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COME UP HITHER!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, February 23, 2014

“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither” (Revelation 11:12).


The Bible teaches that a time of terrible tribulation will unfold before the second coming of Christ. The Saviour Himself said,

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

The Bible teaches that the final world dictator, the Antichrist, will make a covenant with Israel. This will happen at the very beginning of the Tribulation (see Daniel 9:27). Then the seven-year Tribulation period will begin, which Christ spoke of in Matthew 24:21. At the beginning of this horrible time God will send two witnesses. I do not know who they are – and neither does anyone else! But most dispensational scholars say they come with the power of Moses and Elijah. Whoever they are, they certainly do things that Moses and Elijah did. They will preach against the sins of this Christ-denying world. When they finish their preaching they will be killed by the Antichrist. Their bodies will lie in a street in Jerusalem. We are told that the whole world will “see their dead bodies” (Revelation 11:9). Dr. J. Vernon McGee said, “I think all the television networks will have their cameras trained on these dead men. Three and one half days they are lying there” (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, volume V, p. 983; note on Revelation 11:9).

I do believe that television and the Internet will be involved here. The Bible says, “The people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies” (Revelation 11:9). And I believe that their sermons against the wickedness of this world will go viral on the Internet, and be seen over and over again by millions of Christ-rejecting sinners. When the Antichrist kills them, the whole sinful world will “rejoice over them, and make merry” (Revelation 11:10). The lost world will celebrate their deaths with a series of wild parties! Dr. William Newell said, “Now comes the real revelation of the heart of man: glee, horrid, insane, inhuman, hellish, ghoulish glee!” (quoted in McGee, ibid., p. 983). But then the unexpected happens,

“After three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them” (Revelation 11:11).

As the lost world is celebrating the death of these preachers, the television and Internet will suddenly show them as they rise from the dead. Great fear will fall over the world as they watch the two witnesses ascend up to Heaven,

“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them” (Revelation 11:12).

We have the resurrection of the two witnesses in verse 11, and their ascension in verse 12. That gives you the basic outline of what will occur, as prophesied in the eleventh chapter of Revelation.

Now I am just going to lift out part of verse 12 as our text this morning. The Apostle John said,

“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither” (Revelation 11:12).

This is what every true Christian will some day experience, and I am going to use this text as an encouragement to you – as well as an encouragement to those of you who are not yet saved.

I. First, we may apply those words “come up hither” to the “rapture,” which every true Christian will experience.

There is a coming day, and a coming hour, when in essence God will say to true Christians,

“Come up hither.”

This may happen before you die, or it may happen afterwards – but make no mistake – it will happen. And every sign in the world seems to show that it will happen soon. The days of Noah are surely here! The Jewish people are returning to their God-given homeland of Israel! “Climate change” has created an arid, parched, dustbowl on the West Coast, and a frightening “ice age” on the East Coast. Most people, in their godlessly materialistic minds, do not see the hand of God in any of this. They plunge deeper and deeper into sensuality, drugs, gluttony and greed. We live in a nation led by vile, godless men, in the highest offices, who hate the Bible and despise the Son of God – men who refuse even to mention the name of Jesus, but who bow and scrape before Allah, who is really Satan, the god of this world and of this age! Jesus said,

“As the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37-39).

Signs of His coming multiply;
   Morning light breaks in eastern sky.
Watch, for the time is drawing nigh;
   What if it were today?
(“What If It Were Today?” by Lelia N. Morris, 1862-1929).

“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither” (Revelation 11:12).

True Christians will be joyful when Jesus comes to take us out of this vile world! When Jesus says, “Come up hither” we will leave this polluted, dying world behind! We will leave our enemies behind! We will leave Satan and his demons behind! We will leave all sickness and pain behind! We will leave all heartaches behind! God promised it when He said,

“The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thessalonians 4:16-18).

We will leave this old body behind! We will leave all our sorrows behind! We will leave all our fears behind! We will leave all our sicknesses behind! We will leave everything that is sad, everything that is hopeless, everything that is dirty and mean, and everything that makes us cry! We will leave it all behind, when Jesus says,

“Come up hither” (Revelation 11:12).

This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
   To seize the everlasting prize;
And shout, while passing through the air,
   Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!
(“Sweet Hour of Prayer” by William W. Walford, 1772-1850).

Mrs. Quinn will stand up straight!
 Mr. Salazar will throw away his wheelchair!
  Juana Arteaga will leap from her grave!
   Mrs. Lyon will climb out of her coffin!
    My mother will quit the grave and leave Forest Lawn for ever!
     Uncle Porter Elliott will fly through the air with the greatest of ease to meet Jesus in the sky!
      Francisco Coreas will soar over Dodger Stadium to meet the Lord in the air!
       Annette Naylor will go home to Jesus in a resurrected body!
        Dr. Lin and his wife will jump out of their graves to meet the Lord in the air!

This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
   To seize the everlasting prize;
And shout, while passing through the air,
   Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!

When Jesus cries out, “Come up hither!” I’m going up like old Enoch, who “was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).

When Jesus cries out, “Come up hither!” I’m going up like Elijah, “and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (II Kings 2:11).

This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
   To seize the everlasting prize;
And shout, while passing through the air,
   Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!

“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither” (Revelation 11:12).

This is what will happen to every real Christian when Jesus comes to take us out of this old world, to meet Him in the clouds – when Jesus calls to us, “Come up hither.”

While its hosts cry Hosanna, from Heaven descending,
   With glorified saints and the angels attending,
With grace on His brow, like a halo of glory,
   Will Jesus receive His own.
O Lord Jesus, how long, how long
   Ere we shout the glad song,
Christ returneth! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen.
   Hallelujah! Amen.

Oh, joy! oh, delight! should we go without dying,
   No sickness, no sadness, no dread and no crying.
Caught up through the clouds with our Lord into glory,
   When Jesus receives His own.
O Lord Jesus, how long, how long
   Ere we shout the glad song,
Christ returneth! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen.
   Hallelujah! Amen.
(“Christ Returneth” by H. L. Turner, 1878).

II. Second, we may apply those words “Come up hither” as an invitation to those who are not yet converted.

God calls you through the Bible. When you read it, you learn of a wonderful place called Heaven. I will preach a whole sermon on Heaven tonight. You read about that wonderful place in the Bible. And you may think, “I wish it were true! I wish it were true!” God is calling you “Come up hither” as you read the Bible.

Then, too, God calls you through the sermons you hear. He says, “Come up hither.” I will give a whole sermon on Heaven tonight at 6:00 PM. I’ll tell you what God says about it. I hope you will come back at 6:00 to hear that sermon! Yes, God calls you to “Come up hither” through the sermons you hear.

And Jesus calls you through the suffering He went through for your salvation. His Blood “speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24). His Blood speaks to you from the mercy seat, in the holy of holies, in Heaven. God gathered up Christ’s precious Blood and took it there. His Blood speaks to you and says, “Come up hither.” His Blood which streamed through the pores of His skin in the Garden of Gethsemane, His Blood which poured out through the jagged nail holes in His hands and feet, His Blood which gushed out when the soldier pierced His side, His blood which was shed in agony and unspeakable pain, His blood which can cleanse your soul from sin, speaks to you, incorruptible, from the Heavenly mercy seat, and says, “Come up hither.”

I well remember a statue of Jesus in a Catholic church, which I visited as a small child. I well remember the Blood that tricked down into His eyes from the crown of thorns on His brow. I well remember His torn and bloody back – from the scourging He endured. And I well remember the song I heard at a Baptist church, when I was 13 years old – a song that electrified me and made the hair on my flesh stand on end!

What can wash away my sin?
   Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
   Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! precious is the flow
   That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
   Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
(“Nothing But the Blood” by Robert Lowry, 1826-1899).

And the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, calls you, “Come up hither” and be cleansed from all sin by the Blood of Jesus! I have often prayed for God to give me George Whitefield’s voice to preach the Gospel. I have often prayed for Spurgeon’s eloquent tongue to persuade you to trust Jesus. But God has not given me either one. So I pray that the Spirit of God will take my stammering words and poor singing voice and use them to inflame your heart with a strong desire for Jesus. Only He can cleanse your sin with His precious Blood! Only He can clothe you in His righteousness! Only He can give you eternal life! Only He can say, “Come up hither,” and draw you into that Heavenly city! Come to Jesus! Turn away from the sin of the world, and trust Jesus Christ alone! Trust Him! Trust Him! He will save you for ever and ever, world without end!

The Bible teaches that Jesus is alive in His resurrected body. The Bible teaches that He is seated at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven. You must come to Jesus up there. When you turn from your sin and trust Jesus, the Holy Spirit will raise you “up and [make you] sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). The Holy Spirit will say to you, in effect, “Come up hither!” Come to Jesus now, and God’s Spirit will enable you to do so by His grace!

If you would like to speak with us about becoming a Christian, about being saved, please leave your seat right now and walk to the back of the auditorium. Mr. John Samuel Cagan will lead you to another room where we can pray and talk about Jesus saving you. Go right now to the back. Dr. Chan, please pray for someone to trust Jesus this morning. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: I Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Christ Returneth” (by H. L. Turner, 1878).


THE OUTLINE OF

COME UP HITHER!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither” (Revelation 11:12).

(Matthew 24:21; Revelation 11:9, 10, 11)

I.   First, we may apply those words “come up hither” to the “rapture,” which every true Christian will experience, Matthew 24:37-39; I Thessalonians 4:16-18; Genesis 5:24; II Kings 2:11.  

II.  Second, we may apply those words “Come up hither” as an
invitation to those who are not yet converted,
Hebrews 12:24; Ephesians 2:6.