What Can God's Elect Do In A Reprobate Age?
II Thessalonians 2:13-14
Without question, we are living in a reprobate age. Ours is a generation under the judgment of God. Read the first chapter of Romans and tell me that I am mistaken! The marks of divine judgment are evident throughout our society: spiritual blindness (II Thess. 2:8-12), moral perversion (Rom. -28), and self-serving chaos and rebellion (Rom. -32). These things are the results of freewill, works religion, religion that debases the character of God and exalts the dignity of man. The more thoroughly convinced men are that salvation depends upon them, the more vile they become!
What can we do in this reprobate age? If we could outlaw abortion, shut down the peddlers of smut, banish all drugs from our culture, and eradicate homosexuals from the world, it would not move our generation one step closer to God. Our problem is much deeper than these things. They are only the branches. The root is in the wicked heart of man. Nothing can deliver us from the judgment of God but the grace of God. Yet, there are some things we can and should be doing.
WE CAN PRAY! If God is pleased to work his
works of grace in this age he can. And if it is his purpose to do so, he will
do so in response to the fervent prayers of his people. "As soon as
"O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years." The word "revive" might be better translated "preserve alive". I am not a pessimist, or an optimist. I am a realist. I try to deal with things as they are. Though I have prayed much for revival, I do not do so much any more. I only pray for things that I expect God to do. And I do not expect revival in this day, at least not in the sense in which we commonly think of revival. If God is pleased to send something again like the great awakening, I will rejoice in his goodness. He certainly can do it! But that does not appear to be his purpose. I am praying that our God will graciously preserve alive his church and his truth. And I know he will!
"In the midst of the years make known" - Pray that God will make known the gospel of his grace, and that he will make all men to know his greatness, his grace, and his glory in Christ. Though the prophets of Baal and those who follow them to destruction may not repent, I pray that our God would make himself known to this generation by us (I Kings -37).
"In wrath remember mercy!" There is yet a remnant, chosen of God and redeemed by Christ, who must be saved. Let us plead with God, putting him in remembrance of his covenant (Isa. 43:26), that he might have mercy upon some, even in this day of judgment.
WE CAN AND MUST GIVE THANKS ALSO TO GOD FOR HIS GRACE TO US (II Thess. -14). As the Thessalonian believers heard Paul's epistle read to them for the first time, after hearing about the apostasy, the antichrist, and the strong delusion God would send, when the reader got to verses 13 and 14, you can imagine what shouts of joy must have gone up from their hearts as they heard these glorious words: "We are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."
If in the midst of this reprobate age you
have been snatched out of darkness and translated into the
WE CAN AND MUST PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THIS REPROBATE GENERATION (Rom. -18). The only hope sinners have is Christ. Unless someone tells them the good news of God's free and sovereign grace through the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ, they will perish under the strong delusion of Arminian, freewill, works religion. We must tell this generation the truth!