How can I know that I’m truly a child of God, that I’ve been born again of the Spirit? These are questions that all that claim Christianity need to know the right answer to. But many have been led to a false assurance of their salvation, due to a misunderstanding of what the Gospel actually is, and that puts many people that profess Christianity into a dangerous position, which will lead to them crying, “Lord, Lord, didn’t we … in Your Name?” and Jesus replying, “Depart from Me; I never knew you.” Paul Washer answers these very important, basic questions, by God’s Word, in Gospel Assurance & Warnings, the third book in the Recovering the Gospel series.
Washer takes the call of God to “guard this treasure that has been entrusted to us” (the Gospel,) seriously, believing that many that are lost are not hardened to the Gospel, but ignorant of what it really is, and that many who think they know what the Gospel is and that they believe it, are also ignorant–and also lost.
Because the Gospel has been distorted in many ways, Washer clearly explains the Gospel, as given by God in His Word, at the beginning of this book, desiring that all know the truth about this truly Good News. He also lays out how the reduction of the Gospel to easy-believism, decisionism, and faith in the “sinners prayer” has led to many of the problems the church deals with, (being filled with many who have falsely believed they are “saved”.)
Then he jumps into the meat of this topic. This book is divided into 2 parts, the first, Biblical Assurance, consists of 14 chapters, each covering an area of evidence of the Christian life, such as; walking in the light, confessing sin, keeping God’s commands, imitating Christ, rejecting the world, purifying one’s self, etc. Washer calls us to examine ourselves to see if we are indeed in the faith.
The second part of the book, Warning to Empty Confessors, (5 chapters,) lays out the dangers of a false profession, as given in Scripture. Washer’s tone is never condemning, but rather that of compassion and warning. While he doesn’t pull any punches, he lays the full truth out there in love.
This book is not light and easy reading, but forces one to think through the truth of salvation and God’s Word. I think it is a good read for all who profess to “believe in Jesus”. I believe the results of reading this book will bring joy and biblical assurance to believers. I also pray that those who think they are saved, but have never really heard the true Gospel, and have trusted in their own decision and “good works”, will through this book hear the true Gospel, perhaps for the first time, and by Grace through Faith will be led to true repentance and conversion.
In this world where the Gospel has been so distorted by easy-believism, decisionism, and assurance in the “sinner’s prayer”, may Washer’s presentation of the Gospel, and God’s Word on how to be assured of salvation, and warnings to false believers, be a clarion call that God uses to prevent many, who would say, “Lord, Lord …”, from hearing “depart from Me; I never knew you.”
|Gospel Assurance and Warnings
By Paul Washer / Reformation Heritage Books
Also available at Amazon.com – Gospel Assurance and Warnings (Recovering the Gospel Series)
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my honest personal review of it.