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TWO SOUL-SEARCHING QUESTIONS

(SERMON #26 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Evening, October 14, 2007
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” (Genesis 3:11).


We are often told today that man’s problems come from two sources – environment and heredity. But our first parents, Adam and Eve, were not influenced by these. Their environment was perfect in the Garden of Eden. It is true that Satan was there, but they were under no compulsion to listen to him. They had inherited no sin nature. They were not fallen creatures yet. Environment and heredity were not the cause of their sin. They were tempted by Satan and then willfully disobeyed God.

Immediately the paradise they lived in became to them a frightening, dark forest. They fled, from fear of God, deep into the trees. But they could not get far enough away to escape from the voice of God. They could hear Him calling, “Where art thou?” (Genesis 3:9). The voice of God had reached their hearts. They had heard His voice before, but now their hearts were terrified. God had found them out. And God asked them two questions. These questions are the same ones addressed to lost sinners today. God asks them to you tonight.

I. First, who told you that you were naked?

“Well,” you say, “I have never been told that!” Then I am afraid I have nothing else to say to you tonight. I can give you the basic facts of the Gospel,

“How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

I can preach on those great Gospel themes, and I do. Yet the message of the Gospel will not move you until that question is faced,

“Who told thee that thou wast naked?” (Genesis 3:11).

It wasn’t the Serpent who told them that. Satan never tells a sinner he is lost. Satan tells sinners to sleep. He is the one who tells you that you are good enough the way you are. He is the one who tells you that you are not in danger. He is the one who says that God will not punish you. He is the one who says there will be no day of judgment. He is the one who

“…hath blinded the minds of them which believe not”
      (II Corinthians 4:4).

He is

“That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).

It is quite common today to hear people say that Satan is the one who makes you feel guilty. What a deception that is! Why would Satan do that? If he did that he would be working against himself. No, Satan is not the one who makes a lost sinner feel their guilt. That is the work of God’s Spirit.

“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin…”
      (John 16:8).

It is the Spirit of God that tells lost men that they are sinful, and naked in the sight of God. Until the Holy Spirit shows you your nakedness in God's sight, you will not know

“…that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

“Who told thee that thou wast naked?” (Genesis 3:11).

Why, it was God’s Spirit that told them. And it is the same today. That has never changed.

You will never see the need for Jesus to cover your sins with His own Blood unless the Holy Spirit shows you your nakedness in the sight of God. You will never see why the Bible says,

“Blessed are they…whose sins are covered” (Romans 4:7)

unless the Holy Spirit first shows you that you are “blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

II. Second, have you broken God’s commandments?

Look again at our text. Please stand and read it aloud.

“And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” (Genesis 3:11).

You may be seated.

Have you “eaten of the tree” that “I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” That’s what God is saying to you tonight. Have you broken my commandments? Have you broken any of my laws? Are you a sinner? Is there sin against God in your heart and mind? Is there hidden sin within you?

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me…”
      (Psalm 139:23-24).

And, if you prayed that prayer of David, could you say, “No, there is no wicked way in me”? Could you honestly say those words to God?

“Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” (Genesis 3:11).

Luther said,

Here God touched Adam’s conscience with a sharp prick. He told him, as it were, “You were not ashamed because you were naked. Nor did my voice scare you. But your conscience accused you”…So, pressed by God, Adam found himself in the terrors of death and hell…So now he had to hear from the mouth of the Lord the very thoughts that were in his mind (Martin Luther, Th.D., Luther’s Commentary on Genesis, Zondervan Publishing House, 1958 reprint, volume I, p. 76).

Matthew Henry said,

In eating forbidden fruit, we have offended a great and gracious God, broken a just and righteous law…and wronged our own precious souls by forfeiting God’s favour and exposing ourselves to his wrath and curse (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Hendrickson Publishers, 1991 reprint, volume I, page 23).

“Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”

Why did God ask those questions? It was not to learn what they did. The all-seeing eye of God already knew that they had sinned. God asked those questions to probe their consciences, to goad them, to move them to acknowledge their sin. But they did not do so. They only attempted to justify themselves, to blame someone else. Dr. Henry M. Morris said, “Accordingly, there was no course of action for the Lord except to initiate punishment” (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Genesis Record, Baker Book House, 1986 edition, p. 117).

This is a picture of what will happen to you if you go on making excuses for your sin.

“If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom [heart]” (Job 31:33),

What will happen to you? Then you will

“…weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you” (James 5:1).

You will be dragged before the throne of God at the Last Judgment. You will

“stand before God; and the books [will be] opened…and the dead [will be] judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).

Dr. John R. Rice said,

That is, the record of man’s [sins] “and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books”…[God] keeps a record of all the [sins] of men, and of all the thoughts and feelings under which they act…No mercy here. Nothing is said about forgiveness, about God’s grace, about atonement. All these have been scorned; now only righteous judgment applies. People go to Hell because they ought to go. They deserve Hell… “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7)…Sin must be paid for. Those who reject the sacrifice of Christ must pay their own debt for eternal…never-forgiven sin…One who wants to do wickedness or would do it [if he had the chance] or if he did not fear exposure, is guilty of that sin in his heart. Oh, the sins [of the heart] will be read out of God’s record books that awful day! (John R. Rice, D.D., Behold, He Cometh, Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1977, pages 304-305).

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men”
      (Romans 2:16).

Oh, that Day of Judgment is coming! God’s books will be opened. All your secret sins will be read out of God’s books. Nothing will be hidden. All of the sins of your heart and life will be read from God’s books, and the perfect record of your sins will condemn you. Then Christ will say to you,

“Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire”
      (Matthew 25:41).

Oh, I exhort you, I beg you, to think of the “certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:27).

Oh, be no longer an adversary, an enemy of Almighty God! Remember that

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”
      (Proverbs 28:13).

Confess to God your sin as David did, when he said,

“For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”
      (Proverbs 28:13).

Stop covering up your sins. You can’t really do that anyway! The all-seeing eye of God already knows all about your sin! Every sin you have committed is recorded in God’s books and will condemn you at the Last Judgment. Be quick, man, while there is still time! Confess your sins before it is too late! The Bible says that you must be “justified by [Jesus’] blood.” You must be “saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:9).

“Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” (Genesis 3:11).

(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 3:6-11.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: Psalm 139:23-24.


THE OUTLINE OF

TWO SOUL-SEARCHING QUESTIONS

(SERMON #26 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” (Genesis 3:11).

(Genesis 3:9)

I.   First, who told you that you were naked? Genesis 3:11a;
I Corinthians 15:3-4; II Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9;
John 16:8; Revelation 3:17; Romans 4:7.

II.  Second, have you broken God’s commandments?
Genesis 3:11b; Psalm 139:23-24; Romans 5:9; Job 31:33;
James 5:1; Revelation 20:12; Galatians 6:7; Romans 2:16;
Matthew 25:41; Hebrews 10:27; Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 51:3.