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DELIVERANCE IS ONLY FOR THE DISSATISFIED

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, June 29, 2003


"They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:31-32).


Jesus went out and saw a publican named Levi. This was another name of Matthew. Jesus called Matthew to follow Him,

"And he left all, rose up and followed him" (Luke 5:28).

Matthew was a publican, a tax collector for Rome. The Jews hated the publicans, because they were allowed by Rome to tax the Jews far more than was required by law. They then turned in a part of the money they collected, and kept the rest for themselves. Thus, most publicans were very rich, and the other Jews hated them. They were counted as vile sinners by the Jewish people.

When Matthew followed Jesus, "he left all," that is he left the very lucrative business of tax collecting, "and followed him."

Then Matthew made a feast at his house. A great crowd of other tax collectors, and sinners of every sort, came to this banquet feast. They were the worst kind of people. Zeno, the poet, said, "All publicans are all of them robbers." The Pharisees had nothing to do with these publicans, or their friends, whom the Pharisees called "sinners."

When this great crowd of publicans and sinners filled the house at the feast, the Pharisees came grumbling and murmuring. They said to the Disciples,

"Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?"
    (Luke 5:30).

Jesus went out from the feast to answer the Pharisees,

"They that are whole [those that are well] need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:31-32).

Jesus gave the Pharisees His reason for calling these sinners to the banquet. He said that those who are in good health do not need a doctor. Only those who have diseases need one. The scribes and Pharisees, in their own opinion, were free from the disease of sin. Since the scribes and Pharisees kept the observances of the law, they did not consider themselves sick, and in a state of sin. The Pharisees were the Orthodox Jews of that day. The scribes were those who made copies of the Bible and taught the Bible. They did not think they needed the Great Physician, Jesus. They thought that

"they were righteous, and despised others" (Luke 18:9).

And Jesus' answer was a rebuke to these proud, self-satisfied Pharisees,

"They that are whole [those that are well] need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:31-32).

Now, here is the application of that. If you think that you are well, you will not see any need for Jesus. If, on the other hand, you see that you are ruined and dying in a state of sin, Jesus will be important to you, and you will seek Him to heal your soul and save you from sin and its consequences. It is imperative that you feel a sense of your sin, a sense of your hopelessness, a sense of your inadequacy - or you will not feel your need for Christ.

"They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick" (Luke 5:31).

I. First, those who are satisfied with their way of life
feel no need for Jesus.

That's the reason we emphasize the joy of Christian fellowship in the local church. We want you to see that the church is a joyful place where you can make lasting friends. True, that isn't a very spiritual reason, but an unawakened lost person isn't very spiritual. A lost person is

"dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1).

In a state of sin, a lost person is "dead" to the things of God. But he may very well feel lonely. And he may find that he enjoys the services and the friendliness of the people in church. This is very often the first thing that draws a person to hear the gospel.

Isn't that what happened with these publicans and sinners? Matthew made

"a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them"
    (Luke 5:29).

They came and sat down to eat with Jesus and the Disciples. And as you read the four gospels you will notice that Jesus did this quite often - so often that this was one of the main objections that the scribes and Pharisees had concerning His ministry. A little later, the gospel of Luke says,

"Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them" (Luke 15:1-2).

Again, Jesus answered the Pharisees by saying,

"The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners" (Luke 7:34).

You will notice, as you read the gospels, that Jesus often ate with sinners. And I think we can learn something from this. These lost people were attracted to Jesus because He was friendly to them. And many of them got saved.

I think that they became so dissatisfied with their way of life that they turned to Christ. Matthew the publican did, as we see in the fifth chapter of Luke. Zacchaeus the publican did, as we see in Luke nineteen. And Jesus said to him,

"Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner…And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house…For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:5-10).

The proud scribes and Pharisees felt no need for Christ. But publicans and sinners came to Him and got saved.

"They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick" (Luke 5:31).

Those who are satisfied with their way of life will feel no need for Jesus. But those who are sick of their way of life will come to Him and get saved.

How about you? I know by experience that this will be true of you. If you are completely satisfied with your life the way it is, you will not see any need for Jesus, and you will not get saved. If you are happy with your life the way it is, you will not see any need for Christ to come and change anything.

"They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick" (Matthew 9:12).

II. Second, those who are satisfied with their own godlessness
feel no need for Jesus.

Look out at our city. Think of the people in it. Do they seriously think about God? You know they don't. The Bible says,

"There is none that seeketh after God" (Romans 3:11).

Unless God's grace comes to you through the work of the Holy Spirit, you will never seek for God in Christ. You will be satisfied to live and die without God, in a godless state.

But if God's grace begins to work in your heart, you will become dissatisfied with your life as it is. You will begin to see everything differently. You may be in a crowd of people and begin to think, "What are these people living for? Why aren't they concerned about God?" You will begin to think about your own life and your coming death. Your own religion will begin to seem very superficial, and not helpful at all. Whatever excuses other people make, these excuses will no longer seem adequate to you. And you will begin to feel that there must be more to life than just eating, and sleeping, and studying, and playing.

When God's grace begins to work in your life you will have a sense of your own godlessness. You will begin to feel

"alienated from the life of God" (Ephesians 4:18).

You will begin to think that God is a stranger to you, and that you are in a terrible condition without Him,

"having no hope, and without God in the world"
    (Ephesians 2:12).

And so I ask you, Are you completely satisfied with your life as it is? If you are, there is little hope that you will come to Christ. You will go on just as you are - content to live and die without knowing God.

"They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick" (Luke 5:31).

If you are satisfied with a godless life you will feel no need for Jesus.

There is a tendency, especially among young people, to think that it is a sign of weakness to be overly interested in religion. Those who are not true Christians tend to think that people who are greatly interested in God are a little strange, slightly odd, not quite normal.

This isn't usually spoken. People don't generally say, "Tom is kind of weird. He goes off and prays by himself." They don't say that as a rule. But they think it. And your non-Christian friends think it. They will say things like, "Don't get too religious. Don't become a fanatic" - things like that. The reason this is so common is because human beings are in a state of sin.

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God [is hostile toward God]" (Romans 8:7).

In their unsaved state, all human beings are

"by nature the children of wrath" (Ephesians 2:3).

That's why unsaved friends and relatives will do all they can to persuade you not to be serious about seeking God. They may try to get you to go to another church, or to "their" church - anything to keep you from coming back to this church! Why? Because they know that "their" church is cold, and that God isn't there. Their real motive is to try to keep you from God,

"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God" (Romans 8:7).

In its unregenerated state, mankind is in rebellion toward God. When God begins to call you, your lost friends and relatives will try to pull you back and keep you from God. John Bunyan wrote about that in his classical book, Pilgrim's Progress. The man's own wife tried to pull him back when God began to call him!

But Jesus said,

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live" (John 5:25).

Even though you are spiritually dead according to Ephesians 2:1, 5, the Son of God begins to call you. In your dead state, you "hear the voice of the Son of God." When that happens you will no longer be satisfied in living your life without God. You will want something more. You will then seek Christ. But as long as you are in an unawakened and dead state, you will remain satisfied to live and die without God. Only when the Holy Spirit shows you that there is something wrong within you - that your heart is godless - only when you see this defect in yourself will you be interested in Jesus Christ.

"They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick" (Luke 5:31).

III. Third, those who are satisfied with the evil of their own hearts 
feel no need for Jesus.

Notice that each time I have said that you "feel no need for Jesus." Regardless of what people say, they are led into the important decisions of life by their feelings rather than their minds. The most intelligent person will actually say, "I feel that you are wrong." You'll hear them say that, "I feel that your sermon is too negative," words like that. And they are completely right when they say that. I agree with them. It is their feelings, and not their intellects that move them in these great questions of life. And God knows this,

"For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust"
   (Psalm 103:14).

And that is the reason that God usually speaks to our emotions. When the Holy Spirit begins His convincing work, He makes us feel sinful.

Notice how often the Bible tells us that people were emotionally moved when they were converted. The woman who kissed Jesus' feet was moved emotionally.

"A woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears" (Luke 7:37-38).

Soon she came to Jesus and was saved.

On the Day of Pentecost, those who heard Peter's sermon

"were pricked in their heart" (Acts 2:37).

This literally means that they were "pierced to the heart." That speaks of emotion. The jailor at the city of Philippi

"came trembling" (Acts 16:29).

The Apostle Paul said,

"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:24).

These cases show that God usually moves a person's feelings, so that he becomes dissatisfied with his evil heart. Now, I say usually - because every case is not the same. People are made differently. Some people are quite emotionless. The great evangelist John Wesley was a very emotionless person. I can't imagine him crying. He may have cried some time in his life, but I don't remember reading it, and I have read his life story many times. And when John Wesley got saved, there was no outward emotion. Strangely, when he preached, many people fell under great emotion, and extreme conviction, and even outward shrieking and screaming. But John Wesley himself did not show those emotions the night that he got saved. He did not weep. He did not feel "pricked." He did not tremble. He did not cry out. He simply says, "I felt I did trust in Christ" (John Wesley, The Works of John Wesley, Baker, 1979, volume I, p. 103). That was about it! "I felt I did trust in Christ." But even this dry little man, who showed very little emotion throughout his life, even John Wesley said, "I felt I did trust in Christ." There was an emotional confirmation in his heart that he trusted the Saviour.

And so I am saying that each case will be different, and John Wesley, though he did not cry or scream, though no tears came to his eyes, had come to a place where he knew that he had a lost and sinful heart. And the common denominator in all true conversions, the thing that is the same in all real conversions, is this - people become inwardly discontent with themselves. They look at their own hearts and they see sin there. They come to dislike what they see in themselves. They disapprove of their own hearts! They are displeased with who they are.

I think this was a human factor behind the publicans and sinners coming so readily to Jesus - while the scribes and Pharisees stayed aloof from Him.

"They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick" (Luke 5:31).

Now my question to you tonight is this: are you discontent? Are you unhappy with your way of life? Are you sick of living without God? Are you displeased with your own heart? If there is any degree of displeasure in you regarding these things, then you may be ready to come to the Great Physician, Jesus. After all, Christ is the only one who can save you from sin. He is the only one who died to pay for your sin. He is the only one who rose physically from the dead to give you life. He is the only one seated at the right hand of God, up in Heaven, praying for you. Are you ready to come to Him tonight?

"They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick" (Luke 5:31).

We would like to speak with you about that in my office. If you would like to speak with us about salvation in Christ, please leave your seat and come and stand here in front of this pulpit while we sing the last song on the song sheet. While we sing, you come.


(END OF SERMON)

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Luke 5:27-32.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

"Only Jesus Can Satisfy Your Soul"

THE OUTLINE OF

DELIVERANCE IS ONLY FOR THE DISSATISFIED

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:31-32).

(Luke 5:30; 18:9)

I.   Those who are satisfied with their way of life feel no need
for Jesus, Ephesians 2:1; Luke 5:29; 15:1-2; 7:34; 19:5-10;
Matthew 9:12.

II.  Those who are satisfied with their own godlessness feel no
need for Jesus, Romans 3:11; Ephesians 4:18; 2:12;
Romans 8:7; John 5:25.

III. Those who are satisfied with the evil of their own hearts feel
no need for Jesus, Psalm 103:14; Luke 7:37-38; Acts 2:37;
Acts 16:29; Romans 7:24; Luke 5:31.

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at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."