[b]Flee From the Wrath to Come[/b]
[i]by Don Currin[/i]
In a 1980 interview, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was asked the question, "What do you think Christianity ought to say to the economic situation today?" He answered, "I think the great message we must preach is God's judgment on men and on the world." Dr. Lloyd-Jones went on to underscore the importance of this message when he said, "The condition of the modern world proves that what we must preach more than ever is "Escape from the wrath to come!" Later in the interview, Lloyd-Jones was asked whether or not Christian influence could produce a Christian culture. To which the preacher replied, "No. It will never come. All Scripture is against that. It's impossible. In the present world situation-it has never been more critical-all civilization is rocking, and we are facing collapse, morally, politically, and in every other way. I would have thought that surely at this time our urgent message should be, 'Flee from the wrath to come!"
As the interview came to a close, Martyn Lloyd-Jones was asked, "What parting word have you for the secular man or woman who does not take Jesus Christ seriously?" To which the man of God replied, "Flee from the wrath to come and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ".
At 80 years of age, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones understood that the answer to man's economic, moral, and spiritual plights was to take refuge in Christ's finished work from the rapidly approaching eternal storm. After years of observing the spiritual declension of his own country and witnessing the futility of man's attempts to improve the conditions of the economy and church, he knew that the only answer to man's social and spiritual ills was Jesus Christ.
Sadly, church growth strategists have all but condemned preaching on the judgment of God. They contend that preaching on such a theme will be perceived as a "scare" tactic by the seeker and should be avoided. Unfortunately, their teaching has led to serious and fatal consequences which include a loss of Holy Spirit conviction, a man-centered gospel, a waning sense of the fear of God and the ingathering of a mixed multitude in the church.
How can these so-called ecclesiastical experts tell us that warning men of judgment, wrath, and everlasting torment is irrelevant. Jude tells us in verse 23 of his brief epistle that a vital biblical motivation to move men into God's kingdom is eternal fire when he says, And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; .... Should such a vital doctrine that is so essential to salvation be neglected to make God's Word more palatable to carnal people? God forbid!
Consider how often God's wrath in relation to sinners is mentioned in the Scripture. In Job 36:13 the writer warns the hypocrites in heart that they heap up wrath. John the Baptist proclaims to his wilderness congregation to flee from the wrath to come in Luke 3:7. While the Apostle Paul solemnly declares in Ephesians 5:6 that God's wrath will visit adulterers, greedy men, and idolaters.
Necessity is laid upon every man that has been called by God to preach the whole counsel of God and that includes preaching on judgment to come. Can any man rejoice that he is a faithful minister of the gospel who omits from his message damnation for all Christ rejecters. Let every minister of this glorious gospel and every professor of Jesus Christ never cease in declaring the whole counsel of God. Never be ashamed to proclaim every vital doctrine of gospel content. And never cower from his responsibility to tell unbelieving sinners that they will go to hell if they do not repent. May we be faithful in preaching the timeless exhortation that Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones gave in his interview over twenty years ago, "Flee from the wrath to come and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ."
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon