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.




EXISTENTIAL LONELINESS!

(SERMON #28 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, October 21, 2007

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


The English poet John Milton said, “Loneliness is the first thing which God’s eye named not good.” Many modern authors spoke of the plague of loneliness in today’s world. H. G. Wells, author of The Time Machine and The Outline of History, said, “I am sixty-five years old, and I am lonely and have never found peace.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway said, “I live in a vacuum that is as lonely as a radio tube when the batteries are dead and there is no current to plug into.” In his play, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Eugene O’Neill said, “Life’s only meaning is death.” The theme of that play is man’s existential loneliness. J. D. Salinger made a career out of writing stories and novels about the alienation and loneliness of young people in our culture.

H. G. Wells died a lonely, hopeless old man. Ernest Hemingway committed suicide by shooting himself in the head with a shotgun. The main character in O’Neill’s play was a hopeless addict, attempting to cure her loneliness with drugs. J. D. Salinger became so obsessed with the loneliness of young people that he became a recluse, and lived the life of a hermit for nearly fifty years.

Loneliness is a major problem for young people today. You can feel lonely even when you are in a crowd. One website tells us that “Loneliness is a feeling of emptiness or hollowness inside you. You feel isolated or separated from the world, cut off from those you would like to have contact with” (www.counsel.ufl.edu/brochure.asp? include=brochures/how_to_deal_with_loneliness.brochure). God made it very simple when He said:

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

But many high school and college-age young people feel lonely in our time. That’s why I’m going to give you three thoughts this morning, to help you learn how to cope with loneliness.

I. First, there are different kinds of loneliness.

That website tells us,

There are different kinds of loneliness and different degrees of loneliness. You might experience loneliness as a vague feeling that something is not right, a kind of minor emptiness. Or you might feel loneliness as a very intense deprivation and deep pain. One type of loneliness might be related to missing a specific individual because they have died or because they are so far away. Another type might involve feeling alone and out of contact with people because you are actually physically isolated from people like you, which might [happen] if you work alone on the night shift or are far off alone in a part of a building where people seldom go. You might even feel emotionally isolated [and lonely] when you are surrounded by people but are having difficulty reaching out to them (ibid.).

College students are particularly susceptible to loneliness, according to several psychological studies. The campus doesn’t seem to draw people together into permanent relationships. Young people attending a university or college often feel like the whole world is passing them by, and no one understands them or cares about them. They have no one to turn to.

It is ironic that a civilization that has produced automobiles, airplanes, television, and space travel doesn’t provide anything to keep you from being lonely! Your parents come home from work exhausted and sit down in front of the TV. They don’t have time to talk to you, or to listen to you. Many of you come from broken homes. Children of divorce go through a special hell of loneliness. But nearly every young person I talk with has felt that way at times.

One girl said, “I’ve been terribly lonely. My neighbors never speak to me.” A young man said, “I never seem to be able to make friends, because sooner or later those who seem to be friends leave me.” Have you ever felt that way? God said,

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

And yet millions of young people are lonely. I believe that loneliness is one of the main reasons so many young people commit suicide today. Did you know that suicide is the third greatest cause of death among young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years old? Accidents are the number one cause. Homicide, or murder, is the second greatest cause. And suicide is number three! One young person commits suicide every two hours and six minutes, night and day, in the United States – about 84 a week, 340 a month, 4,000 a year. And psychologists tell us that the main reason they kill themselves is loneliness. God was right when He said,

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

II. Second, you can contribute to your own loneliness.

That’s right, you may be the one most responsible for causing your own loneliness. That website on loneliness correctly said,

Loneliness is a passive state. That is, it is maintained by our passively letting it continue and doing nothing to change it. We hope it will go away, eventually, [but] we do nothing but let it envelop us. Strangely, there are times when we might even embrace the feeling. Yet, embracing loneliness and sinking down into the feelings associated with it usually leads to a sense of depression and helplessness, which, in turn, leads to an even more passive state and more depression [and greater loneliness] (ibid.).

“Loneliness is a passive state. That is, it is maintained by letting it continue.” That’s exactly right. It means that you are going to feel lonely unless you do something to change the situation!

One Sunday morning I preached a sermon on Jacob’s loneliness from Genesis 32:24. In the middle of that sermon a young man jumped to his feet and ran out of the church. The last thing he heard me say as he ran out of the service was, “You ran out of the church, but you will always be lonely.” You can’t run away without being lonely. That’s what Cain found out. God said to him,

“A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth”
      (Genesis 4:12).

Those who run away from church become wandering, lonely young people, just like Cain! And the Bible says,

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain”
      (Jude 11).

It’s a terrible thing to wander through life alone, like Cain did – like so many young people do today!

That’s the reason we say, “Why be lonely? Come home – to church! Why be lost? Come home – to Jesus!” God said,

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

That’s why God gave Adam a wife named Eve. And Adam’s wife is a picture of the church according to the The Scofield Study Bible. Its note on Genesis 2:23 says,

Eve, type of the Church as bride of Christ (note on Genesis 2:23).

This means that Adam’s wife is an illustration, or picture, of the local church. God said,

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

And God gave Adam a companion and helper. And she is a picture, an illustration, a “type” of the local church. God gave Eve to Adam to cure his loneliness, and God put this church here to help cure your loneliness! This church is here to help heal your loneliness!

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

And the “help meet” that God gave to cure your loneliness is this church! We are here to help you overcome loneliness!

Don’t contribute to your own loneliness by staying away from church! Come back tonight. Come next Sunday! Come back on Saturday night! We’ve got something going on for young people several nights a week. Cure your own loneliness! Come home to church!

III. But, thirdly, you have a deeper loneliness.

It was the loneliness that Hemingway spoke about when he said,

I live in a vacuum that is as lonely as a radio tube when the batteries are dead and there is no current to plug into.

One of our young men told me he was reading a story by Hemingway for a college class he was taking. It's called, “A Clean, Well Lighted Place.” It's about the existential loneliness of man. Hemingway knew all about that. He was speaking of a gnawing cosmic loneliness for God. He never overcame it. A few years later he killed himself. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “God is dead.” He became an atheist. A few years later he went insane. He couldn't live in a world without God, without meaning, without forgiveness or hope.

You see, coming into this church, and coming here every week, will help cure your loneliness for friends. But what about your loneliness for God? One of the great tragedies of the twenty-first century is that so many young people don’t really know God. And without God there is no hope!

Yes, I want you to come back here to church and make friends – but I also want you to find God.

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

You need God! Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee.” The French philosopher Blaise Pascal said that there is a “God-shaped vacuum” in our hearts. He meant that there is an empty spot in every human heart that can only be filled by God.

But the Bible teaches that you are cut off from God by your sins. The Bible says,

“Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you…” (Isaiah 59:2).

There is a separation between you and God caused by sin. Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden because they sinned. Their sin separated them from God.

The Bible teaches that God is angry with you for your sins. And yet, at the same time, He loves you. God is angry with you for your sin, but at the same time God loves you. That’s why Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the Cross. He died on that Cross to reconcile God to you. God cannot simply overlook your sin. He sent Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for your sins on the Cross, “that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). An angry God could only be propitiated through the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross!

Jesus Christ went to the Cross bearing your sins in His own body (cf. I Peter 2:24). When He died on that Cross a great earthquake caused the earth to shudder. A thick curtain covering the holy of holies in the Temple was torn in two. Christ’s death on the Cross made it possible for an angry God to “pass over” your sins and allow you into His holy presence. The Bible says,

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19).

You can only come to God by having your sins cleansed with the Blood of Christ His Son. You can only be reconciled to God by having your sins cleansed with the Blood of Christ.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him” (Romans 5:8-9).

The Bible is right.

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

That’s why God created this local church, typified by Eve. The church is here to help you in many ways. We are here to help cure your physical loneliness. We are here to point you to Jesus and help you to be converted, to heal your estrangement from God. That’s the reason we say, “Why be lonely? Come home – to church! Why be lost? Come home – to Jesus, 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: Romans 5:6-10.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Come Home to Dinner” (by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.).


THE OUTLINE OF

EXISTENTIAL LONELINESS!

(SERMON #28 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

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

I.   First, there are different kinds of loneliness, Genesis 2:18.

II.  Second, you can contribute to your own loneliness, Genesis 4:12;
Jude 11.

III. Third, you have a deeper loneliness, Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:26;
I Peter 2:24; Hebrews 10:19; Romans 5:8-9; I Timothy 2:5.