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DISOBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPEL

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, July 28, 2013

“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” (Romans 10:16).


The word “Gospel” means “good news.” It is the good news that Jesus Christ died on the Cross to make full payment for sin. It is the good news that Jesus has risen bodily from the dead to give eternal life. But here Paul says that not all who hear the Gospel have obeyed it. Then he quotes from Isaiah 53:3, “Who hath believed our report?” The passage in Isaiah 53 goes on to say that Jesus is “despised and rejected of men” (Isaiah 53:3). Paul based his statement “they have not all obeyed the gospel” on Isaiah’s prediction that not all would believe the “report” they hear about Jesus. And it implies that they will not believe the preaching of the Gospel because Jesus is “despised and rejected of men.” And so the Apostle tells us that, among those who hear the Gospel preached, “they have not all obeyed the gospel.”

This is one of the clearest proofs of the deep depravity and rebellion of human nature. They have sinned and have no peace with God in their hearts. You would think that they would immediately believe the good news that Christ could pardon their sins and save them. Unless man’s nature was ruined by sin, we couldn’t explain why sinners would not be willing to obey the Gospel. Yet that’s the way it is. This proves the total depravity of man. Why else would any sane person reject the Gospel of free pardon through Jesus Christ? Why else would people close their ears to Gospel preaching? Why else would they think so little of Christ that they refuse to obey the Gospel? If you are here this morning, and have repeatedly refused Christ, why have you done so if not because your heart is ruined by original sin? I say that you have not obeyed the Gospel because your heart has been poisoned by the sin you inherited from Adam. May God overpower your depravity today!

But total depravity is not the subject of my sermon this morning. I want to speak for a few minutes to those of you who have continued to disobey the Gospel. It is There are those here this morning who have heard me preach the Gospel before, and yet “they have not all obeyed the gospel.” May the Spirit of God make someone here, who has disobeyed the Gospel, become obedient to it – and be saved before we leave the church this morning! To help you, I will speak on three points that come from our text,

“But they have not all obeyed the gospel” (Romans 10:16).

I. First, the Gospel is given to you as a command.

“They have not all obeyed the gospel.” You can’t obey something unless it is commanded. The Gospel always comes as a command. I will only quote a few verses to prove that point. In the Book of Isaiah we read these strong commands from our God and His Christ,

“Look unto me, and be ye saved” (Isaiah 45:22).

That is a very clear command, a command to look to Christ,

“Look unto me, and be ye saved.”

Spurgeon was only a boy of 15 when he obeyed that command. He had been under heavy conviction of sin for about five years, but as soon as he obeyed that command he was saved! He was told by the preacher that Jesus said,

“Look unto me, and be ye saved.”

He obeyed that Gospel command. He looked to Christ by faith and he was instantly saved. Although he lived for more than forty years afterward, he always looked back to the moment when he obeyed that Gospel command and was saved! Why haven’t you obeyed it?

“Look unto me, and be ye saved” (Isaiah 45:22).

“But they have not all obeyed the gospel” (Romans 10:16).

Another Gospel command in Isaiah says, very simply,

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6).

Some of you have been in services where the Lord was very “near.” He was so clearly present among us that some young people, who had only been in our church for a short time, sought for Jesus and found Him. Yet, even though He was “near” enough for them to find Him, you did not seek Him – you did not obey that command. Even though those new people obeyed the command and found Him, it must still be said of you, “They have not all obeyed the gospel.”

Then in the Book of Proverbs we read,

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

I have repeatedly told you to trust Christ, and not try to figure it all out.

“Trust in the Lord...and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

And yet some of you continually refuse to obey that Gospel command. You keep trying to “figure out” how to trust Jesus, instead of simply obeying the command,

“Trust in the Lord...and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

You, too, remain with those who “have not all obeyed the gospel.” Those are just a few of the Gospel commands in the Old Testament. I could give many more.

Then, in the New Testament, Jesus gave a command that all of you have heard. He said,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”

(Matthew 11:28-30).

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” You have heard me quote Christ’s command many times. He said, “Come unto me.” And yet you go on and on, refusing to obey the Gospel call!

Then, in Luke 13:24, you have heard me preach many times on that command of Christ,

“Strive to enter in at the strait gate” (Luke 13:24).

And yet you have not obeyed that command. Some of you have not read your Bible regularly, have not taken home the printed sermons and studied them, have not prayed hard for your own salvation. You heard the command of Christ, “Strive to enter in,” but you did not obey this Gospel command!

I only have time for one more. You have probably heard this Gospel command more than any other,

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

What is complicated about that? It was such a simple command that the man who heard it obeyed it instantly and was saved right then, on the spot. And yet this man had never heard the Gospel before in his life! Yet when Paul and Silas gave him that Gospel command he instantly obeyed it, and was saved!

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

He obeyed that command as soon as he heard it! May I ask you why you have not obeyed it – though you have heard it so many times? How is it that we can still say of you, “They have not all obeyed the gospel”? How much longer will you go on refusing to obey the Gospel? Will you ever stop refusing to obey the Gospel call? If not now, when?

II. Second, you commit a great sin when you disobey the Gospel.

It is an awful sin to disobey the Gospel because, you are disobeying the command of Christ Himself! If you reject my words it is not too important. But you are rejecting the words of Christ Himself! He says,

“Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28).

But you say, “No. I will not do it!” Can’t you see what an awful sin that is? You are disobeying Jesus Christ, the Creator of the world, and the only Saviour of mankind! You turn your back on Him. You commit the great and terrible sin of rejecting the command of Christ Himself! In doing so, you commit the very same sin that those particular Jews did in the time of Christ! He told them to come to Him, but they would “not come to [Him] that [they] might have life” (John 5:40). They lost everything because they disobeyed His gospel command. It was a great sin for them to disobey Him. And it is no less a sin for you to disobey Him! The Apostle Paul gave a strong warning when He said,

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord...?” (Hebrews 2:3).

Jesus said, “Come unto me.” If you neglect to obey Him, “how shall [you] escape” the judgment of God? Jesus says, “Come unto me.” The Apostle Paul said,

“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25).

That is a tremendously important question. How can you escape the judgment of Almighty God, “if [you] turn away from him that speaketh from heaven”? Jesus says, “come unto me.” But you say by your actions, “No, I will not come to you!” How can you possibly escape the judgment of God? You have committed the soul-damning sin of disobedience to the command of the Gospel! How can you escape the judgment of Hell-fire if you keep on? How can you escape the fiery judgment of God if you “turn away from him that speaketh from heaven”?

Unless they have been poisoned by the Satanic teaching of modern psychology, everyone knows that suicide is a terrible sin. Yet suicide only kills the body. Think of the horrible guilt that will be yours if you commit suicide to your soul – sending it to the flames of eternity by disobeying the Gospel! Soul-suicide! that is what you commit when you disobey the Gospel, and “turn away from him that speaketh from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25).

III. Third, what does obedience to the Gospel mean?

“They have not all obeyed the gospel” (Romans 10:16).

So, then, what does it mean to obey? How do you obey the Gospel? First, you must hear the Gospel. You say, “Yes, I hear you preach it.” I know you hear the sound of my voice – but do you hear the content of what I preach? Do you hear and think about the very words I say about the Gospel? The Bible says, “faith cometh by hearing” (Romans 10:17). God says, “Hearken diligently unto me” (Isaiah 55:2). There must be, in your listening, a deep desire to know the truth. Pay very careful attention to what you hear when the Gospel is preached!

But hearing the Gospel is not enough. You are commanded to “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). The Gospel is this – that Christ died for sinners. He died as a substitute for all those who trust Him. Christ has paid for all the sins of those who trust Him. Obedience to the Gospel lies in giving up all self-confidence, and all attempts to save yourself, and a simple reliance on Jesus Christ. Trust Jesus. That is what it means to obey the Gospel. Come to Jesus and trust Him alone. Great Spurgeon said,

There are some here who are saying, “I see what the Gospel commands, and I am willing to obey, but [I don’t] have the strength that is required.” My dear friend, if you had any strength, it would be a hindrance to you. It is your weakness that Christ wants, not your strength...It is your sin he died to put away, that is what he wants you to believe; so, without any goodness, without any fitness, all unholy and vile as you are, I pray you to follow these lines [of poetry] which I will repeat, and see if you can truly say them to Christ from your heart –

A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On thy kind arms I fall;
Be thou my strength and righteousness,
My Jesus, and my all.
(“How Sad Our State by Nature Is!”
by Dr. Isaac Watts, 1674-1748;
to the tune of “O Set Ye Open Unto Me”).

Please say those words with me, one line at a time.

A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On thy kind arms I fall;
Be thou my strength and righteousness,
My Jesus, and my all.

Did you say that? When your heart truly says that, and you trust Jesus wholly, you are saved! May God help you to obey the Gospel and give yourself to Christ! Amen.

Now if you would like to speak with us about obeying the Gospel, please leave your seat and walk to the back of the auditorium now. Dr. Cagan will take you to a quiet room where we can talk and pray. Dr. Chan, please pray for those who responded. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Romans 10:13-17.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Calling Today” (by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915).


THE OUTLINE OF

DISOBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPEL

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?” (Romans 10:16).

(Isaiah 53:1, 3)

I.   First, the Gospel is given to you as a command,
Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 55:6; Proverbs 3:5; Matthew 11:28-30;
Luke 13:24; Acts 16:31.

II.  Second, you commit a great sin when you disobey the Gospel,
Matthew 11:28; John 5:40; Hebrews 2:3; 12:25.

III. Third, what does obedience to the Gospel mean?
Romans 10:17; Isaiah 55:2; Acts 16:31.