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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Seven Strands

Arthur Pink writes:

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)

No stronger passage in all the Word of God can be found guaranteeing the absolute security of every child of God. Note the seven strands in the rope which binds them to God.

First, they are Christ’s sheep, and it is the duty of the shepherd to care for each of his flock! To suggest that any of Christ’s sheep may be lost is to blaspheme the Shepherd Himself!

Second, it is said “They follow” Christ, and no exceptions are made. The Lord does not say they ought to, but declares they do. If then the sheep “follow” Christ they must reach Heaven, for that is where the Shepherd is gone!

Third, to the sheep is imparted “eternal life”. To speak of eternal life ending is a contradiction in terms.

Fourth, this eternal life is “given” to them. They did nothing to merit it; consequently they can do nothing to demerit it.

Fifth, the Lord Himself declares that His sheep “shall never perish,” consequently the man who declares that it is possible for a child of God to go to Hell makes God a liar.

Sixth, from the Shepherd’s “hand” none is able to pluck them; hence the Devil is unable to encompass the destruction of a single one of them.

Seventh, above them is the Father’s “hand,” hence it is impossible for them to jump out of the hand of Christ even if they tried to. It is impossible for a sheep to perish even if it desired to – as though one ever did! The “hand of Christ” is beneath us, and the “hand” of the Father is above us. Thus are we secured between the clasped hands of Omnipotence!

It has been well said that if one soul who trusted in Christ should be missing in Heaven, there would be one vacant seat there, one crown unused, one harp unstrung; and this would grieve all Heaven and proclaim a disappointed God. But such a thing is utterly impossible!

Escaping Sinful Thoughts

Christ laid down His life for us even though we did not believe in Him, nor were able to believe in Him. He died for us, not as believers, but as sinners. Christ died to make sinners into saints while we were utterly without strength. Charles H. Spurgeon writes:

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6 ESV)

I have heard another [man] say, “I am tormented with horrible thoughts. Wherever I go, blasphemies steal in upon me. Frequently at my work a dreadful suggestion forces itself upon me, and even on my bed I am startled from my sleep by whispers of the evil one. I cannot get away from this horrible temptation.” Friend, I know what you mean, for I have myself been hunted by this wolf. A man might as well hope to fight a swarm of flies with a sword as to master his own thoughts when they are set on by the devil. A poor tempted soul, assailed by satanic suggestions, is like a traveller I have read of, about whose head and ears and whole body there came a swarm of angry bees. He could not keep them off nor escape from them. They stung him everywhere and threatened to be the death of him. I do not wonder you feel that you are without strength to stop these hideous and abominable thoughts which Satan pours into your soul; but yet I would remind you of the Scripture before us—“When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Jesus knew where we were and where we should be; He saw that we could not overcome the prince of the power of the air; He knew that we should be greatly worried by him; but even then, when He saw us in that condition, Christ died for the ungodly.

Cast the anchor of your faith upon this. The devil himself cannot tell you that you are not ungodly; believe, then, that Jesus died even for such as you are. Remember Martin Luther’s way of cutting the devil’s head off with his own sword. “Oh,” said the devil to Martin Luther, “you are a sinner.” “Yes,” said he, “Christ died to save sinners.” Thus he smote him with his own sword. Hide you in this refuge, and keep there: “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” If you stand to that truth, your blasphemous thoughts which you have not the strength to drive away will go away of themselves; for Satan will see that he is answering no purpose by plaguing you with them.

These thoughts, if you hate them, are none of yours, but are injections of the Devil, for which he is responsible, and not you. If you strive against them, they are no more yours than are the cursings and falsehoods of rioters in the street. It is by means of these thoughts that the Devil would drive you to despair, or at least keep you from trusting Jesus. The poor diseased woman could not come to Jesus for the press, and you are in much the same condition, because of the rush and throng of these dreadful thoughts. Still, she put forth her finger, and touched the fringe of the Lord’s garment, and she was healed. Do you the same.

Jesus died for those who are guilty of “all manner of sin and blasphemy,” and therefore I am sure He will not refuse those who are unwillingly the captives of evil thoughts. Cast yourself upon Him, thoughts and all, and see if He be not mighty to save. He can still those horrible whisperings of the fiend, or He can enable you to see them in their true light, so that you may not be worried by them. In His own way He can and will save you, and at length give you perfect peace. Only trust Him for this and everything else. (All of Grace)

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