Afraid of the Gospel (8)

Conditional theology!

Christless sermons!

These go hand in hand. Hand in hand they must go. For conditional theology wants us to believe that there are works of men that precede the works of God and for which God waits, either before saving us or before he can and will give us the next installment of salvation. We must believe, so the particular phase of conditional theology which was smuggled into the Protestant Reformed churches declares, before the promise of God to save us will go into effect. God promises salvation to everyone who hears the gospel on the condition that they believe. They must, then, first believe, and then the promise is for them. Before that it is not for them. And so, this particular brand of conditional theology maintains, it is also for man after he has been brought by God into the kingdom by his act of believing. Then his receiving and enjoying of the blessings of that kingdom still depend upon his doing something before God will give the next installment. He must convert himself before God will send to him that blessing of the kingdom, namely, the joyful experience of being in it, the comfort, the peace of mind of being a citizen of it. Man’s work is prerequisite to God’s work! Let them not say that they do not mean that! Let them rather convert themselves and become like little children and confess that the word prerequisite does not fit in Reformed theology when we are speaking of the good works to which God calls us.

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Afraid of the Gospel (7)

Christ or conditions.

That is the issue! Either Christ and his work is the prerequisite for my entrance into the kingdom of heaven or else my act of converting myself is the prerequisite. Either Christ and his atonement is the basis for my salvation or else I am saved on the condi­tion of faith, and perhaps on the condition of a few other things demanded of me.

Christ and conditions?

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Afraid of the Gospel (6)

In response to our publishing of his statements that “Many people also speak this way about accept the terms of the covenant. We do indeed believe in covenant obligations and privileges, but never as con­ditions,” the Rev. Gritters objected by personal letter and declared that we could not find in any of his cur­rent writings that he now embraces conditional elec­tion.

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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.

 

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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 - 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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