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A LIMITED TIME!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, August 24, 2008

"He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).


The word “limiteth” comes from the Greek word which means “to appoint,” “to designate,” “to mark out with a boundary – or limit.”

There is a limit to God’s patience. When you pass that limit you can never be saved.

There’s a line that is drawn by rejecting the Lord,
Where the call of His Spirit is lost,
And you hurry along with the pleasure-mad throng,
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
Have you counted the cost, if your soul should be lost,
Tho’ you gained the whole world for your own?
Even now it may be that the line you have crossed,
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?
   (“Have You Counted the Cost?” by A. J. Hodge, 1923)

“He limiteth a certain day, saying…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).

There’s a limit to God’s patience. There’s an end to His offer of grace. “There’s a line that is drawn by rejecting the Lord, where the call of His Spirit is lost.” “He limiteth a certain day.” When that day is passed, it is everlastingly too late for you to get saved. Is tonight your last chance? Is your opportunity to be saved “limited” to tonight? Is it marked out by an eternal boundary – that if you go beyond that boundary tonight – God will give up on you forever? I would not at all be surprised if this were the last chance for you. You may live for another seventy or eighty years, but God never speaks or convicts again – because you have passed God’s deadline. “He limiteth a certain day.”

George W. Truett used to say, “There is a line, unseen by man. When you pass over it, you are gone forever.” Dr. Truett was right! Have you counted the cost?

There’s a line that is drawn by rejecting the Lord,
Where the call of His Spirit is lost…
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?

Have you counted the cost, if your soul should be lost,
Tho’ you gained the whole world for your own?
Even now it may be that the line you have crossed,
Have you counted, have you counted the cost?

There’s a limit to God’s patience. There’s a limit to God’s grace. There’s a limit to when you can get saved.

“He limiteth a certain day, saying…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).

I. Number one – there is a limit to how many times the
Holy Spirit will convict you.

Jesus said:

“When he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8).

“When he is come” He will do those things. But what about when He is gone?

When the Spirit of God is gone you cannot be convinced of sin. You cannot be convinced of righteousness or judgment. It’s too late then! God warns us,

“My spirit shall not always strive with man” (Genesis 6:3).

And when the Holy Spirit stops striving – you are doomed! Dr. John R. Rice said:

You have waited so flippantly (foolishly), refused Him so lightly,
You have sinned long and dreadfully, Your heart is so wrong;
Oh if God grows impatient, The sweet Spirit offended,
If no longer He calls you, Doom is yours when He’s gone.
Then how sad facing judgment, You’ll recall with no mercy,
That you tarried and lingered till the Spirit was gone?
   (“If You Linger Too Long” by Dr. John R. Rice, 1895-1980).

“He limiteth a certain day, saying…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).

II. Number two – there is a limit to how many times you will hear the gospel.

Some day you will hear the gospel for the last time. How do you know it isn’t tonight? How do you know that this isn’t the last time you will ever hear the gospel? How do you know that?

Paul preached the gospel and Felix heard him. As Paul was preaching “Felix trembled” (Acts 24:25). But afterwards, Felix put off getting saved. He said to Paul,

“Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee” (Acts 24:25).

“Go away right now. When I find the time, I’ll call you again to tell me how to get saved.”

But Felix somehow never did that. His heart had trembled. He was at the edge of conversion. But he pulled back. He said, “I’ll do it later.” But he had crossed the line. He’s gone! It was too late! He was a living dead man. He’s gone! He will never hear the gospel again! That was his last sermon! He said, “When I find the time, I’ll hear another sermon.” No! That’s your last sermon, Felix! How do you know whether this sermon tonight is your last sermon, sinner?

I read about a young person who said she would come back to the evening service and get saved. They said, “You need to get saved now.” She said, “No, I’ll come back tonight and get saved.” She was struck by an automobile that afternoon – and killed instantly. Her friends at the church sobbed uncontrollably as they stood by her coffin. They had no hope that they would ever see her again! They knew she died and went to Hell. She waited too long!

“He limiteth a certain day, saying…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).

III. Number three – there is a limit to how many times
you can harden your heart.

In Numbers 21:23 we read,

“Sihon would not suffer [allow] Israel to pass through his border” (Numbers 21:23).

He was king of the Amorites. He refused to even let them pass through. They could have told him about God. He could have been saved. But Sihon hardened his heart and rejected God’s people. Instead of letting them pass peaceably through his land, he brought an army and tried to kill the people of God. He hardened his heart against God.

Now turn to Deuteronomy 2:30,

“But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him: for the Lord thy God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate…” (Deuteronomy 2:30).

The old-time preachers called that “judicial hardening.” Sihon said, “no.” He said that at least several days before he attacked Israel. Then God hardened his heart forever – and he died in sin. For three thousand four hundred and fifty-four years King Sihon has been burning in the pit of Hell, screaming over and over,

“I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24).

“I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24).

“I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24).

“I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24).

“I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24).

That is Sihon’s endless cry – echoing up from the belching bowels of Hades, echoing through the dark chambers of Gehenna, sobbing up from the demon-filled chambers of Hell:

“I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:24).

Oh, I warn you tonight, there is a limit to how many times you can harden your heart. God may cut you off forever if you harden your heart against Christ tonight. There is a limit to how many times you can harden your heart.

“He limiteth a certain day, saying…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).

Christ has risen from the dead. He is in Heaven, at God’s right hand. Come to Him. Be washed from your sins by His Blood. Don’t wait. It may be too late tomorrow. Do it now. “He limiteth a certain day.” Come to Christ tonight.

(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: Hebrews 3:7-8, 15; 4:7.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
"Have You Counted the Cost?” (by A. J. Hodge, 1923).


THE OUTLINE OF

A LIMITED TIME!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

"He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).

I.   First, there is a limit to how many times the Holy Spirit
will convict you, John 16:8; Genesis 6:3.

II.  Second, there is a limit to how many times you will hear
the gospel, Acts 24:25.

III. Third, there is a limit to how many times you can harden
your heart, Numbers 21:23; Deuteronomy 2:30; Luke 16:24.