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THINGS TO COME - A NEW YEAR'S SERMON

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, January 3, 2010

“Things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God’s” (I Corinthians 3:22-23).


“Things to come.” These words are frightening to those who do not know Christ! “Things to come.” People all around us face the future with fear and trembling! They feel a deep sense of despair and hopelessness.

With the rise of television, and now the Internet, world-wide tragedies, wars, terrorism, death and destruction are seen by us in our homes every day. We see the killings. We see the bombings. We see the bloody acts of terrorism. Rapes, muggings, plunder, starvation and persecution are instantly brought before our eyes. No previous generation had such easy access to the horrors going on in this world. We see what they only read about. We see world-wide disasters every day on the news programs that fill the airways with tension, anxiety and fear. I think Christ knew in advance about modern electronic communications. He spoke of world-wide “distress” and “perplexity” (Luke 21:25) with,

“Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth…” (Luke 21:26).

Airplanes are hijacked. Buildings are blown up. Thermonuclear bombs are coming into the hands of maniacs who will probably use them. Famous men of science, and leading political figures, are warning us of the dangers of global warming that lie just ahead. Yes, the words “things to come” are terrifying to millions. As Christ predicted, “Men’s hearts [are] failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.”

On top of all those horrible television images, we are confronted with the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. Thousands are out of work. Millions more live in constant fear that they will lose their jobs!

Added to all of this is the fact that our families are fractured, divorce is rampant, our children are scattered, confused and led astray by a social structure that is falling apart at the seams. One third of this generation of young people has been slaughtered in the womb – over 51 million of them! Four out of every seven African American children have had their lives snuffed out in the American Holocaust by the blood and carnage of “legalized” abortion. Thus, the long tentacles of terrorism have penetrated into the very wombs of millions of women. No place is safe! There is no place to hide! The celebrated Irish poet William Butler Yeats said it all in his poem, “The Second Coming”:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity…

Upon receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in Washington, Billy Graham said, “We are a society poised on the brink of self-destruction” (Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1996, p. A-10). People feel that no place is safe! They sense that there is no place to hide from the horrifying calamities that we see every day on television and the Internet. No wonder the words “things to come” fill their hearts with fear and trembling!

But our text was not given to those who are lost. It was written to those who are already converted. In verse 21, the Apostle said, “All things are yours.” In verse 22 he listed the things that belong to real Christians. At the end of that list, he said, “things to come; all are yours” (I Corinthians 3:22). If you are a real Christian, the future belongs to you!

“Things to come; all are yours” (I Corinthians 3:22).

I. First, the triumph of Christianity is yours!

Jesus said,

“I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

The Prince of Preachers C. H. Spurgeon said,

As we look…at the political situation, we think it dark and threatening. Clouds are gathering here and there; we tremble for the Church of God itself, when its safety appears in jeopardy, amid the crash of falling thrones. But no dynastic changes can ever effect the destruction of the Church. In every crisis of history, in every convulsion of the state, and in every disaster that befalls the world, the Church must always triumph…from the bankruptcies of nations, Christ’s [church] gathers wealth (C. H. Spurgeon, “Things to Come! A Heritage of the Saints,” Spurgeon’s Sermons Beyond Volume 63, Day One Publications, 2009, pp. 341-342).

The British Empire crumbled and fell, but Christianity flourishes in its former colonies. The tide of God-sent revival is sweeping millions into the churches! As the American “Empire” teeters on the brink of collapse, tens of thousands in Third World countries are being swept into Christ’s arms by the sovereign power of God! And, as I speak tonight, the prophecy of Jesus moves relentlessly toward fulfillment,

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations…” (Matthew 24:14).

“Crowns and thrones may perish.” Sing it!

Crowns and thrones may perish, Kingdoms rise and wane,
   But the church of Jesus Constant will remain;
Gates of hell can never ‘Gainst that church prevail;
   We have Christ’s own promise; And that cannot fail.
Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
   With the cross of Jesus Going on before!
(“Onward, Christian Soldiers” by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924).

The church, now militant, will soon be the church triumphant! Soon the angelic voice will cry,

“The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

“Things to come; all are yours” (I Corinthians 3:22).

II. Second, the coming Kingdom of Christ is yours!

Jesus said,

“Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth”
       (Matthew 5:5).

Again, He said,

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

We Christians are mocked and belittled here in America and Europe. We Christians are persecuted, jailed, and often murdered for our faith in the Third World. The skeptics and humanists of our time think we will fail. But they are dead wrong! The Bible says,

“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (II Timothy 2:12)

when His Kingdom rules the world! Then we will sing to Christ,

“…thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

Sing hymn number 6, on your song sheet, “Dark was the night.” Sing it!

Dark was the night, sin warred against us;
   Heavy the load of sorrow we bore;
But now we see signs of His coming;
   Our hearts glow within us,
Joy’s cup runneth o’er!
   He is coming again, He is coming again,
The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
   He is coming again, He is coming again;
With power and great glory, He is coming again!
    (“He is Coming Again” by Mabel Johnston Camp, 1871-1937).

Sing it again!

Dark was the night, sin warred against us;
   Heavy the load of sorrow we bore;
But now we see signs of His coming;
   Our hearts glow within us,
Joy’s cup runneth o’er!
   He is coming again, He is coming again,
The very same Jesus, rejected of men;
   He is coming again, He is coming again;
With power and great glory, He is coming again!

If you are converted, the coming Kingdom of Christ is yours!

“Things to come; all are yours” (I Corinthians 3:22).

III. Third, the new heaven and new earth are yours!

This old world will pass away! When Christ has reigned on earth for a thousand years, Satan will be loosed from his prison and lead the unconverted rebels of the world against Him (Revelation 20:7-9). Then the fire of God will come down from Heaven (Revelation 20:9),

“…in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up…the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (II Peter 3:10, 12).

But never despair, for the Apostle John said in his vision,

“I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven” (Revelation 21:1-2).

When God creates that new Heaven and new earth, you will be there in the New Jerusalem – if you are a real Christian! Yes, you will be there forever in that new paradise of God, in the new earth, and in the New Jerusalem!

Things to come; all are yours” (I Corinthians 3:22).

“Things to come; all are yours” (I Corinthians 3:22).

But I must close by coming back once more to the full text, which we read at the beginning,

“…things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God’s” (I Corinthians 3:22-23).

We have seen wonderful “things to come” for those who belong to Christ. But are you one of those? Can you say with certainty that you “are Christ’s”? If you cannot, then none of those cheerful promises belong to you! Spurgeon said, “If ye have not faith, the future has nothing for you but fear…If you are not Christ’s, we can say nothing to cheer you” (ibid., p. 347).

What good will it do you to earn great sums of money, and have great fun and pleasure in this life if, in the end, you lose it all and death finds you without Christ? “Things to come” will be a great terror to you if you have not been converted to Christ. I plead with you to give great thought to the salvation of your soul. I ask you to think about your sins and your sinful heart. I beg you to consider the fact that your sin must, and will, strip you of all hope, and damn you to the Lake of Fire. I pray that you will turn away from the darkness and sin of this world. I pray that you will come directly and immediately to Jesus Christ. I pray that you will touch Him by faith and be showered from your sin by His eternal Blood! Come unto Him. Throw yourself upon the once crucified, now glorified, Son of God. He will save you! He will save you! Then the happy and hopeful “things to come,” of which I spoke, will be yours as well as ours!

If you would like to speak to our deacon about becoming a real Christian, please leave your seat and walk to the back of the room now so he can speak to you about your sin, and salvation in Christ Jesus (pause).

Now one further word to you. Is it not right that we who have such hope in Christ should seek to spread this good news far and wide? Is it not proper for us to begin this new year with a rededication of our lives to obey the Great Commission Christ gave to us (Matthew 28:19-20)?

Let us say, with all our hearts and souls, that we will obey Jesus on our own, in personal evangelism; and by attending the evangelistic outthrusts of our church as well; and also by seeking at every opportunity to bring in family and friends to hear the Gospel of salvation in Jesus. May God help us to obey Christ by evangelizing at every opportunity in 2010! Please stand and sing the last hymn on your song sheet.

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;
     altered by Dr. Hymers; to the tune of “And Can It Be?”
     by Charles Wesley, 1707-1788).

(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: I Corinthians 3:18-23.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“I Wish We’d All Been Ready” (by Larry Norman, 1947-2008).


THE OUTLINE OF

THINGS TO COME - A NEW YEAR'S SERMON

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ's; and
Christ is God’s” (I Corinthians 3:22-23).

(Luke 21:25, 26; I Corinthians 3:21, 22).

I.   First, the triumph of Christianity is yours! Matthew 16:18;
Matthew 24:14; Revelation 11:15.

II.  Second, the coming Kingdom of Christ is yours! Matthew 5:5;
Luke 12:32; II Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:9-10.

III. Third, the new heaven and new earth are yours!
Revelation 20:7-9; II Peter 3:10, 12; Revelation 21:1-2;
Matthew 28:19-20.