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GOD JUSTIFIED IN YOUR DAMNATION

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the combined retreat of Calvary Road
Baptist Church and the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Tuesday Evening, August 26, 2003


"There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me" (Isaiah 45:21).


When God comes down in revival He makes the great truths in our text come to life in the hearts of unconverted people. Peter Thacher tells us what happened to the people in his church, during the First Great Awakening,

They tell us, they see now what they never did before; their original guilt and actual sins, and fear of the dreadful wrath of the Lord. This filled them with unutterable anguish. They seemed to be stepping into hell. This drew trembling fear and cries from them. They complain of hard hearts, and blind eyes!…O! how heavy now did their contempt and neglect of Christ appear to them, as the effect of [their] corrupt principles of pride, unbelief, and enmity…Their mouths are at once filled with arguments to justify God in their eternal damnation…this is the [special] work of the Spirit, to convince of sin and unbelief (Joseph Tracy, The Great Awakening, Banner of Truth, 1997 reprint of the 1842 edition, pp. 173-174).

From this time, there was uncommon teachableness among my people. Scarce one word of counsel seemed lost, or a sermon in vain (ibid.).

I would especially draw your attention to one phrase in Rev. Thacher's account of this revival, "Their mouths are at once filled with arguments to justify God in their eternal damnation." This is something that happens in true revival. It is a work of the Holy Spirit.

Human beings never do that unless the Holy Spirit is working on them. You have never met unawakened people who thought that it was just and right for God to send them to Hell - and you never will. Everywhere you go you will find people who say that the God of the Bible is harsh and cruel to send people to Hell. You will hear that sort of thing in your secular high school, and secular college. And I know by experience that you, yourself, have sometimes thought such things. "How could God be so cruel? How could He damn millions of lost people to the flames of eternal punishment?" These thoughts arise naturally in the minds of the unconverted,

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

Without the awakening work of the Holy Spirit, every human heart is bitterly hostile to God. And this hostility is nowhere more clearly shown among the unconverted than it is in their bitter hostility and mental rebellion to the idea of eternal punishment.

Yet, when the Holy Spirit comes, He convinces

"the world of sin…and of judgment" (John 16:8).

The Holy Spirit causes the hostile heart of the sinner to see the reality of his sin and the justice of God in his eternal judgment. Of Thacher's people it was said,

They tell us, they see now what they never did before; their original guilt and actual sins, and fear of the dreadful wrath of the Lord…Their mouths are at once filled with arguments to justify God in their eternal damnation (Tracy, op. cit.)

It is only then that the awakened sinner realizes that

"There is no God else beside me; a just God…" (Isaiah 45:21).

When the Holy Spirit begins to awaken you, then you will see that God is just to damn you to Hell eternally.

In your current state of unbelief you cannot say with those awakened sinners, that God is right to damn you, that He is just to do so. But of those who were awakened, it was said,

Their mouths are…filled with arguments to justify God in their eternal damnation (Tracy, op. cit.)

And your mouth will also be filled with these arguments - when you are in Hell. Then, too late, you will see the complete justice of God in sending you to the flames. Too late! What arguments will rise in your mind in favor of the justice of God in your damnation? I will give you three. You will have all eternity to think of more. But here are three arguments to justify God in your eternal damnation.

I. First, you do not value your Christian home.

Many of you here tonight were raised in Christian homes. You have many advantages that those like me never had. No one taught me the Scriptures. No one took me to church. No one prayed for my salvation. You had what I did not have, and yet you were not thankful for it.

Many of you had those treasures that no child of paganism has. And yet you treated the treasure of a Christian home like dirt! In Hell you will undoubtedly scream until your throat is raw when you see, too late, that you did not value your Christian home. This will undoubtedly rise as a great argument in your mind for the justice of God in your eternal damnation. You will doubtlessly cry, "Oh God, I did not value my Christian home! I rebelled in my heart. I neglected to thank Thee for it. I did not take advantage of it. I am doomed to eternal punishment justly and correctly, for not valuing my Christian home and family."

You take for granted "that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation" (II Timothy 3:15). But you did not value that at all. You will bewail this, and agree that you should be damned for it.

II. Second, you do not value your church.

Even if you did not come from a Christian home, you did come from a gospel-preaching Christian church - but you did not value it. You did not consider the worth of it. It seems unimportant to you that you have heard the great truths of salvation preached and taught. You take for granted that you hear things preached every Sunday that Christians in China and Southeast Asia would risk their lives to hear. If the Hmong people in Vietnam could get tape recordings of some of our sermons in their own language they would treasure them like gold. They would listen to them over and over, and pass those tapes on to their relatives and friends as though they were a great treasure.

But you fold your hands and let your mind drift away to other things during the sermons. You have treated the sermons you hear as "common things." People travelled great distances on foot to hear George Whitefield preach in the First Great Awakening. They had no cars to come in. They had no motels in which to stay. They had to sleep on the cold ground and eat a crust of dry bread they took in their pocket. They had nowhere to even take a shower. They had nowhere, often, to sleep but on the cold, wet ground in those days in New England during the great revival. Yet they came by the tens of thousands to hear Whitefield preach what you hear every Sunday in the comfort of an air-conditioned church building.

Brian Edwards said in 1991 that "It is estimated that there may be as many as 50 million Christians in China" (Brian Edwards, Revival! A People Saturated With God, Evangelical Press, 1991, p. 83). Now, twelve years later, there may be close to twice that many - close to 100 million Christians under the repression of Communism in the People's Republic of China. These Chinese Christians go through great ordeals to be able to come, and hide from the Communists in a farmhouse, to hear a man preach the gospel. They are quite often arrested, and tortured horribly, and put in prison, because these Chinese Christians, under horrible persecution, consider the preaching of the Bible

"More to be desired…than gold, yea, than much fine gold"
     (Psalm 19:10).

But you do not see the worth of the preaching in your own church like they do, risking their very lives to sit on hard board planks, or listen through an open window, drinking in every word that is preached - while you have treated the preaching in your church like it was garbage. Is that too strong a word? I doubt it in most of your cases.

And what of the fellowship in our churches? Such wonderful fellowship, such kind and loving friendship! People of the Hmong tribe in Southeast Asia would give anything, literally, to experience the times of fellowship our churches have every Sunday. But you treat them as though they were commonplace, and are never thankful in your heart that you have such wonderful sermons and such heartwarming times of joyful fellowship. It means little or nothing to you. And does this not make you a person who justly deserves to be damned by God to the dark chambers of Hell?

You take for granted your Christian home, and the wonderful Christian church you attend. In Hell, you will bewail your selfish, blind spiritual stupidity for treating the sermons you hear from highly gifted preachers as dirt. You will wail and cry out that you were such a fool that you treated heart-warming Christian fellowship as though it were commonplace and not important to you.

In Hell you will scream until your throat is raw that you treated such wonderful churches as these as though they were unimportant, without much value. I can hear you crying then, in the bowels of Hell, "Oh, what a fool I was! I was in a first-rate gospel church. I heard first-rate sermons. But I did not value them. I treated such treasures in my church like they were dirt. Now I deserve to be in Hell for being such a fool!"

Too late, in Hell, you will remember my text,

"There is no God else beside me; a just God…" (Isaiah 45:21).

Oh, that the Holy Spirit may awaken you to see it now - before you pass down into the eternal dungeons of the everlastingly doomed. May your experience now be like those people in Peter Thacher's church who were suddenly awakened from the sleep of death.

They tell us, they see now what they never did before…Their mouths are at once filled with arguments to justify God in their eternal judgment (Tracy, ibid.).

It is only in such Holy Spirit-awakening that you will see how badly you have thought of your Christian home, and your church home.

"There is no God else beside me; a just God…" (Isaiah 45:21).

And does not it seem just and right that God should damn you to Hell this very night for not placing great importance in these two things - a Christian home, and a lively and joyous gospel-preaching church? Would it not be just and correct for God to open the ground beneath you, and suck you down into eternal torment with Korah in his rebellion? Wouldn't it be just, and right, and fair, for God to damn you for treating these treasures He has given you like dirt?

III. Third, you do not value the Blood of Christ.

You have heard much of the Saviour's Blood Sunday after Sunday in our churches. We hardly ever preach a sermon without extolling and glorifying the saving Blood of Christ.

"For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul"
     (Leviticus 17:11).

You hear many sermons on the efficacy of the Blood of Christ. You have heard us say time and again that

"The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin"
      (I John 1:7).

You have heard me say that so often that when I come to the part of the sermon where I quote that text your eyes grow glassy, and you think, "He's coming to the end of the sermon now. I can go and eat."

Instead of hungering and thirsting for the cleansing Blood of Jesus, you are hungering and thirsting for a glass of punch and a plate of food. Jesus said,

"Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you" (John 6:53).

The only thing that could have washed you clean was the Blood of Christ. The only thing that could have blotted out the record of your sins in the Books of God was the Blood of Christ. But you treated the Blood of Christ as a thing of small value when you were on earth. You did not value the Blood of Christ at all when you were playing, and fidgeting, and fooling around in church. The Blood of Christ was just a weird, abstract doctrine to you - something to sing about - something to disagree with MacArthur about - but something that seemed very unimportant to you personally.

Therefore, there will be no Blood blotting out your sins from God's record in the Books. Instead of Blood covering your sins on the page, your sins will be written there, in big, black, bold letters - staring you in the face - and damning you. You will be

"cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:15).

But your mind was filled with eating and drinking human food - at lunch. Your heart should be rebuked by the Apostle Paul,

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost"
     (Romans 14:17).

When the Last Judgment comes, and you stand alone and unprotected in front of the Great White Throne of God's Judgment, you will wish you had been more interested in drinking in the Blood of Christ by faith than in drinking a glass of Hawaiian punch! Your sins are all recorded in God's Books in Heaven. Every sin, every evil thought, every idle word - they are all recorded in God's Books.

"And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books" (Revelation 20:12).

You will be thrown into Hell as a direct result of the fact that you do not value the Blood of Christ enough to seek it until you are cleansed by it.

For millions of years you will be tormented in Hell for neglecting to obtain the Blood of Christ to cover your sins and wash them away. You will think then, in the flames, "What a fool I was not to seek the Blood of Christ until I had it. What a blind fool I was to overlook the importance of the precious Blood!"

"Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath…counted the blood of the covenant [a common thing, Scofield]…It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:29, 31)

without the Blood of Christ.

You will have all eternity to wail and moan and gnash your teeth for not valuing the precious Blood of Jesus - that could have cleansed your sins - if you had sought for Christ while you were on earth. Now it will be too late for all eternity to be made clean from your sin by His Blood. "Too late! Too late!" you will cry as the billows of fire engulf your undying soul in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone forever.

Those who were awakened in Peter Thacher's church

Tell us, they see now what they never did before…Their mouths are [now] filled with arguments to justify God in their eternal judgment (Tracy, ibid.).

Then, in Hell, you will see the perfect justice of God in sending you to that place of torment. And you will remember tonight, and you will remember my text,

"There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me" (Isaiah 45:21).

But the memory of this verse will do you no good then, except to cause you more pain and more suffering in your worm-gnawed conscience, for not valuing your Christian home, your godly church, and the precious Blood of Christ.

Only then will you see what the people in Thacher's church saw. They say, "It's time to be saved," but you were not awakened until you were in the flames. Then you will scream

I see now, what I never saw before, my original guilt and actual sins, and fear of the dreadful wrath of the Lord…My mouth is filled with arguments to justify God in my eternal damnation.

But your serious words will not help you then - for a great gulf will keep you out of Heaven for all time, and for all eternity.

"There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me" (Isaiah 45:21).

Not only is He just, but He is also the Saviour. God the Son can justify you and cleanse your sin.

"There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me" (Isaiah 45:21).

(END OF SERMON)

THE OUTLINE OF

GOD JUSTIFIED IN YOUR DAMNATION

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me" (Isaiah 45:21).

(Romans 8:7; John 16:8)

I.   You do not value your Christian home, II Timothy 3:15.

II.  You do not value your church, Psalm 19:10.

III. You do not value the Blood of Christ, Leviticus 17:11;
I John 1:7; John 6:53; Revelation 20:15; Romans 14:17;
Revelation 20:12; Hebrews 10:29, 31.

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