The Only Message of Hope
A Sermon on Colossians 1:20
20and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
Is salvation about individuals or the world? Many criticize Christianity for focusing only on the individual and ignoring the rest of the world. In this sermon on Colossians 1:20 titled “The Only Message of Hope,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says Christianity is about both the redemption of the individual and the whole world through Jesus Christ. Jesus died not only to save sinners, but also in order to reverse all the effects of sin and evil in the world. The apostle Paul tells that all of creation groans, awaiting the time of final redemption. This final redemption is when Christ returns physically and bodily to bring the new heavens and the new earth. This means that redemption, while starting in individuals, changes the whole world. Salvation is always a matter of personal redemption, but it is the beginning of universal redemption. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains, those who have put their faith in Christ are the first fruits of this new world.
- The world needs to be put right. All things need to be reconciled to God because they are out of place and not fulfilling their intended purpose.
- No natural or human effort can deal with the world's condition or reconcile it to God. History shows that human civilization and progress repeatedly fail.
- God has a program for the universe and creation, not just for humanity. He must have a plan, or else evil would ultimately triumph.
- God's plan is to reconcile all things to himself through Jesus Christ, whether in heaven or on earth. This is the ultimate hope and end.
- At present, God is preparing a people for himself while keeping evil in the world within limits. Christ is reigning, though not visibly.
- Ultimately, Christ will return in judgment, defeat all enemies including Satan, and purge all evil from the cosmos.
- There will be "new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." Paradise will be restored with no more sin, death, or predation.
- Christ will be supreme and preeminent, receiving all glory, honor, and praise. He will then hand the kingdom back to God the Father.
- The urgent question is whether we have "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Do we look forward to this coming world? Are we being prepared for it?
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.