Print Sermon

These sermon manuscripts and videos now go out to about 1,500,000 computers in over 215 countries every year at www.sermonsfortheworld.com. Hundreds of others watch the videos on YouTube, but they soon leave YouTube and come to our website. YouTube feeds people to our website. The sermon manuscripts are given in 36 languages to about 120,000 computers each 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.






WHY MEN HATE GOING TO CHURCH

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, June 17, 2007
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20).


Yes, I know you have heard this text before. But don’t go to sleep on me! I have something to say about it that you may not have thought about. We’ll come back to the text in a few minutes.

I have been reading and re-reading a very interesting book. It is titled, Why Men Hate Going to Church, by David Murrow (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2005). I don’t agree with everything Murrow wrote. But I think his basic premise is true. Most men and young people 18 to 35 hate going to church. Here is what Murrow said in the introduction to his book:

      Why do men hate going to church? It’s a question I’ve pondered for years…One Sunday I was sitting in church, half listening to the sermon, when my wandering mind recalled a quote from business guru W. Edwards Deming: Your system is perfectly designed to give you the results you’re getting…I began to wonder: Could Deming’s theory apply here? What if Christianity’s primary delivery system, the local church, is perfectly designed to give us the results we’re getting? What if church is unintentionally designed [for] women, children, and elderly folks? (pp. vii-viii).
      But men…aren’t the only ones who are absenting themselves from weekly worship. Research shows that young adults of both genders are the least likely to attend church…I believe women and older adults [come] to church because…it’s built around their values. But men and young adults skip church because many congregations ignore or vilify their values.
      What do I mean? Studies show that men and young adults tend to be challenge oriented. Some of their key values are adventure, risk, daring…change, conflict…and reward… [men and young people want to] take chances…to be known as bold, adventurous…On the other hand, studies demonstrate that women and older adults tend to be security oriented…to play it safe, seek security, and avoid risk…[But] our congregations can’t gain any traction with men and young adults because their adventurous spirits abhor the safety of the modern church…
      Now try this on: be dangerous. What if that were our message to men [and young people]? If churchgoing held the prospect of risk, adventure, and daring, you’d have an abundance of men, teenagers, and young adults signing up. That’s precisely what we find in the persecuted church today. It was also the situation in the early church when Christians were routinely stoned, beaten, or fed to hungry lions. When it’s dangerous to be a Christian, men [and young adults] are more likely to count themselves in (ibid., pp. 18-21).

Now, I don’t agree with most of Murrow’s answers. But I do agree with his evaluation of the problem. Men and young adults (young men and women) are not interested in most church programs. They’re just too boring to attract their attention. As I said, Murrow’s book is titled, Why Men Hate Going to Church.

I have also been reading another book, Why Our Churches Do Not Win Souls by Dr. John R. Rice (Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1966). I believe that Dr. Rice gave one of the reasons most men and young adults hate going to church. While I also do not agree with everything Dr. Rice said, I think he is basically right. Putting the two books together, I believe one of the reasons men and young adults hate going to church is exactly the same reason our churches do not win souls!    

Evangelism is not “safe.” It is “risky” to go out to the streets and colleges on evangelism. You have to take a “chance.” You have to be “bold” and “adventurous” to go and speak to people you have never met. Thus, every-member evangelism is the perfect remedy for a boring church.  

Don't get me wrong.  We want elderly women in our church.  But they have to be bold and adventuresome women!  We have several older ladies like that in our congregation.  One of them is in her eighty-eighth year, but she still drives (quite well) to church - and brings people!  Hey, give us a hundred elderly women like that!  Every-member evangelism is the perfect remedy for a boring church!  Dr. Rice said, 

Thus there is need again in the churches for a revival of zeal, a revival of soul-winning compassion, a revival of the power of God upon us. There is no way for a church to win souls after the New Testament pattern…except by an all-out effort…Only all-out effort can match New Testament soul winning (John R. Rice, D.D., Why Our Churches Do Not Win Souls (Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1966, pp. 149-150).

That is the answer to dying churches! That is the way to enlist men and young adults! And that is the reason we have more men than women in our church! And that is the reason we almost never lose one of our young people! And that is the reason so many young men and women are coming into our church! Don’t stop! As Dr. Rice said, “Only an all-out effort can match New Testament soul winning.”

Now, back to our text in Matthew 28:19-20. This passage of Scripture is called “The Great Commission.” Let’s read verses nineteen and twenty again, out loud.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Dr. John R. Rice said,

Notice that teach here does not mean expounding the Scriptures to Christians. It means to make disciples…So, the first teaching commanded in the Great Commission is to make disciples, the teaching that leads them to be baptized. Then, after they are baptized, we are commanded, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” That is, the new converts…are to be taught to do the same things that we have all been commanded to do – to make disciples… All New Testament Christians have the same command the apostles had…a new convert…should be taught to do exactly what Jesus told Peter to do. Surely, no honest Christian can deny that the main business left to New Testament Christians by the Saviour in the Great Commission is to win souls (ibid., p. 22).

Dr. Rice was right! That is the meaning of the Great Commission! Hyper-Calvinists who say that the Great Commission is not for us today are wrong! We stand with Spurgeon, and with Dr. Rice. The Great Commission is for every real Christian throughout the ages of time. And that includes our own time, right now, in our own place, right here in the civic center of Los Angeles! Let each of us obey the command of Christ. Let each of us go to evangelism believing in our hearts that Christ Himself has commanded us to go. Let each of us go forth to evangelize Los Angeles.

The very goal of our church is to make it a great mission center, spreading the Gospel to the streets and campuses of this dark and wicked city. The Lord Jesus Christ said,

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

That is our theme! That is our goal!

I believe we need to make the Great Commission so clear that every person coming into our church will know immediately what our goal and purpose is – to compel the lost to come in that God’s house may be filled! Therefore I have asked that we put a large banner on the wall above the pulpit which proclaims our goal to all who enter the doors of this church. That banner says in plain words,

OUR GOAL – TO FILL GOD’S HOUSE!

And then let us pray, and work, and evangelize with all our hearts until that goal is reached! If anyone should ask you what our purpose is, tell him, “Our goal is to fill God’s house!” Don’t be afraid to say it to everyone you speak to. That is our purpose! That is our goal! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it because it is the command of Jesus Christ in the Great Commission, given in Matthew 28:19-20 and Luke 14:23. And, because it is the command of Christ, God will help us. Christ will help us. He promises to be with us and help us to fill this house of God in the very last words of the text. Please stand and read the last clause of Matthew 28:20, beginning with the words, “and, lo…” Read it good and loud. Jesus said,

“And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).

There you have it! Christ Himself promised to be with us, and help us, right now, at the end of this evil age. Let us grasp His promise as our own and go out of the doors of this church to bring in lost and lonely young people and reach our goal – to fill God’s house!

You do your part, and I will do mine, and we shall soon see this goal realized by Christ, who never breaks His promises. “I will be with you” (Matthew 28:20). Yes, Christ will be with us, because he promised to be with us and help us fulfill the Great Commission! Here is what we must do, with the help of God, to reach that goal.

First, to fill this church with a hundred more young people, every one of you who is not yet converted must “strive to enter in at the strait gate,” and come to Christ (Luke 13:24). You really cannot help us reach our goal if you remain unconverted. You must be saved and know it! You must be saved and then set on fire by God to do all in your power to make our goal a reality! Do it! Do it! Do it! That’s why I’m asking every unconverted young person here tonight to treat your own conversion with great seriousness. Think about your own conversion every day. Pray to God every day that He will give you converting grace, and draw you to Jesus, for full salvation by His Blood and righteousness! Pray for converting grace until God actually draws you to Jesus, in an instant conversion, once for all, by uniting you to Jesus Christ Himself. Do it! Do it! Do it!

Second, to reach our goal and fill God’s house, all of us who are saved must think constantly about evangelism! Get names and phone numbers by the dozens and bring them in so our deacons and leaders can call them and get them in to the church services. Do evangelism at your college, after work, at the supermarket, wherever you are! Do evangelism every day – not just at the special times designated by the church. Do it every day! Do it! Do it! Do it!  

Last night we saw a video presentation made by Dr. Ken Connolly on the history of the English Bible.  Dr. Connolly told about John Wycliffe (1329-1384).  Wycliffe translated the Bible into English and made the Scriptures available for common men to read in their own tongue.  Wycliffe sent hundreds of young men out to preach the pure Protestant Gospel and to distribute his translation of the Bible.  These young college students from Cambridge University were called Lollards.  They went everywhere proclaiming salvation in Christ.  But their work was very dangerous.  Hundreds of these fine young men were burned at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church.  Think of it!  Every one of those college students was in danger every day.  And, as I said, they were tied to stakes and burned alive for their evangelizing.  Let them be your example!  We are not asking you to go out to the streets of Los Angeles to be burned at the stake!  But we are asking you to have the courage and zeal these men had.  Go out and bring them in that God’s house may be filled!  Do you have the courage to do it?  Do you?  I believe young men and women need to be challenged today, as they were in Wycliffe’s day, to go out to the streets and colleges with great zeal and bring in the lost to hear the Gospel!  Do it!  Do it!  Do it! 

Third, to reach our goal and fill this church with another hundred young people, all of us must treat every new person who comes to church as a very special guest! Don’t just hang around with old friends after church – or even before church. Go out of your way to make every guest feel welcome. Go out of your way to make them enjoy being here with us, so they will want to come back. As D. L. Moody often said, “Love them in.” Love them into our church. Do it! Do it! Do it! Don’t let any guest stand alone after the services. Make each one feel comfortable and at home. Do it! Do it! Do it!

And I promise you I will do my part as well. I promise you that I will pray and work and study in my office, and seek from God meaty and interesting Gospel sermons designed to convert those lost and lonely young people you bring to our church. I promise you that I will say with the Apostle Paul,

“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:2).

I promise you that every young person who comes through the doors of this church will hear a white-hot Gospel sermon, right out of the frying pan, burning with the message of salvation in Christ Jesus. Why? Because young people need to hear the Gospel of Christ. They need to hear that He is the only begotten Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity. They need to hear that He came down from Heaven to die for their sins on the Cross, to die vicariously for them, in their place, to atone for their sins. They need to hear that Christ rose bodily from the dead, and is alive in Heaven at God’s right hand. They need to hear that Christ can save them from their sins if they will only come to Him by faith. They need to hear that they can be born again by coming to Jesus. And that is what they will hear constantly, at every service from this pulpit! Yes, I promise to do my part in preaching the Gospel, so we can reach our goal – to fill God’s house! For that is the purpose of this church! And I pray that it ever shall be until the end of time!

Let each of us, to the best of our ability, strive with all our might to fill this house of God with lost and lonely young people. Do it! Do it! Do it!

If we do those simple things with all our hearts we shall fulfill the Commission Christ gave us, right here in Los Angeles, right here in the civic center, where the need is so very great. It will take courage and guts to do it. It will take hard work and a great deal of prayer. Are you ready for the challenge? Are you? Have you got what it takes? Have you got the vision? Have you got the zeal? May God help you, for Jesus’ sake to reach our goal – to fill God’s house!

Please stand and sing that song Mr. Griffith sang a few minutes ago. It’s number seven on the song sheet. Sing it with great feeling!


Give us a watchword for the hour,

A thrilling word, a word of power,

A battle cry, a flaming breath

That calls to conquest or to death. 

A word to rouse the church from rest,

To heed the Master’s [strong request].

The call is given: Ye hosts, arise,

Our watchword is, evangelize!

 

The glad evangel now proclaim,

Through all the earth, in Jesus’ name;

This word is ringing through the skies:

Evangelize! Evangelize! 

To dying men, a fallen race,

Make known the gift of Gospel grace;

The world that now in darkness lies,

Evangelize! Evangelize!
   (“Evangelize! Evangelize!” by Dr. Oswald J. Smith, 1889-1986;
      to the tune of “And Can It Be?” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).


And may God help each one of us to do exactly that. Amen.

(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 16:15-20.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Evangelize! Evangelize!” by Dr. Oswald J. Smith, 1889-1986;
to the tune of “And Can It Be?” by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).