Fear Not, Little Flock

Puritan heretic Christopher Love comments on Luke 12:32.

“Stop being afraid, little flock, because your Father was pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

Christopher Love speaking on Luke 12:32:

“In the Greek, the words are more emphatic.  There are two diminutives:  ‘fear not, little, little flock,’ to show that this flock that shall come to the kingdom of glory shall be but a little, little flock.  There shall be droves and herds of men damned to all eternity, but there shall be but a little flock that shall be saved. … In that there are but few persons who shall enjoy this glory with Jesus Christ, the fault is not to be imputed to God’s decree, as if He kept men from glory or laid upon men a necessity of sinning; nor to the blood of Christ, as if that were not efficacious to bring men to glory; but it is to be imputed to the wickedness of men’s own hearts and the stubbornness of men’s own wills. That few are saved, do not blame Christ for this, for He has blood enough to save ten thousand worlds.  Do not blame God for this if He decreed you to be damned and would not have you saved; but blame yourselves and your naughty hearts that are loathe to walk in a course of holiness, and in the paths of righteousness which lead men to glory.” (Christopher Love, The Works of Christopher Love, Volume 1 (Morgan, PA.: Soli Deo Gloria, 1995), pp. 515-516; underlining mine–CD)

Pharaoh was a person who DID have such a “necessity of sinning” laid upon him (see Romans 9:17-24).  What will the “permissive ‘decree'” Calvinists say to that?  I think they WILL impute the “fault” to God’s ACTIVE DECREE since this “necessity of sinning” is seen in the fact that Pharaoh could NOT resist God’s will (Romans 9:19).  But WHY did God lay this necessity of sinning upon Pharaoh?  Was it “to demonstrate His wrath, and to make His power known” (Romans 9:22) in a vacuum?  No. Not in a vacuum.  This aforementioned “necessity” was in order that it be known that “to whom He desires, He shows mercy. And to whom He desires, He hardens” (Romans 9:18), and that this hardening is a demonstration of holy wrath and power.  The Exodus Passover is a type of Christ’s efficacious redemption and deliverance of His people.  Jesus Christ is the believer’s Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:28), and by this efficacious Passover God educates and humbles His people in the very dust.  By laying this “necessity” on Pharaoh (and by extension, all reprobates) and by saving His people based on the blood of the Passover Lamb ALONE, God makes known

“the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy which He before prepared for glory.” (Romans 9:23)

Regarding the blood of Christ being “efficacious to bring men to glory.”  It IS certainly efficacious.  This is WHY Moses was saved and Pharaoh was damned.  The efficacious blood of the Passover Lamb WAS shed for Moses (and all the elect of God); it was NOT shed for Pharaoh (and all the non-elect or reprobate).  BOTH Moses and Pharaoh, the elect and the reprobate, deserve God’s wrath (Romans  6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3), BUT only Moses was shown mercy (Romans 9:18, 22-24; Ephesians 2:4-10).  It is the efficacious blood of the Passover Lamb that makes the difference between salvation and damnation!

Another heretic, Jonathan Edwards, said this regarding the Exodus Passover:

“And indeed it was the greatest type of Christ’s redemption of any providential event whatsoever.” (History of the Work of Redemption)

The elect few (little flock) that are saved do NOT “exalt themselves over other men; instead, it humbles them and causes them to tremble before Almighty God, thankful that He has graciously numbered them among the elect rather than the reprobate.” (CCF II.D.2.g)

“And all these things happened to those [as] examples, and [it] was written for our warning, on whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)

True believers have been called out of the unregenerate darkness of spiritual Egypt, and into regeneration light by the resurrection power of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3, 2:9).  They desire to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul, to violently and zealously eschew their former lusts of ignorance, and to be holy in all conduct out of love for Him who saved them.

“… because it has been written, Be holy, because I am holy. And if you call on [the] Father, the [One] judging according to the work of each one without respect of faces pass the time of your sojourning in fear, knowing that not with corruptible things, silver or gold, were you redeemed from your worthless way of life handed down from [your] fathers, but with precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot, indeed having been foreknown before [the] foundation of [the] world, but revealed in [the] last times because of you, the ones believing in God through Him, He raising Him from [the] dead, and giving glory to Him so that your faith and hope may be in God. Having purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unpretended brotherly love, love one another fervently out of a pure heart, being regenerated, not by corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the living Word of God, and remaining forever. Because all flesh [is] as grass, and all [the] glory of men as [the] flower of grass; the grass was dried, and its flower fell out, but [the] Word of [the] Lord remains forever. And this is the Word announced as gospel to you.” (1 Peter 1:16-25)

As 1 Corinthians 10:11 teaches, there are many types (or examples) in the Old Testament (e.g., Exodus Passover) to teach us. Back to Christopher Love:

“That few are saved, do not blame Christ for this, for He has blood enough to save ten thousand worlds.  Do not blame God for this if He decreed you to be damned and would not have you saved; but blame yourselves and your naughty hearts that are loathe to walk in a course of holiness, and in the paths of righteousness which lead men to glory.” (Christopher Love, The Works of Christopher Love, Volume 1 (Morgan, PA.: Soli Deo Gloria, 1995), pp. 515-516)

Does Christ have “blood enough” to save ten thousand reprobate Pharaohs?  Judases?  Esaus?  What about “blood enough” to save “ten thousand” elect Moseses?  Pauls?  Jacobs?  What is the reason for Love’s vain hypothetical about “ten thousand worlds,” here?  I think it is a Calvinist (yes, Calvinist) version of hypothetical universalism, a Calvinist way to universalize the particular and efficacious atonement of Jesus Christ.  Remember that for a Puritan Calvinist like Christopher Love, his “god” provides “SUFFICIENT” blood (“blood enough”) for the Pharaohs of the world, but only secures with “EFFICIENT” (“efficacious”) blood to bring the Moseses of the world to glory.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide [in] the shade of the Almighty. I will say to Jehovah: My Refuge and my Fortress, my God; I will trust in Him. For He delivers you from the fowler’s snare, from destruction’s plague. With His feathers He will cover you, and under His wings you shall seek refuge; His truth [is] a shield and buckler. You shall not fear the terror of night, [nor] of the arrow [that] flies by day; of the plague [that] walks in darkness, [nor] of the destruction laying waste at noonday. A thousand shall fall by your side, and a myriad at your right hand; it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes you shall look, and see the retribution of the wicked. Because You, O Jehovah, [are] My refuge; You make the Most High Your habitation, no evil shall happen to You, nor shall any plague come near Your tent. For He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You in all Your ways. They shall bear You up in [their] hands, that You not dash Your foot on a stone. You shall tread on the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent You shall trample under foot. Because He has set His love on Me, therefore I will deliver Him; I will set Him on high because He has known My name. He shall call on Me and I will answer Him; I [will be] with Him in distress; I will rescue Him and honor Him. I will satisfy him [with] length of days, and will make Him see My salvation. (Psalm 91:1-16)

“Labor to enter in through the narrow gate, for I say to you that many will seek to enter in and will not have strength.” (Luke 13:24)

“So then, also in the present time a remnant according to election of grace has come into being.” (Romans 11:5)

True believers know what makes the ultimate difference between salvation and damnation, between the Almighty’s shade and destruction’s plague.  It is the efficacious redemptive work of the Triune God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. True believers tremble with joy and thanksgiving as they walk through this dark and wicked world.  Dark and wicked, not only because of irreligious unbelievers, but especially dark and wicked because there are many deceitful unregenerate agents of Satan who transform themselves into angels of light — but God through the Apostle Paul tells that this is not a great (Greek: megas) thing.

“Yet a little [while] and the world no longer sees Me, but you see Me. Because I live, you also shall live. In that day you shall know that I [am] in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you. He that has My commandments and keeps them, it is that one who loves Me; and the [one] that loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I shall love him and will reveal Myself to him. Judas said to Him, not the Iscariot, Lord, what has happened that You are about to reveal Yourself to us and not at all to the world? Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word, and My Father shall love him. And We will come to him and will make a dwelling place with him. The [one] who does not love Me does not keep My Words. And the Word which you hear is not Mine but of the Father who sent Me. I have spoken these things to you, abiding with you; but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and shall remind you [of] all things that I said to you. I leave peace to you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be timid.” (John 14:19-27; Romans 12:1; Ephesians 1:1-23)

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