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A SERMON FOR YOUR GENERATION

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, August 23, 2015


Zacchaeus heard that Jesus was coming down the road. He was a little man. He climbed a tree to see Jesus better. When Jesus got there He looked up at Zacchaeus in the tree.  He said, “Come down. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down from the tree and went home with Jesus. Zacchaeus was a sinner. Some people in the crowd thought it was wrong for Jesus to go with a sinner. But Jesus answered them. Look at Luke 19:10. It’s on page 1102 in the Scofield Study Bible.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

You may be seated.

Loneliness is the greatest single problem facing young people today. One college student told me, “I’ve been terribly lonely.” She felt the pain that so many teenagers and young adults experience in our time. A young man said to me, “I’ve never been able to hold on to friends. Something always happens to separate us.” Another young person said, “I’m so lonely I don’t know what to do.” A short time later he committed suicide. According to many psychiatrists, loneliness is the greatest single problem confronting most young people today. And loneliness is often reflected in the music young people listen to on the radio. The punk rock group Green Day won seven Grammy nominations for its song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” I do not recommend it. It contains some raunchy words. But it describes the aching loneliness so many young people feel.  It says,

I walk alone. I walk alone. I walk alone. I walk alone
My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
‘Til then I walk alone.
   (Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” 2004).

Have you ever felt that way? That's the way I felt as a teenager. I walked for miles on the streets of Los Angeles at night. It was so lonely that sometimes I wished I was dead. That was when I was a teenager, before I was saved. Have you ever thought, “Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me”? If you have ever felt like that, then you are like Zacchaeus, the young man Jesus went home with that day. We can learn at least four things from what happened to Zacchaeus.

I. First, he was lost.

Jesus said to him,

“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Lost! What did Jesus mean when He said that Zacchaeus was lost? Why, he seemed to have everything he needed! The Bible tells us “he was rich” (Luke 19:2). He didn’t have any physical needs. And yet Christ said that he was lost. What did He mean by that? Why, Zacchaeus was literally surrounded by people! There were so many people in the crowd around him that he couldn’t even see Jesus, “for the press.” I like the way the King James Bible translates it, “for the press.” The crowd was literally pressing in around him – and yet he was lost! Lost in the crowd!

Haven’t you felt like that sometimes? You can be in a crowd of people at a mall or at a party – and you still feel alone – and lost. Lost in the crowd! A friend of mine told me that was exactly how he felt one night. He was at a big, drunken party in a bar. He saw a pretty girl. He was looking at the back of her head. She turned around and looked directly at him. He saw that her eyes were dead and empty. Suddenly he knew that she was as lonely as he was. He turned around and walked out. Soon afterwards he became a Christian. He never went back to a party like that. Today he is the pastor of a Baptist church.

He was lost! Lost in the crowd! Just like Zacchaeus! The Bible uses the word “lost” to describe those who are not yet converted. Jesus said to His Disciples,

“Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6).

Jesus said that He would

“Go after that which is lost, until he find it” (Luke 15:4).

Jesus gave the parable of the Prodigal Son.  The father said of his sinful son,

“He was lost” (Luke 15:24).

The Apostle Paul said,

“If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost” (II Corinthians 4:3).

And Jesus said, in our text,

“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

This young man, Zacchaeus, was lost. And the Bible teaches that you are lost. I know people don’t like to hear that. But I’m not here to tell you a little story to make you feel good. That’s not the purpose of real preaching. The purpose of real preaching is to tell you the truth. You can reject what I say, or you can decide to listen. I hope that you will listen, and that you will come back to hear me preach again. Sing the first stanza of “Amazing Grace” from memory.

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound
   That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
   Was blind, but now I see.
(“Amazing Grace” by John Newton, 1725-1807).

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

II. Second, he was picked out of the crowd by Jesus.

Zacchaeus didn’t know who Jesus was. The Bible says,

“He sought to see Jesus who he was” (Luke 19:3).

Jesus was coming down the road. Zacchaeus was trying to see who Jesus was. He was short, and the crowd kept him from getting a good look.  He had to climb a tree to see Jesus. He didn’t know anything about Christ. He didn’t even know who Christ was.

“He sought to see Jesus who he was.”

Then Jesus stopped. Right there, in the middle of that swirling crowd of people, Jesus stopped. And He looked up to the top of the tree and said, “Zacchaeus…come down; for to day I must [stay] at thy house” (Luke 19:5). What a surprise! He didn’t even know who Jesus was – and yet Jesus knew his name! “Zacchaeus…come down! Hurry and come down. I’m going home with you.” Christ picked him out of the crowd. Christ called him by name. Green Day spoke of that in “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,”

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
‘Til then I walk alone.

“Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me.”

“The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

The “Son of man” is Christ. Christ sent us to find you! Christ told us,

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

And that’s exactly what we did. We went out to the malls and colleges and streets and we asked you to give us your name and phone number. And you did it! And then we phoned you and brought you here to church this morning to hear the Gospel. Remarkable! Truly remarkable! Out of all the thousands of people in Los Angeles, somehow we found you, and here you are! Christ sent us to call you! And here you are! Thank God! And we say to you, “Why be lonely? Come home – to church! Why be lost? Come home – to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!” Christ has spoken directly to you through us, because

“We are ambassadors for Christ…we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:20).

That’s our message to you. As ambassadors for Christ, we say to you, “Be ye reconciled to God”! Why be lost? Come home – to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

III. Third, he received Christ joyfully.

Please look at Luke 19:6. Let us stand and read that verse out loud.

“And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully” (Luke 19:6).

You may be seated.

Many people think that it is not much fun to be a Christian. I don’t want to mislead you. Sometimes it may be difficult. But there is a joy and happiness that Christ can give you that you will never experience anywhere else. That’s why Zacchaeus hurried, “and came down, and received him joyfully.”

Yes, I know you must have conviction of sin. But no one is ever saved by conviction! Oh, no! The purpose of conviction is to bring you to Christ. When you finally receive Christ, there is joy. It may be greater in some people, less in others – but there is always a certain amount of release – and inner joy – when your sins are washed clean by Christ’s Blood – and you have new life in Him. Green Day said, “Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me. ‘Til then I walk alone.” Someone did find you! Someone is calling to you! It is Christ Himself! There is joy when Christ finds you! There is joy when Christ saves you! There is joy when His Blood washes your sins away and you are converted!

“And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully” (Luke 19:6).

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

IV. Fourth, he experienced a complete change of direction in his life.

Up to that point, Zacchaeus lived a sinful life. As a tax collector, he took money from people “by false accusation” (Luke 19:8). But after Christ saved him, he was a new man. He was converted. And Jesus said,

“This day is salvation come to this house” (Luke 19:9).

Zacchaeus was saved! Christ had converted him! Now his life went in a completely new direction. And when you receive Christ your direction in life will change. The Bible says,

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

Christ died on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins. Christ shed His Blood so your sins could be washed clean. Christ rose physically from the dead and ascended bodily into paradise. He is alive now, on the right hand of God. And you can come to Christ – and He will pardon you and save you – and give you a whole new direction in life. When you receive Christ, “all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17). You will be converted!

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

Why walk alone? Why be lonely? Come home – to church! Why walk alone? Why be lost? Come home – to Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

Why not come home to church here tonight? Why not come back here at 6:15 and have dinner with us? Why be lonely? Come home to church tonight – and come again next Sunday! Sing my little song again. It’s number 3 on your song sheet!

Come home to Jesus, the table is spread;
Come home to dinner and let us break bread.
Jesus is with us, so let it be said,
Come home to dinner and let us break bread!
Come home to the church and eat, Gather for fellowship sweet;
It’ll be quite a treat, When we sit down to eat!
   (“Come Home to Dinner” by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.,
      to the tune of “On the Wings of a Dove”).

Dr. Chan, please lead us in prayer!

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tell him. Please also tell him what country you are writing from. Dr.
Hymers’ e-mail is at rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net (click here). You can
write to Dr. Hymers in any language, but write in English if you can.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Luke 19:1-10.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” (by Green Day, 2004)/
“Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling” (by Will H. Thompson, 1847-1909).


THE OUTLINE OF

A SERMON FOR YOUR GENERATION

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

I.   First, he was lost, Luke 19:2; Matthew 10:6; Luke 15:4, 24;
II Corinthians 4:3.

II.  Second, he was picked out of the crowd by Jesus, Luke 19:3, 5; 14:23; II Corinthians 5:20. III. Third, he received Christ joyfully, Luke 19:6. IV. Fourth, he experienced a complete change of direction in his life, Luke 19:8-9; II Corinthians 5:17.