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1992 Issue 9

What are your living for? What is your goal in life?

Westminster Shorter Catechism: What is man's chief end? Answer: Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

I Corinthians l0:31: "Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Augustine: Let God be all in all to you, for in Him is the entirety of all you love.

I Samuel 2:30: "Those who honor Me I will honor.

These verses and quotations present us with the ultimate purpose God has for your life. Nothing else is worth living for. The question, "What is my chief end?", is the most important question you will ever ask. If you answer it with the words, "My chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever," it reveals the most important thing about you, that you are more concerned with the living God, with pleasing Him, than with yourself, and with pleasing yourself. It reveals that you love God because He is God, and not just because of the benefits you can receive by loving Him. If that is your answer it shows that you are a real Christian, because a Christian is a person who withdrawing his eyes from himself, even from his own salvation, as the chief object of concern, fixes them on God and His glory, and seeks his highest blessedness in Him.

Each month the "Cross-Examination" column presents a summary statement of a Reformed and Reconstructionist conviction in theology or ethics, and then offers brief answers to common questions, objections or confusions which people have about that belief. Send issues or questions you would like addressed by Dr. Bahnsen to the editor.

What we know about God we know because of His own self-disclosure to us. As men, and especially as sinful men, we have no ability and no prerogative to determine for ourselves what God would be like. He must reveal Himself to us - which He has clearly done through the created order, the words of Scripture, and supremely in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Worship In the Presence of God. A collection of essays on the nature, elements, and historic views and practice of worship edited by Frank J. Smith and David C. Lachman.

Scandalum Infirmorum et Communio Sanctorum: The Relation between Christian Liberty and Neighbor Love in the Church, Inheritance Publications by Nelson Deyo Kloosterman.

"And if the Righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

The argument of Peter in the text is presented in the strongest form of logic, from the lesser to the greater probability. It is put interrogatively, as a direct appeal to the moral judgment of the reader - carrying with it a challenge to resist the conclusion, if it be possible. This is felt by the writer to be so irresistible, that the utterance of it may be safely left with those to whom the argument is addressed: "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?"

Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth: A Critique of Dispensationalism, by John H. Gerstner, Ph.D.; published by Wolgemuth &: Hyatt Publishers, Inc., Brentwood, Tenn., 1991; xi, 275 pages; $ 8.95.

Over the last few years there have been a number of noteworthy books written critiquing various aspects of dispensationalism: Dispensationalism Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow (1985), by Curtis I. Crenshaw and Grover E. Gunn, III; Understanding Dispensationalists (1987), by Vern S. Poythress; The Gospel According to Jesus (1988), by John F. MacArthur, Jr.; and House-Divided: The Break-Up of Dispensational Theology (1989), by Greg L. Bahnsen and Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. The serious student of the Reformed faith would do well to have these works in his library. Now there is another such work which is truly "must reading" in this area: John H. Gerstner's Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth (in contradistinction to C.I. Scofield's Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth [1885]).

A leading interpretive principle of prophecy is: all prophecy has an ethical purpose. That is, God does not grant knowledge of the future as a supernatural version of "Trivial Pursuit." He grants glimpses of the flow of future history so that His people might be moved to serve Him more diligently and faithfully.

In this chapter we come upon the second portion of the prophetic answer to the question of the Jews from Bethel, which is recorded in Zechariah 7:3. In our last message we noted that the first part of the answer was in the form of rebuke for their sinfulness in attempting to gain God's favor through mechanical, ritualistic worship. But in this section, he moves beyond the rebuke, to offer a much more cheering answer to the inquiry.