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THE DEVIL THROWING DOWN SINNERS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, May 6, 2001


"And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither. And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father" (Luke 9:41-42).


The Greek word for "child" in verse forty-two means "young man" (Strong's Concordance). This was a teenager that was brought to Jesus. He was demon possessed.

Yes, I believe in demons and the Devil. I also believe that young people today can become demon possessed, or demonically influenced.

Much of this Satanic influence comes from television and the movies. You become desensitized through the violence and sex until demons control you. The Cagans' two little boys (ages five and seven) were at our house the other day. My boys gave them a video of "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy." I said, "That's too scary for you boys to watch." But John Samuel said, "We can handle it." I'm afraid he's right. When the movie came out in 1955 it was for teenagers and adults. And it would have given even an adult a weird feeling or two back when Eisenhower was president. There was no pornography. There were no X-rated movies, no rap music, and abortion was against the law. "Beanie and Cecil" and "I Love Lucy" were the biggest things on TV. Public schools all started with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

I was fourteen years old when "Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy" came out. It scared me then. Today a seven-year-old can "handle it" without being affected. But what has this done to us? I believe we have become like the ancient Romans, who could watch little children being ripped apart by lions while they sat watching, eating grapes and drinking wine. We are becoming as jaded and calloused as those pagan Romans of long ago.

And I believe that the violence and sex and horror that people watch in the movies and on TV has opened this whole generation to control by Satan and his demons.

Calvary Contender recently quoted the wife of Bob Jones III (Beneth Jones) speaking about,

TV's addictive power. Is there any greater time thief in the world than television? Its dramatic offerings are increasingly unsavory. Its news coverage is blatantly biased…TV's influence is progressive. The more you watch, the more you want to watch. The more you watch, the more you tolerate. The more you tolerate, the more you imitate. Ultimately, TV takes much more than time (Calvary Contender, May 1, 2001).

Women pick up false, unscriptural feminist ideas from Oprah Winfrey and other talk show hosts, and teach them in their Sunday School classes! I've heard them do it! One woman who calls herself a fundamentalist was spouting one feminist line after the other to me, as through what she thought came from the Bible! The ideas came right from Satan, straight into her brain through the Satanic power of television.

And it is largely through the movies and TV that people have been controlled by demons and Satan in our day. Young people are particularly affected.

The Bible says:

"In time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience"

(Ephesians 2:2).

The Devil works in every person who has not experienced conversion. He is, in fact, your god, "the prince of the power of the air."

And for you to be delivered from Satan, you must have Jesus Christ. The young man in the account we read was demonized. His father brought him where Jesus was. And Christ then delivered him from the power of Satan.

I want us to notice three things from this passage of Scripture in Luke, chapter nine:

1. We have obeyed Jesus, "Bring thy son hither."
2. You have been thrown down by the Devil, "And as he was yet a
     coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him."
3. Jesus can save you, "And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and
     healed the child, and delivered him again to his father."

I. First, we have obeyed Jesus.

Jesus told the father of this young man,

"Bring thy son hither" (Luke 9:41).

The man obeyed Jesus and brought his son close to Christ.

And that's what Jesus tells us to do. Jesus commands us to

"Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled" (Luke 14:23).

That's exactly what we have done. We have gone out and found you. We phoned you. We sent a car to pick you up. We brought you here. We literally compelled you "to come in."

We have brought you to church to hear the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. This man brought his son near to Jesus. He obeyed Christ when he was told to do that. And we also have obeyed Christ's Great Commission, given in Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; John 20:21; and Luke 14:23, and elsewhere in the four gospels.

"Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled" (Luke 14:23).

Yes, we have obeyed Jesus Christ by bringing you here this morning to hear the gospel preached.

The great reformer Martin Luther said that we are right to bring young people like you to church. And he rebuked those who thought young people aren't important. He said:

It is not surprising that the Evil One (Satan) takes this attitude and inspires carnal and worldly hearts to neglect the children and youths. Who can blame him for it? He is (the) prince and god of this world. How can he possibly be pleased to see his nests…and the spiritual gangs destroyed by the Gospel, in which he corrupts…young folk, who mean so much to him? (Works, Baker, 1982 reprint, Volume IV, p. 105).

We have literally fought the very Devil to get you here to church. We have prayed for you. We have evangelized you. We have brought you to church. We have fought demons and Satan himself to get you here! Oh, I beg you, be ye reconciled to God through Jesus Christ!

II. Second, you have been thrown down by the Devil.

That's what happened to the teenager in the account in Luke.

"And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him" (Luke 9:42).

This sermon was suggested by C. H. Spurgeon's message, "A Comer's Conflict With Satan" (New Park Street Pulpit, number 100, August 24, 1856). I have given a different outline and emphasized the passage in a different way, but the basic idea is Spurgeon's.

Spurgeon said this:

When this child came to Christ to be (saved), the devil threw him down and tare him. Now this is an illustration of what Satan does with…sinners, when they come to Jesus to seek light and life through him; he throws them down and tears them (ibid., p. 369).

The Devil tears you and throws you down to keep you from being saved, to keep you from becoming a true Christian. Think of three of the main ways the Devil throws you down and tears you to keep you from being converted.

1. The Devil tells you that you are saved already. That is the most common deception with which the Devil throws down sinners to keep them from real conversion. He whispers in your heart, "Everything is O.K. Don't listen to that old fool, that preacher. You're already going to Heaven. You're already saved." If you listen to the Devil you will be thrown down and you'll probably never get saved.

2. The Devil tells you to go to another church. A Filipino man who thought he was saved by believing doctrine (a form of "decisionism") left our church after a few weeks. He said, "Dr. Hymers is a dictator. He makes people wear ties to church." So, he was thrown down by the Devil, and will almost certainly go to Hell, because the Devil put into his mind not to come back to church here. Satan will show you some comparatively small thing, like a tie, and use that to get you to stop coming. He throws you down by telling you not to come back here to church.

3. The Devil plucks the words of the sermon out of your heart after you hear them. Jesus told us about this: "Those by the wayside are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved" (Luke 8:12). I heard a young woman do that very thing last Sunday morning. I preached strongly against waiting to be saved, against trying to learn how to be a Christian without settling the matter quickly. I warned, and pleaded, and said, "Do not delay. It will be too late if you put off salvation." But after the sermon a young woman came to my office and said, "I'm going to come to church for a year before I decide whether or not to be a Christian." I said, "Didn't you hear the sermon I just preached against doing that very thing?" But by then, ten minutes after hearing my sermon, her mind was all fuzzy and unclear. The sermon had no message in it for her case, she then thought. The Devil effectively plucked the entire sermon from her heart - so that ten minutes later she was no closer to being a Christian than if she had never heard me preach. Oh, take great care that you do not let the Devil throw you down by letting him rip these words of the sermon out of your mind and heart!

III. Third, Jesus can save you.

The text ends with these words:

"And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child (young man), and delivered him again to his father"

(Luke 9:42).

That's exactly what Jesus came to do for you! Jesus said He had come to earth "To preach deliverance to the captives…to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke 4:18).

Christ died on the Cross to deliver you from Hell. He was punished on the Cross to satisfy the judgment of God, to propitiate the wrath of God, so you could be "delivered" from judgment!

Christ rose from the dead, so you could be "set at liberty" from bondage to sin. You are liberated to a new life by the resurrected Christ.

Christ is alive in Heaven right now, to deliver you and liberate you from a life of sin. Put your faith in Jesus now and you will be converted instantly. His Blood will instantly wash away all your sins - past, present, and future - right now, when you believe on Jesus, when you throw yourself on the Son of God.

Do not let the Devil hold you back! We have done our part. We have brought you to church and we have preached the gospel to you.

Now you must come all the way to Jesus - up in Heaven, at the right hand of God the Father. Don't let the Devil throw you down! Look up, not down. Look up to the Son of God by simple faith!

Jesus is the Friend of Sinners,
Friend of Sinners, Friend of Sinners,
Jesus is the Friend of Sinners,
He will set you free!

If you trust Him, He will save you,
He will save you, He will save you;
If you trust Him, He will save you,
Give you life anew!

       (Anonymous)



Scripture read before sermon:  Luke 9:37-42.

Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "Jesus is the Friend of Sinners"

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THE OUTLINE OF

THE DEVIL THROWING DOWN SINNERS

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither. And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father" (Luke 9:41-42).

(Ephesians 2:2)

I.   We have obeyed Jesus, "Bring thy son hither," Luke 14:23.

II.  You have been thrown down by the Devil, "And as he was
yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him,"
Luke 8:12.

III. Jesus can save you, "And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit,
and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father,"
Luke 4:18.