Continuing with chapter XI (Unconditional Election) Boettner speaks of God’s sovereign decision concerning the various times, places, and circumstances into which men and woman are born:
“One child is born with health, wealth, and honor, in a favored land, in a Christian home, and grows up with all the blessings which attend the full light of the Gospel. Another is born in poverty and dishonor, of sinful and dissipated parents, and destitute of Christian influences. All of these things are sovereignly decided for them” (pp.89-90).
God’s sovereign diffusing of the gospel in various lands achieves infallibly the purpose for which He sends it (cf. Isaiah 55:11). He diffuses the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ in order to irresistibly save and bless the unregenerate elect and in order to actively harden and curse the unregenerate reprobate for destruction (2 Corinthians 2:14-16). A “land” is NOT favored. Only God’s elect are unconditionally, mercifully, and graciously favored in Christ from before the foundation of the world (cf. Ephesians 1:3-14).
To say an immeasurably great privilege is to the child born and raised in a true Christian home where the true gospel is believed and preached is an understatement. With great privileges come great responsibilities, and not all who are nurtured, trained, and admonished in the Lord continually appreciate so being. For “coming of age” and growing wanton they kick against tenderly firm and loving pricks while spitting out the pure milk of the Word so painstakingly fed to them (Ephesians 6:1-4; 1 Peter 2:1-3). These are like ungrateful Esaus who sell their “immeasurably great gospel birthright” for a mess of pottage (Hebrews 12:16-17; cf. 2 Timothy 4:10).
Boettner’s mention of “sinful and dissipated parents, and destitute of Christian influences” describes much of the United States of America (including most who come in the name of Christianity). It’s not only the “dissipated” irreligious and secular types shirking their parental roles by carting their children off to government schools, it’s also the professing Christians who do this (cf. Ephesians 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 5:10, 14; Titus 2:3-5).
And it’s not only the “dissipated” irreligious and secular types who take pleasure in the wickedness on the movie or television screen, it’s also the professing Christians who do this. Many professing Christians are hypocrites who tell their irreligious neighbors to not commit adultery while they go and entertain themselves with adultery through the medium of movies or television (cf. Romans 1:32, 2:22). Many (if not most) who come in the name of Christianity are NO DIFFERENT than those they would judge to be immoral. Residing in their glass houses they cast hypocritical stones at those who enjoy watching the exact same gutter-box they do.
“I will set no wicked thing before my eyes; I have hated the work of those who turn aside; it shall not fasten upon me” (Psalm 101:3).
“For your obedience reached to all; therefore, I rejoice over you. But I desire you to be truly wise as to good, but simple toward evil” (Romans 16:19).
“Brothers, do not be children in your minds, but in malice be like infants, and in your minds be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20).
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him, because all that which is in the world: the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).