Sunday, November 21, 2010

An Excellent Quote from Mark Webb

This morning in the message I referenced a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer which helps bring together the tension between God's sovereignty and man's responsibility. It is posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010. There is another quote I want to post here, which has also been helpful to me in thinking of the glorious truth of God's grace in election. We are naturally prone to think hard thoughts of God, and this quote helps us see God more accurately.

It is a quote I have benefited many times from Mark Webb. I first heard it from C.J. Mahaney a few years ago, and have used it repeatedly since. In fact there are parts of it that I recommend memorizing as it will serve you in understanding the glorious grace of God's election. I will put that portion in bold print.

After giving a brief survey of these doctrines of sovereign grace, I asked for questions from the class. One lady, in particular, was quite troubled. She said, ‘This is the most awful thing I ever heard! You make it sound as if God is intentionally turning away men and women who would be saved, receiving only the elect’ I answered her in this vein: ‘You misunderstand the situation. You’re visualizing that God is standing at the door of heaven, and men are thronging to get in the door, and God is saying to various ones, ‘Yes, you may come, but not you, and you, but you, etc.’ The situation is hardly this. Rather, God stands at the door of heaven with His arms outstretched, inviting all to come. Yet all men without exception are running in the opposite direction toward hell as hard as they can go. So God, in election, graciously reaches out and stops this one, and that one, and this one over here, and that one over there, and effectually draws them to Himself by changing their hearts, making them willing to come. Election keeps no one out of heaven who would otherwise have been there, but it keeps a whole multitude of sinners out of hell who otherwise would have been there. Were it not for election, heaven would be an empty place, and hell would be bursting at the seams. That kind of response, grounded as I believe that it is in Scriptural truth, does put a different complexion on things, doesn’t it? If you perish in hell, blame yourself, as it is entirely your fault. But if you should make it to heaven, credit God, for that is entirely His work! To Him alone belong all praise and glory, for salvation is all of grace, from start to finish.”

Enjoying God's grace,