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Whenever you write to Dr. Hymers always tell him what country you live in, or he cannot answer you. Dr. Hymers’ e-mail is rlhymersjr@sbcglobal.net.




THANK GOD FOR OUR PASTOR!

by Mr. John Samuel Cagan

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, November 27, 2016

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
(Philippians 4:13).


I would like to tell you about our senior pastor, Dr. Hymers. I want you to know why I thank God for his ministry. Over the course of the past year, I have spent hundreds of hours in conversation and in prayer with Dr. Hymers. In that time, I have had the opportunity to get to know him and become his friend. Dr. Hymers is an example of what Christ can do in a person’s life. Dr. Hymers has never had it easy, but Christ has made him a person of great strength. Philippians 4:13 is the most important verse in the Bible to Dr. Hymers. Just as the verse describes, Christ has strengthened, forged, and fashioned him through the experiences of life. Jesus Christ made Dr. Hymers into the Churchill of Preachers. Though ridiculed by some and hated by others, as Churchill was in the 1930s when he warned the British about Hitler in the House of Commons, Dr. Hymers has been a powerhouse of resolve and conviction for Christ and His churches. Like Winston Churchill, Dr. Hymers has faced down impossible odds through all his life. Through it all, our pastor Dr. Hymers could do all things through Christ who strengthened him,

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
       (Philippians 4:13).

Dr. Hymers has never had a path of safety. In the Chinese church, Dr. Hymers worked under his pastor, Dr. Timothy Lin. Those years were not easy. The work was heavy. Dr. Hymers preached and taught Friday night, Saturday night and all day Sunday. He worked for countless hours in the church without being paid. The discipline was strict. But it was for the good. The Bible says, “It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth” (Lamentations 3:27). God used it to make him into a mighty man of God. This was his true seminary.

Those years at the Chinese church were life-defining years for Dr. Hymers. Dr. Murphy Lum was a longtime friend of Dr. Hymers. He worked closely alongside our pastor and was even sitting next to Dr. Hymers when Hymers trusted Jesus. Dr. Lum said, “I was sitting next to you listening to a message given by Dr. Charles Woodbridge at Biola’s Sutherland Hall Auditorium [where Dr. Woodbridge spoke every day in chapel for one week]. You will remember that Dr. Woodbridge had just withdrawn from a nearby seminary that was going liberal. This courageous move and his personal conservatism in believing the Bible to be the Word of God impressed you and his message brought you to receive the Lord as your personal Saviour” (letter from Dr. Murphy Lum, March 31, 2006). Dr. Hymers told me that in that single week, God made him who he is to this day. God revealed to Dr. Hymers the importance of a belief in the Bible, of standing up for the truth, and most importantly, of a need to rely on Jesus Christ by faith.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
      (Philippians 4:13).

Those years were hard. Yet, those years defined Dr. Hymers. He found that though he could rarely depend on others, he could always depend on Christ. I have been blessed by God to have parents who supported me financially through school. However, Dr. Hymers did not have anyone to support him – except for Jesus. Christ was often his only friend.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
       (Philippians 4:13).

Without anyone supporting him financially, Dr. Hymers paid for his own college tuition and living expenses by working eight hours a day on a secular job and struggling to do all of his college work at night. He literally worked 16 hours a day, seven days a week – at his church, at his secular job and at his college. Since he had no free time, he barely had time to sleep, he never went to a gym to exercise, he never went on a date, he never watched television, and took only one short vacation during his years in college. Dr. Hymers has told me that he often felt like the orphaned Oliver Twist in Charles Dickens’ classic story: without friends, without money, without hope – and yet, Dr. Hymers succeeded. Dr. Hymers graduated from college, then from seminary, and finally went on to earn several doctor’s degrees in theology. He led people to Christ, and started two churches. Over forty churches have come out of the first church Dr. Hymers planted. Then he planted this church in his apartment. Now this church preaches to the entire world on the Internet and on YouTube! Dr. Hymers knew that because nobody else was going to help him, he would have to rely on Christ. The success of his life, in spite of the difficulty, reveals how much Christ has strengthened him.

As a minister, Dr. Hymers was bold and faithful. Today many preachers take an easy road. They say nothing and do nothing. They are like the preachers in Israel when Jeremiah said,

“From the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely...saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:13, 14).

But Dr. Hymers spoke the truth when it wasn’t easy. He stood up against liberalism in the seminaries. He wrote a book exposing it, and sent literature to all the churches exposing it again and again. Today those seminaries are conservative.

He stood up against antinomianism. Antinomianism is the idea that you can be a Christian and live a life of sin. New-evangelicals were missing church on Sunday, dancing, smoking marijuana, and having sex outside of marriage. Dr. Hymers said then – and says now – that people who live like that are not Christians at all!

Our pastor stood up against abortion. That was not easy. Dr. Hymers sat in front of abortion clinics with policemen standing across the street, risking a beating and prison. But our church shut down two abortion clinics. “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). Dr. Hymers feared God, not man!

Hollywood produced a blasphemous film called “The Last Temptation of Christ.” There were people who did not agree with the movie. But only Dr. Hymers fought hard against it! He was what soldiers call the “point man,” who walks ahead of the others and risks enemy fire.

Dr. Hymers takes Christianity very seriously. His conviction to obey the Bible has often cost him much. For example, Dr. Hymers had a wealthy uncle named Oscar. Uncle Oscar was very elderly and did not have very much time to live. Uncle Oscar approached Dr. Hymers and told him that he wanted Dr. Hymers to inherit his fortune. At the time, Dr. Hymers was struggling to earn a doctor’s degree and barely had enough money to live on. However, there was one condition to Uncle Oscar’s offer: Dr. Hymers would have to join the Masons. Dr. Hymers had two other uncles who were Masons. They were fine, upstanding men. It did not seem wrong to Dr. Hymers to join this group. Dr. Hymers didn’t know anything about the Masons. He thought it was just a club for men, like the Lions Club. Since he had very little free time, he would not be able to go to many of the meetings anyway and he could drop out after his uncle died, which Oscar did about a year and a half later. But someone at the Chinese church heard about Uncle Oscar’s offer. Dr. Hymers was asked to attend a deacons’ meeting, where he was strongly rebuked and shamed for even considering accepting the inheritance. Even though the Chinese church had never supported him financially and never did, Dr. Hymers did not defend himself, but was obedient to the church. Because of his loyalty and obedience to the Chinese church, Dr. Hymers lost an inheritance worth millions of dollars. Many people would forever resent losing this fortune. However, Dr. Hymers kept on serving his church and loving Christ. He became so respected by the senior pastor, Dr. Timothy Lin, that Dr. Lin asked him to be the main speaker at his funeral instead of any of the other pastors and workers who had been given a salary by the church. Shortly before he died Dr. Lin said to Dr. Hymers, “Brother, you have a Chinese heart.” Later Dr. Hymers was told by another Chinese pastor that this was the highest compliment the elderly pastor could give him.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
       (Philippians 4:13).

Dr. Hymers is a man in the arena. He strives through sweat and blood – for his Saviour! Dr. Hymers is not a pastor who uses his position to take vacations. Dr. Hymers is not a pastor who sits in his position in comfort, far away from the conflict. “Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident” (Psalm 27:3). Dr. Hymers loves to be in the middle of the spiritual battle. Dr. Hymers wants to make a difference in this world for Jesus. His life has had battles and betrayals and setbacks. It was two steps forward, one step back. Dr. Hymers was treated like dirt and sometimes felt that way. But he was faithful. President Theodore Roosevelt said,

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly...who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
       (Philippians 4:13).

And then there was his great battle: the battle for our church. A “former leader” of our church left and took out 400 adults. Our church almost lost this building. The church almost went bankrupt. A famous preacher offered to set up Dr. Hymers in a church near San Jose. He said, “This is your last chance to get out.” Many pastors would have left. But with members leaving and the church in financial peril – Dr. Hymers stayed! Dr. Hymers was willing to fight for this local church. Because of his spiritual courage and the faithful people who gave their time and money, we still have a church in Los Angeles! “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

Dr. Hymers is convinced of the importance of the local church. Dr. Hymers has often said that the success of this church is his whole life. He has a deep love, not only for this church, but for churches all over the world. He knows that the church is the bride of Christ, and therefore he prays, fights, and preaches for the good of the church.

“Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek” (Psalm 27:7-8). Dr. Hymers is a man that prays constantly. Often in the middle of a conversation, he will stop and pray for the person or situation in need. He always has a prayer meeting in his office before he preaches. He has another prayer meeting at his house during the week. No matter how he feels physically, he attends every prayer meeting that is scheduled at church. Because he has lived a life of conflict and struggle, Dr. Hymers understands the importance of prayer.

Dr. Hymers loves to see other people in a state of happiness. Having understood what it means to be alone, depressed, and in a constant struggle, Dr. Hymers does everything in his power to help other people. He thinks about the young people of our church carefully and prays over every detail. He counsels people and encourages them to date, marry, and live a full and blessed life. An example of this occurred in my life. Dr. Hymers encouraged me to take a girl out on a date. At first I was hesitant, but he was able to convince me to ask her out. If it were not for his encouragement, help, and interest in my life, I would have missed out on a chance to date a wonderful girl. Dr. Hymers is actively invested in improving the lives of others around him. He wants to see the people that he loves have a good and happy life.

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:13-14).

At 75 years old, with cancer and the weakness caused by medical treatment, most men would have retired. But our pastor keeps going for our church and for God! I have seen him drag himself into the pulpit and preach. Despite very little sleep the night before and legs that will barely carry him, he stands firmly in the pulpit, strengthened by Christ. He preaches law before Gospel. He preaches that man is dead in sin and has an urgent need for Christ. He preaches the story that others have forgotten. He preaches the law. He preaches that all are hopeless in sin. He preaches that without Christ, sinners will be cast into Hell.

However, unlike some preachers, he preaches the law in an effort to prepare the heart to hear the Gospel. He preaches the law so that sinners will see their need for Jesus. And then he tirelessly and constantly preaches that Jesus died on the Cross to save you from your sin. He preaches that the Blood of Christ cleanses us from sin. This is why over 120,000 people read his sermon manuscripts and watch them on video in 216 countries every month. That’s why pastors all over the world preach his sermons in their churches. He is a proof of his life verse, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Dr. Hymers started his life trying to please God. He worked long and hard hours and kept his life as clean as possible in order to please God. He dedicated his life to serving others. Dr. Hymers was so desperate to please God that he surrendered to the ministry at the age of 17 years old. He built his entire life around becoming a preacher, because he built his whole life around trying to please God. Yet, the more he tried to please God with his works, life, and commitment, the less he felt able to do so. He struggled for year after year, trying to do everything he could for God, and yet he felt that he could not please God.

In September of 1961, God showed Dr. Hymers that the only way he could please God was to trust Jesus. Without coming forward or saying a prayer, Dr. Hymers had faith in Christ and was saved. God was pleased with His Son, because Jesus was sinless and perfect. Jesus had paid for all sin by suffering and dying on the Cross, and through faith in Him, Christ’s righteousness was transferred to Dr. Hymers. Because Dr. Hymers was clothed in the righteousness of Christ, God could be pleased with him. Because of the reliance Dr. Hymers has had on Christ, he has been able to overcome adversity and impossibility for the sake of Christ and His church.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
       (Philippians 4:13).

Dr. Hymers, please come and close this service.


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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These sermon manuscripts are not copyrighted. You may use them without Dr. Hymers’
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. John Samuel Cagan:
Dr. Hymers’ favorite Psalm, Psalm 27:1-14.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“The Master Hath Come” (by Sarah Doudney, 1841-1926).