Afraid of the Gospel (5)

God cannot be mocked.

He may not be mocked; but he cannot be mocked either.

And when one departs from the straight line of the truth, he must come back to the point of depar­ture or else continue still further away from the truth.

That is not only a fundamental principle taught us in the scriptures, it is also the testimony of church history and even of our everyday life.

It makes no difference how little the departure may be, one must come back from it all the way, or else he will go still further in his way of error and of a sinful walk.

And so it is that today things have come to a head; a crisis has been reached in our churches; congrega­tions have split; individuals show by their absence from God’s house on the Sabbath that they have made up their minds to go even farther away from the truth and from the upright walk than they did before.

No longer do they manifest themselves as being afraid of the gospel. They DARE to show you that they despise it, do not want to hear it and go where they may hear that which is more palatable to their tastes. They may, perhaps, tell you that they are sick and tired of always hearing in the preaching that there are no conditions unto salvation and that man has no prerequisites to fulfill before God gives the next installment of salvation. But they then go and sit back with joy and complete satisfaction in the pews of a church that as vehemently or even more vehe­mently brands as heresy an unconditional promise of God to the elect that he will give them salvation thru faith. They may tell you that they are full to their chins of conditions, but that is not so. Their behavior shows that this is not so. For they run as fast as they can to go where they will be filled even more with conditional theology. After all that theology has something for man, flatters him and does not put him in such a hopeless and helpless light as the truth of an unconditional election to an unconditional promise of an unconditional salvation!

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Afraid of the Gospel (4)

In the article just preceding this one we stated that the seeds of conditional theology were planted into our churches from foreign soil.

That conditional theology was not here even dur­ing those days when our leaders used the word “condition” without having fully before their consciousness the implication of that word. Today, however, fully conscious of the use of that word among members of the Liberated Churches of the Netherlands who desire to become members of our congregation while still holding on to their conditional theology, fully con­scious of its implications because of thorough and ex­haustive discussions on the floor of Synod and Classis, there are those who still want that which manifestly they did not want and did not know only a few years ago.

There was a time when there was none in our churches who was afraid to preach the gospel. We like to show that at this time. We quote again from the work of the Rev. M. Gritters, “The Testimony of Dordt.”

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Afraid of the Gospel (3)

Seeds germinate.

Such is the process of life.

And if you do not root up or choke that which sprouts forth from the seed, the plant will soon come to that degree of growth that you can distinguish the plant from other types of plants.

You plant your flower seeds, and they grow. But in the soil are also the seeds of several obnoxious plants, the seeds of weeds. They also germinate. And as both that which your flower seeds send forth grows and that which these seeds of the not-wanted plants send forth grows, you are for a brief period of time at a loss to decide which must be uprooted.

So it is with the seed of the truth and the seed of the lie.

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Afraid of the Gospel (2)

Were you to assure the man, who was planning to break into an establishment in order to steal, that the night watchman of that building made a practice of leaving that structure at a certain hour every even­ing to spend one half of an hour seeking a bite of lunch and refreshment in some nearby cafe, you would un­doubtedly encourage him to go ahead and perpetrate his crime.

Were you to assure the visitor that the policemen in your city were instructed not to place parking vi­olation tickets on those illegally parked automobiles which had out-of-state licenses upon them, you would undoubtedly encourage him to break those parking regulations.

Were you to set a plate of candy on the table be­fore your children, were you to forbid them the right to take one piece and were you to assure them that, if they did, you would in no way and to no degree punish them, you could well expect to find some of that candy gone when you returned.

How, then, can we maintain what we did last time that we need not be afraid of the gospel, need not be afraid to tell our children that all the sins of all God's people are already paid for and that Christ suffered already all the punishment for which these sins call? How can we maintain that this doctrine of a full and free salvation which from beginning to end is the work of God does not make man careless and profane? How can we maintain that nothing must be put be­tween the elect and the cross, no conditions that must yet be fulfilled, no prerequisites that still stand in the way of their coming to the blessedness already merited by the cross? We find no difficulty here and that for very good reasons which we shall now present.

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Afraid of the Gospel (1)

Oh, no!

How could one ever be afraid of the gospel?

Why should we ever be afraid of it?

Even Webster tells us that the word gospel means good news, glad tidings.

How right he is, for the word used by the scrip­tures and translated in our English by the word gos­pel literally means good news, glad tidings.

That a man is afraid to open the envelope contain­ing a telegram, that he has inward fright when the telephone rings in the wee hours of the night is to be understood. These things often bring evil tidings, sad news. But the gospel is glad tidings. Why should we be afraid of it?

Did not the angel declare to the shepherds in the fields of Ephrata that their fear was out of place? Fear not, he said, for I bring you the gospel. That is literally what he said.

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Afraid of the Gospel - 3

Seeds germinate.

Such is the process of life.

And if you do not root up or choke that which sprouts forth from the seed, the plant will soon come to that degree of growth that you can distinguish the plant from other types of plants.

You plant your flower seeds, and they grow. But in the soil are also the seeds of several obnoxious plants, the seeds of weeds. They also germinate. And as both that which your flower seeds send forth grows and that which these seeds of the not-wanted plants send forth grows, you are for a brief period of time at a loss to decide which must be uprooted.

So it is with the seed of the truth and the seed of the lie.

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