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Sermon #5504

Why is the Gospel Rejected?

A Sermon on Acts 26:25


Acts 26:25 ESV NASB KJV
But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Why do people reject the only message of salvation? All throughout Scripture, men and women confront Jesus and His message of forgiveness and absolution from all sins, yet they reject it. In this sermon on Acts 26:55 titled “Why is the Gospel Rejected?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeks to answer the question. If one believes the Bible, then they know that all are in sin and enslaved to their selfish desires. They do not love or seek what is good and godly. So even in the undeniable fact of their need for sin and of Christ dying and rising again for the salvation of sinners, people are still unwilling to come to God. Even though all are destined to die, they still refuse to come to their only source of salvation: the gospel. Holy Scripture tells that no one can come to the Father unless Jesus draws them. No one can believe in the gospel because they are enslaved to sin, but in God’s grace they can be saved. God can open the eyes of sinners to believe and receive new life in Christ.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon is based on Acts 26:25 - "But he, Paul said, I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak forth the words of truth and soberness."
  2. The chapter describes Paul's trial before Festus and King Agrippa. It is a dramatic scene that shows how people react to the Gospel message.
  3. Paul describes his own journey to faith - from persecutor of Christians to preacher of the Gospel. This shows how people can have different reactions to the same message.
  4. Many people reject the Gospel for various reasons:
    • They think they are already religious (like Paul originally)
    • They think the message is scientifically impossible (e.g. the resurrection)
    • They think Christians have a "psychological complex"
  5. But there are really only two reasons people reject the Gospel:
    • They fail to realize it is based on truth and facts (historical events)
    • They fail to reason properly from these facts and draw the right conclusions
  6. The events of Jesus' life, death and resurrection are historical facts, not just religious ideas or feelings. Christianity is based on concrete events.
  7. These facts are well-attested, not done "in a corner". Even Paul's opponents like Festus knew about them.
  8. These facts were also foretold in prophecy, so they prove Jesus is the Messiah. Paul was not mad for preaching what the prophets foretold.
  9. To be a Christian is to have a "sound mind" - to face facts and reason properly from them. It is foolish to ignore facts.
  10. The facts about Jesus are the most important facts in history. We must pay special attention to such momentous facts.
  11. We must understand the meaning of these facts - that we are sinners under God's wrath, and need salvation through Jesus.
  12. Jesus came to bring us "light" - to show us our sin, need, and the way of salvation. He came to save us from sin, death and judgment.
  13. We must face the facts of our sin, God's holiness, death, judgment and eternity. We must face Jesus as the Son of God and only Savior.
  14. If we face these facts, we will repent and turn to God for mercy and new life through faith in Christ. This is true wisdom.

Other Sermons

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.