Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Jewel

"My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand" (John 10:29 AV).

In a chapter on the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints in his book Living for God’s Glory (Reformation Trust, 2008), Joel Beeke writes, "God has never torn up a Christian’s birth certificate" (p. 126).

Beeke goes on to relate a remarkable dream that John Newton, the old sea captain and author of "Amazing Grace," once had:

In his dream, he was in Naples Harbor when a most glorious person came aboard the ship and gave Newton a beautiful jewel. Newton was thrilled. But soon another person came on deck and began to mock Newton, saying the jewel was no good and urging him to throw it away. Eventually Newton came to believe him and flung the jewel into the sea. Immediately, he was filled with horror. "Oh, what have I done?" he cried.

Soon the glorious person came to him again and asked about the jewel. With shame, Newton confessed that he had thrown it away. What would happen? Newton saw the glorious person go over the side of the ship and return with the jewel. As he came back on deck, Newton held out his hand for the jewel, but the glorious one refused, saying: "No. The jewel is yours; it always will be yours; but I will keep it for you." (p. 127).

In the end, what matters is not the hold that we perceive that we have on Christ but the hold that he has on us.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

Note: Evangel article for 12/16/08.

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