Rev. Hoeksema, as the first convention speaker, pointed out that the chief contents of the gospel is the promise. In a certain sense gospel and promise are synonymous. We as Protestant Reformed young people are always interested in the question of the Gospel. This is especially of interest to the Protestant Reformed people because we stand opposed to every Arminian and Pelagian doctrine because they cannot really speak of the gospel of the promise. We also are opposed to the Christian Reformed doctrine in the three points. In the first point they make a general offer without distinction. In this we can never agree. This subject also points out the difference between those who left us a couple of years ago. They also have conditions. “God promises to every one of you that if you believe you shall be saved.”

His first point was the Idea of the Gospel. The term idea means the general concept of anything. An example for idea would be a tree with its roots, trunk, leaves, etc. This is an easy subject because there is only one gospel described in the Holy Scriptures. Gospel in the original means glad news or tidings. The essential characteristics are: a) Light in the midst of darkness. b) God is sole author. c) Chief content is God as God of our salvation. d) Also of the Son of God. Gospel of Jesus Christ. e) The gospel of the kingdom of God through Christ in glory in heaven. f) The gospel of salvation. g) The gospel of peace. h) The gospel of grace. The gospel is the joyous work of God for his people where they are turned from darkness to light through Christ.

Rev. Hoeksema then pointed out the contents of the gospel. First, a promise is something favorable or good, never evil. Evil is called a threat and a promise we desire. A promise is impossible among men. A promise is a sure pledge. A promise is never doubtful. A promise is absolutely unconditional. A promise is a sure pledge of something good. The good in the Promise of the Gospel is eternal life from death. Eternal blessedness from deepest misery. A promise is in this case absolutely sure and cannot fail. That is why a promise among men is impossible. Many things may happen. We always have to add to our promises, “If the Lord wills.” God’s promise is surely fulfilled. This promise is realized to whomsoever he will have it realized. It is preached to all who hear but not promised to all who hear.

Rev. Hoeksema also pointed out the idea of its being preached. In Rom. 13 we read, “How shall they hear without a preacher, and how shall they preach except they be sent?” The gospel alone must be preached, and preached according to the Scriptures. God pleases to send the word through men whom he has called. Christ Himself must speak through him who is sent and to those who hear the preaching. “Come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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