A State of Unbelief
What does the rejection of Jesus by His own people teach about humanity? In this sermon on Luke 4:22 titled “A State of Unbelief,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones states that while one might be tempted to overlook the story of Jesus’s fellow Jews rejecting Him as ancient history, there is more than meets the eye. He says that the Jewish people’s rejection of Jesus is not borne out of rational arguments or reason, but it is a result of unbelief. They stumbled over Jesus’s message because sin had such a grip on their hearts that they were not able to understand the message of God’s grace. Pride and sin blind all from seeing the truth of the gospel until God in His grace breaks into their world. Sin is a state, not only an action. All are in this state of sin until God opens their eyes so that they can believe. At the heart of this story is the message that humanity is in sin and that God is a Savior. It is ultimately a message of hope for all who believe because it is the only means of being forgiven and made new in God. This sermon calls all to believe in Jesus
Unbelief and Modern Man
Why do men and women today reject Jesus? In this message on Luke 4:22 titled “Unbelief and Modern Man,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that modern people reject the gospel for the same reason that the Jewish people of Jesus’s day rejected Him: Jesus is not who they want Him to be. Jesus is not a mere moral teacher dedicated to giving them a better life. He is the Son of God that has come into to the world to take away its sin and destroy evil. In their prejudice, people reject the idea that they could need a Savior because humankind naturally hates the idea that they are vile sinners in need of divine grace. Humanity uses so-called reason as an excuse to reject the gospel. This sermon tells the bad news that humanity is in sin, in denial of their situation, are lost, and on a path to eternal destruction. But more importantly, it tells that Jesus died for sinners. Jesus alone can overcome this hatred and prejudice and make fallen sinners children of God. This sermon contains the only message of true and lasting hope: the message of the gospel.
Facing the Evidence
Who is Jesus? To answer this question, one must look at all the extraordinary miracles and deeds He performed before many witnesses. These all affirm His claim that He is who He said He was: God in the flesh. If the evidence is clear, why did so may in Jesus’s time reject Him, just as many reject Him today? In this sermon on Luke 5:17 titled “Facing the Evidence,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that the answer is simple: prejudice. Sin has corrupted every part of a person, including the judgment of facts. People do not have a detached mind that can assess the evidence because they are bound to sin. They cannot have a truly open mind to the claims of Christianity and the Bible. Is there a way out of this predicament? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones tells that no one can come to know God through their own accord, but by the grace of God, a person’s eyes can be opened so that they see the truth. No one can fight their sin on their own, but by God’s grace, they can be set free. This sermon brings the message of hope and peace in the gospel for all who believe in Jesus. Humankind does not have to suffer for their sin because Jesus has come to take their place.
The Blindness of Modern man
Is Christianity based on nothing more than myths? In this sermon on Luke 12:54–57 titled “The Blindness of Modern Man,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones confronts this false claim, showing that the message of Christianity is based on the historical facts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity. The Holy Scriptures attest to this as the inspired revelation of God the Creator Himself. God testified to His existence and attributes in the very creation of the world and providence. Despite all this, humanity rejects Christianity. They claim that it is intellectually shallow, lacks evidence, and that only those who sacrifice their mind can assent to it. However, Dr. Lloyd-Jones teaches that those who reject Christianity do not do so because of intellectual objections, but because of the effects of sin. For while people may be capable of extraordinary feats of science, technology, art, and medicine, they are unable to comprehend spiritual truths unless God opens their hearts and minds to understand the gospel. They are not dumb but blinded by sin. They know that if they come to Christ, they must leave behind their sinful ways and give all to Christ. No one is capable of leaving behind a life of sin and rebellion unless God in His grace enlightens their hearts and minds so that they can see the truth of the gospel.
The Lord of Lords
In this sermon on Luke 13:31–31 titled “The Lord of Lords,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones centers this sermon around a critical topic: Why do people not believe? He visits an important passage where the character of Jesus is on display. When told by the Pharisees that Herod is out to kill Him, Christ says, “Go ye, and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’” Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains the political undercurrents beneath such an interaction. The Pharisees and Herod did not care for Jesus’s safety, but rather wanted Him out of their territory. Herod could not kill Jesus, for surely there would be an uproar in the kingdom. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that both the Pharisees and Herod try to tempt Christ out of His redeeming purpose but God cannot be distracted or led astray. Nothing can derail the plan God has put forth. And like the Pharisees and Herod, a person cannot make Jesus go away. They must come face to face with Him and choose to reject or believe. In closing, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones encourages those who have not believed to see the Son for who He is, and accept His providential and tremendous love.
The Resurrection; its Relevance Today
The fact of the resurrection stands at the center of Christianity. The empty tomb is the sign of God’s promise to raise Christ from the dead as a testament to His victory over sin. Yet sceptics scorn the idea of the physical and bodily resurrection. In this sermon on the resurrection from Acts 17:18, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows that there is nothing new in their criticisms against the resurrection, for in the days of the apostles there were those who scorned and scoffed at the resurrection. But there is no excuse for rejecting the resurrection because all the evidence is clear: Christ rose from the dead. But it is sin that corrupts and blinds, so humankind is unable and unwilling to believe in Jesus. Humanity’s fundamental problem is that they are sinful. All humanity’s great wisdom and learning is subject to its sinful nature. The only answer to humanity’s problem is the grace of God in salvation. God has appointed His Son as the only way anyone can be saved. The only escape from the judgement of God is through faith in the gospel. This is the most important message that the world can hear. It is the message that Jesus has died and rose from the dead for the salvation of sinners.
Unbelief and Division
Being religious does not guarantee salvation. In this sermon on Acts 23:6–8 titled “Unbelief and Division,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shows how there are many in Scripture who pass themselves off as being deeply religious, but are not saved. This is the condition of the Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees that opposed the apostles, particularly Paul, and they represented the unbelieving in many respects. They are well-educated intellectuals who are blinded by their sin from believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ. This unbelief is prejudiced opposition. They oppose the message of Christ because it contradicts their traditions, for they had no place for a crucified Messiah who had no kingdom and who came from an uneducated family. Unlike the Jewish leaders, he was not born into the top of the social pyramid and educated. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains how modern humanity rejects the gospel for many of the same reasons. They think it is backwards and old fashioned. They say it is intellectually ridiculous, but this prejudice is the result of sin. Humanity’s problems with Christianity are never simply intellectual or moral, but at the core of these beliefs lies opposition to God and His law. All are dead in trespasses and sin and unable to evaluate the truth claims of Christianity as merely rational thinkers. They are prompted by their sinful nature to oppose this message. This why the gospel must be a supernatural message, for without the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, no one would be able to believe and be saved.
Believer or Unbeliever?
In this sermon on 2 Thessalonians 1:8–10 titled “Believer or Unbeliever?” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones describes the coming judgement of Christ and the separation between believers and unbelievers. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains that this separation of saved and unsaved is fundamental to Christianity since Christianity involves absolutes. The Christian is someone who hears the way of God and decides to follow it, but the unbeliever has done the opposite. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that the unbeliever will try and apply his or her own logic and intellect to the Scriptures, when really he or she is in no position to debate them. But the believer has faith in the message of God. The believer does not try to correct the Scriptures, but rather reiterates what has already been written. A person cannot have both God and the world, Dr. Lloyd-Jones says. That is clear all across Scripture. A person must decide which choice to make. The day of judgment is coming and all will stand before the Lord. For the unbeliever, a life apart from God awaits, but for the Christian awaits eternal life with a just and loving God.