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HUNGERING AND THIRSTING FOR CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at Calvary Road Baptist Church, Monrovia, California
Friday Evening, August 30, 2002


"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).


The fourth beatitude, given by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, is chock full of thoughts that can help you if you are not converted. Listen very carefully to these words of Christ again:

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

I will draw from this text two thoughts:

1. Those who hunger and thirst for Christ will be filled.

2. Those who do not hunger and thirst for Christ will not be filled.

I. First, those who hunger and thirst for Christ will be filled.

Make no mistake about it, the "righteousness" spoken of in our text is Christ Himself. The Bible says:

"Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness" (I Corinthians 1:30).

Hungering for righteousness means hungering for Christ! The person who hungers and thirsts for Christ will find Christ, because He said:

"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).

A person who is hungry and thirsty for Christ will find Christ every time!

George Whitefield was a young student at Oxford University. He tried to get saved by giving his money to the poor and starving himself, so he could give away his food to the less fortunate. But he found no rest or peace with God. Then Whitefield read a book by Henry Scougal called, "The Life of God Within the Soul of Man." He began to search for Christ with all his heart. One day he laid on his bed, with his arms stretched out like Christ on the Cross. He thought, "When Christ cried out 'I thirst,' they offered him vinegar to drink. Vinegar would be better than what I have!" So, with his arms stretched out like Christ on the Cross, he cried out, over and over, "I thirst! I thirst! I thirst!" Shortly thereafter George Whitefield was converted. He hungered and thirsted after Christ, and so he found Christ. George Whitefield went on to become one of the greatest evangelists of all time.

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

II. But secondly, those who don't hunger and thirst for Christ will not be filled.

Did you ever watch a woman try to feed a spoiled child? "Please eat this, honey." "No!" What she ought to do is take the food away and not give it anything until the next meal. Then it would eat, because it would be hungry and thirsty!

When our Wesley was a very little boy, he didn't want to eat spinach or other cooked vegetables. I thought, "I'd better do something about that, or he will go through his whole life not eating his vegetables, and it will harm him physically." So, I spanked him. "You eat those vegetables or I'll spank you." Then I spanked him. Pretty soon he figured out that he liked the vegetables better than the spanking. The next thing I knew, he ate the vegetables first! He said, "I didn't like them, so I swallowed them first, to get them out of the way." But now he says, "You know, Papa, I like cooked vegetables. I'm glad you spanked me, or I would have gone through life not eating them."

A good spanking made him hunger and thirst after spinach and okra and collard greens and turnips, and all the other good stuff that spoiled brats never learn to eat - so they get cancer at an early age, or heart disease, because they won't eat anything but greasy hamburgers and artery-clogging french fries!

One of the reasons spoiled brats won't eat the good stuff is that they are never really hungry! The old guys that went through the Great Depression can't relate to them. Ask Ed Gallick! He remembers going to bed hungry every night! Whatever you put on his plate he's glad to get! He knows what it feels like to be hollow inside, to feel sharp hunger pains when you go to bed at night. Ask Jean Lyon. In the Depression they were so poor that all she got for dinner, night after endless night, was a piece of white bread with lard and sugar smeared on it. She knows what it's like to be hungry! Old-timers like Mrs. Quinn, Mrs. Lyon and Eddie Gallick have no trouble putting a meal away. They know what hunger feels like! I hope you don't think Mr. Coreas or Mrs. Arteaga pick over their food! They chew everything right down, and are glad to get it. They remember being hungry!

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

When was the last time you were hungry? I mean really hungry? When was the last time you were hungry enough to be thankful for a plate of cooked greens or a big salad, or fresh fruit?

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

Church kids are like spoiled brats! Church kids won't eat their spinach. They come into the inquiry room and their whole body language says, "I don't want it." We try to spoon-feed the gospel to them, but they close their mouths tight, like spoiled brats. What they need is a good thrashing from God. And that's exactly what spoiled-brat church kids will get - in Hell. Church kids will be beaten with many stripes. The person

"which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself…shall be beaten with many stripes" (Luke 12:47).

Church kids will be beaten with many stripes, beaten and beaten and beaten by an angry God, because they knew the "lord's will, and prepared not [themselves]."

The spoiled brats in the church will be beaten forever in Hell.  That's why we are praying for the Holy Spirit to thrash you with the law, now, before it is too late.  A good beating with the law will awaken you to your need for Christ, and could lead to your conversion.  Without a beating from the law, you will receive an eternal thrashing in Hell.

Flee from the spoiled selfish, unhungry lost church kids! Run from their counsel. Pay no attention to their conceited snickering! Be hungry and thirsty for Christ! See your sin! See the judgment of Hell coming on you for your sin! Flee from the wrath and judgment of an angry God! Run away from the putrid smelling church kids! Run to Christ before it is too late!

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

And no one else. They shall be filled - and no one else! I repeat, They shall be filled - and no one else! Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after Christ, for they shall be filled - and no one else!

Oh, come to Jesus, and be washed from your sins by His Blood. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31).


(END OF SERMON)

THE OUTLINE OF

HUNGERING AND THIRSTING FOR CHRIST

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).

I.   Those who hunger and thirst for Christ will be filled,
I Corinthians 1:30; Jeremiah 29:13.

II.  Those who do not hunger and thirst for Christ will not be filled,
Luke 12:47; Acts 16:31.


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