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DEMOCRATS 'BOO' GOD AND JERUSALEM –
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

(SERMON #64 ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS)

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, September 9, 2012

“Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake” (Genesis 18:32).


God sent two angels to the city of Sodom. As they went toward Sodom, Abraham prayed to God, saying, “Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” (Genesis 18:23). Then Abraham asked God if He would destroy the city if there were fifty praying people there. God said He would spare the city if there were fifty praying men there. Abraham asked if God would spare it for forty. God said He would spare it for forty, and also for thirty, and even for twenty. Then Abraham said,

“Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake” (Genesis 18:32).

God would have spared the city of Sodom if there had been only ten praying men in that city. This shows us the power of intercessory prayer to God.

Basing their belief on passages of Scripture like this, the Hasidic Jews say that 36 righteous, praying men hold back God’s judgment from the world. These Orthodox Jews call those praying men the Tzaddikim, the 36 righteous men who keep God from judging the world by their prayers of intercession.

While I am not sure that the exact number is 36, I am in basic agreement with the Hasidic Jewish people. The Bible says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

In this evil time, we need to pray more than ever. Never forget that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” The whole wicked city of Sodom would have been spared from judgment if only ten people there had been men of prayer! Lot’s unbelieving sons-in-law would have been spared. Lot’s unbelieving wife would have been spared. Even the Sodomites themselves would have been spared. Think of it! Isn’t that what this passage teaches?

I believe that God may spare our nation, even those who are unbelieving and wicked, if we pray. America may be spared, as Sodom would have been spared, if enough of us are men and women of prayer! God said, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.” “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

There are certainly many immoral, ungodly people in our nation. I was shocked and saddened while watching the Democratic National Convention on television last week. Speaker after speaker called for more abortions – as if the horrible killing of 55 million American babies was not enough. Speaker after speaker called for the legalization of same sex marriage. I was shocked to hear so much of that throughout the speeches at the Convention.

Furthermore, I was disturbed when I heard President Obama himself endorse same sex marriage at least three times in his acceptance speech at the Convention. This was pumped into our living rooms through our televisions, and it deeply offended many Americans. So I will repeat here what I said in my Mother’s Day sermon, given on May 13, 2012, and printed on the front page of “The Biblical Evangelist,” edited by Dr. Robert L. Sumner, in his August-October 2012 issue. What I said to President Obama then, I repeat tonight.

I say to President Obama, “Sir, the American people did not hire you to be a moral philosopher or theologian. We did not hire you to tell Catholics that their hospitals had to provide birth control. We did not hire you to tell rabbis in New York City that they can’t perform circumcisions! (Yes, that is happening!). We did not hire you to tell the rest of us what to think about marriage. We did not hire you to be a theologian or a moral philosopher. We hired you to fix the economy, bring down gas prices, and put our young people back to work – as President Roosevelt did in the Great Depression. Mr. President, please stop telling us what to believe on moral and theological subjects and do the job we hired you to do – or get out of the way and let a businessman do the job!”

But please don’t expect me to do any “gay bashing.” Those who read my sermons, and those of you here in our church, know that has never been my approach, and I’m not going to change now. I believe that Jesus wants us to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), not just to those who agree with us on these things. Jesus can pardon the sins of anyone who repents and turns to Him in faith. John 3:16 tells us that God loves the whole world so much that He sent Jesus to save “whosoever believeth in him.” That is our message, and we should never deviate from it into any sort of “hate speech.” We should pray for those who don’t agree with us, as Jesus did.

Yet I was disturbed at what I saw at the Democratic National Convention last week. Those in charge of the Democratic platform left out the word “God” and, for the first time, did not affirm Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. I do not know why they did that. But it was obviously a big mistake. When the Republicans pointed this out, President Obama scrambled to get those words put back in the Democrats’ platform. One commentator said, “He got egg in his face,” meaning he was embarrassed. Well, at the last minute, Mr. Obama told them to put “God” and “Jerusalem” back into the platform. Governor Ted Strickland, a member of the platform drafting committee, came before the Democratic delegates and made a motion to put “God” and “Jerusalem” into the platform statement. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the chairman of the Democratic Convention, went to the podium and asked for a two-thirds vote to amend the platform by putting “God” and “Jerusalem” into the document. He took a voice vote, asking the delegates to state aloud “aye” or “nay.”

The first time he couldn’t tell if the required two-thirds had said “aye.” A very loud “no” vote was heard. He asked them to vote a second time, but still couldn’t tell if two-thirds had voted “aye.” Villaraigosa looked around in confusion. The third voice vote was as inconclusive as the other two, but Villaraigosa said, “In the opinion of the chair it has been passed.” I watched a replay of all this on Fox News last Friday evening. When Villaraigosa said the motion had been passed, very loud booing and angry shouting filled the auditorium. “God” and “Jerusalem” were booed and shouted down, with the angry opponents protesting, waving and shouting angrily against any mention of “God” and “Jerusalem” being added to their document. By far the largest number of delegates were against the inclusion of “God” and “Jerusalem,” but it was rammed through, causing what the Los Angeles Times called “an embarrassing episode that marred” the Convention (Times, September 6, 2012, p. U1). The Times article also quoted Governor Romney, who said “that the absence of the word ‘God’ in the Democratic platform showed that the party is veering further and further away into an extreme wing that Americans don’t recognize” (ibid.). The Associated Press said, “Even as Democrats worked to quell the political fallout from the omission, some angry delegates [it seemed like the majority to me] screamed and threw their hands in the air” when the amendment was approved (Daily News, September 6, 2012, p. A10).

I know that it is deeply troubling to you, here in church tonight, to hear American citizens booing and shouting down the name of “God” and the name of “Jerusalem.” But always remember what God said to Abraham, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake” (Genesis 18:32). They “booed” God and Jerusalem. It made us sad and troubled. What can we do about it? We can pray! To the world that sounds weak and unimportant. But they are wrong. All the truly important things come in answer to prayer! To be honest with you, I am beginning to think I shouldn’t pray for either party. Neither one of them seems much good anymore. I think we should focus our prayers and our energy completely on helping young people find God! Let that be the focus of our prayers! Our work is in front of us – to pray for this church to explode with young people!

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
   Here ’mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care;
Men lost and dying, souls in despair;
   O give me power, power in prayer!
(“Teach Me to Pray” by Albert S. Reitz, 1879-1966).

Tonight I am giving you part of chapter one in Dr. R. A. Torrey’s classical book, How to Pray. These words are adapted and edited from that chapter.

Prayer brings power into our work. If we wish to have power for any work, we can receive it by earnest prayer. Many have tried to win souls for years without seeing fruit from their work. Then, they learn the secret of intercession and, by earnest prayer, see those they are trying to win brought to Christ. Many people have become powerful soul winners by casting away confidence in their own ability, and giving themselves to prayer.

Prayer often avails where everything else fails. By prayer, the bitterest enemies of the Gospel have become its most valiant defenders. The most wicked have become the truest sons of God, and the most contemptible women have become the purest saints. Oh, the power of prayer to reach down, where hope itself seems vain, and lift men and women up into fellowship with God! It is simply wonderful! How little we appreciate this marvelous weapon of prayer!

Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
   Here ’mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care;
Men lost and dying, souls in despair;
   O give me power, power in prayer!

Prayer brings blessings to the church. The history of the church has always been full of grave difficulties to overcome. The Devil hates the church and seeks in every way to block its progress – by false doctrine, by division, and by inward corruption of life. But, by prayer, a clear way can be made through everything. Prayer will root out heresy, smooth out misunderstandings, sweep away all obstacles, and bring in the full tide of God’s reviving grace. History proves this. In the darkest hours, when the state of the church has seemed beyond hope, praying men and women have met together, or gone alone, and cried to God, and the answer has come.

The world, the flesh, and the Devil seem to have America under their complete control tonight. We live in a very dark time – but now

“It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law” (Psalm 119:126).

God is ready to work again, even in these evil days. But He is listening for your prayers. Will He hear them? Will He hear you praying in detail for the lost you are trying to help? Will you become a man or woman of prayer? Their salvation may well depend on your prayers for them.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16).

Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray;
   This is my heart-cry day unto day;
I long to know Thy will and Thy way;
   Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray.

If you are willing to spend fifteen minutes each day in prayer for those we are bringing in who are lost, please come up here on the platform while we sing “Power in Prayer.” Sing it!

Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
   Here ’mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care;
Men lost and dying, souls in despair;
   O give me power, power in prayer!

Mr. Bebout, Mr. Lee, and Mr. Prudhomme, please lead us in prayer (pray). “Power in Prayer!” Sing it!

Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
   Here ’mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care;
Men lost and dying, souls in despair;
   O give me power, power in prayer!

You may be seated.

If you have never been converted we are praying for you to be born again by the power of God. The Lord Jesus Christ came down from heaven and died in your place, to pay for your sins, on the Cross. They put His dead body in a tomb, and sealed it, with Roman soldiers standing guard. But on the third day the Lord Jesus Christ rose physically, flesh and bone, from the dead. He ascended back to Heaven, to another dimension. He is now seated up in Heaven at the right hand of God the Father, praying for you. When you repent and come to Jesus in simple faith, His Blood washes away every sin you have ever committed, and you are born again to eternal life. We are praying that you will come to Jesus soon. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Genesis 18:23-33.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Sweet Hour of Prayer” (by William W. Walford, 1772-1850).