Showing 86 results for revelation
The Book of Revelation
The book of Revelation can leave its readers with more questions than answers. The deep symbolism and imagery makes it seem impossible to understand exactly what the author was trying to say. In this sermon on Revelation, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones takes the listener through a brief overview of the main schools of interpretation. The preterist view, made popular by a Catholic priest, holds that everything prophesied in Revelation has already taken place. The futurist view, also made popular by a Catholic priest, holds an opposite view that the periods written about in Revelation are periods in the life of the church from the end of the first century and extending to the end of time. Thus, it views the events in Revelation as being fulfilled after the book was written. Another view is the historicist view, and this perspective understands Revelation as being fulfilled between the first and second comings of Christ. With all these ideas about how to interpret Revelation, it can be difficult to determine which one is correct. In this sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides helpful background for understanding these perspectives while also reminding the listener that the important thing is to understand the overall themes and progress of the book.
The Revelation from God
With all the many voices in the world today, it is hard to determine which ones should be listened to. Between friends, family, media, and experts on various topics, there is an overflow of input. In this sermon on Ezekiel 36:16 titled “The Revelation from God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones reminds of the importance of listening to Scripture above all other voices. Many of these inputs try and tell that nothing is desperately wrong with the world and that everyone should just go on and enjoy life. But that is not what Scripture says, and Dr. Lloyd-Jones urges the listener to see this difference. He states that nothing is more important than one’s approach to this book. But what is unique about it compared with the other supposed sources of wisdom? First, it is a revelation from God, who is all-knowing and all-powerful. This in and of itself is a reason to listen very closely to what the Bible teaches. Second, the Bible starts with the foundation that no one on their own can attain the truth about what really matters eternally—all are wholly dependent on God for this. Many will say that they do not like these truths, but Dr. Lloyd-Jones is quick to state that this attitude does not change the truth. Through Jesus, God has made a way for people to be reconciled to Him.
Revelation and Reason
“Why is it that modern man, who has been so astounding in so many respects, is such a miserable and tragic failure in the whole question of life and of living?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones asks this question to highlight that though people have achieved enormous accomplishments, they are still suffering with the basic questions of life, questions that are solved only in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Why are people generally interested in seeking answers from anyone except God? Why, instead of coming to Jesus, do they fall at the feet of celebrities who are also struggling? Ultimately, why do they reject the gospel? In this sermon from 1 Corinthians 3:16 titled “Revelation and Reason,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones preaches that humanity’s ultimate sin is intellectual pride. God’s salvation brings it to dust, yet, people reject this because of their confidence in themselves. God’s way of solving the problems of life are far different from the world’s approach. Dr. Lloyd-Jones provides three ways in which the two pathways are different: the world relies on human wisdom; the world says that people are good in and of themselves; and the world holds that the issue needing to be fixed is a matter of intellect, not sin. However, Scripture shows the opposite—humanity’s problem is sin, and the only solution is a Savior.
What do the trumpets in Revelation stand for? Why are they in the book? How can their teaching be applied today? In this sermon on the trumpets, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches more about these symbols from the book of Revelation. He notes that the trumpets afflict only one-third of their objects. This is contrary to the seals of Revelation, which afflict things as a whole. What do the trumpets represent? They represent what happens to those who persecute God’s people. Many times when people are punished for their sin, it is easy to think that it is all a coincidence, but Dr. Lloyd-Jones reminds the listener that these calamities in Revelation are sent by God Himself. This is important to remember because it is a reminder that God will judge those who have afflicted His people. Just like the plagues of Egypt, the trumpets in Revelation serve as a warning that God sees the trouble of His people and will seek justice for them. Finally, are these trumpets meant to be taken and understood literally? Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows why this is not the case and how to best interpret these symbols of Revelation.
The Spiritual Historicist View
How should one read the book of Revelation? Many do not even attempt to read it because it is confusing. In this sermon on the spiritual, historicist view, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones contends that the book of Revelation is not meant to confuse the reader, but just the opposite. Revelation is meant to unveil what was once hidden. It is intended to make something clear. Before he demonstrates how the book should be read, Dr. Lloyd-Jones addresses what he believes to be the ways people can misread Revelation. Examining various views, it is discovered that there are many problems with many modern approaches to the book. Dr. Lloyd-Jones proceeds to explain that Revelation is intentionally symbolic and that once the symbols are understood, the meaning of the book becomes clear. The book of Revelation is a telling of the story of redemption. The attack of the evil one, the final judgement, the overcoming of God’s people, and the conquering of Christ create the storyline. The story of God’s people is then told seven times throughout the book in seven different ways. It highlights one main point: since the coming of Jesus into the world, terrible forces have been attacking His people, but they will not prevail. The church will continue until final victory.
The Preterist and Futurist Views
Is the book of Revelation a mere record of what happened in time-past or is it an account of events which will one day take place? In this sermon on the preterist view and futurist views, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines two views of Revelation. First, he briefly examines what is called the “preterist view” which understands Revelation as referring to events that happened in the past. Spending the bulk of his attention on the “futurist view,” he explains that both of these should be rejected. According to the futurist view, the reader is to understand most of Revelation’s application as that which applies to a future generation. According to this view, little of the book’s meaning applies to the lives of the vast majority of Christians who have lived. Dr. Lloyd-Jones first gives the futurist view and then critiques it by showing textual and theological problems. The author of Revelation doesn’t seem to believe that only a portion of the book’s material is about current realities, while other things will only happen in two thousand years. On the contrary, the book is united, complete, and whole. It’s relevant for every age of the church and God’s people have always found strength in these words. Listen and discover the transcendent hope of the book of Revelation.
The Suffering and Safety of the Redeemed
Symbolism is a regular part of life. Symbolism and pictures are used in language every day in order to help people better understand what they are trying to say. In this sermon titled “The Suffering and the Safety of the Redeemed,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones helps the listener better understand symbolism and the general themes of Revelation. This type of poetic language is everywhere in the book of Revelation, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand. Many of the symbols in this book are repeated, and Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out that this is a type of parallelism. He sees the book as divided into two main divisions with various subsections. The first division is about the struggle of Christ and the church against unbelievers, while the second is regarding the struggle of Christ and the church against the devil. The battle between God and Satan, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, is the ultimate battle, and this battle is most clearly represented through Scripture in Revelation. The purpose of this book is to unfold the glory of the Lord’s triumph. Through its symbolism, this book serves as a beautiful reminder to the believer of the joys to come at the end of time, but also a solemn warning to those who do not believe in Christ.
The Lukewarm Church
The Christian must soberly consider if they get more excited about the things of this world than they do about God. In this sermon on the church of Laodicea from Revelation 3:14–22 titled “The Lukewarm Church,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches against lukewarmness in the church—not only as a whole, but the lukewarmness that is pervasive in each individual’s heart. The lukewarm heart is one that does not despise God, but it does not love God. It is one that is sentimental towards God. Ignorance is the cause of this lukewarmness; ignorance towards the greatness of God and ignorance about the history of the church. Lukewarmness can look like nice, moral people who are involved in church, yet they desire to be in control of their religion. Listeners will be charged to examine themselves to see if they truly desire God, have His peace, and desire more of Him.
To Walk with God
What does it mean to walk with God and know Him personally? In this sermon on walking with God from John 1:12–13, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the example of Enoch and shows how knowing that God is pleased with His child is of utmost importance to the assurance of salvation. Christians must ask themselves do they only renounce evil or do they also embrace and walk in righteousness. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how walking in submission to God’s self-revelation is the essence of walking with God. Moreover, the one who walks with God must have faith. Dr. Lloyd-Jones defines faith as “an acceptance and submission to the revelation of God.” Knowledge of God is not enough to walk with Him; one must also submit to the will of God through the Holy Scriptures. Throughout this sermon, Dr. Lloyd-Jones draws beautiful illustrations of the friendship with God, as well as the hope for salvation. Walking with God in this world is a great assurance that the Christian will one day forever walk with God in the eternal home.
The Emptiness of the Christless Life
There have been many great moral teachers and philosophies throughout the ages, but in the end, they are all insufficient to make people truly moral and transform society. In this sermon on emptiness from Ephesians 4:17–19 titled “The Emptiness of the Christless Life,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that this is because morality (as it is commonly understood) and godliness are often in conflict with one another. Morality (as found in Scripture) is not simply a list of what one should and should not do, but it is a way of living in light of who God is and who He has revealed Himself to be. It is strictly revelation and not speculative. The modern world presents morality as the path of least resistance, relying wholly on the fallen reason of humanity. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns, this is why the world is unable to provide a meaningful answer to the deepest and most important questions in life. Morality and the nature of human life are only understood in light of God’s revelation as found in His word to humanity. That is where one can see who they are and what they must do to be saved.
A New Heaven and a New Earth
The idea of Christian hope is criticized by the world as a mere fantasy. It seems foolish to many because of the proliferation of wars, chaos, and political tension across the globe. In this sermon on Revelation 21:1 titled “A New Heaven and a New Earth,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones teaches that hope is a main characteristic of the gospel itself and is the message of the Bible. Hope is an anchor for souls in the midst of chaos, not a reason for cynicism and disbelief. It is both optimistic and pessimistic at the same time. It is pessimistic as it reveals to the truth of the human condition. In stark and realistic terms, the Bible gives the diagnosis of the human heart as sinful and separated from God. This condition is true of every leader in the world. This is true but this is not where believers are left. The Bible gives an explanation for the human condition and also gives the hope of a new heaven and new earth where sorrow and sin are no more. Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages hearts in this sermon with the reminder that the gospel is immediately pessimistic but ultimately, and gloriously, optimistic. Listeners are reminded to set their eyes on the things of heaven as they await the new heaven and new earth.
How do Christians today compare to those in the days of the apostles? Do their lives reflect the fullness of God’s grace and forgiveness? These are important questions which are relevant for today’s day and time. The greatest need of the present time is for Christians to go back to living in light of being children of God and receivers of His full grace. Listen to “Knowing Christ” as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers this question through John 1:19–26 and the life of John the Baptist. In order to live in the fullness of God, Christians must have a strong foundation in knowing the person of their Lord and His work. They must know Jesus, not simply as a man or a prophet, but as Lord and Savior, the Son of God. This knowledge must not merely be head knowledge, but a God-given revelation that changes hearts. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains this through the life of John the Baptist, it took the revelation of God to reveal to John the knowledge of Christ as Lord. The Christian also can come to this knowledge of Christ and live as those who reflect the fullness of the Lord.
Grace and Truth Through Christ
All throughout the New Testament, it is clearly shown that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law of the Old Testament. Therefore, a good question to ask is that if Jesus came to complete the law, then in what ways was the law incomplete? In this sermon on John 1:17 titled “Grace and Truth Through Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers this question by pointing out different ways where the law is incomplete on its own. The law only speaks in terms of types and shadows, while Jesus came to fulfill it and reveal the truth. The law only gave promises, while Jesus was the fulfillment of these promises. The law tells that the truth will come and that Jesus not only revealed the truth, but is the truth. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how truth in this sense is defined as the knowledge of God and the law was given to Moses as a divine revelation of who God is. However, this revelation only contained parts of this truth and therefore, the truth could not be understood fully until Jesus came and revealed who God is through grace and truth.
Given by God
There is a prevalent modern myth that great minds don’t believe in Christianity. While intellectuals look back and patronize Christianity, scholars ridicule Christian teaching as passé. But how does one judge the knowledge of the Christian faith? Can knowledge about God be attained in the same manner as secular knowledge? Is knowledge about God a matter of intellect or ability? In this sermon on John 7:16 titled “Given by God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers these kinds of question by showing how the vast majority of intellectuals today fall into the same position as the Pharisees. In other words, both judge the teaching about Christ from a mere human perspective. However, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones shows, Jesus Christ’s teaching is entirely different from every other teaching because it belongs to a different realm. His teaching is given by God. Christ claims to give revelation from above. In order to understand this revelation, the listener needs to discern things spiritually. Natural minds that are unaided by the Spirit cannot comprehend this type of knowledge.
The Scripture of Truth
The question of the age is that of true authority. In this sermon on Ephesians 6:14 titled “The Scripture of Truth,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how people are desperate for any note of authority. But even the Christian church is confused about what is truth. Cults are successful because they speak with an authoritative voice. All the troubles of the church and the world today are due to a departure from the authority of the Bible. The Christian church has often not helped this by putting philosophy in the place of revelation. The Protestant and apostolic church’s position is that the Bible is the word of God, uniquely inspired and inerrant. The Protestant Reformers judged the Roman Church and its traditions by what they found in the Bible. No one can ever arrive on their own at a knowledge of God. They either submit completely to the authority of the Bible or have no authority at all. God’s revelation can be received and attained only as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit upon and in the believer. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks: “how do we face the future, temptation, the devil, and the uncertainty of life?” It is by having “loins girt about with the truth” of the word of God, as revealed in the Bible.
The world asks many questions, but why do they never come to true answers? Why does humanity always seek true wisdom and knowledge but not find it? The answer is found in the world’s rejection of Jesus Christ as the true wisdom of God. In this sermon on John 4:13–14 titled “Questioning God,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tells that all true wisdom has been given in Christ, but the world in its sinfulness does not know Him. For God’s wisdom is not the wisdom of the world; it stands in opposition to all sinful thinking. This wisdom of God is not accessible to sinful people because they are blinded by their own pride and have fooled themselves into believing that they can know truth without God’s revelation. The only way out of this dilemma is for sinful people to be transformed by His grace and made new and given the gift of salvation. This question confronts all in the revelation of God’s gospel: “do you know the truth of God or are you blinded by your sin and pride?” All either believe that Jesus is the true wisdom of God or they believe in the vain and passing wisdom of this world.
The glorious truth of the message of Christ is that people can know God and come into a relationship with Him. God has not created humanity and left them to themselves, but has revealed Himself. This revelation does not come through human reason, for Paul tells that the message of the gospel came to those that were not considered wise by the world. God has revealed Himself through Christ in grace. In this sermon on Luke 4:18–19 titled “Divine Knowledge,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on this truth that God can be known not because of human wisdom, but because God is gracious. It is because God so loved this sinful and evil world that He has sent His Son so that all who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus might be saved. This is not merely theoretical knowledge, but it is a knowledge of God and what He has done. How is one to respond to this revelation? The answer of this sermon from Scripture is that they must believe God. They must believe that Jesus Christ is God’s son who has come to die and take away the sin of the world.
Post-millennialism and the Spiritual View
In this sermon on postmillennialism and the spiritual view, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones continues his series on Great Biblical Doctrines by preaching on the other possible interpretations of Revelation and the end times. The postmillennial view, once popular in mainstream evangelical circles, holds that Christ will not return until after the millennium, which its supporters hold as a period during which the earth will experience a long period of immense blessing and knowledge of the Lord. However, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones points out, the difficulty with this view is that Scripture says the earth will go through an absolutely devastating time before the end. If the postmillennial view isn’t correct, what is? In place of this and the other perspectives discussed in this mini-series, Dr. Lloyd-Jones proposes what he calls the “Spiritual View.” He argues that this section in Revelation and the parallel passages in the gospels point to Satan having been bound and cast out at the time of Christ’s death on the cross. What about the 1,000 reign that Scripture references? Dr. Lloyd-Jones presents why he thinks that it is occurring now and why it is not going to be a future, literal 1,000 year period.
The Everlasting Gospel
Many Christians ask themselves the question: why don’t unbelievers believe in the gospel? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gives a bold answer to this question in this sermon on Revelation 21:1 titled “The Everlasting Gospel.” He says many do not believe in the gospel because the church has been unclear on what the gospel is. For this reason, he preaches a sermon exploring what the gospel is and why it is called “the everlasting gospel.” The gospel is everlasting because its author, God Himself, is everlasting. God’s glory and purposes are everlasting; they never fail or come to an end. This is in stark contrast to the worldly glory of humanity that lasts for a brief time and is then forgotten. The gospel is good news because it comes from a God who does not change or fade away. He is not loving one minute, and then hateful the next. The gospel is a message of hope because it comes from a God of unchanging love and mercy. Furthermore, this gospel is the hope for all in all times. Modern humanity does not need a new gospel. Jesus is a perfect savior to all who believe in Him, regardless of who they are, what they have done, or when they live.
Philosophy and Vain Deceit
Why is philosophy and worldly thinking such a danger to Christianity? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:10–13 titled “Philosophy and Vain Deceit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones examines the relationship between biblical revelation and philosophy. The apostle Paul was aware of the temptation to substitute divine revelation for worldly thinking. This is to subordinate God’s wisdom to the vain teaching of the world, according Dr. Lloyd-Jones. This is a great threat to the church in all times and places, but especially in the modern world where science is given such a high place of authority. Many are willing to reinterpret the Bible in light of what Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones refers to as “mere theories.” Christians are called to stand on the word of God in all areas of life. Scripture is to be the ultimate and final authority in all matters of life, faith, and philosophy. The gospel calls Christians to believe in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ, even when they do not understand Him. It is a call to rest in the knowledge of who God is, even when they do not fully grasp everything there is to know about God. This sermon is an invitation to trust in God for all blessings and happiness in this life.