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ARE YOU AFRAID OF LOSING MONEY?

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, January 10, 2010

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:7-8).


Why does God use the masculine form in our text? “He that overcometh.” “I will be his God.” “He shall be my son.” Surely this must strike us as we read the text. I think the answer lies in the fact that, in God’s sight, “there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). All Christians, both men and women, are referred to as “sons of God” in such passages as Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14). Jews and Greeks, slaves and free, women and men (Galatians 3:28) are all redeemed,

“that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts” (Galatians 4:5-6).

While I do not agree with everything in the following book, I think it makes one point that is true to the Bible. In that book, The Church Impotent: the Feminization of Christianity (Spence Publishing Company, 1999, p. 87), Dr. Leon J. Podles said,

Christians are the children of God, growing into the image of the Son, that they may also become sons of the Father. The Christian, because he is a son of God, has a primarily masculine identity…Women as well as men are called to be sons of God and brothers of Jesus Christ. Hence, women are also called to participate in the essentially masculine process of [conversion].

Jesus’ life is that of the hero and is therefore the consummation of masculinity…A Christian puts on Christ; he dies and is reborn with Christ. With Christ he descends into the [grave], confronts death – indeed dies – and is reborn to a new life (ibid., p. 88),

as a soldier of Christ! The Bible says,

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ...that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (II Timothy 2:3-4).

With that in mind, God has no “gender” problem when He says,

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:7).

The Christian, whether man or woman, is called to a masculine conversion, and masculine warfare against demonic forces – as a soldier of the Cross! Every Christian is called to

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world” (Ephesians 6:11-12).

Every Christian is commanded to

“Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ… For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (II Timothy 2:3, 11-12).

“Onward, Christian Soldiers.” Sing it!

Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
   With the cross of Jesus Going on before:
Christ the royal Master Leads against the foe;
   Forward into battle, See, His banners go.
Onward, Christian soldiers, Marching as to war,
   With the cross of Jesus Going on before.
(“Onward, Christian Soldiers” by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924).

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:7).

To him that overcometh
   A crown of life shall be;
He with the King of glory
   Shall reign eternally!
(“Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” by George Duffield, 1818-1888).

Sing it!

To him that overcometh
   A crown of life shall be;
He with the King of glory
   Shall reign eternally!

Winston Churchill went through fierce battles in the Boer War, and again in the trenches of World War I and, under the bombing of London, as Prime Minister of England. Speaking of human warfare, Churchill, echoing James Boswell, said,

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.

How right he was! The weakness and fearfulness of the Prime Ministers who preceded him brought Britain to the brink of losing everything. Courage was needed then in war. Baldwin and Chamberlain did not have courage. They were timid, fearful men. It was the courage of Churchill that led Britain to victory. Without courage in war, all is lost. I hope President Obama learns that lesson of history before it is too late. Even the Los Angeles Times is fearful that he won’t (Click here to read “Obama’s Can’t-Do Style,” January 4, 2010, p. A15). I hope the President learns Churchill’s precept before we face Iran, armed to the teeth with missiles and nuclear warheads!

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.

And how true that dictum is, also, in the realm of the spirit – in the conflict with the world, the flesh and the devil that every true Christian must face. This takes us to the second part of our text.

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone”
     (Revelation 21:7-8).

Every true Christian is a conquering “overcomer” through the power and grace of God in Christ! “But the fearful!” “But the fearful,” in contrast to the “overcomers,” inherit nothing but the Lake of Fire! Dr. John Gill said the “fearful” are those,

“who are of cowardly spirits, and not valiant for the truth, but who, through fear of men, either make no profession of Christ and his Gospel, or having made it, drop it, lest they should be exposed to tribulation and persecution; these are they that are afraid of the beast, and live in servile bondage to him” (John Gill, D.D., An Exposition of the New Testament, The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1989 reprint, volume III, p. 858; note on Revelation 21:8).

The Greek word translated “fearful” means “timid.” “The word denotes cowardice and timidity and is never used in a good sense…here ‘the fearful’ are first in the list of the transgressors” (Vine). It is the same word Jesus used when He said,

“Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”
       (Mark 4:40).

“Fearful” is listed as the first characteristic of those who will “have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8). It is listed first because it is the foremost reason people remain lost. They are too cowardly and timid to become real Christians. “The fearful” are placed ahead of “murderers.” Why? Because some murderers, like Paul, become converts. But no one can become a real Christian who has a cowardly spirit! Fearfulness damns far more people than murder. Murder is rare. Cowardice is common. Therefore cowardice is placed first in this list of soul-damning sins. Fearfulness is by far the greatest reason people remain unconverted and go to Hell.

Some hear the Gospel but become afraid of listening to it any more. Jesus said they are those,

“…that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved”
     (Luke 8:12).

As in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5), the Devil tells them they will lose something “good” if they become Christians. They reject Christ and leave the church because they fear that they will lose something that they feel they must have. They reject Christ because they are “cowardly” (Gill) and fearful.

“Then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved” (Luke 8:12).

Others come to church for awhile, but when they see that it will cost them something,

“…when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended” (Mark 4:17)…“and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).

They fear going through some hardships to be a Christian, so they “fall away” because they are “cowardly” and fearful.

Still others (and this is the big one) fear that they will lose some money if they become Christians! Jesus said that they are those who hear the word,

“and the care [worries] of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word” (Matthew 13:22).

They too are fearful and cowardly, afraid to become Christians because they fear losing some money! “Why,” they say, “if I became a Christian I would have to be in church on Sunday. I couldn’t spend all day Sunday studying, like I do now. I might not do so well on a test. I might make a B instead of an A. That would hurt me later – and I would lose MONEY!” MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! The fear of losing MONEY! The Bible says,

“But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition” (I Timothy 6:9).

To avoid falling into that “snare,” John Wesley, in his sermon “The Use of Money,” wisely said to earn all you can, save all you can, and give all you can (The Works of John Wesley, Baker Book House, 1979 edition, volume VI, pp. 124-136).

Because they fear losing MONEY many people lose their souls in eternal Hell-fire! Grasping for MONEY, they are drowned in “destruction and perdition.” Those who fear that they will lose some MONEY if they come to church are too “cowardly” and fearful to become real converts to Christ. If I Timothy 6:9 was preached in our pulpits it would correct the modern heresy of “prosperity theology!” Lost people need to be told that they are often too afraid of losing MONEY to become real Christians!

“But the fearful…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8).

The Bible says,

“The love of MONEY is the root of all evil” (I Timothy 6:10).

Jesus said,

“Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13).

I have to chide the KJV translators for leaving the word “mamonas” untranslated. Perhaps they were afraid of offending the King of England – so they transliterated it to “mammon” instead of translating it into English as “money” or “riches.” The Geneva Bible, translated 12 years before the King James, dared to give us the full force of the underlying Greek, “Ye cannot serve God and riches.” There it is, staring you in the face in modern English:

“You cannot serve God and money” (Luke 16:13).

More people, including the King of England, have gone to Hell because they were afraid of losing some of their MONEY than anything else! If you are afraid that you will lose some MONEY, you will go to Hell!

“The rich man…died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…And he cried…I am tormented in this flame” (Luke 16:22-24).

People like him say, “Why, I couldn’t become a real Christian! Why, I might make a B instead of an A in a class or two! I’m afraid I might not get into the best graduate school! Why, I’m afraid I might make less MONEY!”

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…And he cried…I am tormented in this flame”!

“But the fearful…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8).

Judas sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver! He screamed, “I have betrayed the innocent blood…and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:4-5). For 30 silver coins he threw away his eternal soul! He was afraid of losing a little MONEY – so he lost his soul to the lake of fire!

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…And he cried…I am tormented in this flame”!

“But the fearful…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8).

Someone says, “I can’t come to Christ because I don’t see Him.” Stop fooling yourself! Be honest about it! None of us have “seen” Christ – but that didn’t stop us from coming to Him! Be honest. You won’t come to Christ because you’re afraid it will cost you some MONEY! There it is! That’s the long and the short of it! That’s the real reason! You won’t come to Jesus because you are afraid of losing MONEY! Jesus said,

“Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40).

He died on the Cross in your place, to pay the full penalty for your sins. He rose from the dead to give you life. But, Jesus said,

“Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life ”

because you were afraid of losing some MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!

“But the fearful…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8).

Acres of diamonds, mountains of gold,
   Rivers of silver, jewels untold;
All these together, wouldn’t buy you or me
   Peace when we’re sleeping or a conscience that's free.
A heart that's contented, a satisfied mind,
   These are the treasures money can’t buy;
If you have Jesus, there's more wealth in your soul,
   Than acres of diamonds, and mountains of gold.
(“Acres of Diamonds” by Arthur Smith, 1959).

Please stand and sing number 4 on your song sheet!

My life, my love I give to Thee,
   Thou Lamb of God who died for me;
Oh, may I ever faithful be,
   My Saviour and my God!
I’ll live for Him who died for me,
   How [satisfied] my life shall be!
I’ll live for Him who died for me,
   My Saviour and my God!
(“I’ll Live For Him” by Ralph E. Hudson, 1843-1901).

(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: Revelation 21:1-8.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Acres of Diamonds” (by Arthur Smith, 1959).