I am reading Iain Murray’s two-volume biography on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. If I were to teach a class on pastoral ministry, I would make it required reading. Lloyd-Jones was in many ways, years ahead of his time. He pastored in Wales from 1927-1939 which is the basis for volume 1. Murray’s volume 2 covers Lloyd-Jones’ ministry at London’s Metropolitan Chapel from 1939-1968 as well as in retirement. As a young pastor in 1930, Jones was preaching on Acts 17:30-31 regarding why so many did not discuss the coming judgment of God. His words could have been said today some 80 years later.
What accounts for the fact that so few ever speak of the judgment in these days is that they do not believe in God. They think that they do, but when you come to analyse their belief you find that it is but a projection of certain ideas that happen to please them. Their god is something which they created themselves, a being who is always prepared to oblige and excuse them. They do not worship with awe and respect, indeed they do not worship at all. They reveal that their so-called god is no god at all in their talk. For they are ever saying that “they simply cannot believe that God will punish the unrepentant sinner to all eternity, and this and that”. They cannot believe that God will do so, therefore they draw the conclusion that God does not and will not. In other words, God does what they believe he ought to do or not to do. What a false and blasphemous conception of God! How utterly untrue and unworthy! Such is the new paganism of today (1:214).