Lloyd-Jones on the folly of thinking God is only love and ignoring punishment and hell

My thanks to Adrian Warnock for this:

Lloyd-Jones could have been saying this for the 21st Century not the 20th. There really is nothing new under the sun:

“All this modern preaching on the fact that God is love is an indication of the same attitude and spirit. We are told today that the old sermons that preached the law and talked about conviction of sin and called people to repentance were all wrong because they were legalistic . . .So it is said that we must return to the message of Jesus. We must get rid of all our theology, our argumentation and doctrine—it is all unnecessary. The business of preaching is to tell people that God is love. It does not matter what they are, or what they have been, or what they have done, or what they may do—God loves them. Nobody will ever be punished. There is no law; so there is no retribution and no hell . . .

Dignitaries in the church tell us that what we need is a “religionless Christianity.” One of them has written a book in which he says that if you really want to find God, do not go to places of worship. He says that he has found more of God in the brothels and beer parlors of Algeria than he has ever found in a church. Kindness, love for one another—that, we are told, is the message. This is all just a very clever, modern, sophisticated, philosophical way of saying, No repentance!

. . . If you know the message of the Bible at all, you will be in no difficulty about answering this question. Repentance is essential to salvation. There is no salvation without it . . . If you say you need a Savior, it must be because you realize that the life you have been living is wrong and sinful, that it deserves the judgment and punishment of God and of hell . . . the object of that death upon the cross was to reconcile us to God. It is a personal reconciliation. Christ’s death does not just put us right with a law—it puts us right with a person . . . to have this relationship, this communion and fellowship with God, we must be like Him. We see that we must be righteous, for there is no communion between light and darkness—that is impossible, and therefore we must be delivered from all that is wrong and evil. That is repentance . . .

The world needs to be reminded of judgment. This country [England] is becoming lawless—all countries are—and it is no use trying to solve the problem by passing acts of Parliament—you cannot do it . . .you need to change human nature. The trouble is in the human heart, on both sides of industry. Because people have no idea of the judgment of God, they ultimately have no sense of responsibility. Every man is out for himself, trying to get the best for himself . . . The world needs to know that it is rushing in the direction of final judgment. Only the prospect of judgment can sober it and bring it to its senses, and it is the business of the preaching of the Gospel to tell the world that, and not to say that God loves everybody and therefore everybody is going to heaven. Our Lord preached judgment, as we have seen; that is the sole explanation of why He died.”

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Victorious Christianity, 1st U.S. ed. (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2003), 66-74.

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

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