Can I be Certain of You?

In his comments on Philippians, chapter 1, verse 6:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 English Standard Version (ESV)

John Calvin says:

It is asked, however, whether anyone can be certain as to the salvation of others, for Paul here is not speaking of himself but of the Philippians. I answer, that the assurance which an individual has respecting his own salvation, is very different from what he has as to that of another. For the Spirit of God is a witness to me of my calling, as he is to each of the elect. As to others, we have no testimony, except from the outward efficacy of the Spirit; that is, in so far as the grace of God shews itself in them, so that we come to know it.

There is, therefore, a great difference, because the assurance of faith remains inwardly shut up, and does not extend itself to others. But wherever we see any such tokens of Divine election as can be perceived by us, we ought immediately to be stirred up to entertain good hope, both in order that we may not be envious towards our neighbors, and withhold from them an equitable and kind judgment of charity; and also, that we may be grateful to God. This, however, is a general rule both as to ourselves and as to others — that, distrusting our own strength, we depend entirely upon God alone [emphasis mine].

And what can we look for as tokens of Divine election? Scripture says we are to be clothed in His righteousness, in word and deed:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:12-13 (ESV)

Look for these things in yourselves first and then in others.

Tamme-Lauri oak. The oldest tree in Estonia

Tamme-Lauri oak. The oldest tree in Estonia, 3 September 2013, Abrget47j, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

You Are Home

This place looks like a concentration camp.

The food sure is good. Very good in fact, I know because I used to be a chef.

Anybody label you with a number yet?

No, are they doing that?

Nah, I hear they want us to learn how to be good citizens for the 21st century and this is boot camp.

What makes you so knowledgeable, man?

I’m the next speaker…

…and I want you to give a hand for the President of the United States, Harry Smith, come up here Harry.

Thanks Senator Walker, my fellow citizens, you are the third group to pass through this camp…that’s right, pass through. As I was just telling some folks we’re going to learn how to be good citizens for the 21st century and this is boot camp. I’m going to give you a little history of the place, we call it Camp Tareen, what you can expect for the next six months, yes six months, and what we expect of you afterward.

Three short years ago former President Bertram Matumbo, before his assassination, made agreements with Canada, China and the United Kingdom for our safety and the safety of our children and grand children. He arranged for the Canadian Northwest Territory and Yukon to be opened up for migration until we can resettle CONUS. Whatever you say about global warming, it’s still really cold up here.

Camp Tareen is named for a brave man who tried to prevent the Pakistan – India nuclear exchange. His leadership hanged him for it. The previous two  groups before this one built this fort, some really grand settlements to the north and the roads that lead to them.

You and your families will be clothed, housed and fed. Very well by some accounts. Your children will be educated in the fundamentals: reading, writing, science and mathematics. We have all grade levels and some college and graduate school training. We’re always looking for more teachers.

We live by the laws of the United States. The Constitution, Bill of Rights and much of the case-law is in effect. We have a Supreme Court and the lower courts. The officers you see here are empowered to enforce the law. They are also here to help you obey it and they will live among you with their families.

Here, you’ll be trained to build your own settlement and much, much more. We’ve made some advances that I think you’ll be amazed at, I know I was.

I won’t lie to you, it will be a hard life. But, you’ll live, learn, work and one day see your children and your childrens’ children in cities you’ve built in the reconstituted United States. Right now there are cadres of workers and soldiers laboring to clear the eastern cities and reforest the Central and Mountain states. The United States will look different but we hope to be stronger, self-sustaining, more equitable and debt free.

Now I’ll open it up for questions, please use the microphones so we can all hear you. You’ll show up on the screens so everyone will see, too.

Mister President, what’s happening on the West Coast, I heard that the Chinese are in control and the situation is ‘difficult’?