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CHRIST’S SECOND COMING – MAN’S ONLY HOPE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, June 10, 2012

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25-27).


In 1972 I was in San Francisco, studying for my Master’s degree at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. The professors were theological liberals. They rejected the verbal inspiration of the Bible. They rejected the virgin birth of Christ. They said the four Gospels were a patchwork quilt of forgery and lies. One professor favorably quoted the extreme modernist Harry Emerson Fosdick. He said that people could be saved through other religions, without Christ. He quoted Tillich who said, “God does not exist.” Another professor denied every prophecy Christ gave about His second coming. He denounced and rejected Christ’s promise to come again in the clouds of heaven. He did not believe in the second coming of Christ. I quoted him, gave his name, and the written source of his statement in a book I wrote. After this professor died his grandson read my book. The young man called and yelled at me on the telephone. He said, “My grandfather did believe in the second coming of Christ. He told me so.” What could I say to his grandson? He lied to the boy! He told him he believed in the second coming, although he taught us students that it wasn’t true. Those professors were liars, as well as enemies of the Bible! In one Old Testament class Dr. J. Kenneth Eakins said, “There is no mention of the resurrection of the body in the Old Testament.” I felt like Peter Finch in the movie “Network,” when he said, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” I stood to my feet in that classroom and said, “No! You are wrong! The oldest book in the Old Testament says,

‘I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God’ (Job 19:25-26).

You are wrong! That verse plainly shows us the resurrection of the dead.” I was no rebellious Hippie. At 31 I was too old. I was a Republican with an American flag pinned on the lapel of my suit. But I couldn’t help but defend the resurrection in the Old Testament! It was just too important for me to let it slide!

Why was I so upset when Dr. Eakins told that lie in the classroom – that the Old Testament never mentions the resurrection at the second coming of Christ? I was boiling mad because lies like that have robbed millions of young people from having any hope. Make no mistake! If Christ is not risen and coming again, then you young people have no hope – for there is no other hope in all the world! The Apostle Paul said,

“If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (I Corinthians 15:17).

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).

Why did I fight theological liberalism at that seminary? Simply because I knew if the Bible was not true there was no hope. I knew, deep in my soul, that the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was right when he said,

Totally without hope one cannot live.
To live without hope is to cease to live.

I was fighting for the hope I had in a living Christ! The title of this sermon is “Christ’s Second Coming – Man’s Only Hope!” Is that too extreme? If you think so, please consider these two thoughts.

I. First, without faith in the resurrected and soon-coming Christ the world has no hope.

Again, Dostoyevsky said,

Hell is hopeless. It is no accident that above the entrance to Dante’s hell is the inscription, “Leave behind all hope, you who enter here.”

Many people today exist in a living hell – without hope for the future. A twenty-one-year-old girl on a college campus said, “At nineteen we’re ready to die. They tell us that we are the hope of the world, but we have no hope.” When I was in high school I had a friend who lost all hope. Like that girl, he said, “I have no hope.” I was shocked and horrified when I learned that he put a gun in his mouth and blew his brains out. The grim horror of that memory haunts me still. I will never outlive the terrible sound of his voice saying, “I have no hope.” Two years later my favorite modern author Ernest Hemingway did the same thing – he shot himself in the head, a broken and hopeless old man.

I read in the newspaper last Friday that “Suicides are surging among America’s troops, averaging nearly one a day this year – the fastest pace in the nation’s decade of war” (The Daily News, June 8, 2012, p. A1). The paper said, “The reasons for the increase are not fully understood.” A psychiatrist said, “What makes one person become suicidal and another not is truly an unknown” (ibid.). That psychiatrist may not understand the reason, but I do. People commit suicide because they have lost all hope. Many who don’t actually kill themselves take drugs or alcohol in a futile attempt to forget their hopelessness. I believe that hopelessness lies behind much of the current upswing in alcohol and drug abuse. People who try almost anything to forget their existential anxiety and depression are described by the Apostle Paul as, “having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

“Having no hope, and without God in the world.” Horrible! I don’t know how anyone can live like that! And yet millions of young people do. No wonder they spend endless hours on the Internet, or texting, or twittering, even while they are driving, even when they are in bed at night. And when they get up in the morning it’s one video game after the other – for hours! It seems to me that they are doing anything they can to keep their minds occupied, to keep from thinking “I have no hope. I am without God in the world.”

When a person has no awareness of God, life is only a hopeless mess. When someone has no hope in a living Christ, and no faith that He will come again, that person exists in a living hell. To live that kind of life is to leave all hope behind. As Dante put it, “Leave behind all hope, you who enter here.”

Diversions are really only a temporary help. We tell you to be in church every time the door is open. But your attention is diverted by a school event, someone’s party, or some other event. So, off you go – diverting your mind for a few hours, trying to forget that your life has no meaning, trying to forget what that girl felt when she said, “At nineteen we’re ready to die. They tell us we are the hope of the world, but we have no hope.”

We are here to tell you that there is a better way, “that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope,” as the Apostle Paul put it in I Thessalonians 4:13. If you listen to the Gospel, become a real Christian, and get into church every time the door is open the demon of hopelessness will leave you. Ah, yes! I think there is indeed a demon of hopelessness. When such a demon enslaves a person, he will try to drown his sorrow in drugs or alcohol. And when that doesn’t work his demons may drive him to suicide. But Christ has come “that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (I Thessalonians 4:13). Yes, without faith in the resurrected and soon-coming Christ the world has no hope.

II. Second, our hope is in the resurrected Christ, who will soon come again!

The Bible says that Jesus was

“...declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).

Yes, Christ is alive. No, He is not a spirit floating around somewhere. No! He is declared to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead! After He rose from the dead, He said to the Disciples,

“Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet” (Luke 24:38-40).

They saw the holes in His hands and feet that had been made when He was nailed to the Cross. Then He sat down and ate a meal with them! Praise the Lord, the real flesh and bone Jesus had literally risen from the dead!

You are Lord! You are Lord!
You have risen from the dead,
And you are Lord!
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord!

Stand and sing it with me!

You are Lord! You are Lord!
You have risen from the dead,
And you are Lord!
Every knee shall bow, every tongue confess
That Jesus Christ is Lord!

You may be seated.

And because He is Lord, this very same Jesus is coming again from His place in Heaven!

“And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

O blessed hope! O blissful promise!
   Filling our hearts with rapture divine;
O day of days! Hail Thy appearing!
   Thy transcendent glory forever shall shine.
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!

Oh, listen to the Apostle Paul as he speaks of Christ’s coming in the clouds!

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

That is our blessed hope! That is the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ! He is coming again! He is coming again! With power and great glory He is coming again!

Dr. I. M. Haldeman (1845-1933), the long-time pastor of the First Baptist Church of New York City, said,

      The coming of Christ is held out as the blessed hope of the church. Nowhere are Christians exhorted to prepare for death or hope for Heaven, but always, without a single break in utterance, to watch, to wait, to hope for the coming of the Lord...That coming means the end of [the church’s] long and weary pilgrimage.
It means the triumph over sin, sickness, sorrow and death.
It means [you are] no longer the world’s [beggar], but its ruler.
It means the presence of the King, the possession of His likeness,
               the share of His throne and the administration of His kingdom.

It means everything for which the church has hoped and prayed,
               all for which she has striven and endured...

It means...the bringing of the whole world to the feet of [Christ],
               where with unspeakable joy she [will] hear every tongue confess
               that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father...

(I. M. Haldeman, D.D., “Christ’s Second Coming”).

Thank God for the blessed hope of the second coming of Christ!

But, oh, you must trust Him now. Even now, before He comes, you must trust Him and be saved. He calls you to come to Him. He says, “Come unto me...and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He is alive now in Heaven. Trust Him! He poured out His Blood to cleanse you from all sin. Trust Him! He died on the Cross to pay the penalty for all your sins. Trust Him! He is coming again in the clouds of glory. Trust Him! He will save you from a hopeless life. Trust Him! He will save you from your sins. Trust Him! He will save you from the blackness of Hell. Trust Him! He will give you eternal life. Trust Him! Oh, I plead with you this morning – trust Him! Turn from your sinful life-style. Come into the church every time the door is open. And trust Him! “Only trust Him. Only trust Him. Only trust Him now. He will save you. He will save you. He will save you now!”

(END OF SERMON)
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at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

You may email Dr. Hymers at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net, (Click Here) – or you may
write to him at P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Or phone him at (818)352-0452.

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: II Peter 3:3-7.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“He is Coming Again” (by Mabel Johnston Camp, 1871-1937).


THE OUTLINE OF

CHRIST’S SECOND COMING – MAN’S ONLY HOPE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25-27).

(I Corinthians 15:17)

I.   First, without faith in the resurrected and soon-coming Christ
the world has no hope, Ephesians 2:12; I Thessalonians 4:13.

II.  Second, our hope is in the resurrected Christ, who will soon
come again! Romans 1:4; Luke 24:38-40; Matthew 24:30;
Titus 2:13; Matthew 11:28.