by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
His demand is total
Both [God and mammon] make a totalitarian demand upon us. Worldly things really do make a totalitarian demand as we have seen. How they tend to grip the entire personality and affect us everywhere! They demand our entire devotion; they want us to live for them absolutely.
Yes, but so does God.... Not in a material sense necessarily, but in some sense or other He says to us all, "Go, sell all that thou hast, and come, follow me." "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." It is a totalitarian demand.... It is "either—or"; compromise is completely impossible at this point. "Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
This is something which is so subtle that many of us miss it completely.... Some of us are violent opponents of what we speak of as "atheistic materialism." But ... let us realize that the Bible tells us that all materialism is atheistic.... So if a materialistic outlook is really controlling us, we are godless, whatever we may say. There are many atheists who speak religious language.... The man who thinks he is godly because he talks about God, and says he believes in God, and goes to a place of worship occasionally, but is really living for certain earthly things—how great is that man's darkness!...
Study carefully 2 Kings 17:24-41.... The Assyrians conquered some area; then they took their own people and settled them in that area. These Assyrians of course did not worship [Jehovah]. Then some lions appeared and destroyed their property. "This," they said, "has happened to us because we do not worship the God of this particular land...." So they found a priest who instructed them generally in the religion of Israel.... But this is what Scripture said about them: they "feared the Lord, and served their graven images." ... Whom do you serve? That is the question, and it is either God or mammon.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, pp. 94-5
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