Book Review: Gospel Assurance and Warnings

Gospel Assurance

 

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your master.’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

These are two of the most powerful statements that will be spoken on Judgment Day. And every person will hear either one or the other. For all Christians, the desire to hear their beloved Savior say, “Well done” is the glorious hope that gets them through trials, suffering, and the general Christian life. Yet, for professing Christians the words, “I never knew you” should be the fuel that propels them to examine themselves. The glorious truth is that God wants his people to be assured of his eternally securing power and love. God, however, also wants those who claim to be his, but are not, to be uncomfortable and unsure of their standing with Him. God does not seek to take away the assurance of unbelievers so that they would be left in despair but so that they would come to genuine repentance and faith.

Sadly, in many churches here in America, there are many people who believe themselves saved, but do not have any of the biblical evidences that would validate their profession. In many churches, Christianity has become more of a cultural phenomenon than a deeply grounded faith that is working on the inside and transforming from one degree of glory to the next.

It is upon this backdrop that, Paul Washer, brings his book Gospel Assurance and Warnings. It was several years ago that I first met Washer, and over the course of months he became a friend and mentor to me. One of the things about him that became crystal clear to me in a short amount of time was that he was a man that LOVES people. He loves God’s people and he deeply loves those who have not come to know him. It was with this understanding of him, and through many heartfelt conversations, that I came to purchase the volumes that make up his series of books on the Gospel. Never have I met a man who I could so closely identify with the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 9:1-3,

“I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh”

What you will find in this book is a biblically-saturated work dealing with what the Bible has to say about true and false assurance. You will also find writings dealing with the various warning passages on apostasy. Though I do not agree with everything Washer says, I can affirm, you will be reading a work that is built upon decades of study from a man that loves the Lord and people.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this work is the sheer number of Bible verses Washer interacts with. Most pages of the book conclude with several footnotes referencing different Bible passages the author has addressed. Washer, writes much like the Puritans of old. He is so saturated with Scripture that many times, it can be difficult to tell when he is sharing his own thoughts or quoting scripture. The footnotes are very helpful in tracking with the biblical foundations for each of his arguments. The chronology of each issue is laid out in such a way that the material is comprehensive and all encompassing. Washer is not an author who writes as one who lives in the realm of theory. Rather, he is writing a work that is laid out much in the same way that he would counsel a person who is seeking answers to these questions. This makes this book an excellent resource for saints who are involved with counseling others in areas dealing with assurance. I heartily recommend this book as well as the other two works. The other books in Washer’s Recovering The Gospel series include:

Vol. 1- The Gospel’s Power and Message

Vol. 2- The Gospel Call and True Conversion

In accordance with FTC regulations, I would like to thank Reformation Heritage Books and Cross Focused Reviews for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

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About Kyle James Howard

My name is Kyle, I am married to my “high-school sweetheart” and we have 3 children. I have a 7 year-old daughter (Hadassah), a 2 year-old son (Jonah), and 1 year old (Kesed). I am 32 years old and I am currently a student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I have an Associates degree in Biblical & Theological Studies, A B.S. in Biblical Counseling, and I am finishing up an Advanced M. Div in Historical Theology. Click on the "About Me" link at the top of my home page to read my full testimony.

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