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IT IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU TO BE LONELY!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, July 16, 2006
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).


A new study in the American Sociological Review (June, 2006) says that Americans have far fewer friends today than they had just twenty years ago. The report said, “The number of people saying there is no one with whom they [can] discuss important matters nearly tripled…If we assume that [friendship is] important (and most sociologists do), there appears to have been a large social change in the past two decades. The number of people who have someone to talk to about matters that are important to them has declined dramatically” (ibid., pp. 353, 371).

This sociological report reveals that loneliness is a growing problem in our time. And the report shows that young people, ages 18 to 39, have lost more close friends “than other population groups” (ibid. p. 371).

Thus, young people have been hit the hardest by the misery of loneliness. Commenting on this growing problem, the Washington Post said, “Apparently people watch ‘Friends’ [on TV] but don’t actually have many” (Washington Post, June 6, 2006). And young people are the loneliest group of all. I think that’s the reason for the great popularity of the punk rock group Green Day’s song, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” Although I do not recommend rock music, I think the lyrics to that highly popular song reveal the terrible loneliness many young people feel today. The song says,

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don’t know where it goes
But it’s home to me and I walk alone
I walk this empty street
On the Blvd. of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I’m the only one and I walk alone…
I walk alone. I walk alone. I walk alone.
   (Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” 2004).

Have you ever felt like that? Most young people today have experienced the heartbreaking feeling of loneliness expressed in that song. That’s why it has been so popular on the radio for nearly two years. The song reflects perfectly what the sociologists told us in that report. Loneliness is one of the greatest problems facing young people today.

But God does not want you to be lonely. Way back at the beginning of history God said,

“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).

We learn two important truths from this text of Scripture.

I. First, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone.”

The opening chapter of the Bible says,

“And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

God looked at everything He created and said “it was very good.” The world was a perfect paradise. Sin had not yet ruined the environment. Man was created and placed in a world where everything “was very good.” And yet there was something missing, even in that perfect place called “The Garden of Eden.” Man was alone. And God said,

“It is not good that the man should be alone…” (Genesis 2:18).

Dr. J. Oswald Sanders said, “The Biblical record asserts that in his original state, Adam was perfect in form and intelligence…But though he came perfect from the hand of God, Adam was still finite and incomplete” (J. Oswald Sanders, D.D., Facing Loneliness, Discovery House Publishers, 1988, p. 14).

Webster’s Dictionary defines loneliness as “a lonely state…unhappy at being alone, longing for friends.” The very word “lonely” is negative. The word “lonely” makes us feel sad. The Hebrew word translated “alone” in our text means “separation” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, number 905). It comes from the Hebrew word that means “divide” (ibid., number 909).

“Separation” is the root-cause of loneliness. Young people today often experience terrible emotional upheaval from the separation of their parents in divorce. Many young people feel lonely because their parents move from place to place and they are separated from their friends.

Loneliness often comes when you graduate from high school or college – and are separated from your classmates. Somehow e-mails and “My Space” websites don’t take the place of real friends. It seems like you are talking to a machine rather than a real person.

You can go to a sports event, or a movie, or a “rave,” or a mall where there are hundreds of people – and still you feel alone. There’s a “separation,” a “division” between you and the others. There may be hundreds of them around you, but you still feel lonely because no one knows you and no one cares. Dr. Sanders said,

In our indulgent and affluent Western society, where most can gratify their every desire, it seems unexplainable that so many are victims of the scourge of loneliness…Many factors have combined to produce this effect. Sweeping changes in the social structure of society…unprecedented [movement] on land and in the air has encouraged this trend. Every year, twenty percent of a community living in an urban [city] change their location. This [causes] the break-up of family groups and hinders the development of a community spirit and the forming of [lasting] friendships…paradoxically, the rapid urbanization of the world – a modern phenomenon that has spawned 300 cities of more than one million citizens – while forcing people to live closer together physically, has resulted in even greater social isolation. According to the census taken in 1982, only about twenty percent of the people in China lived in city centers. By 1986 the proportion shot up to thirty-seven percent…the [big] cities are characterized more by fear and suspicion than by friendship (J. Oswald Sanders, ibid., pages 17-18).

A young man, who left a small village in Africa to attend a university in a large city in England, said,

At home, I walk along, my eyes raised, meeting the eyes of the people coming along the road towards me – neighbors, family, friends. We call out. We greet one another. [But] here in Britain I walk along your streets. People’s eyes do not meet mine. They look away, avoiding my glance. No one greets me. No one calls out. Everyone seems to be rushing, silent (ibid. p. 21).

Don’t you sometimes feel like that here in Los Angeles? And yet God does not want you to be lonely. Our text says,

“It is not good that the man should be alone…” (Genesis 2:18).

“Separation” and “division” is not good in the sight of God. He does not want you to be isolated and lonely.

II. Second, God said, “I will make him an help meet for him.”

God did not want Adam to be alone. Please read Genesis 2:18 out loud.

“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).

God did not want the first man to be alone, so He created “an help meet for him.” Dr. John H. Sailhamer says that the Hebrew words translated “an help meet for him” in the KJV “has the general sense of a suitable helper [for him]” (John H. Sailhamer, Ph.D., in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Frank E. Gaebelein, general editor, Regency Reference Library, 1990, volume 2, p. 18). Dr. Sailhamer then said, “The implications of the narrative is that…man stands in need of the woman’s help. It is not good that he should be left alone” (ibid.). Dr. John Gill pointed out that the phrase, “I will make him an help meet for him” means,

One to help him in all the affairs of life (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the Old Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, volume I, p. 19).

Now, for the deeper meaning of this, please turn to Ephesians 5:30-32. Let us stand and read these verses aloud.

“For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:30-32).

You may be seated. Verse 31 is quoted by the Apostle Paul from Genesis 2:24. The Scofield Study Bible note on Genesis 2:23 says, “Eve, type of the church as bride of Christ…Ephesians 5:25-32.” The Scofield note on Ephesians 5:32 says, “Eve [is] a clear type of the church as the bride of Christ.” Dr. Gill said,

“This is a great mystery.” It has something mysterious in it; it is a figure and emblem of the mysterious union between Christ and his people (ibid.).

Now, let me make that as simple as possible for those of you who have not studied the Bible. Christ, the last Adam, came into the world alone. Christ was alone much of the time during His ministry on earth. He was alone when He sweat Blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was alone when He died on the Cross. He was alone in the Garden Tomb when He rose from the dead.

But, like the first Adam, God did not leave Christ alone. God prepared a bride for Christ, and that bride is the church. Each local church is the bride of Christ, because we become united to Him when we come to Him and are converted.

When you come to Christ, you become part of His bride in the local church. You are no longer alone because

“Ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (I John 1:3).

Loneliness is gone when you come to Christ, are converted, and come into “fellowship with us…and with his Son Jesus Christ.”

You are no longer lonely because you will then know Christ, and have fellowship with Him. You are no longer lonely because you have “fellowship with us” in the local church.

To boil all that down and make it real simple to those of you who have never been to church before, we say, “Why be lonely? Come home – to church! Why be lost? Come home – to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!” As I put it in that little song I wrote, which we all sang a moment ago,

Come home to Jesus, the table is spread;
Come home to dinner and let us break bread.
Jesus is with us, so let it be said,
Come home to dinner and let us break bread!
Come home to the church and eat,
Gather for fellowship sweet;
It’ll be quite a treat
When we sit down to eat!
   (“Come Home to Dinner” by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr., 1941-).

Now I have one more thought in closing. Dr. J. Vernon McGee made a statement about our text,

“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).

Dr. McGee said,

There was a purpose in God’s putting man in the garden alone for a period of time. It was to show him that he had a need, that he needed someone to be with him (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1981, volume I,  page 21).

I believe that God has had a similar purpose in letting you feel lonely. God wants your experience of loneliness to show you that you have a need also. You would never realize that you needed to come to church unless God had left you alone and let you feel lonely. You would never see your need for Jesus, unless God began to awaken you to your loneliness for Him. The early theologian Augustine said, “God created man for Himself and our hearts are restless [and lonely] until they find rest in Him.” That’s why we urge you to come to Christ by faith. He died on the Cross to pardon your sins, so you can have fellowship with God. He arose physically from the dead, so you can have life through Him, and come fully into the church, and make wonderful Christian friends that will last a lifetime. So we say again, “Why be lonely? Come home – to church! Why be lost? Come home – to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!”

Let us stand and sing that little song I wrote again. It’s number one on your song sheet. Hold up the song sheet and sing it good and loud!

Come home to Jesus, the table is spread;
Come home to dinner and let us break bread.
Jesus is with us, so let it be said,
Come home to dinner and let us break bread!

The fellowship’s sweet and your friends will be here;
We’ll sit at the table, our hearts filled with cheer.
Jesus is with us, so let it be said,
Come home to dinner and let us break bread!

The big city people just don’t seem to care;
They’ve little to offer and no love to spare.
But come home to Jesus and you’ll be aware,
There’s food on the table and friendship to share!

Come home to Jesus, the table is spread;
Come home to dinner and you will be fed.
Your friends will be waiting, so let it be said,
Come home to dinner and let us break bread!

Chorus:

Come home to the church and eat,
Gather for fellowship sweet;
It’ll be quite a treat
When we sit down to eat!
   (“Come Home to Dinner” by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr., 1941- ,
      to the tune of “On the Wings of a Dove”).

(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: Genesis 2:18-24.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” (by Green Day, 2004).


THE OUTLINE OF

IT IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU TO BE LONELY!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


“It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (Genesis 2:18).

I.   First, God said, “It is not good that the man should be
alone,” Genesis 2:18a; 1:31.

II.  Second, God said, “I will make him an help meet for him,”
Genesis 2:18b; Ephesians 5:30-32; I John 1:3.