Musings 97

A Solemn Warning To The Secure World,
From The GOD of Terrible Majesty or
The Presumptuous Sinner Detected,
His Pleas Considered, and his Doom Displayed

Being an essay, in which the strong proneness of mankind to entertain a false confidence is proved; The causes and foundations of this delusion opened and considered in a great variety of particulars; The folly, sinfulness and dangerous consequences of such a presumptuous hope exposed, and directions proposed how to obtain that scriptural and rational hope, which maketh not ashamed.

In a Discourse from Deuteronomy 29:19, 20, 21. By Gilbert Tennent, M. A.

But more particularly, the truth is, Such be the miseries of presumptuous and impenitent sinners, in this, and especially in the next world, that what I have offered comes far short of an equal, much less of an excessive description of them. It is a just and received maxim that heaven and hell don’t admit a hyperbole. Indeed a cherub’s tongue or quill could scarce expand or display them sufficiently. Conceive of GOD perfectly, and then you may perfectly conceive of and describe his anger. But this is impossible for a finite understanding, as Zophar informs us, Job 11:7, 8, 9, Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is high as heaven, what canst thou do? Deeper than hell, what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea! Friend, thou shalt know by experience, either by a sound conviction here, or by a dreadful condemnation hereafter, that I have not equaled, much less exceeded, the sorrows and pains of the damned state, in the description I have given of them. (Gilbert Tennent, A Solemn Warning to the Secure World, From the God of Terrible Majesty, International Outreach, 2014)

In thinking of the days we live in, the words of Gilbert Tennent (from the title and Introduction to his original 1735 book) are at least as applicable to our day as to his. The world, despite the problems of terrorism and morals that are spiraling to the pit from which they came, seems to be quite secure in its liberalism and general view of the world as opposed to the true God. It is with a sick heart that I see family members and people I know to some degree so easily and carelessly live in direct opposition to the words of the living God. Regardless of what is said to them my words appear as nonsense to them, even when they are spoken with true and apparent concern.

While Tennent did not write his wonderful book to bring comfort, it does bring comfort in a backwards sort of way. My efforts toward others are not necessarily because of my great weakness and inability to communicate as such, but instead they are prone to great delusions and are deadened to spiritual truth of any kind. True enough they are spiritually dead, but the rational mind can understand something of the truth of these things when it is not deluded. It would appear that God has poured a deep sleep upon our nation.

The awful teachings of hell are written in the hearts of men to some degree, yet so many have hardened their hearts and been hardened by God to the point where they laugh at these doctrines. People can be hardened by these from being around very worldly people or by being around professing churches. It would seem that we live in perilous times and that to a far greater degree than I have recognized. Even the professing friends of truth seem to be deluded to a great degree themselves.

The great doctrines of the depravity of men along with their utter inability and that of free-grace alone are perhaps given lip service by professing Reformed, but I never seem to be around when they are taught (if indeed they are). We live in a nation full of buildings that profess to be Christian in some way and yet are in direct opposition to the great truths of the Bible. It is true that only God can harden people to such a degree and only God that can soften the hearts of those He has hardened to any degree, but this does not make it easy. Oh how the world has infiltrated the professing Church and has replaced the heart of its theology by changing some words here and there and thereby changing what people think of the Bible and holiness. It is simply sickening to read, watch, and listen as the Word of God is butchered time after time and the Gospel of the glory of Christ is changed to the Gospel of the power of the free-will of man. Free-grace is no longer taught but conditions are given to men at all points. The necessity of man to have his heart humbled and broken by grace is simply a relic of history, so proud men made a free-will choice for Christ and are deluded that they are saved. It is truly heart-wrenching, but God is doing it. May He be praised.

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