MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #2093

When God Turns Away

A Sermon on Acts 7:42-43


Acts 7:42-43 ESV KJV
But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: “‘Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices, during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You took up the tent of …

Read more

Sermon Description

Just when one thinks the world couldn’t get worse, something terrible happens. There will always be those who blindly think trouble will evaporate and the world will become a better place. Through human thought and ethical reflection, they believe the world is slowly but surely becoming more and more civil and peaceful. This progressive view is founded upon faith in human nature and human goodness. But as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones proclaims from Acts 7:42–43, this is fatally flawed because it does not have an accurate and biblical view of human nature. While humanists see human nature as good or indifferent to evil, the Bible says all are sinners by nature and under the wrath of God. In fact, the whole world is under the righteous judgment of God. For God has warned that there is coming a great day of wrath when He will judge all for their sin and rebellion. God will finally and ultimately reject sinful people who do not submit to His law. He will turn away from those who do not believe. But He has also provided a means of salvation from this great judgment. He sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die upon the cross so that sinners would not have to suffer the eternal damnation of God. All who repent and believe will be saved and made children of God.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Stephen is delivering his speech before the Sanhedrin, who have accused him of blasphemy.
  2. Stephen reviews the history of Israel to show how they have always misunderstood God and His purpose.
  3. God made the perfect world and perfect man, but man fell into sin by disobeying God.
  4. As punishment, God cursed the ground and allowed sin, evil, and suffering to enter the world.
  5. God instituted governments and laws to restrain evil, but still allows men free will.
  6. When men become exceptionally arrogant and vile, God punishes them by withdrawing restraint, abandoning them, and actively judging them.
  7. God withdraws from man to show man his wretched state, proclaim God's holiness, warn of judgment, and call man to repentance.
  8. The modern world's condition shows the result of man without God - the supposed "dignity of man" leads to depravity.
  9. God's judgment in history points to the final judgment, where unrepentant man will be cast from God's presence forever.
  10. God permits evil and judgment to show man his need for salvation, found only in Jesus Christ.
  11. On the cross, God turned from, gave up, and did not spare His own Son, who took our punishment, so we can be reconciled.
  12. God calls us through calamity to turn to Him, find Him turning to us, and receive forgiveness, renewal, and eternal glory.

The Book of Acts

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.