The Gospel—Our Only Hope

Just because a man is ordained is no guarantee that he is in the kingdom of God. The odds are astronomical that many are still under the curse of God. There are ordained men who have not yet fled to the cross, who are still counting on the nebulous idea of the unconditional love of God to get them through, or even worse, still thinking that they can get into the kingdom of God through their good works. They don't understand that unless they perfectly obey the law of God, which they have not done for five minutes since they were born, they are under the curse of God. That is the reality we must make clear to our people—either they will bear the curse of God themselves or they will flee to the One who took it for them. 

Thomas Aquinas once was asked whether he thought that Jesus enjoyed the beatific vision throughout his whole life. Thomas said, "I don't know, but I'm sure that our Lord was able to see things that our sin keeps us from seeing." Remember that the promise of the vision of God in the Beatitudes is the promise made to the pure of heart. The reason why we can't see God with our eyes is not that we have a problem with our optic nerve. What prevents us from seeing God is our heart, our impurity. But Jesus had no impurity. So obviously he had some experience of the beauty of the Father until that moment that our sin was placed upon him, and the One who was pure was pure no more, and God cursed him.  

It was as if there was a cry from heaven, as if Jesus heard the words "God damn you," because that's what it meant to be cursed and under the anathema of the Father. I don't understand that, but I know that it's true. I know that every person who has not been covered by the righteousness of Christ draws every breath under the curse of God. If you believe that, you will stop adding to the gos­pel and start preaching it with clarity and boldness, because, dear friends, it is the only hope we have, and it is hope enough.

The above was an excerpt (chapter 5, by R.C. Sproul) from Proclaiming a Cross-centered Theology published by Crossway Books. Contributors include: Mark Dever, J. Ligon Duncan, R. Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, John Piper, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, and Thabiti M. Anyabwile. © 2009 by Together for the Gospel.

Dr. R.C. Sproul is founder and president of Ligonier Ministries, and the author of The Truth of the Cross. For more than thirty years, Dr. R.C. Sproul has thoroughly and concisely analyzed weighty theological, philosophical, and biblical topics in books, seminars and "Right Now Counts Forever," his monthly column in Ligonier Ministries' Table Talk magazine.

For more of Dr. Sproul's teaching on his daily broadcast, visit Renewing Your Mind at OnePlace.com.