Now think this out: here is a king and he goes into a battle against an invading army to defend his land. If the king defeats the invading army he sends back to the capital city messengers, very happy envoy. He sends back, “good news-ers” with his report. They come back and they say, “It has been defeated! It’s all been done! Therefore respond with joy and now go about your lives. Conduct your lives in this peace which has been achieved for you.”Read the rest.
But if the invading army breaks through, the king sends back military advisers and says, “Swordsmen over here and marksmen over here and the horsemen over here. We’re going to have to fight for our lives.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that every other religion sends military advisers to people. Every other religion says, “You know, if you want your salvation, you’re going to have to fight for you life.” Every other religion is sending advice, saying, “Here are the rights, here are the rituals, and here are the laws and regulations. Earthen works over here, marksmen over here. Fight for your life.”
Joy or Fear?
We send heralds; we send messengers, not military advisers. Isn’t that clarifying? It doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do about it—my goodness—both messengers and military advisers get an enormous response. However, one is a response of joy, and one is a response of fear. All other religions give advice, and they drive everything you’re doing on fear.
You know what, when you hear the gospel, when you hear a message that it’s all been done for you, that it’s a historical event that’s happened, your salvation is accomplished for you, what do you want to do? You want to obey the Ten Commandments, you want to pray, and you want to please the one who did this for you. If on the other hand, you send military advisers who say, “You’re going to have to live a really, really, good life if you want to get to heaven.” What are you going to do? You’re going to want to pray, you’re going to want to obey the Ten Commandments—it looks the same doesn’t it? [But] for two radically different reasons: one is joy; one is fear. In the end, in the short run, they look alike. But in the long run, one leads to burnout, self-righteousness, guilt and all sorts of problems. Isn’t that fascinating?
Books by Tim Keller:
The Prodigal God
Gospel in Life: Grace Changes Everything
The Reason for God