February 10, 2011

A Believer's Assurance by John MacArthur (Review)

A Believer's Assurance by John MacArthur is more of a booklet than a book.  It is only 16 pages long, but frankly, that is an appropriate length for anyone who is struggling with a lack of assurance.

The beginning of the book has a quote from Thomas Brooks which I feel is worth quoting, to give you an idea of the importance of a book like this.
Assurance is the believer's ark where he sits, Noah like, quiet and still in the midst of all distractions and destructions commotions and confusions... [However] most Christians live between fears and hopes, and hang, as it were, between heaven and hell. Sometimes they hope that their state is good, at other times they fear that their state is bad: now they hope that all is well, and that it shall go well with them for ever; [then] they fear that they shall perish by the hand of such a corruption, or by the prevalency of such or such a temptation ... They are like a ship  in a storm, tossed here and there. (Heaven on Earth, 11)
The issue of assurance in an important one.  I appreciated how the beginning of the book deals with this importance.  I also appreciate the bit that deals with Undeserved Assurance:
Some people have assurance, but they have no right to enjoy it.  The old African-American spiritual put it simply: "Everybody talkin' about heaven ain't goin' there."  Some feel all is well between them and God when it isn't.  They don't understand the truth about salvation and their own spiritual condition.
The majority of the booklet is devoted to a section titled, Eight Reasons for Shaken Assurance.  With each of the eight reasons he offers some Biblical teaching to counter the lack of assurance and build the assurance in the believer.

This was an excellent little read and I highly recommend it.  This makes an excellent addition to anyone's library, especially those in the ministry.