As you know, Young People, when we are reading a book in a room that has no windows, has its door closed, and the electricity is suddenly and unexpectedly shut off, we will not be able to read and learn the new things that are in that book. Similarly, although we are born again children of God, and have learned some beautiful truths that are taught in Scripture, there are times when Satan turns off the spiritual light of Scripture, tempting us with worldly things, and leading us into sin.
The Apostle Peter had such an experience when Christ Jesus our Savior was captured by unbelieving Jews who hated Him. Peter even cursed and swore when these wicked Jews called him a disciple of Christ. Unto them he said, “I know not the man.” Just look up Matthew 26:69-75. Yet, in His grace our God turned Peter back to his faith, and caused him to weep bitterly because of his sin. In fact, after Christ’s resurrection and ascension into heaven, God, in His grace, made Peter become a very faithful apostle, who wrote two beautiful epistles, which we find in the Bible.
Bear in mind, Young People, that we are by God, and through Peter, called to do what is written in II Peter 1:10 and 11. There we read this: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Let us take note of the fact that our God, through Peter, here commands us to make our calling and election sure, so that we would never fall, but would enter into the everlasting kingdom of God, realized by our Savior, Jesus Christ. However, we must, in the light of what our God says in other passages of Holy Writ, understand the truth onto which we must hold tightly, and not let men take away from us, namely, that our calling and election are very, very sure. Our salvation is absolutely sure, because of all the promises of our almighty God.
Why then does Peter here command us to make our calling and election sure? Have we here the basis for the Arminian doctrine, that we will not be saved, unless we fulfill that condition which Peter here presents? Do we have God’s promise here, that if we make our calling and election sure, we will be saved; but if we do not do what Peter commands us to do, we will not be saved?
By no means! Peter does not here teach us that salvation depends upon our fulfilling any conditions. Our God, through Peter, does not here present to us what we must do to get the salvation which God has prepared and made possible through His Son. God does not wait and depend upon what we do, and save only those who make their calling and election sure.
Look up what we find in Matthew 18:3. There we read: “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Notice: “be converted” not convert yourselves.
Very plainly then the call for us to make our calling and election sure means that we must do that which makes our calling and election sure in our hearts and minds. The word Peter uses here, and is translated as “sure,” means to be made firm, or steadfast. This reveals that Peter is here speaking of that which those to whom he writes already have, namely, that calling, and are eternally elected. Note also that Peter calls them “brethren.” What Peter is here doing then is addressing those who already have a God-given calling and God-realized election.
As pointed out in the beginning of this article, Peter himself acted as though God had not called him, and therefore he did not “know the man.” Yet he did in that day already have the calling and election of God’s elect children. For immediately after his desperate sin, he went out, weeping bitterly, because of that sin. His calling and election were clearly revealed, after he had also displayed his old man of sin.
Just look up what Peter wrote in the verses preceding this command to make our calling and election sure. He there calls those to whom he wrote this epistle, and called them brethren. Them he called to add to their faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, to knowledge patience, to patience godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness and to kindness charity. He also adds in verse 9 that he that lacketh these things is blind, that is, spiritually blind, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Now those to whom Peter writes, and admonishes were not blind, or Peter would not have called them. One needs to see, in order to perform the work of making one’s calling and election sure. What is more, Peter could not call “brethren” those who were spiritually blind.
This call then is very plainly presented to those who have been called, and were eternally elected by God. They can, and they only can, be called “brethren.” They were Peter’s spiritual brethren, being born again by God’s Spirit, and in His grace.
Therefore, Young People, this call, here presented, comes also to us. Although we are spiritually born again children of God, we still have our old man of sin. And we live in a world wherein Satan brings to us very many appealing and crafty temptations. This makes it very difficult for us to make our calling and election sure. Although we do not with our lips say to men, “I know not the man,” we often perform acts, and by them say that we do not know Christ Jesus our Savior. Therefore this call of God through Peter also comes to us. And so very often we should weep, as Peter did after his sin.
The awesome question, Young People, is whether we do weep in our souls, because of the sins which we commit. By all means, we should not defend ourselves in the sins which we committed. This call, which God presents through Peter, comes also to every one of us. We may not defend ourselves in any sin which we committed. We also have the command to let our light shine before men, and glorify our Father Who is in heaven. Look up Matthew 5:16. As we make our calling and election sure in our hearts and minds, as Peter did by his weeping, we will reveal ourselves to be called by God as His elect, born again by Him.
Take that truth with you the rest of your life, Young People. Do not try to defend yourself in your sins. Get down on your knees every night, and, looking back at what you did, heed your calling to confess those sins, and reveal to yourselves that you are God’s elect For He elected us to holiness, not merely deliverance from punishment.
Make your calling and election sure in your mind, and it will assure you that as Peter declares, your entrance into the everlasting blessedness of the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is abundantly sure. We, indeed, are rushing toward the days of physical suffering, as Satan brings forth the Antichrist, and his devilish kingdom. But those making their calling and election sure can by God’s grace be sure of entering into “the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” And making your calling and election sure, your blessed life in that coming kingdom of our Lord and Savior, is absolutely sure.
Rev. Heys is a retired minister of the Protestant Reformed Churches and is a member of Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan.