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TORN AND HEALED

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, July 15, 2012

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:1-2).


The prophet Hosea gave a gloomy picture of the religious condition in Israel. He said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Ephraim was the largest tribe of Israel, and that name was often used by the prophet to signify the whole nation. Hosea said, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone” (Hosea 4:17). God said that Israel was so enthralled with idol worship that He would leave them alone in their sins. Hosea said that God “hath withdrawn himself from them” (Hosea 5:6). God said, “I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face...” (Hosea 5:15).

We could apply all this to our own country, and to the whole Western world, and it would be right to do so. Our people are also destroyed for lack of the knowledge of God. Our people are also joined to idols, so in love with sin that God has withdrawn His hand of mercy from us, and left our churches in confusion, with no major revival in our lands since 1859. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said,

      Do we realize that God’s displeasure is upon the Church? Why has there been such a long interval since God last came down amongst His people in revival? Why this appalling long period? Why are things as they are? Why is the Church counting for so little? Why is she so ineffective? Why is it that men and women are living in sin, as they are, and things going from bad to worse?...Men and women, when they are truly awakened, begin to realize that there is nothing so serious as to be without the presence of God...that no outward prosperity, and no type of success, can compensate for the absence of God (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Revival, Crossway Books, 1987 edition, pp. 155, 157, 159).

But tonight I am not applying this text to the spiritual condition of the churches in the Western world. Instead, I am applying it to those of you who are not yet converted to Christ.

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:1-2).

It would be wonderful if we could all live in fellowship with God. There was a time when God and man lived together in peace and unity. In their time of innocence our first parents lived in a perfect relationship with God. But they rebelled against Him, and sinned. Immediately they were cut off from God and “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8). Now they were afraid of the Lord, and their rebellious hearts were “enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). The children that they bore sprang up with the same enmity and rebellion within them that was in the hearts of their parents,

“By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men...” (Romans 5:12).

It was not only physical death that passed down to them from Adam, but spiritual death as well – so all their future offspring were born “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). In this state of death, they no longer knew God personally. They turned to idol worship, “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Romans 1:23). They were cut off from the true God by their sin. As Isaiah said,

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

Yet God had mercy on mankind, and sent His Spirit to awaken them from their sin so they could be healed, and live once again in joyful union with their Maker. But to bring man back to that happy condition, God had to treat sinners severely. God had to tear and smite the sinner to awaken him from the deadly sleep of sin. This is the real God of the Bible. He is great and terrible. Yet He does not treat us as roughly as we deserve. His judgments upon us come from His heart of love for us. He tears and smites us to bring us to our senses, to revive us that we may live again through Christ, in the fellowship which our first parents lost by their sin in the Garden. Let us look, then, at our text with these great truths in mind.

I. First, the Spirit of God tears and smites the sinner’s heart.

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up”
       (Hosea 6:1).

Ungodly people think that troubles come to them by mere chance. They do not see the hand of God working when great trials come to them. They do not see that these troubles are sent to them by the providence of God, to correct them and awaken them from the sleep of death. Sometimes they even think that their problems come from the Devil, not realizing that this foul creature cannot do anything to them unless God allows him to do so, as we are told in the first chapter of Job. Or, they may think that their trials come from other people, and so they become angry at those who do them wrong.

It takes the grace of God for you to see that every trial and hardship comes from God, and that He is using these problems either to deepen your trust in Him, or else, in the case of those who are lost, to awaken you and bring you to your senses! The Bible says,

“Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?”
       (Amos 3:6).

Whatever way the trial came, it came from God. If the trouble came from an enemy or a deceitful friend, it really came from God. If it was a loss in business or a sickness, in either case it was from the Lord. He allowed it to happen for a reason.

Learn that lesson. God has smitten you. He has torn you. And He has done it for a purpose. It may seem that you have had “bad luck” – but it is not that. May God’s Spirit show you that your losses and sorrows and troubles have come to you from the hand of God – for a reason! I would not be surprised if you who have been torn and smitten did not go through all that because God has some great purpose in doing so, because He loves you! Look at the prodigal son in a far country. He had plenty of money. He had it all! But then one bad thing after the other came upon him. Why? To awaken him so he could be saved! “He came to himself” (Luke 15:17). But he would never have come to himself, and been awakened, if the hand of God had not fallen hard upon him, tearing and smiting him until he said, “I will arise and go to my father” (Luke 15:18).

If you saw a boy breaking into a house, you might very well go on your way, rather than get involved. But if you saw your own son doing it, I am sure you would go and grab him and give him a good spanking. Would you have loved him less than the other boy? No, you would discipline your son because you loved him more! Thus, God says,

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten”
       (Revelation 3:19).

How about conviction of sin? Some of you may have cried out to God for mercy, but you found that He did not answer you. Instead He withdrew from you even farther, and left you feeling miserable. Why didn’t He answer your cry for mercy? Because He loves you! He says,

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.”

He left you feeling horrible and lost because He wants you to see clearly that nothing in this world can bring peace to your soul but the Son of God! In His great love for you, God is causing you to see, by this chastening, that Jesus is “altogether lovely” (Song of Solomon 5:16). You will, by nature, “despise and reject” Jesus, and esteem “him not” (Isaiah 53:3), until God tears and smites you to the point that you turn to Jesus because there is nowhere else to turn! Isn’t that why Peter said,

“Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

The Spirit of God is cutting you off from all other hope. He is tearing you and smiting you with cutting conviction, and the loss of all human hope, so you will throw yourself at the feet of Jesus and cry, “Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:30).

Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, alone,
   Can turn our hearts from sin;
His power alone can set us free
   And give us peace within.
(“Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone” by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915).

When the Holy Spirit has torn and smitten you, Jesus will heal you, He will pour in the oil and the wine, as did the Good Samaritan. Then Jesus will cleanse the leprosy of sin in your heart with His precious Blood. He will bind you up and heal you, wash away your sin with His Blood, and give you peace within.

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up”
       (Hosea 6:1).

Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, alone,
   Can love for Christ inspire;
His power alone within our souls
   Can light the sacred fire.

When He has torn your heart and smitten your conscience, and you feel that your sin is unbearable, then you may look to Jesus, and be able to sing,

I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
   Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
   For His blood can wash away each stain.
(“I Will Praise Him” by Margaret J. Harris, 1865-1919).

II. Second, the Spirit of God then revives the heart, and you shall live in His sight.

“After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:2).

God’s Spirit tears and smites the sinner until he sees that he is dead in trespasses and sins. “After two days will he revive us.” Of course we must not take this literally. It represents a period of time in which your false hopes fail, and you feel dead in sin. He will wait, no matter how long it takes, until you feel that you are so dead you cannot do anything to save yourself. For some this only takes a short time, perhaps only a few minutes. But it took two years before Dr. Cagan felt hopelessly lost. It took seven years for me to come under the sentence of death. I know one poor woman who was torn and smitten for seventeen years before she died to her own power. But then God’s Spirit raised her up to Jesus, and she lived in his sight! “Two days” represents the length of time, however short or long, in which the soul sinks in despair, and feels dead to God, and helpless in all efforts of self-salvation.

When you are fully dead and feel it, when all earthly hope is gone, then God’s Spirit comes and raises you up to Jesus – at the right hand of God – by faith you never had before!

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6).

Raised from the dead by the Spirit of God, you shall then “live in his sight”!

The person who has not yet been torn and smitten to death will ask, “How do I come to Jesus?” But when his false hopes are gone, and he feels dead in sins, God raises him up to Jesus! It will seem quite natural and easy when He does! All of your strivings and tears will be forgotten when you are raised up by God, “and [are] made to sit...in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”!!!

Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, alone
   Can draw us to Thy Son;
His power alone can lift the vail,
   That we to Christ may come.

The same power that raised Christ from the dead on the third day will raise you up to Him and give you life!

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection... Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:4, 5, 11).

Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, alone
   Can draw us to Thy Son;
His power alone can lift the vail,
   That we to Christ may come.

Jesus rose from the dead on the third day!

“After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:2).

When you are raised up, we will sing of you, as we sing of Jesus,

He who was dead is alive again,
   He who was dead is alive again;
Broken the strong, icy clutches of death,
   He who was dead is alive again.
(“Alive Again” by Paul Rader, 1878-1938).

Sing it with me!

He who was dead is alive again,
   He who was dead is alive again;
Broken the strong, icy clutches of death,
   He who was dead is alive again.

The father of the Prodigal Son said,

“This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:24).

This is the Gospel of the Lord! This is life from the dead! This is good news for you tonight! Dead sinners are made alive by the power of our God!

“After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:2).

In loving kindness Jesus came
   My soul in mercy to reclaim,
And from the depths of sin and shame
   Through grace He lifted me.
From sinking sand He lifted me,
   With tender hand He lifted me,
From shades of night to plains of light,
   Oh, praise His name, He lifted me!

He called me long before I heard,
   Before my sinful heart was stirred,
But when I took Him at His word,
   Forgiven He lifted me.

Sing the chorus with me!

From sinking sand He lifted me,
   With tender hand He lifted me,
From shades of night to plains of light,
   Oh, praise His name, He lifted me!
(“He Lifted Me” by Charles H. Gabriel, 1856-1932).

Here I must add a word of caution. When you come to Jesus by faith you may feel the change at once. You may go from the church tonight with full assurance that Jesus saved you. You may well leave here with joy reigning in your heart, in full knowledge that you were raised up to Jesus, and live in His sight. And if you do, we will praise God for it! But others may be made alive in His sight and not be very sure of it yet. I well remember the day that Jesus saved me. But I did not know I was saved right then. It was only after days had passed that I realized He had pardoned my sins, and had given me life from the dead. Dr. Ebenezer Porter was a wise revival preacher from the Second Great Awakening. Dr. Porter said, “Some having a delightful perception of the glory of God, began soon to ‘abound in hope;’ but the greater part were brought very gradually to entertain a hope that they were reconciled to God” (Dr. Ebenezer Porter, Letters on Revival, Linde Publications, 1992 reprint, p. 82).

Therefore do not be discouraged if you leave here tonight without full assurance that you are saved. After all, “assurance” is not what you need most. Assurance will come later. What you need tonight is to have your sins pardoned, and your sins cleansed, by the precious Blood of Jesus. Tonight our text says, “Let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.”

Come to Jesus tonight. Leave all other things behind. Come to Jesus and He will heal your sins and cleanse them with His precious Blood.

I am going to sing that song Mr. Griffith sang at the beginning of this sermon. While I sing it, please leave your seat and go to the back of the sanctuary. Dr. Cagan will take you to a quiet room for counselling and prayer. If you are not yet saved please go to the back of the room while I sing.

Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, alone,
   Can turn our hearts from sin;
His power alone can set us free
   And give us peace within.

Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, alone,
   Can love for Christ inspire;
His power alone within our souls
   Can light the sacred fire.

Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, alone
   Can draw us to Thy Son;
His power alone can lift the vail,
   That we to Christ may come.
(“Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone” by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915;
      stanza three by the Pastor).

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Hosea 6:1-2.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Thy Holy Spirit, Lord, Alone” (by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915);
altered with stanza 3 by Dr. Hymers.

THE OUTLINE OF


TORN AND HEALED

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:1-2).

(Hosea 4:6, 17; 5:6, 15; Genesis 3:8; Romans 8:7; 5:12;
Ephesians 2:1; Romans 1:23; Isaiah 59:2)

I.   First, the Spirit of God tears and smites the sinner’s heart,
Hosea 6:1; Amos 3:6; Luke 15:17, 18; Revelation 3:19;
Song of Solomon 5:16; Isaiah 53:3; John 6:68; Matthew 14:30.

II.  Second, the Spirit of God then revives the heart, and you shall
live in His sight, Hosea 6:2; Ephesians 2:4-6; Romans 6:4, 5, 11;
Luke 15:24.