October 11, 2007
Dear Katie and Luke:
In preparation for the upcoming sermon series I'm preaching, we've begun reading through Jonah during family worship. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach a message of judgment--for fun we point out our dining room window to indicate the direction of that city. But we have learned that Jonah went the opposite direction seeking to escape the presence of God--we point the opposite direction to indicate where Jonah first tried to go.
Tonight we discussed how Jonah teaches that God's purpose to save a people for Himself cannot be thwarted by His disobedient children. This, of course, is not to deny that God uses means (like the preaching of the Word) in the salvation of His people, but to say that a rebellious prophet (or church) cannot thwart God's design to save a people "from every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9). We went on to talk about Matthew 1:21, which says "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." He will save them.
I then mentioned to you how Christ did indeed die for His people on the cross, accomplishing their redemption (applied at the instant they put their faith in Him), and then I asked, "For Whom did Jesus die?" Katie, your answer proves that even little children can learn theology because you said, "Believers." "Yes, that's right!" I exclaimed. "He didn't die for everybody, or everybody would be saved! If He died for everybody, then it would be unjust for anybody to suffer an eternity in Hell. You are right, Katie, He died for believers, He died for those who will believe in Him, He died for the church, the chosen, the elect. " Ephesians 5:25, "Christ...loved the church and gave Himself up for her."
I'm sure some people might think it's wrong to teach such things to children, but I want you to have an accurate picture of God, not an image of God from the minds of men. I want you to know about the One true God whose purposes of grace cannot be thwarted. I want you to know about the holy and just God who has every right to send every single one of us to an eternal Hell, but Who is abundantly merciful in electing and calling and justifying and sanctifying and glorifying even one of us. I want you to know the whole story about God who "so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16). I want you to know the God of the Bible.
So may the sovereign grace of God be upon you. And I plead with you, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved!
For God's Glory,