July 14, 2009

Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899–1981) on God's Love and Judgments

That is why God gives people over. But can you not see that the object of it all is love? God wants people to see what He is doing. God is trying to awaken the human race. People will not listen to the Gospel; they laugh at it and ridicule it. They make fun of Jesus Christ and blaspheme His holy blood shed on the cross on Calvary's hill. But "God so loves the world" that He is trying to open their eyes to the inferno they are creating. This is God's way of calling men and women to repentance. As Paul puts it in Romans 2:4: "The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance."

Or as Peter says in the third chapter of his second epistle, "There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation" (vv. 3-4). And Peter has his answer. Why does God tolerate the world as it is? Why has He not blasted it to destruction long since? Here is the answer: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (v. 9). Can you not see that God, by allowing men and women to reap the consequences of their own folly, is just trying to awaken us, to make us see our wretchedness, our rottenness, our vileness, our hopelessness, our utter helplessness? He is awakening us, calling us to repentance before it is too late. It is God's love that allows this. We will not listen to His appeals, so he tries another method, but it is all in love.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Triumphant Christianity, vol. 5, Studies in the Book of Acts (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2006), 206–207.


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