The Wrath of God and Evangelism

Lloyd-Jones has some excellent comments also (continuing from the last post) on the relationship of the doctrine of the wrath of God to the practical ins and outs of evangelism:

Why is it that people are not Christians and not members of the Christian Church? Why does the Lord Jesus Christ not come into their calculations at all? In the last analysis there is only one answer to that question: they do not believe in Him because they have never seen any need of Him.And they have never seen any need of Him because they have never realised that they are sinners. And they have never realised that they are sinners because they have never realised the truth about the holiness of God and the justice and the righteousness of God; they have never known anything about God as the Judge eternal and about the wrath of God against the sin of man. So you see this doctrine is essential in evangelism.

This quotation is from Lloyd-Jones on Ephesians, volume 2, pg. 50, and the previous post is from pg. 49 of the same volume.

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5 Comments

  1. Puritan Lad said,

    March 24, 2007 at 4:04 pm

    Excellent Quote. The Doctrine of eternal Hell is truly a lost doctrine today. It has been replaced by self esteem.

    Keep up the good work.

    PL

  2. Lee said,

    March 25, 2007 at 12:33 am

    Perhaps here I will inject a disagreement with Dr. Lloyd-Jones. While I do not know the entire context of the quote, it seems as if he is advocating the ‘terrors of the law’ approach to evangelism. Must people be converted by understanding the wrath of God against the sin first? I freely admit that many may be converted in that sort of order, but cannot people also be converted by hearing of the love of God, or perhaps even coming to see God as creator before coming to the terror of the wrath of God?
    This of course is the main debate in the Great Awakening, especially inside the Presbyterian Church. The New Side pro-Awakening men preached the Terrors of the Law and the Wrath of God, and the Old Side anti-Awakening men did not (at least not regularly). It seems to me that Dr. Lloyd-Jones favors the New Side approach. As one who favors the Old Side and thinks Whitefield and Tennent troublers of the church, I fear the statement from Dr. Lloyd-Jones is too generalized and leads to an evangelism of condemnation, emotionalism, and not meeting people where they are. Perhaps, context would remove such concerns. I am interested to hear your response, Lane.

  3. Pastor Chris said,

    March 25, 2007 at 8:49 am

    Not knowing the whole context of the quote, I doubt that Lloyd-Jones is advocating this fear based approached as the only one to evangelism. Lane raises good questions that other approaches may be effective.

    I think people come to faith in a variety of means (but only thru Christ). Some come to faith thru a fear of God, others thru seeing God’s hand of blessing, provision, healing, etc. All the works of God testify to Him.

    As people grow in faith beyond their initial conversion, they will begin to understand more fully a biblical picture of the nature of Sin, the holiness of God, the irresistableness of grace, the sovereignty of God, etc. Their awareness of the theological richness of their conversion experience will grow.

    Pastor Chris
    EvangelismCoach.org

  4. greenbaggins said,

    March 25, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    I don’t think that Lloyd-Jones is advocating the New Side approach. You have to remember that he is commenting on Ephesians 2:1-3, which is most certainly a “terror of the law” approach to evangelism. I would certainly agree with you that God can use any text of Scripture to convert someone. Whatever the case, I do think that we need to point people to Christ, and that is one of the functions of the law. So, wrath of God sermons are fine as long as the text is saying that. Today, for instance, I preached on Ephesians 2:1-3, and it was a wrath to grace sermon. But I would not do that with, say, Romans 8:28.

  5. greenbaggins said,

    March 25, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    Welcome to my blog, Chris, and thanks for commenting.


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