Banquet Speech by the Rev. G. Vanden Berg

“The Realization of the Gospel of the Promise”

The Rev. Vanden Berg first pointed out to us that the realization of the gospel of the promise has a threefold view; the past, the present and the future. It has already been fulfilled in the past and has its deepest roots in the eternal counsel of God. The gospel of the promise has been realized in the perfect and complete work of the cross and the resurrection. Viewing the present, the promise is being fulfilled as of now. In the midst of the world, God causes through His Spirit the realization of the Gospel of the Promise. Viewing the future, the gospel of the promise shall be completed, perfectly manifested in the last day. Then the promise in the most absolute sense shall be fulfilled.

The Rev. Vanden Berg further brought out the Gospel of the Promise in the viewpoint of the future. The three phases of it were the absolute certainty, the revealed pattern and the final reminder to our covenant young people. God has determined the salvation of His own people and not one is lost. He surely fulfills this promise because He alone is God. God realizes the promise and glorifies Himself through us. The promise cannot be added to by His people but unconditionally formulated by God, Who always does as He decrees and promises. God’s promise is absolutely certain as Scripture throughout has proved. For example, the promise to Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and to the tribes of Israel were all fulfilled as before decreed.

The revealed pattern refers to the manner in which the promise is revealed in the past, present and future is essentially the same. God gathers His people out of the midst of the world. He preserves and keeps them from evil and the clutches of the carnal world who despise the promise. Also many things must come to pass before the full revelation can be realized. The luxurious days of Noah must return, days of unrest, wickedness and filth shall again come upon the earth; in fact, there appear signs of them already today.

However, we must not be alarmed or surprised but remember that it all belongs to the pattern of the realization of the promise.

In conclusion, the Rev. Vanden Berg gave his final exhortation to us as young people, heirs of the promise and on the other hand the future Protestant Reformed Church. We must not assume an attitude of indifference and a reckless, no-care attitude, for this is characteristic of those who do not understand the calling. In fact, this is utterly impossible for the children of the covenant to do so. According to Peter, “Seeing that ye look for these things through all things live day by day with your life centered upon the blessed hope.” Whether at home, work, pleasure or school, be diligent. We must be diligent in our society study of the Word so as to give us a more wonderful realization. Therefore stand fast until the last day shall be fulfilled.