The “Outer Darkness” In Matthew And Its Relationship To Grace -- By: Michael G. Huber

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 05:2 (Autumn 1992)
Article: The “Outer Darkness” In Matthew And Its Relationship To Grace
Author: Michael G. Huber

The “Outer Darkness”
In Matthew And Its Relationship To Grace

Michael G. Huber

Christian Counselor
Sheboygan, WI

I. Introduction

“And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:22–24).

In this short but dynamic and emotional speech, Paul gives the Ephesian elders a concise summary of the nature and importance of what life is all about for him. It is the great task of testifying to “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

But Paul doesn’t stop there. In the last words of this farewell oration he gives his benediction to the elders: “I commend you to God and to the word of His grace” (Acts 20:32). Nothing was more important to Paul than this “gospel of the grace of God.” He had even warned them “for three years… night and day with tears” (20:31) that some would speak “perverse things” (v 30) and, no doubt, distort this truth of God’s grace, in order to draw away disciples1 for themselves (v 30).

Today there is a controversy over the Gospel that is being waged with great intensity. The core issue in the debate touches the very nature and being of God Himself and His eternal, glorious character. Eternal significance lies in the answer to such questions as, “Is God’s love, expressed in His free gift to mankind, truly unconditional?” And, if so, “What does free, unconditional giving truly mean?”

I often think of a pastor friend of mine who one day offered to me quite freely, without my probing, his own view of the eternal security

issue. He confessed that he did believe in “eternal security” but that it wasn’t unconditional “eternal security.” I inwardly gasped at the contradictory nature of this position. How could something be both “eternal” and “secure,” in every sense of those terms, and yet be conditional? Can it truly be said to be “eternal” or “secure” if in fact it may not be? Such incons...

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