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I WILL FEAR NO EVIL

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, July 14, 2013

“I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4).


When I was in junior high school I saw a movie version of H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. It was at the noon movie they showed at lunch time. One scene in that film really troubled me. Martians had landed on the earth. Everyone was afraid to approach the spaceship. Finally an old minister said he wasn’t scared. He held up a Bible in front of him and walked toward the spaceship. He was reciting the twenty-third Psalm as he walked bravely toward the aliens. I remember thinking, “He’s going to make it!” The brave old preacher said,

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).

“I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4).

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever” (Psalm 23:6).

Just as he said those words a bolt of electricity shot out of the spaceship and burned him up. My heart sank! It seemed so real! Maybe God can’t really protect us. When the Martians torched the pastor my heart was pounding and I was covered with a cold sweat. I was just a kid. I hadn’t seen much TV, and I had only seen a few movies. I was terrified. “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” Maybe those words weren’t true after all! I didn’t know it at the time, but of course that was exactly what H. G. Wells wanted young people to think. That sad old man was an atheist. Poor fellow. Before he died, he said, “I am sixty-five years old, and I am lonely and have never found peace.” I pity him now. But his story shook what little faith I had at the time. I got up and walked out of the movie with tears in my eyes!

That was nearly sixty years ago. Since then I have learned time and again that the words of David are absolutely true. “I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” Now I know by long years of experience that those words are true. It doesn’t mean that we will never be affected by evil. It means that, no matter what evil befalls us, we need not fear it because Christ is with us!

I have also learned that many of the fears we experience are demonic. I came from a broken home. Back then it was somewhat unusual for a boy’s parents to be divorced. That was a constant worry to me. I was afraid of what would happen to me. Also, I was moved around so much that I was always the “new kid” at school. You would have a hard time knowing what it felt like to go to more than twenty schools before graduating from high school. So I became fearful of meeting new people. Then, too, I was a very poor student. I had never learned to study. So I felt frozen with fear whenever it came time to take a test.

I don’t think there is any young person here this morning who is as riddled with fear as I was as a teenager. My hands would sweat and my heart would pound when I had to meet people I didn’t know. My hands would sweat and my heart would pound when I had to take a test. Furthermore, when I was called to preach, the anxiety that I felt over preaching was almost overwhelming. Oh, some of you know I was in a lot of plays, but acting was very different from preaching. In plays I was somebody else, and it wasn’t real. But in preaching I was myself, telling other people what to do. I had a bad experience when I gave my first sermon at the age of seventeen. After that I broke into a cold sweat every time I preached.

I tell you all of this to show you that I was an extremely frightened boy – completely lacking in self-confidence, wracked by fears in the daytime, and in nightmares after dark. The thing that took me out of all those fears was God. I want to give you some verses that helped me overcome my youthful fears. Psalm 27:1 was the first verse in the Bible that helped me, and I hope it will help you as well.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

 

I remember saying that verse over and over again to myself when I was afraid, which was very often!

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

Another verse that greatly helped me was Psalm 34:4.

“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

As God answered me, and actually did deliver me from fear, time and again, I knew that He was real. You see, He had to be real – because He really did deliver me from my fears time after time!

I have heard people say, “Dr. Hymers isn’t afraid of anything.” One pastor said, “He’s absolutely fearless!” I know it may appear that way – but fearlessness is certainly not a natural characteristic of mine. Any strength you see in me comes wholly from God, because I found it was true,

“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

Another thing I learned was this – many of our fears come from Satan. II Timothy 1:7 is a verse that helped me repeatedly after I was converted.

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).

I came to believe that “the spirit of fear” was a demon. This was an evil spirit that would come and torment me. But I overcame it by reciting this verse over and over until the demon left.

“God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).

By claiming and relying on those great promises I have come to the place now where I can say,

“I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Psalm 23:4).

Now I will tell you why I preached this sermon. Last Sunday morning I blasted you in the sermon titled, "Sandemanianism." I said,

     You come softly into the inquiry room and say, “I trust that Jesus died for me.” You trust that He died for you! How dainty and polite you are! You couldn’t be bold and say, “He died for me.” Oh, no! “I trust that He died for me.” A doctrine! A doctrine! “That” He died for me! You trust a doctrine – and not Christ Himself! You unreconstructed Sandemanian! You soft-spoken, limp-wristed Sandemanian! You Devil-blinded Sandemanian! You will not trust Jesus Himself! Oh, no! You are too dainty for that! Trust Jesus Himself? Oh, no! That would be too messy. You might cry or sob! You might get some of His Blood on your clothes! You say, “You can’t expect me to get that close to Him! I’ll stand over here, nice and neat, and ‘trust that He died for me!’ Or ‘I’ll trust Him to wash my sins away.’” Will you trust Christ Himself? “Oh, that’s a little too radical! It might make me cry. No, I won’t come directly to Him. I’ll stand quietly over here and just trust Him to wash my sins away. I hope you understand.”
     Yes, I understand. I understand that you are a limp-wristed, “don’t get my hands dirty” Sandemanian. “But,” you say, “this is so hard to understand!” No it is not!!! We have kids who have been here only a short time that came to Christ and were saved. We have kids who trusted Christ Himself and were saved, who have only been here a short time. Jin and Robert and Barry and Jackie all hopefully trusted Jesus recently. So you have no excuse! No excuse whatever for deliberately and wilfully refusing to trust Jesus Christ Himself. And Jesus knows what a rotten, rebellious sinner you are, that you refuse to come to the loving Son of God. And so He says,

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

Isn’t it true that you don’t have Christ because you have been fiddling around…And isn’t it true that the real reason you don’t have Christ is because you don’t want Him? You want to keep your sin. You don’t want to give up lost friends. You want to keep looking at pornography. You want to keep on controlling your own life. You don’t want Christ to take control of your life! Isn’t that right? You…say of Christ, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14). You pretend that you can’t trust Him – but the truth is that you refuse to trust Him, because you want to keep on in your sin! You know that’s true. I know that’s true. God knows that’s true. So why keep pretending it isn’t true? Admit it – you won’t trust Jesus because you don’t want Him to control your life. Now isn’t that the truth? The Pharisees in our text would not come to Him because they didn’t want Him to change their lives. And you won’t come to Him because you don’t want Him to change your life. You are satisfied living in sin. And if you go on refusing Jesus Christ, you will die in your sins. Those Pharisees died in their sins, and you will die in your sins. And that is the absolute truth! You will die in your sins – a lost Sandemanian. You will die in your sins! And Jesus says to you, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”
     (Quoted from “Sandemanianism” by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr., preached on Lord’s Day morning, July 7, 2013).

That, of course, is only one side of the story. This sermon is the other side. I’m trying to get you to see that you can easily trust Jesus, and there is nothing to fear! Some of you don’t trust Jesus because you are afraid to trust Him. Yes, it is sinful of you, but it is understandable.

You may be afraid to trust Jesus out of fear of what your unsaved parents may think. How can I answer that? Let the Bible answer it.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).

Again, you may be afraid that you will make a mistake and have a false conversion. That is really a groundless fear, isn’t it? If you make a mistake it will be corrected. So that fear is groundless. There is no reason for it. It must come from Satan as a “spirit of fear.” Reject it outright. Resist it,

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (II Timothy 1:7).

Whatever fear you have about trusting Jesus, let it go! Seek Christ and He will deliver you from all your fears! The Bible says,

“I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

Jesus came down and died on the Cross to pardon your sin, and “deliver you from all fears.” God does not want you to go on being tormented by fear. God wants you to be free from these fears because He loves you! Listen to I John 4:18-19.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us” (I John 4:18-19).

Perfect love casts out fear. Jesus loves you. Trust Him in simple faith and the fear that torments you will be gone. There is nothing to fear. Love casts out all fear! Don’t be afraid of what people will think. Don’t be afraid that you will make a mistake. Don’t be afraid of what will happen to you if you trust Jesus. Come boldly to Jesus and He will save you now and forever!

Jesus died on the Cross to pay the penalty for all your sin. His Blood cleanses from “all sin” (I John 1:7).

Only trust Him, only trust Him,
   Only trust Him now.
He will save you, He will save you,
   He will save you now.

For Jesus shed His precious blood
   Rich blessings to bestow;
Plunge now into the crimson flood
   That washes white as snow.
Only trust Him, only trust Him,
   Only trust Him now.
He will save you, He will save you,
   He will save you now.
(“Only Trust Him” by John H. Stockton, 1813-1877).

“Plunge now into the crimson flood that washes white as snow”! Plunge now! Throw yourself upon Jesus, and He will save you!

If you would like to speak with Dr. Cagan or one of the counsellors about trusting Jesus, please leave your chair now and walk to the back of this auditorium. Don’t talk to your counsellor about fear! Talk to him about Jesus and His love for you! Dr. Cagan will take you to a quiet room where we can pray and give you some literature to read. God bless you! Dr. Chan, please lead us in prayer for those who responded. Amen.

(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 Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Psalm 23.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want”
(words from the “Scottish Psalter,” 1650; music by Jessie S. Irvine, 1836-1887;
to the tune of “O Set Ye Open Unto Me”)