20 August, 2016

FAQ—Why is God continuing and sustaining this world’s existence apart from common grace?


  


Q. 1. If there is no common grace, then why is God continuing and sustaining this world’s existence?”

“... for no other reason does he [i.e., God] sustain the world than to collect from it the number of the elect ...” (Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, vol. 3, p. 42).


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Q. 2. “Why do the reprobate/non-elect still exist? What purpose does their continuance on earth serve?”

The reprobate are here for the purpose of the salvation of the elect. As the corn plant is necessary for the corn kernels, the reprobate are necessary for the salvation of the elect. The elect church is like a building that God builds throughout history; the reprobate are the scaffolding. (Prof. Herman C. Hanko)

The sustaining of their existence is not a gracious act. It is a decretive means by which they store up wrath and judgment against the Creator for the day of wrath. [cf. Gen. 15:16; I Thess. 2:16]. It is for these reasons that I think the term of common grace is ill founded and conveys a wrong impression of God’s will … God actively pursues His glory in the wicked by the coming judgment. In this way, they must live to fill up their sins and must also be left without excuse. (C. Matthew McMahon, “The Two Wills of God Made Easy: Does God Really Have Two Wills? [2016], pp. 77-78)

If wicked men are left on the earth as a reprieve from being damned … how could this be good if they were in a constant state of filling up their sins? The longer they remain on earth the more they would sin, and their damnation would be greater. For the wicked, God uses this world to “prepare ‘em for the pit,” as [Jonathan] Edwards had said … [To] say that God gives them opportunity to be saved is to be even more inconsistent. The Scriptures everywhere shows that God publishes the Gospel before them, but has no intention of saving them due to His immutable decree. (C. Matthew McMahon, “The Two Wills of God Made Easy: Does God Really Have Two Wills? [2016], pp. 192-193)



  






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