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Page 127

Matthew 5:44-45

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them and curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Acts 14:16-17

Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

Nevertheless He left not Himself without witness, in that He did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with good and gladness.

Romans 2:4

Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Luke 6:35-36

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

II Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing thay any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Matthew 23:27

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

We may never despise nor deny God's common grace. If persons do reject God's gracious outward blessings in creation, providence, conscience, and His Word, these blessings will add to their condemnation. But the result caused by a sinner's rejection must not detract from the graciousness of God's blessing. It is precisely the rejection of God's grace (God's common grace, for His saving grace is irresistible), which increases the sinner's sentence - the more blessings received, the more guilty one is for their rejection.

At the same time, we must never confuse nor mix the Holy Spirit's common and saving grace work. God's saving grace is entirely free and sovereign - it is totally gracious. Saving grace is not given to those who improve themselves through use of common grace; totally-depraved sinners cannot improve themselves. Common grace does not implant spiritual life in spiritually dead sinners' hearts, for this is the result of free, sovereign, saving grace alone.

How does the denial of God's common grace ascribe to God an unscriptural tone of harshness and cruelty when dealing with His creatures?



Does the doctrine of God's common grace conflict with God's decree of predestination? Why not? (You may wish to refer to Chapter 4, pp. 143-149 for assistance.)



 

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

- Luke 12:48

 


Read Jesus' words to His apostles in:

Mark 6:11

And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Why will God's judgment upon the cities rejecting the message of the apostles be greater than that of Sodom and Gomorrha?


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