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WHY HEAR YE HIM?

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, May 4, 2003


"And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?" (John 10:20).


The people were divided over Jesus' sermon. It wasn't the first time - or the last! When Christ spoke the people were divided. Some strongly believed Him, and some strongly rejected Him. That is the proper response to real evangelistic preaching. This is exactly the way people reacted to the preaching of Christ's Apostles also. For instance, when the Apostle Paul preached,

"Some mocked, and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter" (Acts 17:32).

If no one ever mocks the preaching it is not apostolic preaching. If no one ever rejects the preacher and questions his emotional and mental state, that preacher is not speaking as Christ spoke! Real preaching divides people.

"And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad [He is demon possessed and insane]; why hear ye him [why listen to Him]?" (John 10:20).

Like people today, those people had a mixed reaction to Jesus' words. Some called Him demon possessed. Others said that His preaching could not be demonic - because it opened the eyes of the blind!

Young people today need the kind of preaching Jesus and the Apostles did. Young people today need to hear preaching that divides the crowd. As W. P. Nicholson said, they need preaching that either "makes them angry or gloriously happy." That's what we need in our churches today! That's what young people need to hear! That's the kind of preaching Jesus did! Don't believe the Hollywood movies you've seen. They have John the Baptist preaching hard - but they show Jesus teaching softly. Rubbish! Herod thought that Jesus was John the Baptist risen from the dead, because Jesus preached just as vigorously and zealously as John! Jesus' preaching divided the people, and infuriated those who refused to repent. They said,

"He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?" (John 10:20).

But they were wrong about Jesus. And their question needs to be answered. "Why hear ye him?" Why listen to Jesus? Why should you do what He says? Here are five answers to their question, "Why hear ye him?"

I. First, you should listen to Jesus because you are lonely.

This old world is a terribly lonely place for young people today. You know that better than I do - because you are a young person - and you are lonely. There are several reasons that young people are so lonely today. Families are torn apart by various social pressures. Divorce has separated many families. People move so much that most young people lose their friends. Families are smaller in the big cities, so you have fewer brothers and sisters. Television, computer games, and the computer itself take people off into a corner - alone! People don't talk very much. Even the best homes can be quite lonely. Families don't often sit down and have dinner together. There is very little old-fashioned conversation. It's a lonely world for young people in our time.

That's one of the main reasons that God created the local church! Jesus said,

"Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).

The Devil wants you to be lonely - and lost. But, thank God, "the gates of hell shall not prevail" against the church! This local, New Testament Baptist church is still here - right in the heart of this lonely city! And we are here for you! That's the reason we say, "Why be lonely?   Come  home  -  to  church!   Why  be  lost?   Come  home  -  to  Jesus  Christ!"   That's  our  motto!

"Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).

Why listen to Jesus? Because you are lonely - and you need to be here in church every time the door is open! That's the first reason you should listen to Jesus Christ!

II. Second, you should listen to Jesus because this present world has gone mad.

They said that He was mad. But they were wrong. It is this present world that has gone mad! Jesus said,

"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matthew 24:12).

Then He said,

"And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake" 
      (Luke 21:17).

And then He told us that terrible times would come,

"As a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth" (Luke 21:35).

The Apostle Paul warned us

"That in the last days perilous times shall come"
   (II Timothy 3:1).

Every sign indicates that we are now living in the "last days" that he spoke about. The world has gone mad as we rush toward Armageddon and the end of this age.

Many young people take drugs. They smoke dope and go to wild dances. Many young people think nothing of their eternal souls as they indulge in immorality and sexual promiscuity. People have become wild and unrestrained. Liquor, pornography and drugs are more important to them than God.

Have you ever seen a wild party or a rave? There's a new movie called "The Real Cancun." It's about the debauchery of today's youth at a resort in Mexico. Young people from America travel down there by the thousands to spend several days drunk, debauching themselves in endless orgies that would make even the ancient Romans blush with shame. Don't go to this movie! It's just another dirty example of how the world has gone mad.

I am speaking this morning to many young people who are here in our church for the first time. Friends have brought you to hear me preach the gospel. I ask you, Are you sick of the way the world lives? Have you become disgusted with the shabby cheapness of the way your so-called "friends" are living? If you are fed up with their sinful lifestyle, then it is time for you to listen to Jesus Christ!

"Why hear ye him?" (John 10:20).

I'll tell you why - because the world has gone mad!

"The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead" (Ecclesiastes 9:3).

If you are fed up with the madness of the people in your school, and your relatives and "friends," then it is time for you to listen to Christ and be saved. Only Jesus Christ can save you from the insanity of the modern world! Get out of the insanity! Get into church! Come to Christ and get saved!

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times told about a 27-year-old hiker, Aron Ralston. Aron was climbing through a narrow passage in the mountains near Aspen, Colorado. As he crawled over a boulder, it slipped, pinning his right arm. For five days he stood with his arm caught by that boulder. As his water ran out, Aron knew he had to take drastic action. The Times says, "He used his pocket knife to free himself the only way he could, by cutting off…his arm [just below the elbow]. Though such brutal surgery is hard to imagine, others in desperate straits have done it, managing to sever the muscles and tendons that attached limbs to joints with a modest jackknife…Once he completed the job, he used his first-aid kit to tie a tourniquet around his [arm]. Then he rappelled down the cliff - and started walking."   He  walked  five  miles  before  he  was  rescued.   (Los Angeles Times, May 3, 2003, pages A1, A20).

It was extremely hard for that boy to cut his own arm off. But he had to do it to escape. He would have died there alone on that mountain if he hadn't done it. And I'm saying to you that it may be very hard to cut yourself loose from friends who are living without God. But you have to do it if you want to live. Cut yourself free from them, no matter how much it hurts. That's the only way to be free! Then come to Christ, and He will save you!

III. Third, you should listen to Jesus because only He can
give you meaning and purpose in life.

Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? These are the three greatest questions of life. No one but Christ has given an adequate answer to these questions.

Christ tells you that you were born with a reason. You were born to become a child of  God.   Christ  tells  you  to  come  to  Him  and  He  will  give  you  purpose  and  direction  in  your  life.

Many young people tell me, "I never knew what my purpose in life was until I came to this church and heard you preach the gospel of Christ."

Why are you living? Where is your life going? What will happen to you after you die? Only Jesus can answer those questions for you - when you turn to Him, and trust Him, and are converted.

Christ said,

"Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3).

Listen to Christ and you will be converted - and you will find the answer to the great questions of life.

IV. Fourth, you should listen to Jesus because your life is hopeless without Him.

My mother didn't get saved until she was eighty years old. She was very beautiful once, when she was young like you. But the years took away her beauty and youth - and all hope was taken from her by the sad things in life. At last she had a stroke, and had to use a walker. All hope was gone for her, as it will be one day for each of you.

But then one day our deacon, Dr. Cagan, led my mother to Jesus Christ. She was born again - in an instant. She had a new life! The sadness and sorrow were gone. And Mother lived the last five years of her life as a real Christian. My mother was in church five days a week, and all day on Sunday, after she got saved. She loved it! Christ gave her hope! On a video that we sometimes play at the church, Mother said, "Young people should get into church right away." She was right! She knew that you should come to church and get saved by trusting Jesus. She knew that no one but Jesus can give you hope in this dark world. Oh, listen to my mother, if you will not listen to me. And listen to Jesus. He is the only one who can give you real hope. Jesus said,

"He that believeth on me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47).

That's what you need! You need eternal life! Listen to Christ, and come to Him, and He will give you everlasting life! Jesus said,

"I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish"
      (John 10:28).

Would you like to have everlasting life? Then listen to Jesus, and come to Him.

"Why hear ye him?" (John 10:20).

Hear Him because He can give you life that never ends!

V. Fifth, you should listen to Jesus because your eternal destiny is at stake.

The Bible teaches that you either go to Heaven or Hell when you die. That is an awesome fact, in the best sense of the word. An old hymn asks the question,

Eternity, eternity,
Where will you spend eternity?

Where will you spend eternity?

I went to my mother's hospital room when she was dying. She had another stroke, and she hadn't been able to speak for several days. Her eyes rolled around, and I wasn't certain she knew I was there. I was all alone with her in that hospital room, late at night. I said softly, "I love you, Cecelia." I didn't know if she could even hear me. An oxygen mask was on her face. I could hear the air pumping. Then, slowly, her hand went up to that oxygen mask. I could tell she was trying very feebly to push it off of her mouth. I called for a nurse and asked her to remove the mask for a moment, which she did. Then suddenly my mother sat bolt upright in the bed. It must have taken all the strength she had to do it. And then she said, quite plainly, "I love you, Robert." Then her head sank back as she fell into the bed. The nurse put the oxygen mask back on her face. She never said another word. She died a few hours later.

I will never forget my mother's last words to me as long as I live, "I love you, Robert." Those were the words she said to me every night, when I went in to kiss her cheek before she went to sleep, when she was living in our house, and my wife was taking care of her, those last five years. Now she said it once more. It was her last message to me on earth. But when I see my mother again in the glory of Heaven, I know she will say to me once more, "I love you, Robert." I am anxiously waiting to meet her again, and say, "I love you, Cecelia."

Because, you see, I know that Mother is in Heaven. She listened to Christ. She was washed  clean  from  her  sins  by  His  precious  Blood.   She  was  converted,  and  became  a  real  Christian.

Jesus said,

"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die" (John 11:25-26).

Will you believe in Jesus with all your heart? Will you be washed clean from your sins by His Blood? Will you be converted by trusting Him? I hope you will, because your eternal destiny is at stake.

"Why hear ye him?"

Because you are lonely, and only He can heal your loneliness - through fellowship in the local church!

"Why hear ye him?"

Because the world has gone mad, and you need Jesus to help you get out of the insanity you've been living in.

"Why hear ye him?"

Because He can tell you who you are, why you are here, and where you are going.

"Why hear ye him?"

Because your life is hopeless without Him.

"Why hear ye him?"

Because your eternal destiny is at stake.

Jesus says to you,

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

He died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins. He arose physically from the dead. He ascended back to Heaven, into another dimension. He is alive now, seated at the right hand of God - up in Heaven. You can come to Him - and He will save you and forgive your sins - and you will live forever. I pray that you will come to Jesus today.

I would like to talk to you in my office about coming to Jesus. Would you come and talk with me about that? We are going to sing the last hymn on the song sheet. While we sing, just leave your seat, and come and stand here in front of this pulpit. After you have all come, Dr. Cagan will take you to my office. Then I will come up, and we can talk about all of this, and I will ask you some questions and listen to what you think about this sermon. You come, while we sing.

(END OF SERMON)

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: John 10:14-21.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Hail, Thou Once-Despised Jesus!" (by John Bakewell, 1721-1819).

THE OUTLINE OF

WHY HEAR YE HIM?

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?" (John 10:20).

(Acts 17:32)

I.   You should listen to Jesus because you are lonely, Matthew 16:18.

II.  You should listen to Jesus because this present world has gone mad,
Matthew 24:12; Luke 21:17, 35; II Timothy 3:1; Ecclesiastes 9:3.

III. You should listen to Jesus because only He can give you meaning
and purpose in life, Matthew 18:3.

IV. You should listen to Jesus because your life is hopeless without
Him, John 6:47; John 10:28.

V. You should listen to Jesus because your eternal destiny is at stake,
John 11:25-26; Matthew 11:28.

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."