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.




THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN OR
OUTER DARKNESS - WHICH?

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, June 4, 2006
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:11-12).


The man who came to Jesus was a Roman, not a Jew. He was a centurion, which meant that he was the commander of 100 Roman soldiers. He loved the Jewish people, as all good Christians do, for God has made a covenant with them on earth that cannot be broken by any man or nation. That is why Israel exists today, surrounded by enemies, but protected by God, and blest by the prayers of thousands of conservative Christians both in our nation, and throughout the world. This Roman centurion was much like those good Christian people today. In Luke’s account of this man he said,

“For he loveth our nation [Israel], and he hath built us a synagogue” (Luke 7:5).

It seems that this Roman centurion already believed in God, and may have been a Gentile convert to Judaism. But he believed in Jesus.

This military man had been assigned to duty far away from his homeland, in one of Rome’s “colonies,” which was Palestine, or as we call it today, Israel. This centurion had a beloved servant who was dying. He begged Jesus to heal the man. Jesus was ready to go, for He said,

“I will come and heal him” (Matthew 8:7).

But that Roman centurion said “no.” He said,

“Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed”
     (Matthew 8:8).

And so Jesus healed the man from a distance.

“And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour” (Matthew 8:13).

As I pointed out last week, when Jesus healed the man He did so from a distance. That is good news for you if you’re not saved yet. Jesus died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin. He rose physically from the dead and ascended back to Heaven, where He is seated at God’s right hand today. But some of you may think, “How can I get near enough to Him for Him to save my soul? How can I reach Jesus far away from earth? How can I believe in Him when He is so far away?” Ah, you need not give that any thought, nor should you worry about that a second longer. You can be saved from the ravages of sin by Jesus even though He is far away. You can be saved the same way the centurion’s servant was saved. Jesus can save you from a distance. Trust Him. Surrender to Him, and Jesus will save you now, just as He saved that servant - from a distance.

“And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour”
     (Matthew 8:13).

But that is not the text I will preach from this morning. You see, there were a great many Jewish people with Jesus when He had this conversation with that Roman centurion. And when Christ had healed the centurion’s servant, He turned to them and made an important point by giving them a lesson based on the salvation of the centurion’s servant. Christ turned to those Jewish people and said,

“I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11).

That brings us to the first point of this sermon.

I. First, many from non-Christian backgrounds are being saved
and made ready for Heaven.

What a wonderful promise Jesus gave us in the first verse of our text!

“Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11).

This shows us that Jesus is the Saviour of those from all races and ethnic groups who come to Him, and trust Him in simple faith.

We see that in our own church. Seated here behind me, as I preach, is a man whose ancestors came from Africa. There seated beside him is a man with a Jewish background, whose grandfather came from Kiev in the former Soviet Union. Then, to my right, seated behind me this morning is our outstanding deacon, Dr. Kreighton L. Chan, a medical doctor whose ancestors came from China. And next to him sits another of our hard-working deacons, Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith, who was born and raised on the east coast of America, a white man from “the east.”

Yes, seated here this very morning are four men that

“come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven”
     (Matthew 8:11).

But that is true of our whole congregation. Many have come to Christ from Mexico and other parts of Latin America. My own wife comes from Guatemala, and speaks beautiful, fluent Spanish. Several of our people can trace their ancestral roots to Africa. Some are from Japan, and others are from Cambodia, and Vietnam. Many here in this service can trace their roots to China. And nearly two thousand people each month read our sermons in Indonesia. Many others read our sermons in Korean, and Arabic, as do people in the U.K, Canada, Australia and other parts of the West. This validates Jesus’ prophecy, which seemed impossible, even absurd, when He first said it. But now we see before us that, in the text, Jesus was correct in that prophecy when He said,

“Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11).

This is particularly true in China, Southeast Asia, and Africa. I read the words of a man who studies missions recently. He went so far as to predict that the future of Christianity lies in the uncountable number of people in those Third World lands who are embracing Christ, thousands every hour, in those far off lands, especially in China. Under heavy persecution, Christianity has literally exploded in those nations.

What a joy it will be to get to Heaven and see our recently deceased sister Juana Arteaga, long a faithful member of our church, sitting down in the kingdom of God with those great patriarchs of the Old Testament. They will not have to translate for Juana, for I believe there will be a universal language in Heaven. Some have suggested that it will be Hebrew. Whatever it is, they will not have to learn other languages there, for they will instantly know and understand the language of Heaven.

And don’t think for a moment that only a small handful of converts “from the east and west” will be in Heaven. Oh, no! for we are told, that in Heaven,

“They sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9).

And listen to “the prince of preachers,” Spurgeon, as he gave this prediction way back in 1855, before the Civil War. Spurgeon said,

The Pharisees thought that they were to be the only ones in heaven. And the Pharisees thought that if they were not all Pharisees they could not be saved. But Jesus said there will be many that come from the east and from the west. There will be a multitude from that far off land of China, for God is doing a great work there, and we hope that the gospel will yet be victorious in that land (C. H. Spurgeon, “Heaven and Hell,” The New Park Street Pulpit, volume I, p. 303).

Spurgeon foresaw many things, and this is one of his startling predictions, “God is doing a great work in China…the gospel will yet be victorious in that land.” He said that on Tuesday evening, September 4, 1855. How surprised, and how delighted Spurgeon would be to look down a century and a half after he spoke those words about China, and see well over a thousand converts to Christianity each hour in that Communist land, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Right now, as I speak, China is experiencing a literal God-sent revival, and thousands are pouring into the churches. This fulfills Jesus’ prophecy,

“Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11).

Ten thousand times ten thousand In sparkling raiment bright,
What ringing of a thousand harps Bespeaks the triumph nigh.
O day for which creation And all its tribes were made;
O joy, for all its former woes A thousandfold repaid!
   (“Ten Thousand Times Ten Thousand” by Henry Alford, 1810-1871).

Let us pray for all nations, including India, where God is pouring out mighty blessings, and thousands are streaming to Christ, and they will sit “with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11).

I wish my second point could be as cheerful as the first one, but sadly it is not.

II. Second, many from Christian backgrounds will be in Hell.

The second verse of our text makes that very clear when it says,

“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”
     (Matthew 8:12).

The Expositor’s Bible Commentary says that “the children of the kingdom” refers

…to the Jews, who [saw] themselves as sons of Abraham (cf. 3:9-10), belonging to the kingdom by right…But Jesus reverses roles (cf. 21:43); and the sons of the kingdom are thrown aside, left out of the future messianic banquet, consigned to darkness where there are tears and gnashing of teeth - elements common to descriptions of…hell (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Frank E. Gaebelein, Ph.D., General Editor, Zondervan Publishing House, 1984, volume 8, pp. 202-203).

C. H. Spurgeon gave the application of this for our day. He said,

These people are the children of pious fathers and mothers… your mother took you on her knee and taught you early to pray: your father tutored you in the way of godliness. And yet you are here [this morning] without grace in your heart - without hope of heaven…Some of you will inevitably endure this doom, some of you young men and women [raised in the church] shall wake one day and find yourselves in outer darkness, while your parents shall be up there in heaven, looking down upon you with upbraiding eyes, seeming to say, “What! After all we did for you, all we said, are ye come to this?” (C. H. Spurgeon, “Heaven and Hell,” The New Park Street Pulpit, Pilgrim Publications, 1981 reprint, volume I, page 306).

The Christianity of your parents cannot save you. You say, “But my mother prayed for me.” But did you pray for yourself? “No, I did not.” Then your mother’s prayers will not be answered. You must seek Christ for yourself. You must trust Christ yourself.

Christ died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sin. Christ rose from the dead and is alive up in Heaven, ready to pardon your sin and give you eternal life. But if you refuse to trust Him, others will come to take your place. Though you were raised in the church, Buddhists and Catholics, and those with no religion, will come to Christ and be saved, converted from heathen darkness, while you will “be cast into outer darkness” (Matthew 8:12).

“And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:11-12).

I urge you to “press into the kingdom of God.”  Come to Jesus and He will pardon your sins and cleanse them with His Blood.  Then you, too, will be able to “sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.”  May God grant you the grace to believe in Jesus that you may experience this great and eternal joy! 

(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: Matthew 8:5-13.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“What Will You Do With Jesus?” (by Albert B. Simpson, 1843-1919).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN OR
OUTER DARKNESS - WHICH?

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


“And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:11-12).

(Luke 7:5; Matthew 8:7, 8, 13)

I.   Many from non-Christian backgrounds are being saved and
made ready for Heaven, Matthew 8:11; Revelation 5:9.

II.  Many from Christian backgrounds will be in Hell, Matthew 8:12.