Skip to main content

Monday night at Resolved

Below is a touching letter from Randy Alcorn to John Piper and C.J. Mahaney regarding the Monday night session of Resolved. I, too, was deeply moved to tears, especially during Mahaney's unforgettable sermon and the worship that immediately followed it. You can download the audio to some or all of the sessions for free at the Resolved website.
CJ and John,

I wanted to send this to the two of you in gratitude (mostly to God, secondarily to you) in particular for the final night of Resolved. I have been moved to tears and deep worship many times, but not in recent memory to the extent that I was Monday night.

Mark 15 and CJ’s “scream of the damned…for us” touched me at a profound level. The Holy Spirit spoke. And though I prayed and knew that John’s message would beautifully end the conference, I was not prepared for the way it happened.

I have never seen, orchestrated or unorchestrated (in this case orchestrated by the Holy Spirit), one single seamless message spoken by two men with nearly an hour between the end of one and the beginning of the other. I stood that night on sacred ground, as did you.

Yesterday early afternoon, in the Palm Springs airport, I opened to Mark 15 and wept again. I then did something I have done only twice before, once on the day my 85-year-old father, in a hospital bed, repented of his sin and surrendered to Christ. The other time when my best friend from childhood died next to me as I was reading to him Revelation 21-22, leaving this world precisely when I was reading 22:17: “The Spirit and the bride say ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

What I did on those occasions was write a date in my Bible: Feb. 9, 1992 at my Father’s conversion, and October 8, 1992 at my friend Jerry’s home-going between “Come!” and “take the free gift of the water of life.” The date is still there beside the verse I was reading when he died.

Without thinking about this, yesterday at the airport I wrote next to Mark 15:34, “June 16, 2008.” Then something else happened. I wrote after the date, “The Scream of the…” And I suddenly stopped, overwhelmed, breathless, pen frozen in hand. Why? Because I suddenly realized I needed to capitalize the word “Damned.” It was physically hard for me to do it. It seemed almost blasphemous…and so it should.

The unrighteous damned have no right to ask God why He has forsaken them (the reasons are self-evident to all who understand His holiness and our sin), but God’s Son the Beloved One had the right to ask, even knowing the answer and having participated in eternity past in the damning decision. He is the Lamb damned before the foundation of the world. So while the (lower case) damned will scream forever, ultimately there is only one Scream of the (upper case) Damned. Unthinkable. Inconceivable. And yet it happened…for us.

A flood of tears came as God preached the message to me yet again. That Deity would be Damned. That the God who is called upon righteously by the saints and angels in heaven to damn people, and called upon habitually by unbelievers flippantly and unrighteously to damn people, would in fact damn his Son, would (from the Son’s willingness to drink the cup) damn himself…for us. That it could be said of the Beloved One, “God damned Him,” and that He screamed the scream of the Damned….it was too much for me. It is too much for me this moment. And in the ages to come it will continue to be too much for me.

The cup of His suffering has long seemed deep to me, but never deeper than Monday night and the two days since.

Thank you, brothers, for being cleansed vessels, usable for eternal purposes. It was not only 3300 students whose hearts were marked for eternity Monday night. It was mine. You are not celebrities to me, but you are my mentors, in more ways that I can express. Thank you.

And thank you, Lord, for these two men, who you used as one on Monday night—guard their hearts and empower them to finish well, bowing their knees to you moment by moment, day by day.

And thanks forever to the One who screamed the scream of the Damned…and whose praises we will sing for all eternity.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Grateful to be eternally undamned by the Damned,

Randy Alcorn
(HT: Justin Taylor)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Herod who??

I must admit, I still get confused by all those Herods mentioned in the New Testament. To keep them straight, I find it helpful to read the biblical text with a genealogy of Herod's family at my side (here's one from the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible).


Well, so much for simplicity. Even this chart looks more like an engineering schematic than a family tree. To boil it all down, there are four key members of Herod's family mentioned in the Gospels...

Herod the Great. This is the original Herod of them all. The very name sent shivers up the spine of ancient Jews. Son of Antipater, he was a cunning politician, ruthless dictator, and brilliant architect. He was responsible for constructing the temple mount in Jerusalem, fortress palaces at Herodium and Masada, and a harbor at Caesarea -- all which continue to astound archaeologists and engineers today. In addition to killing several kin who threatened his throne, Herod murdered all the young boys in Bethlehem at the news that…

A review of the HCSB Study Bible

Today, I finally had a chance to browse through a copy of the new HCSB Study Bible.

The HCSB Study Bible is 2272 pages long (plus a few maps). As expected, the translation is the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) version. It ranks well and rivals the ESV in both exegetical accuracy and literary quality. Some of its unique features are:
Its translation of yahweh as "Yahweh" (instead of LORD) in the OT when referring to the personal name of God (e.g. Ex. 3:15)The translation of doulos as "slave" instead of "servant" or "bondservant" in the New Testament (e.g. Rom. 1:1)The translation of christos as "Messiah" in the New Testament, whenever referring to the Jewish expectation of the Messiah (e.g. Matt. 16:16)Capitalized pronouns when referring to GodThe use of contractions in direct discourse (e.g. "let's go" in Mark 1:38)A wonderful feature called bullet notes (small bullets next to key words that may be unfamiliar, poin…

Restoring old photos of Israel

In his latest newsletter, Todd Bolen explains the painstaking process of restoring old photos to create the 8-volume American Colony and Eric Matson Collection. It’s a fascinating project that really makes you appreciate the end result. Here’s his full article…Shortly after producing a collection of modern-day photographs in the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands (initially released in January 2000), I began work on a supplementary collection that would peel back the recent layers of time to reveal the sites of the Holy Land before the changes brought by modernization.  The initial fruit of this work was the release of 8 volumes of Historic Views of the Holy Land in November 2004.About that same time, I learned that the Library of Congress was digitizing the G. Eric and Edith Matson Negatives.  Between 1966 and 1981, Eric Matson and his beneficiary donated this collection to the Library of Congress. But public access was limited and costly until 2004, when the first negatives were scann…