in their judgments of others than those who have a high opinion of themselves.”
“Of two evils, choose neither.”
“If Christ has died for me, ungodly as I am, without strength as I am, then I cannot live in sin any longer, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who has redeemed me.”
“There is no injustice in the grace of God. God is as just when He forgives a believer as when He casts a sinner into Hell.”
“I groan daily under a body of sin and corruption. Oh for the time when I shall drop this flesh, and be free from sin.”
The “new self” that moves toward God, is the “new creation in Christ Jesus,” the man of the “quickened spirit.”
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