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Lowell Brueckner

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Use of the Law of God


I can’t remember ever recommending a Christian fiction film before, but because of the value of the truth behind this one, I feel at liberty to do so. The producers, I think, began with an apologetic theme and built a story around it. It is called Time Changers and, if I could persuade you to watch the film, it would probably not be necessary to write this article.

Its subject is moral values without Christ, which at first glance sounds like an issue that is harmless and acceptable enough in evangelical circles. However, we often contradict ourselves, when what we hold to in general terms, is challenged by an actual situation, in which our so-called ‘convictions’ are put to the test.

Family values and moral principles

Among the U.S. presidents, I suppose few were truly born-again Christians. However, some were God-fearing men and others, although in some cases immoral, professed a faith in the triune God of the Bible and His Christ and they knew in which direction to point the nation, when it faced a crisis. I remember well how George Bush Sr. brought Billy Graham into the White House during the Persian Gulf conflict and called the nation to prayer. Likewise after 9-11, George Bush called upon God and people filled the churches for prayer.  

We have never had a president who is a cultist. Any Christian, who has studied Mormonism, knows that the Mormon god is not the God of the Bible and the Mormon ‘christ’ likewise is not the Christ of the Bible. Since its inception, Mormonism has been considered to be a dangerous cult by true Christians, blasphemous in its treatment of God and deceptive to men, leading multiplied tens of thousands around the world into eternal damnation. I will not go any farther in defining the god fabricated by Joseph Smith, or into his devious lifestyle and diabolical leadership. If Mr. Romney had become president and faced a crisis, such as the Bushes did, father and son, to whom would he have turned?

Of course, I am as sure as most of you are that Barack Obama would do no better. I see him as an evil man, but that is not the point of this article. There is no question that our country is in deep trouble, not only because of the deceit of the liberals, but because the conservatives are also following a lie. The lie is the same one exposed in Time Changers and this is how it manifested itself in the last elections. (May God have mercy on Americans and the world in the next one in less than two years.)

Following the lead of a man, whom I, for one, highly respect, most accepted his logic that Romney “is not a candidate for pastor of your church; he is running for political office.” Suddenly, the argument that American society and government was built on true Christianity by forefathers who worshipped the Christ of the Bible was not important and that we should be satisfied with “family values and morality” from this Mormon. Interestingly, the campaign centered on the financial situation, rather than moral decay. And family values and morality will continue their descent, because there is no way to define them without turning to the Author of righteousness and true holiness with a full recognition of His authority.

That, my friend, is exactly the point in Time Changers. In that story a late 19th Century Christian author asserted that if Christ was unacceptable to an individual or to society, at least they should be taught moral principle. The man was, fictitiously of course, transported 100 years into the future to observe the fruit of his philosophy, into a society devoid of morality and into a church, where, among many other things, most marriages ended in divorce. However, people were having a lot of fun playing Christianity. The film showed that morality and the family will degenerate rapidly, when the Authority behind them, the Christ of the Bible, is no longer essential.  The end result is a pseudo Christianity and a society akin to raw paganism.

The Law of God in evangelism

Leaving Western politics behind, I come to a much more important point, though closely related to what I have already tried to demonstrate. I want to point to the necessity of presenting the Law of God in evangelism. It is seriously ignored in modern times and, as a result, few who make "decisions for Christ" have done so on biblical terms.

Only days ago I heard a missionary say that he has begun to work with drug addicts, because you don’t have to tell them that they are sinners; they already know it. I don’t think so. He knows he is a sinner? Does he know that he has offended God? The addict has probably come to the realization that he has sinned against himself and is on a road to self-destruction. He might recognize that he has sinned against others, including loved ones – family and friends. He may understand that what he does is unacceptable to society. But how does he know that he has sinned against God, unless he comes face-to-face with His Law?  

Granted, because of his condition, he may be more open to hear the Law, as were the harlots and publicans in Jesus’ day. It may be easier for him to accept the truth stated by the Law that he is an offender, than it is for a person who is more acceptable in society. However, he is not ready for the gospel until he can say, as the song writer, “by God’s word at last my sin I learned, then I trembled at the Law I spurned”.

Principles and values will differ among people and in different societies. Opinions vary and so do laws from one place to another. The authority behind the laws, depending on the population that they represent, carry little or a lot of weight. City law is on one level, state law is above, and then there is federal law that carries a heavier burden of justice. All these are formed by human beings and their legislatures.

 I thank God that Ray Comfort is discomforting evangelicals because of their neglect in confronting sinners with the Law, but please understand this: The presentation of the Law as a forerunner to the gospel did not originate with Ray Comfort. It is at the very heart of all four gospels and carried out by John, the baptizer unto repentance. If I have been influenced by men, concerning this vital matter, it has been preachers such as Martin Luther, the Puritans, John Bunyan, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles G. Finney, C. H. Spurgeon, and in more recent times, Martyn Lloyd-Jones and a Scottish preacher, Duncan Campbell, who have done so. In fact all great soul-winners knew the value of the Law in preparing sinners for the gospel. The men I mention did not develop a method, which they used to get effective results from their preaching. They were men of the Word, who understood that the Scriptures taught that the gospel could not be accepted, then or now, unless sinners were firmly accosted by the Law of God.

Scriptural Teaching

Here is what they learned from the New Testament: Matthew, referring to his own testimony, quotes the words that he heard Jesus speak at a dinner that he himself prepared for Him along with his fellow publicans. It was spoken to the Pharisees: “It is not those that are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick… I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mt.9:12-13), and Luke adds that He called the sinners to repentance. In the 2,000 years that the gospel has been preached, never have the righteous been called and not one righteous person has been saved. Therefore, the only hope for the righteous is that they come to see themselves as sinners.

It was Matthew, who heard from his Master, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” He heard Him go beyond the Law, written in the Old Testament, in order to show the vileness that is in every man’s heart: “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’… but I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court… You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’, but I say to you, that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

He went on from there, making point after point from the Law, until by the Law, everyone was guilty before God. Who was able to stand and declare himself righteous before that barrage from the mouth of the Son of God? Jesus said, "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin (or guilt according to the Greek), but now they have no excuse for their sin" (John 15:22). The Apostle Paul understood perfectly well Jesus’ intentions in doing so: “Whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin” (Ro.3:19-20). In Galatians 3:24, he wrote, "The Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ...".

Plaque of Moses in U. S. Congress
Paul knew that this doctrine must be passed down to the next generation, so he taught it to his disciple, Timothy: “The Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane…” (1 Ti.1:8-9) The Law is for the sinner, Paul taught, therefore to use it lawfully is to use it to accuse the sinner, strip him of his self-righteousness and powerfully show him that he is in trouble with the God, who gave the Law.

The Book of the Law was found among the rubble in the temple in the days of Josiah and when the young king heard it read, “he tore his clothes” and said, “Great is the wrath of the Lord that burns against us” (2 Kgs.22:10-20). He sent word to a prophetess to see if there was any hope for himself and his people. The prophetess saw the brokenness of heart and true repentance in the king: “Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord… ‘I truly have heard you,’ declares the Lord.”

The proper response

The declaration of the Law is absolutely essential to bring about the proper response that confronts the sinner with his sin and leads him to true repentance. When he then learns of the hope of the cross, he flees to it and embraces it. The hymn writer had been properly and biblically evangelized, who wrote:
“I was humbly kneeling at the cross,
Fearing naught but God’s angry frown.”

Only the Law of God is useful in bringing the sinner to see the immutability of that Law and the absolute Authority that he has offended. He sees the awful frown on His countenance. A. W. Tozer saw the need of properly presenting God in the presentation of the gospel and including above all the first and greatest commandment:

“It is essential in evangelism that God be presented rightly: The multiple burdens of time may be lifted from (a man, but) the one mighty single burden of eternity begins to press down upon him with a weight more crushing than all the woes of the world piled one upon another. That mighty burden is his obligation to God. It includes an instant and lifelong duty to love God with every power of mind and soul, to obey Him perfectly, and to worship Him acceptably. And when the man’s laboring conscience tells him that he has done none of these things, but has from childhood been guilty of foul revolt against the Majesty in the heavens, the inner pressure of self-accusation may become too heavy to bear. Unless the weight of the burden is felt the gospel can mean nothing to the man; and until he sees a vision of God high and lifted up, there will be no woe and no burden. Low views of God destroy the gospel for all those who hold them.”  


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