“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Peter 2:4-10
What effect does election have on our actions? If this doctrine be fully received and known, it breathes with all gratitude to God, an earnest desire to show forth his praise. It leads to all kinds of holy activity, and a hearty endeavour for the service of God. We are told continually by philosophic writers, that the idea of necessity—the idea that anything is fixed or decreed—tends at once to damp activity. Never was there a grosser misrepresentation. Look abroad, everything that has been great in the spirit of the age has had a Necessitarian at the bottom of it. When Mohammed preached predestination, he took a necessitarian view. Did that doctrine of predestination make his followers idle? Did it not make them dash into the battle, declaring they must die when the appointed time came, and while they lived they must fight, and earnestly defend their faith? Or to take an instance from the history of our own country. Did the Calvinism of Oliver Cromwell make his Ironsides idle? Did they not keep their powder dry? They believed that they were chosen men of God, and were they not men of valour? Did this doctrine mar their energy? So in every good enterprise our churches are never behind. Are we backward in missionary enterprise? Are we slow to send forth men of God to preach in foreign lands? Are we deficient in our efforts? Are we the people who would preach to a select few?—who would erect buildings for worship that the poor scarcely dare to enter? Are we the people who would keep our religious services for a privileged circle? The fact is, the most zealous, the most earnest, and the most successful of men, have been those who have held this truth.
Sermon no. 324
6 April (Preached 22 April 1860)