By Evan D. Burns
Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) preached a sermon on 1 Corinthians 16:22, entitled, “Equity of the Sentence Against Those Who Love Not Christ.” He began by asserting:
A sense of the excellency of Christ, or of his worthiness of being loved, is of great importance in religion. Without this we can never truly love him, nor prize any thing which pertains to him. Destitute of this, we shall see his name degraded without indignation, and hear it exalted without delight. Without this, we shall esteem his salvation itself no otherwise than a happy expedient to escape eternal misery. In short, without this, we shall be mere statues in Christianity, bring no glory to its Author, and enjoy none of its refined pleasures. 
He went on to explain why eternal judgment is a just penalty for those who do not love Christ. He gave three main reasons, which he expounded with depth and insight: (1) To not love Christ is to be an enemy of God; (2) to not love Christ is to be an enemy of mankind; and (3) to not love Christ is to be an enemy of self. And he closed by arguing that it is all of sovereign grace that any sinner loves Christ at all. His conclusion was penetrating and ardent:
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. 
 Andrew Gunton Fuller, The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller, Volume 1: Memoirs, Sermons, Etc., ed. Joseph Belcher (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1988), 438.
 Andrew Gunton Fuller, The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller, Volume 1: Memoirs, Sermons, Etc., ed. Joseph Belcher (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1988), 441.
Evan D. Burns (Ph.D. Candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is on faculty at Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, and he lives in Southeast Asia with his wife and twin sons. They are missionaries with Training Leaders International.