Andrew Fuller Friday: Failing to Love Christ and Being an Enemy to Fellow Man

He that loves not the Lord Jesus Christ must be an enemy to mankind. Perhaps it might be asked, Cannot people be possessed of humanity without being the subjects of Christianity? It is answered, No, not in the full extent of that term. It is not denied but that people may wish well to one another’s temporal interests—may wish to promote their health, and wealth, and reputation—may live in friendship with mankind, and be of a compassionate spirit to the poor—and may have no design in what they do to destroy their souls. But all this is no more than an over-indulgent parent may feel, who yet interpretatively, by sparing the rod, is said to hate his son; and it is common to say, in such cases, the parent was the child’s enemy. Yea, it is very little, if any thing, more than thieves and robbers may exercise towards their comrades. Here is one of that character, for instance, draws a young man into his practices: he has no intention to bring him to the gallows, or himself either; and he may wish his health and prosperity, and pity and relieve him in distress. All this is good; but could it appear from this that he was not his enemy in setting him against his own interests, and seducing him away from his best friends? Is he not his enemy? But to come nearer to the point—

The Lord Jesus Christ is the best Friend to mankind that ever existed: if therefore any man bear true love to the souls of men, and seek their real welfare, it is impossible but that he should love the Lord Jesus Christ. We should deem him an enemy to mankind, who, if a skilful and generous physician came into our parts and healed all gratis who applied to him, should endeavour to prejudice the minds of people against him. An enemy to Joseph, who was the saviour of Egypt and the adjacent countries, would have been deemed an enemy to mankind. But what were these? Christ has healed the tremendous breach between God and man, has rescued millions and millions from eternal ruin, and is still “able and willing to save to the uttermost all them that come unto God by him.” If any man therefore love not the Lord Jesus Christ, surely he deserves, as an enemy to the public good, to be excommunicated from the society of the blessed.

But may there not be a neutrality exercised in this affair? If some do not love Christ, does it follow that such are his enemies? Yes, it does. This is a cause wherein the idea of neutrality is inadmissible and impossible. They that are not with him are declared to be against him.

III. He that loves not the Lord Jesus Christ must be an enemy to himself.—To be an enemy to Christ is to be guilty of the most awful kind of suicide. “All they that hate him” are said to “love death.” Christ is the only door of hope for any lost sinner: to hate him, therefore, is to hate ourselves. Had Naaman continued to despise the waters of Jordan, people would have thought that he had no love for himself. If a company of wretches who had escaped a shipwreck were in an open boat at sea, and if, on the appearance of a friendly vessel bearing down upon them, they were so infatuated that, instead of imploring assistance, they should treat it with every mark of indignity and contempt, we should say, they love death—they deserve to perish. If the power of Christ’s anger be considered, it will amount to the same thing. For a man to rouse a Lion would seem as if he were weary of his life: much more to provoke the lion of the tribe of Judah. Of him it may well be said, “Who shall rouse him up?”

If a person then be an enemy to God, to mankind, and to himself, surely it is but right and fit he should be excommunicated from the society of God, and all holy beings, as an enemy to being in general. Surely he that loves not God ought to be accursed from God; he that loves not mankind ought to be banished, to take his lot among devils, as we should banish a murderer from the society of men; and he that loves not himself, but seeks his own ruin, ought to find it.

Upon the whole, if the foregoing thoughts be just, then that distinction has been made without ground, that sinners twill not be punished for their not loving the Lord Jesus Christ, but only for the breach of God’s law; as if the want of love to Christ were not a breach of the law. So far from this, it is such a breach of it as perhaps cannot be equalled by any other case whatever. It is at once a breach of the whole law, and that in the highest degree. What doth the law require, but love to God, love to our neighbour, and love to ourselves? These are the whole of what is included in that summary given of it by our Lord; and these we have seen are all broken, and that in the highest degree, in the want of love to Christ.

Oh how is it that we are not all excommunicated and accursed of God? Are we better than others? No, in nowise. God might justly have banished us from the abodes of the blessed. It is all of grace, free, sovereign, and great grace, if we are brought to love him, and so escape the awful curse; and for this we can never be sufficiently thankful.

Excerpt from: “Equity of the Sentence Against Those Who Love Not Christ.” Sermon XLVI in Sermons and Sketches.

Fuller, A. G. (1988). The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller: Memoirs, Sermons, Etc. (J. Belcher, Ed.) (Vol. 1, pp. 440–441). Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications.

By |October 29th, 2021|Categories: Andrew Fuller Friday, Blog|

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