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HE LOVES YOU STILL

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached in Malibu, California at the combined retreat of
Calvary Road Baptist Church and the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Wednesday Evening, August 25, 2004

“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:24).


They did not listen to the law that was given to them. They did not listen to the promises that were given to them – “but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart.” Dr. Gill said,

What their evil heart imagined, advised, and directed to, that they attended to, walked in, and pursued after. The heart of man is evil; it is desperately wicked, even wickedness itself; and so is every thought, and every imagination of the thoughts of it, and all its machinations, and contrivances; and therefore the consequence of walking in these, or steering the course of life according to them, must be bad; And went backward, and not forward; they went backwards from the ways of God, and walked not in them…a curse, and not a blessing, attended the work of their hands (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the Old Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, volume V, p. 446).

“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:24).

I. First, they did not listen attentively.

“They hearkened not, nor inclined their ear” (Jeremiah 7:24).

God sent many prophets. But they did not listen to them. They turned their ears away from hearing the Word of God. If you are still unsaved tonight, isn’t that exactly your case as well? Aren’t you just like them? Christ said,

“We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented”
      (Matthew 11:17).

We have preached salvation by Christ, but you have not trusted Him. We have warned you against judgment and Hell, but you have not been filled with fear. You have not mourned over your sins.

“They hearkened not, nor inclined their ear” (Jeremiah 7:24).

You did not listen attentively. The preaching you have heard has fallen on deaf ears. You are no closer to salvation than when you first heard the gospel.

Why is this? It may be that some of you have listened to the Devil, and he has probably twisted what you heard me preach. You heard me say,

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith”
      (II Corinthians 13:5).

But the Devil twisted that in your mind. Shakespeare said, “The Devil can quote Scripture to his purpose.” Didn’t he do that to Jesus in His wilderness temptation? The Devil quoted Psalm 91:11-12 to Jesus, and used these Bible verses in tempting Him to throw Himself off of the top of the Temple (Matthew 4:5-6). And since we know that the Devil quoted Scripture to tempt Christ, isn’t it possible that he has quoted II Corinthians 13:5 to you?

I think that the Devil has come to some of you and said, “Examine yourselves. The Bible tells you to do it. It must be right. Examine yourself. You can never be saved unless you examine yourself.” Satan pulls this verse out of its context and meaning. Satan plays that verse in your mind like a tape recording, over and over and over – as he did to Christ in His temptation in the wilderness.

Why would Satan tell you “Examine yourself”? Because he wants you to focus on yourself, that’s why! Satan knows that if he can keep you examining yourself you will never come to Jesus. And so he plays that twisted tape in your head – over and over and over again. “Examine yourself! Examine yourself! Examine yourself!” He knows you will never look to Christ if he can keep you focused on examining yourself.

I say that Satan has warped and twisted and misapplied the Word of God! I say that it is time for you to stop examining yourself! You will be damned to eternal Hell if you do not stop examining yourself! I know it. The Devil knows it. I pray to God that you will know it tonight! Stop all self-examination at once, and throw yourself on Jesus Christ!

Venture on Him, venture wholly,
Let no other trust intrude.
   (“Come, Ye Sinners” by Joseph Hart, 1712-1768).

Throw yourself on Him completely,
Let no other trust intrude.
   (altered by Dr. Hymers).

Jesus said,

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

But the Devil has twisted that in your brain, so it comes out in your mind, “Him that examineth himself I will in no wise cast out.” Horrible twisting! Damnable doctrine! A Satanic lie! Away with your self-examination! You have made an idol of it! The Devil has got you so focused on yourself that you will not focus on Christ! What is this? It is idolatry! You have made an idol of yourself by self-examination. You are so concerned over your own thoughts and feelings, by this Satanic twisting, that you think only of yourself. You think only of your own thoughts, your own feelings, your own state. I say, away with it all! You have gotten yourself trapped in the Devil’s maze, a winding, intricate labyrinth of bewilderment and confusion. Break free from the Devil’s psychological trap! May there be no more Satanic self-examination! Be done with it! Throw it out! Come to Jesus Christ in a simple act of faith! “Jesus, I come to you. Wash my sins away with your Blood!” Do it! Do it tonight! Break free from Satan and come to Jesus as you are!

Just as I am, though tossed about
   With many a conflict, many a doubt;
Fightings and fears within, without,
   O Lamb of God, I come! I come!
(“Just As I Am” by Charlotte Elliott, 1789-1871).

“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear” (Jeremiah 7:24).

Will that be true of you again tonight?

II. Second, they continued to follow the counsels 
and imagination of their evil heart.

The text says so.

“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart…” (Jeremiah 7:24).

No matter what you hear the preacher say, you will not listen. Like them, you listen to no one but yourself. You follow the counsel of your own evil heart. You follow the imagination of your own evil and perverted mind.

But remember what the Bible says,

“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26).

Why is it foolish to trust your own heart? I’ll tell you why. You should

“know every man the plague of his own heart” (I Kings 8:38).

You should know by now that there is a terrible plague in your heart. You should remember that bit of a hymn that Spurgeon often quoted,

No outward forms can make you clean,
The leprosy lies deep within.

You should know by now that there is a leprous plague in your heart. “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool,” because his heart is ruined by the plague of sin. You should

“know every man the plague of his own heart” (I Kings 8:38).

And so,

“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26).

Furthermore, the Bible says,

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).

Do you believe the Bible? I know you do. I know that you defend the Bible in your secular classroom. You are my friends. You love me. I know. I can tell that you love and respect me. You are my children. You are my young friends. I know that some of you listen to me. When wicked, godless professors attack the Bible in your secular college, I know you raise your hand and try your best to defend God’s Word against the arrogant unbelief of those monstrously wicked men. I know that some of you have stood up for Christ and the Bible, even when the entire class was against you. This is admirable, and I thank you dear children for your courage. But remember, that you have another enemy to face. The enemy you face is really more dangerous and destructive than that evil college professor, for the enemy you face lives within your very soul. Your own heart is your worst enemy when it comes to salvation.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9).

You have often taken a bold stand against wicked things those socialist Bible-haters say in your secular college. But now, my dear children, I ask you to take an even harder stand. Take a stand against your own deceitful and desperately wicked heart! That takes more grace and braveness than to stand against outward trickery. Face down that old enemy, your own depraved heart! Face him down! Do not let him lie to you any more! Say within yourself,

“Heart, I no longer trust you. You are as deceitful and full of lies as that treacherous baby murderer who is running for president. I will not listen to his wicked cajoling, his wheedling, flattering deception – because I know he wants to murder babies by abortion. And, heart, I know that you are as bad as him – and if I listen to your speeches and believe them, you will murder me! Away with you, my heart, I will listen no more to what you tell me. I will follow your advice no longer. I will come to Christ without your aid or comfort. I say to you, my own heart, that you are false, and tricky, and I cannot trust you. I give up your counsel. I will no longer ‘[walk] in the counsels and imagination of [my] evil heart.’ I will no longer look for feelings and thoughts from you, my wicked heart. No! I resolve tonight that you will no longer be my guide. My heart is no longer my hero and my God. Here and now I repudiate and reject my own feelings and thoughts – and I lay myself at the feet of Jesus Christ, my Saviour and my God.”

May those be your thoughts toward your own wicked heart and deceitful mind tonight.

Dear children, you have stood up to sinful men who taught lies in your secular classroom – but I beg you to distrust and reject your own carnal mind and deceptive heart with all the same vigor and zeal, for

“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26).

Away with your heart’s false feelings and emotions and thoughts! They have done you no good so far – and they will never do you any good in finding Christ. Stop swimming in a polluted pond. Stop walking on a frayed tightrope. Stop reasoning with a ruined instrument. Stop trusting your depraved heart! Throw yourself, by an act of pure faith, on Jesus Christ – and he will save you from the treacherous lies, and maze of confusion in your heart.

No outward forms can make you clean,
The leprosy lies deep within.

No one but Jesus can save you from the twisted thoughts of your own heart.

Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
   Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come!
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
   Jesus Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
   Jesus Out of despair into raptures above;
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
   Jesus Jesus, I come to Thee.
(“Jesus, I Come” by William T. Sleeper, 1819-1904).

“He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool” (Proverbs 28:26).

III. Third, they went backward, and not forward.

Let us stand and read the text aloud, as I end this sermon. Jeremiah 7:24. Read it out good and strong.

“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:24).

You may be seated.

The advice I have given you tonight is good advice. It is the advice of an old father to his children, whom he loves very much. You know I love you, don’t you? You know I would never say anything, or counsel you in any way to harm you, don’t you? You are my pride and joy. You are my hope and glory. I brag on you to others, because I know that a part of you, enlightened by God, wants to do right.

If you love me as much as I love you, listen to what I say. You must come to Christ soon, or you, too, will go “backward, and not forward.” You will slowly back away from God. You will not go forward to Christ. You will go backward – ever more away from Him. Little by little, day by day, you will depart from the living God.

“To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:7-8).

Some day soon the day of grace will pass from you. Some day soon God will pass by you. When that awful day comes, God will give you up forever. You will live on, but the Spirit of God will be gone from you. You will stumble on in life, until the day when the ground opens under you, and you sink down into the dungeons of the damned. There is pain in my heart when I think of that awful day. It may be while I am still living. I may be so overcome with shock and pain that I will have to call on Dr. Waldrip to conduct your funeral. And even if you are from his church, I will be there at your funeral. I will bow over your casket and look into your face one last time, tears coursing down my cheeks. There you are, one of my children, one of the little kids my mother used to give hard candy to out of her purse. One of the children my wife fed in our home. One of the Calvary Road kids I spoke to every summer. What could I say at such a funeral if I knew you were in Hell? I could only bow my head and cry, and Dr. Waldrip would have to conduct your funeral, for I could never do it, knowing that I had lost you forever, never to hear your voice again – never again to shake your hand and laugh with you at the end of the service.

If you love me, as I know you do, please, for God’s sake, listen to what I have said tonight. Stop examining yourself. Stop trusting your own thoughts and feelings. Don’t go farther away from Jesus. Come to Him. He loves you very much. He is waiting now tonight to save you and wash away all sin you have committed by His own Blood. Dr. Rice said,

He loves you still, how long His love has waited,
As in your sinful way you wandered on.
You wounded Him, Ah yes! you crucified Him;
But still He loves and seeks the erring one.
He loves so long, He loves so well,
He loves you more than tongue can tell;
He loves so long, He loves so well;
He died to save your soul from Hell.
     (“He Loves You Still” by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).

(END OF SERMON)

THE OUTLINE OF

HE LOVES YOU STILL

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:24).

I.   They did not listen attentively, Jeremiah 7:24a; Matthew 11:17;
II Corinthians 13:5; cf. Psalm 91:11-12; cf. Matthew 4:5-6;
John 6:37.

II.  They continued to follow the counsels and imagination of
their evil heart, Jeremiah 7:24b; Proverbs 28:26;
I Kings 8:38; Jeremiah 17:9.

III. They went backward, and not forward, Jeremiah 7:24c;
Hebrews 3:7-8.

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