Ecc 12:1 Remember Thy Creator in Thy Youth 6/24/2012
· What Did God Say? (Ecc 11:7-12:8, John 5:39)
#1. Contrasts: Light and Darkness (Ecc 11:7-8, Mal 4:2, Jer 17:9, Matt 13:34, Ecc 12:1-3)
· The Young Man and the Old Man (Ecc 11:9, Isa 60:16, 66:11, Matt 24:19, Ecc 12:3, 7:20)
#2. The Young Church and the Old Church (Ecc 11:9, Rev 2:1-6, 8-10)
· Warn Them Night and Day “With Tears” (Ecc 11:9-10, Acts 20:29-31, Eph 2:1-3)
#3. Remember Thy Creator (Ecc 12:1-2, Rom 6:23, Rev 21:8)
· The Two Natures of Christ (Mark 13:32, 1Pet 2:24, Isa 53:10, Ecc 12:1, Col 1:16)
· The Number Infinite (Matt 7:13-14, Rom 8:8)
Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Ecclesiastes, Ecc 11:7 (2X). When we approach the end of the Prophecy of Ecclesiastes, we find that this Prophecy becomes more and more complex. Truly, Solomon was a very wise man, and the meaning of the words he wrote still evades many of the theologians. When you search the commentaries you will find that most of the authors copy one another, because they are unable to harmonize the Scriptures. In addition, we have found that the KJV translators have made errors in their translation throughout this Prophecy of Ecclesiastes, and the majority of the commentators have simply copied those errors. Therefore we have to begin with the basics, and we have to ask ourselves, “What did God say exactly?” Let us read Ecc 11:7-12:8,
· What Did God Say? (Ecc 11:7-12:8, John 5:39)
Ecc 11:7-12:8 “7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: 8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity. 9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. 12:1 ¶ Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: 3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, 4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; 5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. 8 ¶ Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity.”
Here is a puzzle of major proportions. The beginning of this passage addresses a young man, and then apparently it shifts to a dying old man, and it ends with the death of the old man. Can this be the correct interpretation of this passage? No, it cannot be, for in this kind of interpretation the Gospel is not found, Christ is not found, and we have gravitated to a view of the Bible which is no longer seen as a spiritual Book. This is wrong, for the Bible is a spiritual Book wherein God is proclaiming the Gospel to mankind for the purpose of saving some. The Lord Jesus said in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” In this verse the Lord Jesus plainly said that He will be found in the entire Old Testament; and thus when we are dealing with a passage in Ecclesiastes we should be able to find the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ crucified there. For example this passage begins literally with the words:
Ecc 11:7 “Truly also the light is sweet, and a good thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun:”
The word “also” is truly there in the Hebrew text. This is significant, for it tells us that these verses should be considered in the context of the first half of Ecclesiastes 11. The first half of Ecc 11 refers to the matter of evangelism. And so, what is the reason for the urgency of evangelism? The passage that we have under consideration will explain what the urgency is.
· Light and Darkness (Ecc 11:7-8, Mal 4:2, Jer 17:9, Matt 13:34, Ecc 12:1-3)
Did God have a literal light in view in verse 7? Did God mean that literally the light is sweet for the eyes? Did God mean that we should literally look into the sun, for this is good for the eyes? Please do not make this mistake. The Bible is a spiritual Book. This verse clearly indicates that this passage is not to be interpreted literally: Do not look directly into the light of the sun. Some people have done that, for example during a sun-eclipse, and have burned the image of the sun on their retina; it is a permanent damage to their retina. God never recommended this. Our God is not a Deceiver. But we need to understand Him clearly. The Sun, in this passage, is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is called “the Sun of Righteousness” who shall arise with healing in His wings (Mal 4:2). It is good to behold Him who watches over us as a Good Shepherd watches over His flock. The Lord Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” and in this capacity the light that He radiates is truly sweet to behold. And so, verse 7 is saying that the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is sweet, and to study and meditate on the Gospel of salvation by grace alone is rejoicing the soul. Many people have not yet understood that Christ spoke in parables and without a parable did He not speak unto the multitude (Matt 13:34).
Let us now continue with verse 8. Literally we read in Ecc 11:8, “But if the man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all, and remember the days of darkness for they shall be many. All that may come is vanity.” Did God refer to one single man? Did God refer to literal days of darkness? Of course He did not. Again we need to find the spiritual meaning of the words of verse 8. And now the possibilities are endless. We cannot leave the interpretation over to our imagination, for the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). We have to derive the spiritual meaning of Ecc 11:8 from the context. What is the theme of this passage? What is the tenor of the context? What is God warning us about in this entire passage, and how does it harmonize with the first six verses in Ecc 11 which urges evangelism? We find for the literal translation of Ecc 11:9,
Ecc 11:9, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth. And make your heart good in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes—and know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” In other words, “Judgment is near.” Look now at Ecc 12:1, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days do not come yet, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;” What evil days is God referring to? He is referring to “the days of darkness” that we have found in verse 8. And how bad will those evil days be? We find in the literal translation of Ecc 12:2, “While not yet the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, are darkened, or the clouds return after rain;” In other words, the end of time is in view when God will make an end of this creation, and He will take the time keepers away, for we will continue in a timeless universe. But before that time comes there will be many days of the Final Tribulation Period. These days of the Final Tribulation Period are the days of darkness that God spoke about in Ecc 11:8. Consider how bad these days will be when we look at Ecc 12:3, “In the day when the housekeepers shall tremble and the strong men are bowed and the grinders cease because they are few; and those looking out the windows are darkened.” They shall tremble, because they have not been faithful to the Word of God. The devils also believe and tremble. They know there is a God, but they shall tremble before Him on Judgment Day. And so, can we now return to Ecc 11:8 and conclude the meaning of these words? Yes we can, for now we know what the context is referring to.
Ecc 11:8, “But if the man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all, and remember the days of darkness for they shall be many. All that may come is vanity.” It is certain that God is referring to the days near the end of time, the Final Tribulation Period. Rejoice when those days are not yet upon us, for those dark days will be many. Those days shall be evil days.
· The Young Man and the Old Man (Ecc 11:9, Isa 60:16, 66:11, Matt 24:19, Ecc 12:3, 7:20)
The man in verse 8 does not refer to a single man but to the church. And thus the young man of Ecc 11:9 refers to a young church. This does not refer to a child, for the same reason that Isa 60:16 and Isa 66:11 and Matt 24:19 do not refer to little children who suck the breasts of their mother.
But why does God make a distinction between a young church and an old church, or the young man and the old man in Ecc 11:9 and in Ecc 12:3? Let us read about that here in Ecc 11:9.
Ecc 11:9, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth. And make your heart good in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes—and know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” Rejoice in the strength of your physical health. Rejoice in the liveliness of a youthful mind. And notice, it does not say, “Make your heart glad in the days of your youth”, but it says literally, “Make your heart good in the days of your youth.” Who can make our heart good? God knows that we start our life with an evil heart, for we are by nature the children of wrath. We cannot bring up the initiative to make our heart good, for there is NONE that seeketh after God. Only God can do that, for salvation is a gift of God’s grace. But when we read this we can be on the alert that this is something that God might do to us. And after God has saved us from our own wicked self, He tells us to walk in the ways of our heart and in the ways we have read that we should walk as a child of God. And if we continue to deceive ourselves, think about this: “And for all these things God will bring you into judgment,” for God is the judge of both the evil and the good. In principle all our works are evil, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecc 7:20). How can we then have works that are good? We can only have good works if we have been saved, for if Christ has paid for all our sins, then He has also paid for all the imperfections and for all the sins that are contaminating our works. This is the only way we can produce any good works, and this is the only way we can survive the judgment of God on our works, for if God finds one sin on our account, then that sin will condemn us to hell.
· The Young Church and the Old Church (Ecc 11:9, Rev 2:1-6, 8-10)
God has already shown us the difference between a young church and an old church. Please put a sticker here in Ecc 11:9, and please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 2:1 (2X). Here in Revelation we have an example of an old church, the church at Ephesus. The apostle Paul has labored for more than three years in this church, and the apostle John has labored for many more years in this church. This is a church where the doctrines of salvation by grace have been fully explained, and where the purity of the doctrines has been meticulously kept by the pastor and the elders. Yes, this is an old established church which knows their doctrines, for they have the writings of the apostles; they would be equivalent to an established denomination in our days, with thorough Creeds and Catechisms. But listen to what the Lord says of this established church in Rev 2:1-6,
Rev 2:1-6, “1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” Let me summarize and paraphrase these words: This church at Ephesus knows their doctrine, and they know it correctly. But one thing I have against them: They have left their first love. Is that a serious matter? Yes, it is so serious that I require that they repent and realize how deep they have fallen into the routine of a maintenance ministry. Without the love of Christ and the love for Christ they cannot be saved. This is what their knowledge of doctrine buys them: It is cold orthodoxy (2X), and they have forgotten what it means to love God.
Please turn now to a young church, the church at Smyrna. Please drop down to Rev 2:8. This was a new church, a young church. This was a church which has not had the time to study the doctrines like the church at Ephesus has done, for this was a church which had a constant struggle with the Jews at Smyrna, of which the Lord says that they were the synagogue of Satan. This was the church where Polycarp was an elder and a pastor. Polycarp was a student of the apostle John. Later in life Polycarp was burned at the stake for his witness of the Lord Jesus. This was not a church which was young in age, but it was young in practice, young in operation, for those who were elders there were persecuted out of existence. Listen to what the Lord says about this young church at Smyrna.
Rev 2:8-10, “8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Let me summarize and paraphrase these verses in a few words: This church at Smyrna loved the Lord dearly, and they were willing to give their life in service to the cause of Christ. Did they have their doctrines straight? We do not know if they had all their doctrines straight, for their love for Christ was clearly the dominant factor by which they were known. They could not have been far off, for the Lord Jesus commended them for being true children of God. Definitely they have not fallen into the routine of a maintenance ministry or into another gospel. Here then is the reason why the Lord prefers a young church: They love the Lord enthusiastically like young people do, and they have given their life in service to the Lord. Please turn again to Ecc 11:9.
· Warn Them Night and Day “With Tears” (Ecc 11:9-10, Acts 20:29-31, Eph 2:1-3)
Ecc 11:9, “Rejoice, O young church, in your youth. And make your heart good in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes.” The Lord will make your heart good in the days of your youth, when the church is still vibrant and full of enthusiasm and love for Christ. But when you are deviating from the true Gospel of grace alone, and you will follow strange doctrines, “know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” But when the Lord delights in you and He will have made your heart good in the sight of the Lord, then there is no condemnation for all those who are in Christ Jesus. And remember the context! We are seeing God’s messages here concerning the Final Tribulation Period. Please turn in your Bibles to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 20:29 (2X). Solomon understood that this world would come to an end so that the time would come that God will judge all mankind, and Solomon understood that God would only bring this world to an end when the wickedness of man has increased beyond a certain threshold that God has set. Solomon knew the history concerning the days of Noah, and Solomon knew the history concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboim, and Solomon understood that God is particularly displeased when His congregations would slide into idolatry. And so, near the end of time the young congregation would be in good shape, whereas the old congregation would become like a maintenance ministry. All this information fits logically together. But Solomon also knew the inherent wickedness of man, and Solomon understood that he preachers near the end of time would want no part of a prophecy which predicts that these same preachers would be wicked idolaters. We actually can see this today; preachers are ignoring the warnings of the apostle Paul, who confronted the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:29-31, and as he spoke he pointed to them and said,
Acts 20:29-31, “29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” Did you see that? “With tears!” It means that it is certain to come, or it is already here. The apostacy comes from within the church, and it starts with the elders who should know better, but since they are puffed up in pride they cannot see their own wickedness. Therefore Solomon clothed his prophecies in parables that are hard to understand, to make sure that his prophecies would not be erased by the publishers of these prophecies. Please turn again to Ecc 11:10. We read there these words in the literal translation,
Ecc 11:10, “Therefore remove vexation (trouble, distress,) from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh. For childhood and prime of life are vanity.” We can remove vexation from our heart; we can remove uncertainty from our heart, for if we know that we have the assurance of salvation we have peace with God. It is only then that we can put away evil from our flesh, for it is only after we have been saved that we receive the grace to repent and remove evil from our flesh. And why do we need to remove evil from our flesh? It is because we were born evil; we were born dead in trespasses and sins, and we were by nature the children of the wrath of God (Eph 2:1-3). No, we were not angels when God called us. We were wicked sinners. But God, by His great mercy, transformed us from sinners into saints. We are no longer called sinners. Now we desire to serve Christ all our life. Now we live in the light of Christ. The days of darkness shall come, or have already come, but the only ones who see that those are days of spiritual darkness are those who live in the light of Christ. For the rest of mankind Judgment Day will be a total surprise. And so, if you are in a young congregation where the true Gospel is preached, remember young man your Creator for He has a purpose for you.
· Remember Thy Creator (Ecc 12:1-2, Rom 6:23, Rev 21:8)
Ecc 12:1-2, “1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:” What is God saying here? Paraphrased these verses say: Remember now in the days that you are still in your right mind, and when you can still remember the God who made you and who redeemed you, when you can still rejoice in the days before the Final Tribulation Period and worship the God who made you. Those dark days will come for sure when you shall say, “I have no pleasure in them.” Those are literally dark days when the sun and the moon and the stars will be taken away, and Christ shall come; behold He cometh with clouds to judge the living and the dead. He must come, for He is righteous, and therefore since He is a righteous Judge He cannot pass by any sin.
Remember your own sinfulness and remember how the Lord Jesus Christ saved you; how God the Son had to become man because man has sinned, and only man can atone for those sins. Remember how the Lord Jesus Christ became the sinless Lamb of God, and only if He remained without sin could He qualify to be our Redeemer. How does all of this hang together? It all hangs together by the righteousness of God. We can see a glimpse of that principle when we realize that God loves us, but the Father loved His Son Jesus Christ more than anyone of us together, and yet the Father sent His Son to the cross to pay for the sins of mankind. Why did the Father do that? He did that because the righteousness of God had to be satisfied. And so, the righteousness of God is a stronger reason than the love of God. The righteousness of God is a stronger motive to explain the acts of God on His creatures. God, the righteous Judge demands that every sin be paid, and that the payment made is the full price. If we would have to pay for one of our sins, then that sin requires the full payment of an eternity in Hell. The Word of God declares in Rom 6:23, “The wages of sin is death”, and the penalty of death that God has in view is not physical death, but is the second death, which is to be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 21:8). Our physical death is only a warning, is only a shadow of the second death. This declaration of the full payment poses a serious problem, for the problem is that the entire human race deserves to be cast into the lake of fire, for there is not a single person in the world who has not sinned. And thus God must set some rules for the forgiveness of sins. How does God forgive sins? Does God forgive sins by some hand waving? No! The righteous Judge of all the universe demands that every sin be paid with the full payment of an eternity in hell, but God allows someone else to pay the payment for our sins. If I can find another human being in this universe who is a sinless person, then I can ask this person to atone for one of my sins. This must be a sinless human being, for if that person has committed one sin, then he must first pay the full price for his own sin before he can pay for my one sin. But then this person spends an eternity in hell for his own sin, and so he will never get around to pay for my one sin. Therefore this person must be a sinless human being, for man has sinned and only man can atone for the sins of another man. And while this person is paying for my one sin it will take him an eternity in hell to complete this payment, and the payment is so great that his body will be consumed in the process. That was the payment for only one of my sins. This is called atonement. But I have many more sins, and thus the payment of that one man was futile, for I would still be cast into hell for the many sins that I have committed. And so, in order to be able to atone for all of my sins that sinless person must be God. He cannot allow me to pay for even one sin, for even one sin will be enough for God to cast me into hell.
· The Two Natures of Christ (Mark 13:32, 1Pet 2:24, Isa 53:10, Ecc 12:1, Col 1:16, Matt 28:18)
Wonderfully God has arranged for that one Person to enter into history when God the Son united Himself with the egg in the womb of the Virgin Mary and, so the Lord Jesus Christ was born. He existed as two natures into One, but once these two natures were united they were never to be separated again. His Divine nature was God the Son, who existed from eternity past with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. His human nature was the man from the womb of the Virgin Mary. Sometimes His Divine nature was on the foreground, like when He performed miracles, or when He cast out demons, or when He ascended into heaven. But sometimes His human nature took the front stage, like when He was tired, or when He was asleep, or when He ate bread with fish, or when He was crucified, or when He said that no man knoweth the day or the hour of His second coming, no, not even the Son, but only the Father (Mark 13:32). He is able to pay for our sins in His human nature, the equivalent of an eternity in hell. I am stressing “in His human nature”, for man has sinned and man has to atone for those sins. That is the reason why we read in 1Pet 2:24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” God is not contradicting other passages where the Lord Jesus suffered in His soul, like in Isa 53:10, “Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin”, but God stresses in 1Pet 2:24 that the Lord Jesus suffered in His human nature the atonement for our sins, not in His Divine nature. God the Son cannot bleed, for God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth. God the Son cannot die and God the Son cannot shed His blood for our sins, and God the Son cannot suffer on a cross, and God the Son cannot suffer in hell on behalf of our sins. This has to be done by a human being, but this human being must have the strength of God, or else He would be consumed in the process. Therefore Christ must also be God. And He must know not only my past sins, but also all my future sins, for He cannot leave one sin unpaid. Therefore, Christ will pay for all of my sins, past present and future sins, or He will pay for none of them. Some theologians consider the words of Christ when He was crucified, saying, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do,” (Luke 23:34) and they interpret this as if the Lord Jesus forgave the soldiers for nailing Him to the cross. This is a gross mistake, for either the Lord forgives all your sins, or He forgives none of them. We have no evidence from the Bible that all four of the Roman soldiers and their centurion became saved, for then we would have to consider if Pontius Pilate also became saved, for he was part of the team; it was he who ordered the soldiers to crucify the Lord Jesus. No, history does not record that Pontius Pilate ever became saved.
We began this excursion on Christ’ atonement for our sins with the beginning of Ecc 12:1,
Ecc 12:1, “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth.” Why is Christ called our Creator? He was one with God the Father when the Father created the heavens and the earth in Gen 1, and so He was indeed our Creator together with the Father. But now God takes this concept a little further.
Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Colossians, Col 1:16 (2X). God has a few more things to say about the man Christ Jesus. Yes, God speaks here about the man from the womb of the Virgin Mary whom God has honored and elevated to the status of Son of God. We read in Col 1:16
Col 1:16, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” He, the man Christ Jesus, has been made King of kings and Lord of lords over heaven and earth. The Lord Jesus said after His resurrection in Matt 28:18, “All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” All things were created by Him and for Him. That is why He is called our Creator, and we remember Him when we are still in our right mind, in the days of our youth.
· The Number Infinite (Matt 7:13-14, Rom 8:8)
Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 7:13 (2X). And now we must remember that the price Christ paid was the equivalent of an eternity in hell. He redeemed us with an atonement which is essentially infinite. To say that His atonement was for all the people in the world is blasphemous, for the Lord Jesus Christ never intended to save all mankind. He is not a liar. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 7:13-14 that he majority of mankind is on the way to hell. We read there:
Matt 7:13-14 “13 Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait (narrow) is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” God is not a liar. This principle of the many and the few is seldom preached in today’s churches, but it must apply everywhere in the Bible. This is a principle we may not forget. The Lord Jesus did not provide a vague possibility of salvation, but He actually saved people by atoning for their sins, for a particular number of sins, the equivalent of an eternity in hell. That is a payment which is already infinite. How can we ask for more? How ungrateful would that be? The sign of our salvation is that God has given us the faith to believe this and to be immensely grateful for this infinitely great gift. Now, WHAT CAN WE DO that we will receive this gift? Can we please God with something we can DO, like pray to Him that He will save us? Are you kidding? What hypocrisy to ask that Christ would go to hell for us because we love our sins too much. There are at least two reasons that tell us that we cannot ask this request from God. You may have heard the man on the radio tell us that we must plead with God to save us. This is a lie. First of all, Rom 8:8 tells us that we in our unregenerate state do not please God in anything we DO. We read in Rom 8:8, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Secondly, can we bring up the audacity to ask the King of kings and Lord of lords to go to hell for us again, because we refuse to believe that His atonement has already taken care of this fact? No! This is a monstrous request, and it will not be granted, for this would mean that we have been barking up the wrong tree, we have been worshipping another god; for we have ignored His Holy Word in which He has already stated the provisions He has made for saving people from their sins. Look at what the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ has cost Him: INFINITE. How much is a very very small fraction of infinite? It is still infinite! We cannot contribute even a very very small fraction of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us. Anything we would DO to gain some assurance of our salvation is a slap in the face of God. Anything we would DO is already defiled by sin, and thus we cannot offer it to God. We cannot offer Him a prayer to save us, for how sincere are we when we pray this prayer? Is it possible that we sin because we lack sincerity in our prayers while we are in our unregenerate state? And that is absolutely true. So let us not deceive ourselves. We are bankrupt sinners.
And so, how was God going to distribute this atonement of Christ which is essentially infinite in value, and infinite in mercy, and infinite in grace. God had to establish rules by which He would bestow His gifts on whom He wills, and not on whom we will. Since the price of Christ’s atonement is infinite, God was going to give it for FREE, since anything we would do would be a worthless gift. Anything we would do is already defiled by sin. We are poor beggars in the sight of God. We cannot even pray to Him in a decent manner. We have nothing to give to God. And God is not pleased with anything we would do, “for they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:8). Therefore God established the principle of Election whereby God chose to whom to give this priceless gift of eternal life, and this is salvation by grace, and only by pure grace, which means unmerited favor.
Some preachers will tell you that it is a salvation by faith; you must take the action to believe this Gospel, and then you will be saved. But this is not a FREE gift! This has the requirement that you must take the action to believe. We cannot have it both ways. Now, there are many verses in the Bible which state that we are saved by faith, but all these verses are taken out of context. The context clearly states that it must be by grace. Therefore, the faith that we have as an evidence of salvation is the faith that we receive from God as a gift, and it is the faith that God speaks about when He speaks of salvation by faith. But it is not our initiative to have such faith, for we must receive it by grace.
Let us summarize what we have found so far. #1, We have found that Election is a result of the fact that the atonement of Christ is of infinite value, and that anything we might offer to God is of zero value. #2, We found that the atonement of Christ is of infinite value because He must satisfy the righteousness of God. #3, The satisfaction of the righteousness of God is of infinite value because the penalty for sin is an eternity in hell. The question then boils down to this: Are we eternally grateful for such an infinite gift? That is why God commands us: Remember Now Thy Creator in the Days of Thy Youth.” Do we remember? AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.