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Monday, October 16, 2006

Words from D Martyn Lloyd-Jones

During T4G, we received a booklet from The Banner of Truth Trust on Dr. Lloyd-Jones. I had heard very little of this man, so I was not compelled to read the booklet. I finally began reading it, and wanted to share from MLJ's first sermon at Westminster Chapel (29 December 1935) on John 6:66-68.
I feel it is an interesting and profitable subject to try to decide which is the more dangerous position for a man to be in-to state openly and avowedly that he is notat all interested in Christ and religion, or to follow Christ for a wrong and false reason. I know that, ultimately, there is no difference between these two men. The one who follows Christ for the wrong reason is as much outside the kingdom as a man who makes no pretence to follow Christ at all. That is perfectly true. But I do think there is an important distinction between the two when you regard things merely from the human standpoint. The difficulty with the man who follows Christ for a wrong reason is that he not only deludes himself, but he also deludes the church. When you are confronted by one who says he does not believe in Christ, then you know exactly what to say and what to do with him. When a man presents himself as a religious person, the church tends to take him for granted; it would be an insult to question him. The church assumes that because he acknowledges himself to be a religious man, therefore he is a Christian. One of the most dangerous places for a such a man to be in is the church of the living God.
I am not at all sure but that one explanation for the present state of the church is to be found at just that point: she has been far too ready to associate church membership with true discipleship, and to assume that all who join the church are really following Christ. I know the church may have a very good motive for doing so. She has felt it a very good thing for people to be within the home of the church so that she may protect them from the temptations of the world. But the tragedy is that so often she takes it for granted that these people are truly Christians, and addresses to them messages that are quite appropriate for the true Christian, but not of much value to those lacking the essence of the faith.
Reading this caused me to wonder:
    1. How often have I asked "Why?" when a person tells me they want Jesus/religion/God?
    2. Without clearly articulated the gospel weekly, is there any way for the church to welcome the visitor yet make sure they understand their attendance does not include them in the fellowship?
    3. How could a Brit in 1935 have the American church pegged so well?

2 Comments:

  • At 2:56 PM, Blogger RevPharoah said…

    I think you would have added a heary "amen" to my sermon Sunday on Simon Magus. His problem was that even though he believed (Acts 8:13) he didn't and couldn't repent. (v. 22-24) Jesus was just a new way for him to get what he wanted. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Simon Magus hadn't done that.

    Christianity is not a self-improvement course, it is a self-eradication course

     
  • At 8:12 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    well, i'll give you a hearty typed "amen" right now!

     

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