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LARRY KING AND ENMITY TOWARD GOD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, August 26, 2001


"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

The verse has often been called the protevangelium (Latin), or “the first gospel” presentation. It actually shows the virgin birth of Christ, who is the seed of the woman, whose heel would be bruised by Satan.

The verse also said that there would be a perpetual enmity (Hebrew: hatred or hostility) between the spiritual descendants of Satan (John 8:44), and those who are in the family of God (John 15:19).

Larry King, the master interviewer of CNN (Cable News Network) is a nice man. I like watching his program on TV from time to time. He is fair — always allowing the other person a chance to express his views.

But Larry King comes from a Jewish background, but he is an agnostic, which he defines as an “I-don’t-know” person. While that may seem better than an outright atheist, who says categorically that there is no God, it still reveals a bias against God. Larry King said this in a recent interview:

I remember as a kid, my father died when I was young, and that was unexplainable to me. The God of the Old Testament, I didn’t like things He did. “Abraham, sacrifice your son.” That always bothered me as a kid. I remember thinking, Why would He do that to Abraham? As a test? So, I said to myself, I don’t know. I just don’t know. That’s still true to this day.

   (World magazine, July 28, 2001, p. 22).

As I said, I like Larry King. But I want you to analyze why he became an “I-don’t-know” agnostic — from his own words. Here is what he said again:

I remember as a kid, my father died when I was young, and that was unexplainable to me. The God of the Old Testament, I didn’t like things He did.

Obviously, as a little boy, Larry King became angry with God over the death of his father. He blamed the God of the Old Testament for taking his father in death. He says, concerning God’s command to Abraham, “Why would He do that?” His answer was not to become an atheist. That wouldn’t be true to Mr. King’s personality-type. He likes to think of himself as “forever looking for answers to questions that others may not bother to ask” (ibid). Mr. King rejects God in a softer, more positive-sounding way: “I don’t know. I just don’t know. That’s true to this day.” But it is still a rejection of the God of the Scriptures.

Since the day that man first sinned, there has been enmity (hatred or hostility) between sinful man and a holy God, as Genesis 3:15 predicted. Some “hate” God openly — as atheists. Others are “hostile” toward Him — as agnostics

I. The Bible teaches that all unconverted people are hostile to God.

The Scriptures say:

"The carnal mind is enmity (echthra = hatred, hostility, enmity) against God” (Romans 8:7).

That is the natural way an unconverted person’s mind works. It is not that their mind has hostility toward God. No, the verse says their mind “ is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). The mind of a lost person is in a state of permanent hostility, anger, and rebellion against the God of the Scriptures. As Calvin put it:

The will of man is in all things opposed to (God’s) will…All the thinkings (meditationes) of the flesh carry on war against the will of God (comment on Romans 8:7, Calvin’s Commentaries).

When Larry King blames God, by implication, for his father’s early death, it shows King’s opposition, albeit in a sophisticated way, to “the God of the Old Testament.” When King berates God for testing Abraham with the call to sacrifice Isaac, it shows his inner hostility toward God. When King says, “I don’t know” whether such a God exists, it shows his civilized rejection of the God of Scripture and history. I think there can be no other psychological explanation for his agnosticism in the light of this interview.

As I have said, Mr. King is a fine man in many ways, and I like him very much as an interviewer. But he is not an orthodox Jew, and he is not a conservative Christian. He is an agnostic, with roots going back to the death of his father, which caused bitterness within him toward the God of Israel.

Many of you here at church tonight also have bitterness, inner anger and hostility toward God. Some tragic or disappointing event in your life has made you angry at God. Perhaps you blame God for a broken home, or a problem in life, or some other great disappointment. Perhaps you say inwardly, “If there is a God, why would He let these terrible things happen to me — or to those I love?” Many people, countless multitudes, have enmity and inner bitterness toward the God who made them. How about you?

The patriarch Job experienced one terrible tragedy after another in his life. He lost his wealth. His children were all killed in a sudden disaster. He lost his health. His own wife bitterly told him, “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Yet Job answered all this by saying:

"Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly” (Job 1:21-22).

When my wife was pregnant with our twin sons, the doctor told her that she might lose both of them at about four months of pregnancy. During our prayers before bed that night, I quoted that verse from Job:

“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

She did not lose the boys by miscarriage, as the doctor thought she would. Instead she carried them to full term. They are now seventeen, seniors in high school.

But we may lose one or both of them yet. Life is never certain. Job said:

“Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause” (Job 5:7-8).

The converted man, like Job, finds his true rest and comfort in God — even when troubles, disappointments and heartache come.

The unconverted man or woman, on the other hand, blames God when things go wrong. Job said to his poor, depressed wife:

“What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips”

(Job 2:10).

I loved my mother with all my heart. She became a true Christian at the age of eighty. She moved into our home for the last four years of her life. Then she died suddenly. I missed her so very much that I went into deep depression for nearly four years after her death. I knew she was in Heaven, where there is no suffering — but I missed having her near me terribly.

I could have turned to agnosticism, as Larry King seems to have done over the untimely death of the father he loved so very much, but I didn’t. Instead, I resigned myself to the will of God, who gave her to me as a lovely gift for those four short years. When she died suddenly, I said in my heart:

“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

If you would become a true Christian, you must not become bitter at God when bad things happen to you. You must turn away from enmity, anger, and hostility toward God — and rest, as Job did — in submission to Him, who knows what is best, even when the things that happen are “unexplainable” to your mind, as the death of Mr. King’s beloved father was to him. This is called “repentance” in the New Testament — a change of thinking — from being angry at Jehovah, to being submitted to Him in all that He allows to happen. Submission to the will of God is at the heart of true “repentance,” a change of mind from anger to submission.

II. The Bible teaches that people who are on the side of the world of sin
are enemies of God.

The Bible says:

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity (opposition, hostility, hatred) with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

This does not mean that we are to totally reject the world of sinful people. Jesus ate with publicans and sinners, and was deeply criticized for doing so. But Jesus reserved His deep friendships for the Disciples and other good Christians in the early church. He was kind to sinners, but He made sure His deepest and closest friends were those who truly loved God.

"Friendship of the world is enmity (hostility, opposition) with God [.] Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

You must break off close friendships with those who are against God, and make new friends who love God in the local church. This is true repentance — a change of mind. You repent by giving up sinful friends and making new ones in the local church. The Bible says:

“Be ye not equally yoked together with unbelievers…Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (II Corinthians 6:14,17-18).

Dr. John R. Rice wrote a wonderful little book called, “The Unequal Yoke” that I hope you will read and act upon. It shows that you must give up friends who do not love God. It shows that you must make new friends in the local church.

You may have to walk alone at school or at work. You may have to be alone at school or work, as Enoch walked alone with God, as Noah walked alone with God, as Moses walked alone with God,

“Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season” (Hebrews 11:25).

I have lost many friends who have turned back to the world of sin. The other night I spoke briefly on the telephone with a man who was once my close friend thirty-five years ago. Like me, he went to a liberal school. But unlike me, he believed the humanistic lies they taught him there. As I phoned him, he spoke sharp words to me. He said that he might speak to me again. He said, “We’ll play it by ear.” I will phone him again and speak kindly to him. But I can never again be the friend I once was to him unless he repents of his bitterness to God. Pray that I will be able to say something to him to help him out of the cloud of fog he is in because of his inward hostility, anger, and enmity toward God.

I hate to lose friends like that. It saddens me. But I have had to do so many times, both as a young person and as an adult. I have often had to give up lost friends and walk alone:

“Let us go forth therefore unto him (Jesus) without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come [in Heaven]” (Hebrews 13:13-14).

III. The Bible teaches the condition of people who are at enmity
with God (against God).

“What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin…Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit…Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness…Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:9-18).

We are not better than those who are lost. We have been saved by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ alone. We are sinners saved by Jesus.

But what a picture this passage gives concerning those of you who are still lost. Wrong thinking and blasphemy come out of your mouth. Trickery and deceit are in your words. Your mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Destruction and misery lie ahead of you. You do not know how to have peace with God through turning from sin to Jesus, the Son of God. There is no fear of God in your mind, because you have shut God out and you are God’s enemy, according to the Scriptures we have just read.

And one day you will pay dearly for being against God. God will say to you,

"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me"

(Luke 19:27).

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46).

IV. The cure for enmity against God.

The prophet Nathan said to the sinful King David,

"Thou art the man” (II Samuel 12:7).

“And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord”

(II Samuel 12:13).

David admitted his sin and turned away from it. This is the first step. David admitted that he had been against God, and that he had sinned against God. Will you admit to yourself and to God that you have sinned? Will you admit that God should judge you for your sins?

Then David said,

"For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).

Do you admit to yourself that you are a sinner in rebellion against a Holy God? Is your sin always before you? Do you think about how horrible your sins are often?

Then David said:

"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5).

Do you admit that there is nothing good in you — that your very heart is full of depravity, wickedness, and rebellion against God? Do you understand that you cannot do anything to get rid of your sinful nature on your own?

Finally, David said,

"Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:9-10).

If you want God to blot out, and erase your sins, and create a clean heart within you, you must have

"Repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

You must turn away from your outward sins and hate your inward sins. You must come to Jesus Christ by faith — and put all of your trust in Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain so that your sins can be washed away in the Blood He shed on the Cross. Jesus is alive right now, seated on the right side of God up in Heaven.

Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.
None but Jesus, none but Jesus,
Can do helpless sinners good.

   (“Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Wretched”

      by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).

Now I want you to take your song sheet and turn to that old song by the Puritan Joseph Hart. It’s number two on the song sheet.

Now look up at me. If you are not saved, or if you are not sure you are saved, I want you to do something while we sing that song. I want you to get out of your seat and come down the aisle, and stand here in front of this pulpit. This may be the first time you have come to our church, of you may have been here for a while, but you are not certain you are saved. While we sing, you come forward and stand here.

And when you have all come we’re going to take you to my office for a few minutes so I can talk to you and tell you how to come to Jesus, the Son of God. I want to tell you in my office how Jesus can wash away your sins in His precious, eternal Blood. You come, and then we’ll talk it over in my office. Come quickly as we sing.

(END OF SERMON)

 

Scripture Read Before Sermon: Genesis 3:14-15..

Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "He Loves You Still"

by Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980).

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



THE OUTLINE OF

LARRY KING AND ENMITY TOWARD GOD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

(John 8:44; John 15:19)

I. All unconverted people are enmity against God, Romans 8:7;
Job 2:9; Job 1:21-22; Job 5:7-8; Job 2:10.

II. People who are on the side of the world of sin are enemies of God,
James 4:4; II Corinthians 6:14,17-18; Hebrews 11:25;
Hebrews 13:13-14.

III. The condition of people who are at enmity against God,
Romans 3:9-18; Luke 19:27; Matthew 25:46.

IV. The cure for enmity against God, II Samuel 12:7,13;
Psalm 51:3,5,9-10; Acts 20:21.