Print Sermon

These sermon manuscripts and videos now go out to about 116,000 computers in over 215 countries every month at www.sermonsfortheworld.com. Hundreds of others watch the videos on YouTube, but they soon leave YouTube and come to our website, because each sermon directs them away from YouTube to our website. YouTube feeds people to our website. The sermon manuscripts are given in 34 languages to thousands of people each and every month. The sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted, so preachers can use them without our permission. Please click here to learn how you can make a monthly donation to help us in this great work of spreading the Gospel to the whole world, including the Muslim and Hindu nations.

Whenever you write to Dr. Hymers always tell him what country you live in, or he cannot answer you. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net.




REACHING THE BLIND IN AN AGE OF DESPAIR

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, April 23, 2006
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town” (Mark 8:22-26).


The Christian Century gave the results of a recent Gallup Poll which said, “American teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 [are] lonely [and] spiritually hungry…teenagers today express feeling pressured and lonely…these feelings can be intense. Student leaders [tend to be] three times more likely than other teens to express feelings of loneliness” (The Christian Century Foundation, 2003, findarticles.com/ p / articles / mi_m1058/is_20_120/ai_109132353).

This poll shows that most high-school and college-age young people “feel intense loneliness” – and most churches are doing very little to help the problem. Josh McDowell says there is a 94 percent dropout of young people from the churches. The Southern Baptists report an 88 percent loss. These figures are staggering. I believe they show that most of our churches can’t keep their own kids, and are doing a miserable job of getting young people saved who are outside of our churches. And I for one find this totally unacceptable! We must do something, and we must do something now, to get our young converted and to bring in unchurched youth and get them converted as well! Our current tactics aren’t working. We have to do something different – and we have to do it now – before it is too late!

Furthermore, I do not believe that some “twiddle” or “twaddle,” some slight change, will do the trick. I believe that we must revolutionize our entire strategy of reaching and keeping young people. There must be a total revolution in our way of reaching and keeping young people in our churches – a total revolution!

I am suggesting that we should go back to the simple plan given in the New Testament, and illustrated so perfectly in our text. If we want to win lost young people within and without our churches to a true conversion in Christ, we must follow the general principles in this passage of Scripture. What are those principles? They are quite simple, although they are often neglected today.

I. First, they brought this young man to Christ.

Please stand and read Mark 8:22.

“And he cometh to Bethsaida: and they bring a blind man unto him…” (Mark 8:22).

Stop right there. You may be seated.

Since he is not called an old man, we can safely assume that he was young. Few people reached middle age in that day. But he was blind. We are not told how he became blind, only that this was his condition.

We are told in verse 22 that “they” brought the blind man to Christ. The classical commentator Matthew Henry gave these thoughts:

Here is a blind man brought to Christ by his friends, with a desire that he would touch him, v. 22. Here appears the faith of those that brought him – they doubted not but that one touch of Christ’s hand would recover him his sight; but the man himself showed not the earnestness for, or expectation of, a cure that other blind men did [that Christ ministered to]. If those that are spiritually blind, do not pray for themselves, yet their friends and relations pray for them, that Christ would be pleased to touch them (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Hendrickson Publishers, 1996 reprint, volume 5, page 406).

“They bring a blind man unto him” (Mark 8:22).

Spurgeon said,

Their faith was of a practical kind. They were not content simply to believe that Christ could heal this man, and then to remain sitting still. True faith is active faith, so these people brought the blind man to the Saviour in whom they believed. If you are praying for any man’s salvation, mind [be careful] that you use the means that will best help to bring about the result. If there be any instrumentality which God peculiarly blesses to the conversion of souls, take care that you bring your friend under that instrumentality, in the hope that God will bless it to him (C. H. Spurgeon, “The Free Agency of Christ,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1978 reprint, volume 50, p. 337).

Then Spurgeon told of two Christians who brought an unconverted man to hear the famous preacher Rowland Hill (1744-1833). Hill’s preaching was earnest and evangelistic. Spurgeon said that Rowland Hill’s sermon “was the means of leading the young man to lay hold on Christ as his Saviour…Those two gentlemen brought their friend to Christ, as these people brought the blind man to Him, ‘and besought him to touch him’” (ibid., p. 340). The Bible says,

“He that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).

We believe in winning souls, just as these people did when they brought that blind man to Jesus!

And that is why you were brought here to church this morning. We invited you to come. We brought you to church to hear the gospel. And we are praying that Christ will “touch” you, and open your eyes to the things of God. We are praying, beseeching God, that you may be converted to Christ!

II. Second, Christ led him out of the town.

Look at verse 23.

“And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town…” (Mark 8:23).

Matthew Henry said some helpful things about this. I believe that the main reason Christ led him out of Bethsaida was because of the wickedness of that godless place. Christ had said,

“Woe unto thee, Bethsaida!” (Matthew 11:21).

He had done many miracles in that town, but the people had rejected Him. Scofield said, “He would neither heal in that village, nor permit further testimony to be borne there (v.26)” (The Scofield Study Bible, note on Mark 8:23). I believe that Christ was telling this man not to go back to Bethsaida because it was a picture of “the world.” Notice in verse 26, after the man received his sight, Christ told him, “Neither go into the town” (Mark 8:26).

The Bible says,

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord…And [I] will be a Father unto you”
     (II Corinthians 6:17-18).

Jesus said,

“I have chosen you out of the world” (John 15:19).

God is calling you to come “out of the world.” Come out of Bethsaida. Come out from the sinfulness of this city. Christ “led them out of the town” (Mark 8:23). And I believe that God is leading you to come out of the world, into this Baptist church and, then, to Christ Himself. That’s the reason we say, “Why be lonely? Come home – to church! Why be lost? Come home – to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!”

III. Third, Christ restored his sight.

Please stand and read verses 23 through 25 aloud.

“And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly” (Mark 8:23-25).

You may be seated.

Dr. J. Vernon McGee said,

Surely there is no medicinal value in saliva, but the Lord uses this to increase the faith of this man…Why did He use this method? Couldn’t he have opened the eyes of this man as He did in other instances? Of course, He could have. He could have made this man see clearly at the very beginning. But there is a lesson for the man and a lesson here for us (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, volume IV, p. 195).

And here is the lesson. Spurgeon said that most conversions occur in stages. He said,

There may be such a thing as faith at first sight; but usually we reach [saving] faith by stages: we become interested, we consider [think about what we have learned], we hear evidence, and so are led to believe (C. H. Spurgeon, Around the Wicket Gate, Pilgrim Publications, n.d., p. 57).

Dr. McGee gave the three stages the blind man went through as a picture of a human conversion. I am just lifting out his main points, and adding my own comments to them. Dr. McGee said, “There are three stages…

1.  Blindness.
2.  Partial sight.
3.  Perfect sight”
          (McGee, ibid., p. 195).

That’s the way people are generally converted. In fact, it is by far the most common way. And this is illustrated by the way that blind man’s sight was restored.

When you first come to church you are utterly blind to the things of God. The Bible says that your mind is “blinded” (II Corinthians 3:14; 4:4). Even when you hear the Bible preached,

“Their minds were blinded” (II Corinthians 3:14).

The Greek word translated “blinded” there means “calloused” – as if something rough was rubbed in your eyes until they developed a hard callous and couldn’t see. Then in II Corinthians 4:4 we are told that Satan

“hath blinded the minds”

of the unconverted. The Greek word for “blinded” here means “to be covered with a film.” Have you ever seen a blind man with a white film over his eyes? That’s the picture. So, your heart has a film over it, and a callous over it, and the things of God are completely irrelevant and unimportant to you. You are dead to the things of God. You can go on like that the rest of your life. Most people do.

But then, by God’s grace, some are awakened. They come to a state of “partial sight.” They begin to have some ability to see. They begin to realize that they are dead to God and opposed to God. They see that the ruling principle in their lives is self-centeredness and self-interest. They see that they are wrong at the very center of their being – that their heart is deceptive; that their minds dwell on wrong and sinful thoughts; that they have no inward love for God; that they are blind to God and dead in sin. This leads them to see that they can do nothing whatever to save themselves and that their only hope lies in someone outside of themselves rescuing them.

And that takes a person to the third step of conversion – where his spiritual eyes are opened wide, and he comes to Christ by faith.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).

This, then, is our program and our goal. We bring you to hear the gospel preached. We call you to come out of the world and into the local church. We urge you to examine your heart and see your godlessness and sin. We exhort you to turn to Christ alone for salvation from the sin of your heart and life. That is our program. That is our goal – reaching the spiritually blind in an age of desperation and loneliness. That’s the reason we say, “Why be lonely? Come home – to church! Why be lost? Come home – to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!”

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Mark 8:22-26.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Open My Eyes, That I May See” (by Clara H. Scott, 1841-1897).


THE OUTLINE OF

REACHING THE BLIND IN AN AGE OF DESPAIR

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


“And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town” (Mark 8:22-26).

I.   First, they brought this young man to Christ, Mark 8:22; Proverbs 11:30.

II.  Second, Christ led him out of the town, Mark 8:23; Matthew 11:21;
Mark 8:26; II Corinthians 6:17-18; John 15:19.

III. Third, Christ restored his sight, Mark 8:23-25; II Corinthians 3:14;
II Corinthians 4:4; John 17:3.