Monday, November 19, 2012

Martyn Lloyd-Jones on What True Repentance Is and Is Not

In a sermon on "False Prophets", the Doctor distinguishes the marks between a false and spurious 'repentance' versus the biblical record of what true and saving repentance looks like. Lamenting the soft preaching of the contemporary evangelical landscape of his time, he says,
It does not emphasize repentance in any real sense. It has a very wide gate leading to salvation and a very broad way  leading to heaven. You need not feel much of your own sinfulness; you need not be aware of the blackness of your own heart. You just "decide for Christ" and you rush in with the crowd, and your name is put down, and is one of the large number of "decisions" reported by the press. It is entirely unlike the evangelism of the Puritans and of John Wesley, George Whitefield and others, which led men to be terrified of the judgment of God, and to have an agony of soul sometimes for days and weeks and months. John Bunyan tells us in his Grace Abounding that he endured an agony of repentance for 18 months. There does not seem to be much room for that today.
Repentance means that you realize that you are a guilty, vile sinner in the presence of God, that you deserve the wrath and punishment of God, that you are hell-bound. It means that you begin to realize that this thing called sin is in you, that you long to get rid of it, and that you turn your back on it in every shape and form. You renounce the world what ever the cost, the world and its mind and outlook as well as it's practice, and you deny yourself, and take up the cross and go after Christ. Your nearest and dearest, and the whole world, may call you a fool, or say you have religious mania. You may have to suffer financially, but it makes no difference. That is repentance. The false prophet does not put it like that. He heals "the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly", simply saying that it is all right, and that you have but to "come to Christ", "follow Jesus", or "become a Christian." They offer an easy salvation, and an easy type of life always.
Although preached in the year 1952, it is as if Lloyd Jones is surveying the common evangelical landscape today. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.

May God raise up a faithful generation of prophets to call a spade a spade. God's glory in the gospel is at stake. Little do we realize that because of our faulty view of sin or our natural inability to come to Christ savingly apart from regenerating grace, the world looks at a 'church' full of goats, and to quote Paul, "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you" (Romans 2:24).

In Christ, and for His glory to the ends of the earth,
pastor ryan

No comments:

Post a Comment