At the close of 1926 Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones left a brilliant medical career. Early
in 1927 he was to become the Minister of Bethlehem Forward Movement Mission Hall,
Sandfields, Aberavon. On February 6th 1977, the 50th anniversary of the commencement
of his ministry, he returned there and preached the following sermon.
JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED
by: D. MARTYN LLOYD-JONES—1898-1981
'For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him
1 Corinthians 2:2.
I HAVE a number of reasons for calling your attention tonight to this particular
statement. One of them-and I think you will forgive me for it-is that it was
actually the text I preached on, on the first Sunday night I ever visited this
Church. That is, not 50 years tonight, but 50 years on the 28th of November
last year. My first visit here was on the 28th November, 1926, and my text at
the evening service - my first evening sermon preached here - was the second
verse of the second chapter of Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians. It was
not my text 50 years tonight, which was my first night here officially as Minister,
for on that occasion my text was 'God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.'
I call attention to it not merely for that reason, but rather because it is
still my determination. It is still what I am endeavouring, as God helps me,
to do. I preached on this text then - I have no idea what I said in detail,
I have not got the notes-but I did so because it was an expression of my whole
attitude towards life. It was what I felt was the commission that had been given
to me. And I call attention to it again because it is still the same, and because
I am profoundly convinced that this is what should control our every endeavour
as Christian people and as members of the Christian Church at this present time.
THE FOUNDATION ATTACKED
Now the Apostle, as you remember, is dealing in these first chapters with the
situation in the church at Corinth; and he reminds them here of how he first
visited them, because there was no church in Corinth until the Apostle Paul
went there and preached the gospel. The church came into being directly as the
result of his preaching and his teaching. He formed and established a church,
and it was a very great church and a flourishing church. But after a while other
elements came in, and the church was in a very disturbed and unhappy condition
when the Apostle wrote this letter to them.
That is why he writes. He is concerned because some of the things that were
being said amongst them and that were being believed by some of them were, in
his opinion, attacking the very foundations of the gospel itself. So he reminds
them of what he first preached, and how he preached to them, and how he had
to do this. And, as I say, I am calling attention to it because I feel it is
equally important at the present time. I need take none of your time in reminding
you of the state of the world. We are living in a world of crisis and a world
of calamity. You never know what the next news bulletin is going to bring forth.
It is a world which is in a state of collapse in almost every respect. It is
a time of great trouble and perplexity.
And the great question that arises is this: Has the Christian Church anything
to say at such a time? What has she got to say? What is the greatest need of
the world tonight? What is the greatest need of every one of us, of every single
human being? Now it is because I feel that the great Apostle here in these words
deals with and answers those very questions that I am calling attention to this
great announcement, this great proclamation by the Apostle.
A SOLEMN DECISION
You notice that he says that he determined not to know anything among them save
Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. In other words, it was a decision. It was something
he had determined. It was something quite deliberate; it was not haphazard.
His statement is that, having looked at the whole situation, he came to this
conclusion, this decision, that he was not going to know anything among them,
save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Now there are those authorities who would
have us believe that this happened as a kind of reaction to what had happened
to the Apostle previously in the great city of Athens. Those of you who are
still familiar with the history of the book of the Acts of the Apostles will
remember that Paul went from Athens to Corinth, and that his work at Athens
was interrupted and was not successful. It was there in that sermon in Athens
that the Apostle had quoted some of the Greek poets. So some of these authorities
tell us that Paul, having quoted these Greek writers and having shown his knowledge
of Greek literature and having more or less failed, said on the road from Athens
to Corinth, 'Well, I'd better not do that again.' And so he decided and determined
not to know anything among them save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Now 1 think
that is entirely wrong. 1 reject that interpretation completely, because, after
all, the mere quoting of some two poets was neither here nor there; it did not
affect the thrust of his message. Paul preached Jesus Christ and Him crucified
in Athens quite as much as he did in Corinth. Indeed, this is what he did everywhere.
He had decided at the very outset of his ministry that this was to be his great
theme, to the exclusion of everything else.
This is not merely a new or fresh decision, it is a repetition of the original
decision. But he reminds them that that is what he had actually done amongst
Now he came to this decision quite deliberately, because he could have done
many other things. He was an unusually able and erudite man. So it was a very
solemn decision. Indeed the Apostle goes further in the next chapter and in
chapter 4. In chapter 3 he puts it like this: 'Let no man deceive himself. If
any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that
he may be wise' (verse 18), and later he goes on to say that he had deliberately
become a fool for Christ's sake. What he means, of course, by a fool, is a man
who is regarded as an ignoramus by these Greeks. The Greeks were very able people,
great philosophers, and the Apostle knew perfectly well that if he preached
only Jesus Christ and Him crucified and'did not preach philosophy and other
things to them, they would dismiss him as an ignoramus and as a fool. And so
he says, All right, I deliberately became a fool for Christ's sake. So that
is what he is clearly saying here-that he went out of his way, as it were, and
deliberately decided that he would eschew everything else and all other knowledge;
and, in simplicity and as one regarded as a fool and a babbler by these learned
people in Athens and in Corinth, that he would know nothing among them save
Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
He knew, as he has already told them in the first chapter, that his message
was going to be a stumbling-block to the Jews, and that the Greeks would regard
it as unutterable foolishness. He was a Jew himself and he knew the Jewish attitude.
He knew that this preaching of the cross was a real stumblingblock to the Jew
and that the Greeks regarded it as just nonsense. That a carpenter in a place
like Palestine, by dying on a cross, should be the Saviour of the worldit was
unutterable rubbish! He knew exactly what the Jews and the Greeks believed.
Nevertheless he decided deliberately that he would go on preaching it, in spite
of what they believed about it and the way in which they regarded it. So let
us be clear about this. This is a deliberate decision. The great Apostle comes
to this decision, this determination, not to know anything among them, save
Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
WHY THIS DECISION?
Well now, the question before us is this. Why did he come to this decision?
Why did Paul decide and determine to behave in this way? And, if I may say so
with humility, why did I in my small way come to the same decision and the same
determination? Or why am 1, 50 years afterwards, still doing exactly the same
thing? I cannot remember what I said 50 years ago, but I know that the thrust
was the same. The essential message was the same, whatever the particular form,
and whatever the particular details may be. Why did the Apostle come to this
decision? Why should every preacher of the gospel and the Christian Church today
come to this decision? I am convinced that the Church is powerless today and
is ignored by the people because she has not dome to this decision-because she
is doing the exact opposite and is trying to be all things to all men in a wrong
way and in a wrong manner. So I regard it as very vital that we should be certain
as to why the great Apostle decided in this way. And 1 think he makes it abundantly
plain to us as to why he did so.
THE MODERN ARGUMENT
Today, of course, the view is almost the exact opposite of this. The argument
is that if the Church, the Christian Church, is to have any impact upon people
and is to win the people to the Church and to Christ, well then, we must of
necessity talk about things in which people are interested. That is the argument.
It has been said throughout the centuries that it is no use going to men and
women in the midst of life with all sorts and kinds of problems and difficulties
and just telling them about Jesus Christ and Him crucified. They simply will
not listen. You will have no impact at all. You will have a little coterie of
people perhaps, but it will have no impact upon people. If you want to influence
people, we are told, and want to affect them and to win them, you must talk
about the things in which they are interested. Well now, there is nothing new
about that. You see that is exactly what they were saying nearly 2,000 years
ago when the great Apostle visited Athens and visited Corinth. They always wanted
any man who came to speak, to talk about the things in which they were interested.
You remember we are told about the people in Athens that they spent their time
in doing 'nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing' (Acts
17:21). They were very fond of listening to people, and when Paul came along
they said, 'What will this babbler say?' They were ready to listen. But they
always wanted a man to speak about the things in which they were interested.
What were they?
Well, the people consisted partly of Jews and mainly, probably, of Greeks. What
were they interested in? What did they want Paul to talk about? The answer,
of course, is quite simple. The Jews were always interested in the Law-the Law
given by God through Moses to the children of Israel. And they were always arguing
and debating about this. 'Which is the most important and the chiefest element
in the Law, the first and the greatest commandment?' Nothing pleased the Jews
more than to be arguing about the Law and the respective merits of the particular
commandments. And they were always ready to listen to a man who talked about
The Greeks-well, we know exactly what they were interested in. As 1 have already
reminded you, the Greeks were primarily interested in what is called philosophy.
1 suppose in many ways the Greeks were the ablest, the most intelligent and
the most intellectual race of people that the world has ever known. It was the
country which had produced the greatest succession of philosophers the world
has ever known-Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. And they had all been preaching in
Greece before Christ and Paul ever appeared on the scene and began to present
their message. The Greeks were tremendously interested in this question of philosophy.
What does it mean? Well, philosophy means the attempt to understand life. You
see, any intelligent man in a world like this, seeing the problems and the pain
and the trouble, any intelligent man doesn't go and have a drink to forget all
about it. He says, Why are things like this? What is the matter? Were we meant
to be like this? Can anything be done about it? So these Greek men with their
great minds applied themselves to the study of the problem of life and living;
and, of course, there were rival teachings and rival views. They all set up
their co-called porches, academics if you like-what would now correspond to
our universities and schools and so on-and there were the rival theories. You
read about the Stoics and the Epicureans, and they put forward their views and
argued as to how man might perhaps even arrive at Utopia, a perfect condition.
But again, another branch of philosophy was what is called culture. What do
they mean by culture? Well, we all know about this. You have all, 1 am sure,
watched those famous lectures by Lord Clark on the television - 'Civilisation'.
Culture! They were expert architects, they built their magnificent buildings.
You can still go and see the ruins in Athens, and it is worth a visit even to
see the ruins-they were such magnificent buildings. General culture, architecture,
monuments, all these things. The same was true of art. They were interested
in art in every shape and form. And they delighted in them and they discussed
them. In addition to that they were great experts on sport. We get excited about
the Olympic Games. We did not start them, you know. It was they-the Greeks-who
started the Olympic Games, and they gave such names as Marathon races, Olympic
Games, and so on. These were the things which these intellectual people worked
out and elaborated. This was the centre of their interest. They were concerned
likewise about social conditions, about morality and conduct and behaviour and
all these matters. Then, the Apostle came amongst them. He knew that these were
the subjects in which they were interested, and that any man who talked about
any one of these things was not only sure of an interest, but was sure of keeping
his congregation and might even become popular amongst them. Yet, knowing that
these were the things that the people were interested in, having the ability
and the understanding to deal with them, this man deliberately decided and determined
not to deal with any of those subjects. 'I determined not to know any thing
among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified.'
THEY COME TO NOUGHT!
Well now then, the question is, Why did he decide that? Why did he determine
that? And fortunately for us, he gives us the answer in the sixth verse of this
second chapter of First Corinthians, 'Howbeit', he says, 'we speak wisdom among
them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes
of this world, that come to nought.' Nought! Nothing! A cipher! Vacuity! Nothing
at all! Why didn't Paul preach philosophy, why didn't he preach politics, why
didn't he preach culture and art and all these things? The answer is, he says,
they come to nothing. Nought! Is he right? Well, let us test. Let us test by
what he says himself in his epistles. Let us test by the history of the world.
What of this question of Law that the Jews were so interested in? Why didn't
the Apostle preach perpetually on the details and the minutiae of the Law as
the Pharisees had always done? Why didn't he spend the whole of his time in
just expounding the Law? He gives us the answer in many, many places. You have
it, for instance, in the twentieth verse of the third chapter of his great Epistle
to the Romans. 'Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified
in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin'-and nothing else. The
Law will give you a knowledge of sin and it will condemn you. But it will leave
you grovelling in the dust. You have it again in Romans 8:3-'For what the law
could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.' In
other words, the Law was a failure. Nobody could keep the Law, the Law about
which these Jews and experts argued so much. It could not help men, it simply
condemned them. It exposed the need and the ills, but it left them grovelling
in the dust in complete hopelessness. I did not preach the Law, says Paul, because
it could not do anything for you. It comes to nought. It leaves you in utter
helplessness. And the same thing applies precisely and exactly to all these
other questions. Why did not Paul preach philosophy? His answer is that it all
comes to nothing. He calls it here human wisdom, the wisdom of this world. Do
you know that before Christ ever came into this world, the greatest philosophers
that the world has ever known had already been here? They had already given
us their great teaching. They had put forward their plans and their proposals
for Utopia. But it was all a failure. The statistics-it is not in the Bible
but it is in secular history-the statistics show that the rate of suicide was
higher proportionately amongst the philosophers than any other single section
of the community. Philosophy was failing. It had h ad its trial. God, as it
were, had kept His Son back until human wisdom and learning had had their full
opportunity. And Paul says it has come to nothing'the world by wisdom knew not
God' (1: 2 1).
FAILURE IN THE OLD WORLD
It is all very well to raise questions, but you know a great man, Thomas Masaryk-the
man who founded the state of Czechoslovakia after the end of the First World
War-that great leader of Czechoslovakia put it like this: 'The philosophers
have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point, however, is to change
it.' The philosophers were very clever in putting forward different points of
view and different interpretations. But that leaves us where we are. What the
world needs is to be changed. And no philosopher has ever changed this world.
No, no! The old world, in spite of the teaching of these master thinkers and
philosophers, was in a terrible state and condition. What was it? Well, you
need not take my word for it, the Apostle Paul has given us a description of
it at the end of the first chapter of his Epistle to the Romans. This was the
state of society. In spite of Greek philosophy and culture, Roman law and all
the politics of the age, this is how people were living. 'As they did not like
to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to
do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness,
fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder,
debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful,
proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding,
covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing
the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death,
not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them' (komans 1:28-32).
That is how they were living, instead of according to the great teachings of
the philosophers. Previously Paul has been telling us about the terrible, scandalous,
sexual perversions-. men leaving the right use of the woman and turning to men,
dishonouring their own bodies between themselves. The whole world was a sink
of iniquity. In spite of all the blueprints for Utopia, all the politics, all
the social ameliorations that were being proposed, all the learned arguing and
disputation of the philosophers, that is how they were actually living. Paul
was right. All this comes to nothing. Nought! Failure! Nothing! Blank!
And, my dear friends, as it was true then it is true today, and it has continued
to be true throughout the centuries. People today are interested in the same
things. We express it in different forms, but for 100 years or more people have
been trusting to these things. People have stopped going to chapels and churches.
Why? They have stopped believing the Bible. What do they believe in? Philosophy.
The great philosophers. And you can hear them now whenever you like on the television
and the wireless. Philosophy! Politics! We were assured that politics was going
to change the face of society. It was being preached here by Ramsay MacDonald
and many another when I came here 50 years ago. This was what was going to put
the world right-education, culture. Not such nonsense, such folk lore and fairy
tales as the Bible and the Scriptures, but new knowledge, science, understanding
and philosophy-they were going to make a perfect world! Now these are sheer
facts. But what is the position? What has it all come to? I am here to remind
you that what the Apostle said in his day is equally true today. It comes to
nought. It comes to nothing. Do not misunderstand me; there are particular benefits
that we have all received and we thank God for them. But face to face with the
problem of man and of life and death and true living and peace and happiness
and joy, they have all completely failed. They have come to nought.
Now you need not take my word for this. Let me give you some quotations which
will substantiate my contention. Take a great man like Tolstoy, Count Tolstoy,
one of the greatest novelists of all times, the author of War and Peace and
other masterpieces. Do you know what he said? Let me read his words to you.
'The meaningless absurdity of life is the only incontestable knowledge accessible
to men.' The meaningless absurdity of life-that, he says, is the only thing
which is incontestable. But let me give you another. A man called Morris Ginsberg,
who is an expert on sociology and political matters today, wrote quite recently:
'Modern psychological theories expose the naivety of the assumption which earlier
theories have taken for granted, namely, that intellectual advance will be necessarily
reflected in improved human relationships.' That was the assumption of our fathers,
grandfathers and forefathers. They assumed that intellectual advance would of
necessity be reflected in improved human relationships. Is that so? Has it happened?
Are human relationships better? This was the assumption: give people knowledge
and intellectual advance, and human relationships will be better. But come,
last year, 1976, was the centenary of the birth of a man called Albert Mansbridge.
And I refer to Albert Mansbridge for this reason. Here was the man who started
the Workers' Educational Association-the WEA. I do not know whether WEA classes
are popular here now; they were very popular 50 years ago, and many people had
left the churches and the chapels believing they were going to find salvation
in the WEA classes. What had Albert Mansbridge said? He started these WEA classes
in 1903 and what he said was this-and he really believed it, there was never
a more honest man, or a more earnest and sincere man; he really believed it
and he made sacrifices for it-'If enough effort', he said in 1903, 'was put
into the education of the workers, then the main social problems of this present
age would solve themselves.' That is what he believed, and thousands believed
it with him. If only people put an effort into education and if only the masses
of the people were educated, the main social problems of the age would solve
themselves. They put it into practice and men really believed that if only we
could all be educated we would solve all our problems. What has it come to,
my friends? Are there no social problems in Aberavon, Port Talbot, tonight?
Are they much less than they were 100 years ago or 50 years ago? 1 leave you
to answer the question.
Come, let me give you another-Professor Arnold Toynbee, a great historian, published
his massive History of the World in 10 volumes, eventually 12 volumes. His last
book bore the title Mankind and Mother Earth and was published last year. Now
here is a man who spent a lifetime studying the human condition, trying to understand
life and the world from the standpoint of history, not merely as an academic
exercise, but because he wanted to make a contribution. He wanted things to
be better and to be improved. But this is what he said in his last book, when
he was an old man: 'There is a morality gap in the development of mankind. Man
constantly extends his physical power over the environment, but he is unable
to improve his social arrangements correspondingly; still less to subdue his
destructive passions. Technology is the only field of human activity in which
there has been progression.' That is Arnold Toynbee. He was not a Christian;
he was a humanist. He did not believe this gospel of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
He was a man who believed in these various ideas-philosophy and so on-but he
maintains that the only development that there has been is in the realm of technology.
We can certainly land people on the surface of the moon, but are we living any
better? Has there been corresponding advance in the matter of man's social arrangements?
Do we know how to subdue man's destructive passions? Oh, the brilliant technology
of the last few years, conquering the force of gravity, landing men on the surface
of the moon! Marvellous, wonderful! Has it lessened the destructive capacity
of man and the destructive desires of man? Well, 1 ask you to look around you,
read the newspapers, listen to the bulletins on the news. These men, who are
not Christians at all, by simply viewing the facts and facing them squarely
have come to the conclusion that it all comes to nought.
I end with a quotation from Mr. Aldous Huxley. Here was a brilliant man, a brilliant
novelist, who believed in what is called Scientific Humanism for so many years
and wrote about it in his novels. He came to teel that that was not the answer
and then he turned to mysticism and became a Buddhist. But still he was not
satisfied, and if you read his biography you will find that he said this at
the end of his life.-Now again, here is a man who really was concerned about
men and women and life and living. He wanted to live a better life himself.
He wanted the world to be a better place. He was appalled at the two world wars,
the making of the atomic and the hydrogen bombs. He was aghast at it all, and
had spent a lifetime trying to understand it. But this is what he said at the
end of his life-'It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human
problem all one's life and that at the end one has no more to offer by way of
advice than "Try to be a little kinder".' After all the brilliant
philosophy and scientific reasoning, this is all he has got to tell us: 'Try
to be a little kinder.'
These men who were going to solve the problemseducation, knowledge, culture,
philosophy, politics, and who were going to put the world right, -this is what
they have to admit at the end. Well now, you see, they are but confirming what
the great Apostle tells us in the sixth verse of this second chapter of the
First Epistle to the Corinthians. He says: 'I've got a wisdom, but it isn't
a wisdom of this world-the thing you want me to be talking about. Why am 1 not
talking about it? I'll tell you. It comes to nothing. It's a blank, it's a cipher.
It leaves you at the end with nothing at all. Just "try to be a little
kinder"' What a bankruptcy! What a complete failure!' And this is what
the world needs to be told tonight, that all it has trusted to, and the men
it has trusted have led them to the present chaos, and have nothing to offer
us, and have no hope. They make promises, but who believes them? They do not
believe them themselves. They have been falsified. They are baffled, they are
bewildered, they do not know where they are. It comes to nothing. Blank. Cipher.
Vacuity. Complete hopelessness. Final despair. Well there, my friends, 1 have
taken the trouble to take you through all that, because the negative is important.
People will not listen to the gospel until they have seen through the fallacy
of everything else, and the final uselessness of everything else. But I cannot
leave you on a negative. Let me come to the positive. 'I determined not to know
anything among you' - none of those things. Why not? - 'but Jesus Christ and
him crucified.' Why does he preach this? Why should every preacher of the gospel
preach this? Why should the Church today be telling the whole world that we
need to be told about this -Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Why did Paul determine
to preach this?
A GREAT COMMISSION
Here are some of the answers. The first was, he had been commanded to preach
that. He had been given a commission to preach it. You remember the story? Saul
of Tarsus, the Pharisee, the persecutor of Christians, going down from Jerusalem
to Damascus breathing out threatenings and slaughter, going to exterminate the
Christians. Suddenly he saw the light, and the face, and the voice which said,
'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? ... It is hard for thee to kick against
the pricks.' 'Who art thou Lord?' he said, and he was told, 'I am Jesus whom
thou persecutest.' And he was given a great commission. He had become a new
man, and the commission was this, that he should be a minister and a witness.
Christ, the risen Christ, told him on the road to Damascus that he was to be
a preacher of this gospel and that he was to proclaim Him and Him crucified
to the people. So the Apostle determines not to know anything among them because
that is what he was called to preach. You know, this is a matter of common honesty.
The great Apostle says elsewhere, 'I am an ambassador for Christ.' What is the
business of an ambassador? Is it to voice his own opinions? Is it to say what
he thinks? Well, if he does so, he is a very bad ambassador. The ambassador's
job is to convey the thinking and the point of view of the country that has
appointed him and which he is representing. He may disagree with it entirely,
but it does not matter. The business of the ambassador is to deliver the message
which has been given to him, to hand on this commission, whatever it is. And
Paul says, I have no choice about this; that's what He told me to say: I'm not
here to give you my theories and my ideas, he says. I am determined simply to
preach what He gave me. You notice, those of you who still read his epistles
- and if you do not, you know, you are missing the greatest literature in the
whole world - he talks about the deposit, the deposit that had been given to
him, the dispensation of the gospel. 'I delivered unto you first of all' - What?
What I thought and what 1 had worked out philosophically? Oh no! 'that which
I also received.' Revelation! The commission! The commandment! So simple, ordinary,
common honesty dictated that the Apostle should preach the message that he had
been sent and commissioned to preach.
THE TESTIMONY OF GOD
But that is not the only reason by any means. Why did Paul only preach this?
Well, he tells us again. 'And 1, brethren, when I came to you, came not with
excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.'
Later on he puts it like this: 'God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit:
for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God' (verse 10).
Why did not Paul preach politics and art and culture and philosophy? It is because
he has a message about the deep things of God, the testimony of God. He says,
'You know, what 1 have preached to you was not man's ideas about the world and
about life, but God's ideas!' How can we waste our breath and our energy in
preaching human ideas that come to nothing, when we have here what has been
revealed to us, namely, God's view of it all? My dear friends, aren't you rather
tired of listening to men-the most learned men-on the television, the wireless,
and everywhere else? They are very clever and expert at putting their points
of view, and they speak with a rare dogmatism, making statements that they cannot
prove and verify. Aren't you getting rather tired of listening to what men have
to say? What is the greatest need in the world tonight? The greatest need of
the world tonight is this: What has God got to say about it all? Here is the
question. Why is the world as it is? We have had two world wars in one century,
haven't we? We had had one when 1 came here 50 years ago; we have had one since.
We all know about these bombs. We have seen the breakdown of society. What is
the matter? We know that acts of Parliament cannot put us right. We have had
many of them, and they are tumbling out one after another, but the problems
seem to increase instead of to lessen. What is the matter with the world? What
is the matter with man? What is the matter with every one of us, individually
and separately? You know, my friends, there is only one satisfactory answer
to that question. It is God's answer! It is God's answer! Why is the world as
it is? The answer, according to the Bible-Paul preached it everywhere-is this:
that though God had made a perfect world, and had made man in a perfect condition
and put him into paradise where there were no problems and no difficulties,
man's world is as it is tonight because man in his folly and his arrogance rebelled
against God. He pitted his own mind against God. He did not care what God said.
'Ah, this is what I say', he said, -and he brought chaos upon himself, he was
driven out of the garden, and he has been out there ever since, trying to get
back. He cannot get back and his world is in a muddle and in chaos. But God
has given us the explanation. Why have we had the two world wars? Why may we
have another? Why is society collapsing before our eyes? Why the immorality
and the vice, the confusion, the unhappiness, the drug addiction and the alcoholism?
Why the mounting social and moral problem? What is the explanation? Here it
is. It is the only answer-man estranged from God.
By MARTYN LLOYD-JONES
LINKS TO MLJ SITE