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A FATHER'S DAY SERMON FOR THE X GENERATION

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, June 15, 2003


"Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge [a defender] of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land" (Psalm 68:4-6).


"The rebellious dwell in a dry land." What a picture of our nation at this hour! Matthew Henry said, "The best land will be a dry land to those that by their rebellion have [given up] the blessing of God."

The fathers of our nation were given a land flowing with milk and honey. Our natural resources were bountiful. Our people were blest. We became the greatest nation on earth. But America turned away from God. We became materialistic. We

"worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator"
      (Romans 1:25).

We stopped reading the Bible. We stopped going to church on Sunday. We stopped praying. We turned away from God in our pursuit of pleasure.

Americans went to the beach instead of going to church. They went to Las Vegas instead of going to the house of God. They sat for hours in front of a television or a computer, but had no time set aside to be in church and worship God.

Our homes broke up. Divorce became so common that millions gave up the idea of marriage altogether. Couples moved in with each other, and shifted partners so often that life became like a whirlwind for them and their children - if they bothered to have any. They used contraceptives to keep from doing so. If that didn't work, they murdered the child in the womb. They broke the sixth commandment,

"Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13)

because they forgot the first commandment,

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Exodus 20:3).

And so, America became a greedy, selfish, cold, desolate, lonely, godless, frightening place to live.

"But the rebellious dwell in a dry land" (Psalm 68:6).

It became dry, parched, scorched, shrivelled, dried up - "a dry land." What a description of our nation at this hour!

Many of your parents were only interested in money and pleasure. They had no time for God, no time for church, and no time for you! Your parents and their generation thought only about making more and more money - and having more and more pleasure. Their way of life ruined America and made it a barren, lonely and frightful place to live. You were raised in "a dry land" because of the sins of materialism, pleasure-worship, and godlessness practiced by the older people in our culture.

Now, what are you going to do about it? I am speaking to you. You are college-age young people. You have come here this morning to hear me give a motivational message that will make you a winner. And that's exactly what I am going to do. I am going to tell you how to become a winner in a nation of losers! Here is the key! Here's how to become a winner! Why be lonely? Come home - to church! Why be lost? Come home - to Jesus Christ and He will save you!

I want you to notice three things in our text that God will do for you if you come to Jesus Christ and get saved. This is what God will do for you.

I. First, God can become your Heavenly Father.

Verse five says that He is

"a father of the fatherless" (Psalm 68:5).

Many of you have no father at all. You may not know where he is on this Father's Day. Others have a father who is distant and cold. He has very little emotional connection with you. You may see him. You may even live with him. But you are not close to him. There may be many reasons for this. He may be so involved with making more and more money that he has no time for you. He may be so caught up in self-gratification and worldly pleasure that he has no time for you. Or he himself may be confused and searching for some better way to live. That's why you should try to bring your father to church with you! But whatever the cause, your father is probably not as close to you as you wish. You often feel bad about that.

What can you do? You can make sure that God is your Father. The God of the Bible can become for you

"a father of the fatherless" (Psalm 68:5).

According to the Bible, we were all born in a state of sin. We were born "without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12). I don't care what religious background you have, that's true of the whole human race, according to the Scriptures. You may have gone to church. You may have gone to a Buddhist temple. You may have participated in some other religion. But you did not really know God. Isn't that the truth? You really didn't know Him! You don't know Him now. Isn't that just about right? You are

"strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12).

But, thank God, you don't need to remain hopeless and lost. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to reconcile you to God, and make you His child.

"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son…that we might receive the adoption of sons"
      (Galatians 4:4-5).

You can become the adopted son or daughter of God Almighty by trusting His Son, Jesus Christ!

"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself…" (Ephesians 1:5).

And you can know it! You can know in your heart that God has adopted you as His child when you come to Christ!

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:15-16).

His Spirit answers to the Blood,
And tells me I am born of God,
And tells me I am born of God,

With confidence I now draw nigh,
And "Father, Abba, Father!" cry
And "Father, Abba, Father!" cry.
     ("Arise, My Soul, Arise!" by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

Novelist Ernest Hemingway wrote a short story about a father and his teenaged son. They had a disagreement. The son, whose name was Paco, ran away from home. The father searched desperately through the streets of Madrid, Spain, looking for his son. Finally he put an ad in the newspaper that said, "Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon. All is forgiven. I love you - Your Father."

At noon eight hundred boys named Paco showed up! All of them wanted to be forgiven by their fathers!

Would you like to be forgiven by God? Would like to know that you are His child? Then come to Jesus Christ! Be washed clean from your sin by His Blood! God will accept you as His son - or His daughter! Come home to Jesus Christ - and you will be accepted into the family of God! Yes, God can become for you

"a father of the fatherless" (Psalm 68:5).

II. Second, God can give you a wonderful family.

Look at verse six,

"God setteth the solitary in families" (Psalm 68:6).

The word "solitary" is translated from a Hebrew word that means "desolate, companionless, or lonely."

Do you feel lonely? Most young people do. No wonder! The older people were so busy, "having fun" and making more and more money, that most of them had no time for you. They moved so often that you couldn't keep the few friends you had. You felt a deep, aching loneliness much of the time. Isn't that about right?

What an empty world the older generation has given you! It's unfriendly, gloomy, bleak, sad, and lonely out there on the streets - isn't it? They had time for everything but you. They even had time for dogs. Did you read about the new one they came up with? The old Hippies are now paying $2.95 a bottle for "the world's first vitamin fortified bottled water specifically formulated for dogs" (Los Angeles Daily News, June 11, 2003, p. 1). Susan Goldberg, who owns the bottling company, says, "Everything I do revolves around my dog" (ibid.).

That's about right, isn't it? Nearly everything the older generation did revolved around dogs, or gambling, or drinking, or drugs, or sex, or TV, or greedily making more and more money - and

"…the rebellious dwell in a dry land" (Psalm 68:6).

But there is no need for you to continue in their life style!

"God setteth the solitary in families" (Psalm 68:6).

When you come to Christ, and get saved, you will have a whole new family - right here in this local New Testament Baptist church! That's the reason we say, "Why be lonely? Come home - to church! Why be lost? Come home - to Jesus Christ!"

It was cold and dark and desolate in the Roman world. People lived in fear and loneliness. They had no hope. But what a contrast this was to the local church! No wonder people poured into that church! The church was a happy and lively place. They came out of the lonely darkness of the pagan world into the happiness and friendship of that Christian church!

"And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47).

One of the things that made that church such a joy-filled place was the happiness that came through Christian fellowship.

"And they continued stedfastly in…fellowship" (Acts 2:42).

"Fellowship" is a charming old English word. It is used in Acts 2:42 to translate the Greek word "koinonia," which means "partnership, sharing together, companionship, social communication." That's what we have here at our church as well. We are close acquaintances. We are partners. We are companions. We are a brotherhood. We are friends.

We few, we happy few,
    We band of brothers
For he today that sheds
    his blood with me
Shall be my brother
     (Henry V, Act IV).

We could paraphrase Shakespeare thus,

For he today that comes
    to Christ with me
Shall be my brother!

And my sister, and my life-long friend, and my companion! That's fellowship! Why be lonely? Come home - to church! Why be lost? Come home - to Christ! And God will give you joyful fellowship, and true friendship - when you come to Christ, His Son! God can give you a new family!

I am certainly not telling you to give up your physical family. I want you to be kind to them. Invite them to come here to church with you. They need the fellowship of the church, and the salvation of Christ, as much as you do!

III. Third, God can free you from the chains of bondage.

The first gospel song I ever heard in my life was on a secular radio station in Phoenix, Arizona in 1949. It was Stuart Hamblen's song, "It Is No Secret," that Mr. Griffith sang before the sermon. It was such a big hit that it "crossed over" from the country music stations to the popular music stations. They even played it on the juke box in coffee shops and bars. Everyone was singing it. My mother loved it. I think it is one of the songs that helped bring her to Christ. And that old song is still true.

It is no secret what God can do;
What He's done for others, He'll do for you.
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do.
    ("It Is No Secret" by Stuart Hamblen, 1908-1989).

You see, God sent His Son, Jesus, to save you from sin and Hell.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

You have been a prisoner in the chains of false religion. You have been a prisoner in the chains of sin. You may be ashamed to say the sins you have committed - and the sins that darken your mind and heart. You may feel that you can never have a better life, or a happier existence. You may feel that there is no hope of you escaping from the chains that hold you, the sins that bind you, and are destroying you. You may feel helpless - and think there is no hope. But you are wrong!

"He bringeth out those which are bound with chains"
     (Psalm 68:6).

It is no secret what God can do! He brought Joseph out of Pharaoh's prison. He brought the Hebrew people out of Egyptian bondage. He brought Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego out of a burning fiery furnace. He brought Lazarus out of the tomb when he had been dead four days, a stinking, rotting corpse! Jesus said,

"Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go" (John 11:43-44).

And that's what Jesus can do for you! "Loose him, and let him go!"

"He bringeth out those which are bound with chains"
      (Psalm 68:6b).

It is no secret what God can do;
What He's done for others, He'll do for you.
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do.

Admit within yourself that you are a sinner. Come to Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He died on the Cross to pay for your sins. His Blood can wash your sins away. He rose from the dead and ascended back up to Heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of God.

Come to Christ - and He will forgive your sins! Come to Christ - and you will be adopted as a child of God! Come to Christ - and He will give you a new family in the church. Come to Christ - and He will set you free from the chains that bind you! That is our message! "Loose him, and let him go!" "Loose her, and let her go!"

"Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge [a defender] of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land" (Psalm 68:4-6).

Get out of the dry land! Get into the local church! Get into Christ! Get saved! Get God as your Father! Get a new family in the church! Get your chains of sin broken! Get out of this dry, barren, parched old world - and get "in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (I Corinthians 1:30). Get out of the world - and get "in Christ Jesus!" In Christ Jesus! In Christ Jesus! In Christ Jesus! In Christ Jesus! In Christ Jesus!

It is no secret what God can do;
What He's done for others, He'll do for you.
With arms wide open, He'll pardon you.
It is no secret what God can do.

Why be lonely? Come home - to church? Why be lost? Come home - to Jesus!

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Psalm 68:1-6.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"It Is No Secret" (by Stuart Hamblen, 1908-1989).

THE OUTLINE OF

A FATHER'S DAY SERMON FOR THE X GENERATION

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge [a defender] of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land" (Psalm 68:4-6).

(Romans 1:25; Exodus 20:13, 3)

I.   God can become your Heavenly Father, Psalm 68:5; Ephesians 2:12;
Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:15-16.

II.  God can give you a wonderful family, Psalm 68:6a; Acts 2:47, 42.

III. God can free you from the chains of bondage, John 3:16; Psalm 68:6b;
John 11:43-44; I Corinthians 1:30. Acts 16:31.