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THE SEARED CONSCIENCE

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, October 16, 2016

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (I Timothy 4:1-2).


The Bible teaches that mankind will become worse and worse in the last days. Every sign points to the fact that we are living in the last days right now. Listen to a modern translation of what it is like. How people act in these final days of history. It says,

“There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God...everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (II Timothy 3:1-4, 12-13, NIV).

This is the horrible condition all of us face in the last days. This is what you face in this time of apostasy and sin. No wonder the Bible says we live in perilous, terrible times. No wonder we live in a time of sexual perversion. No wonder the movies are so horrible, filled with lust, and vampires, and bloody murders. No wonder people love Halloween and demons and death. No wonder our churches are empty while young people go to raves, and take drugs like marijuana and Ecstasy. No wonder they laugh at you if you go to church every Sunday. No wonder they think you are weird if you live a clean life and pray and read the Bible. And that is why the Bible says, “In the last days perilous times shall come” (II Timothy 3:1).

But what is the cause of all this sin, confusion, and killing? Why are our politicians so wicked? Why do gangs gather in our streets to shoot policemen and burn down buildings? What lies behind the bombings and murders committed by Muslim terrorists today? And why has your generation left our churches to live selfish and sinful lives? The answer is given in our text,

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times [the last days] some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of [demons]; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (I Timothy 4:1-2).

The Holy Spirit speaks of this “expressly.” That means God speaks very clearly about this. He wants you to know this important truth. God plainly and clearly wants you to know that there really are demons. God says they are seducing [deceiving] demons. Demons that lead you into false teachings, “doctrines of demons.” These false teachings come through hypocritical teachers. They can be teachers in your school or college. They teach you the lie of evolution. They tell you that you are nothing but an animal. They teach you that there is no God. They teach you that there is no such thing as right and wrong. They teach you that the Bible is full of errors. Even many of your parents teach you these lies! No wonder our cities are full of crime. No wonder you don’t know what to believe.

These demonic people do this because their consciences are “seared with a hot iron.” That means their consciences are burned and scarred. Their consciences have been burned by demons until they are desensitized. Burned and seared until their consciences can no longer tell the difference between right and wrong. Demons are now in complete control of many of their hearts and minds.

And the purpose of these demons is to ruin your conscience too. They want to control you. And they control you by searing your conscience.

When God created man He gave him a conscience. He put into man “the breath of life.” The Hebrew word is “neshamah.” The neshamah gave man two things no animal has – first, the ability to know God, and second, the ability to know right and wrong.

Have you seen the Disney movie “Pinocchio”? Pinocchio was a wooden puppet. But he wanted to be a real boy.Yet as a puppet he had no conscience. Instead of a conscience, he had a little cricket that told him what was right and what was wrong. He got into a lot of trouble when the cricket wasn’t there. But when he became a real boy he didn’t need the cricket to guide him. When he became a real boy he received a real conscience to tell him right from wrong.

The exact opposite happened to the first man, Adam. When Adam sinned he went from being a real man into a puppet of Satan. Now a demon ruined his conscience and he became a puppet of Satan. When Adam sinned his conscience was seared and no longer worked right. He made excuses when God confronted him for his sin. Instead of being convicted of his sin, he tried to hide from God. When God found him, Adam made excuses for his sin instead of confessing it to God. His first son Cain inherited his father’s ruined conscience. Even when he murdered his brother, he felt no conviction of sin. Instead of confessing his sin he made excuses. Instead of confessing his sin he became worse and worse. His conscience was now seared by Satan with a hot iron. “And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord” and dwelt in the land of Nod, which means the land of “wandering.” He felt no need to be forgiven of his sin. He was angry with God. He became a vagabond, wandering through the world until he died and went to Hell. Satan tempted him. Satan got him to murder his brother. Then Satan seared his conscience with a hot iron – and it was too late for him to be saved. When Satan sears your conscience to that point it is too late for you to be saved. You will never feel guilty again. Your conscience will be dead. You will never come to Jesus to be cleansed by His Blood. You will wander through life until you finally die and go to Hell for all eternity. That will happen to every one of you here this morning if you go on in sin until your conscience is seared. Until you can never feel conviction of sin. Until you can never come to Christ and be made clean by the Blood He shed on the Cross. The person who cannot feel guilty for his sin can never be saved. He has been given up by God. He has committed the unpardonable sin. He has become a slave of the Devil like Cain.

I caution you not to let your conscience be seared by the Devil. Turn from sin to Jesus before your conscience is seared forever.

You were born with a deformed conscience. You inherited it from Adam, as did Cain. You further seared your conscience as a child. Every time you lied to your parents, you seared it more. Every time you stole something, you seared it more. Every time you cheated in school, you seared it more. Every time you looked at pornography and inflamed yourself with thoughts of sex you seared it more. Finally you did these things intentionally – searing your conscience with greater and greater sins. Sins that no one knows about. Sins that would make your mother ashamed of you. Your conscience became more and more seared, until finally you were committing sins you would never have thought you could do. But now you do them and enjoy doing them – and they don’t bother you at all now. You know what your sins are. I don’t have to mention them. You don’t worry about them anymore. In fact you love being a sinner now.

That’s why some of you are beginning to hate coming to church. You hate it when we tell you about your sin. Some of you hate me for preaching on your sins. Some of you were happy when I got sick and couldn’t preach hard anymore. You were glad when John Cagan and Noah Song began preaching instead of me. You thought they would be easier on you than I was. But now you see they are preaching against your sins even harder than I did. Now some of you think that you can only escape from the preaching by leaving this church! I know who you are. And you hate me with all your heart! You wish I was gone. You are beginning to wish Noah and John were gone too. Your conscience is so seared now that you are planning to leave this church. The Devil has got you firmly in his grip. He has seared your conscience with a hot iron. There was a time when you might have turned to Jesus to be saved. But now some of you even hate Jesus! You hate to hear the name of Jesus!

Oh, how can you hate Him so much? He loves you more than anyone will ever love you! Jesus left the glory of Heaven to come down here and suffer for you. Your sin was placed on His sinless soul. He sweat great drops of Blood in Gethsemane to save you. He stood silently while they beat Him and pulled out His beard and spit on Him to save you. No one you will ever know will love you enough to suffer like that to save you and heal you and give you a new life. Jesus loves you. He will rescue you. He will calm your fears and heal your soul. He will restore your poor, broken conscience. That’s why He died on the Cross for you. They pounded great nails through His hands and feet. He hung on the Cross in the hot sun – until His tongue was so dried that it stuck to the roof of His mouth.

Jesus does not hate you. How could He hate you? He came into the world because He loves you. He suffered the unspeakable horror of death on the Cross because He loves you. Jesus has always loved you. And Jesus loves you now.

My testimony is the exact opposite of John Cagan’s. And yet it is basically the same. John took pride in his sins and enjoyed causing people pain. I took no pride at all in my sin and would never have tried to cause people pain. John associated himself with those who hated God – in other words, the lost church kids. I disliked the church kids and stayed away from them as much as possible. John came under conviction of sin for a few weeks. I was under conviction of sin for almost seven years. John wanted to be a bad boy. I wanted to be a good boy. On those points our testimonies are completely the opposite.

But in two ways we were exactly the same. Both of us were trying to get saved and couldn’t. John said, “I just could not will myself to Christ, I could not decide to become a Christian, and it made me feel so hopeless.” That’s exactly what I felt. John was under conviction of sin for several weeks. I was under conviction of sin for about seven years. John said God drew him to Christ, “because I would never have come to Jesus on my own.” That is exactly what happened to me, as well. John was trying to be bad. I was trying to be good. But both of us were trusting ourselves and neither one of us was trusting Christ.

I tried to be good. God knows how hard I tried to be a good boy. I quit smoking. I went to church every Sunday morning. I went to church every Sunday night. I gave up an easy life to become a pastor. I surrendered to preach when I was 17. I was licensed as a Baptist preacher at 19. I went to be a missionary in a Chinese church a few months later. Everyone thought I was such a good boy. But they didn’t know the truth about me. They didn’t know how bad my heart was. They didn’t know that I was a Pharisee like the one Jesus spoke of in Luke 18 – trying to be saved by being good. I was like a Chinese kid. But I could not be good enough to stop my conscience from telling me that I was just a sinner in my heart. Just a dirty sinner who didn’t love Jesus at all. Until one morning Jesus came to me and I knew He loved me. I never knew it before. I thought I was better than the church kids – but I was really worse than them. I had a form of religion, but I didn’t know Jesus at all. And then He came to me. I would never have come to Him myself. I thought I was good enough, even as my conscience told me it was all a lie. Then Jesus came to me. I didn’t even ask Him to save me. But He did it anyway. He came down to me and drew me to Himself. He washed me clean in His precious Blood.

Someone asked me, “Pastor, why do you always talk about the Blood of Jesus?” It’s very simple. His Blood did for me what I could not do for myself. He loved me so much that He washed my sinful soul clean with His own Blood.

Jesus loves you too. He will come to you. Trust Jesus and your sin, and your conscience and your doubts and your iniquities will all be washed as white as snow in His precious Blood – because He loves you so!

I never felt loved by anyone. I was an outcast. My father left when I was two. I could no longer live with my mother when I was twelve. I lived with people who didn’t want me. Nobody wanted me. That made me into a cold Pharisee. I would be better than all of them! I would make myself a Christian!

But I couldn’t do it! I tried and tried! But I couldn’t do it. I was lost – lost in religion! A lost hypocrite! But Jesus loved me. Suddenly I knew He loved me. And He came to me and saved my soul with His Blood. If He could save a hypocrite like me, He can save anyone who is here this morning. He loves you. He will wash away all of your sins – the sins of your heart, the sins of your life. He loves you. He will come to you. He will wash you clean with His Holy Blood. I know He will because He loves you.

I hear the Saviour say, “Thy strength indeed is small;
   Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;
   Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone,
   Can change the leper’s spots And melt the heart of stone.
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;
   Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I Whereby Thy grace to claim,
   I’ll wash my garments white In the blood of Calvary’s Lamb.
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;
   Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.
(“Jesus Paid It All” by Elvina M. Hall, 1820-1889).


WHEN YOU WRITE TO DR. HYMERS YOU MUST TELL HIM WHAT COUNTRY YOU ARE WRITING FROM OR HE CANNOT ANSWER YOUR E-MAIL. If these sermons bless you send an e-mail to Dr. Hymers and tell him, but always include 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. If you want to write to Dr. Hymers by postal mail, his address is P.O. Box 15308, Los Angeles, CA 90015. You may telephone him at (818)352-0452.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Aaron Yancy:  II Timothy 3:1-8.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Noah Song:
“Jesus Paid It All” (by Elvina M. Hall, 1820-1889).