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SALVATION OR DAMNATION – WHICH?

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, February 19, 2017


Hosea preached for most of his life in the northern kingdom of Israel. Hosea has been called "the broken-hearted prophet."  His message was based on his love for his unfaithful wife, which was like God's love for unfaithful Israel.  Ephraim was the largest of the tribes of Israel. So the name Ephraim came to mean all of Israel. They were so consumed by idolatry that they were beyond hope of revival. In our text, God told Hosea to stop preaching to them because He had given up on them.

"Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone" (Hosea 4:17).

Last year we had a “touch” of revival. God came down in some of the meetings and about ten people were hopefully converted! But thirteen people had a false conversion. They are still lost and going to Hell.

The main thing God taught us in these meetings was that the Devil rages when God comes down. We learned by experience that both God and the Devil are very real. At least those who are converted may have learned that lesson.

We had not experienced God’s presence in revival for over forty years. I often preached on it. But when I did many members of our church rebelled, just as Israel rebelled against the preaching of Hosea. And many of them left our church in two major church splits. The Devil told them there would never be a revival. They believed the Devil rather than the Bible. They left the church in great numbers. Looking back Dr. Cagan believes almost none of them had a real conversion. So when I preached on revival they could not pray. All they could do was rebel.

"Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone" (Hosea 4:17).

Thank God that we have a solid core of real Christians now. If we hadn’t last year’s revival would have resulted in another church split. Many people would have left the church. They would have left in large numbers as they did in the 1980-1981 church split. They would have torn the church apart, as they did in the 1990's in the Olivas church split. But last year only six people left. When they leave they never come back. Not a single person in forty-two years has come back. They watch our sermons on their computers, but they never come back and get saved. Never! Not one in forty-two years! That is quite remarkable because we preach salvation through Christ in virtually every service. Why don’t any of them ever come back and trust Jesus? "Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone" - that's why!

They say it’s because I’m mean. They say that because I preach against their sin and they hate me for it, just as they hated Hosea! Dr. Cagan and I were listening to the “testimony” of one young girl. When I told her she had a false testimony she said, “You’re mean, like Open Door.” The child had never been in our church when we called it “Open Door.” Right away I knew her parents were talking bad about us in front of her. It was only a couple of months later that her father came screaming at me like a roaring lion in front of all our young people. He only left the building when I told him I was going to call the police. This man was part of “the 39” who paid for this building. He held his rebellion in for many years, pretending to be a Christian. But when the Devil got one of his children he turned on me as if it were my fault. My wife saw him a few weeks ago. He had a long beard. It didn’t take him very long to go back to being a Hippie. Spurgeon said, “Unhumbled they came in, unhumbled they stayed, and unhumbled they left the church.” You can only pretend to be converted for so long. Sooner or later the Devil will get you if you had a false conversion! Then it will be said by God,

“Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone” (Hosea 4:17).

God sees that you are joined to your sin and will not trust Christ, so He lets you alone. He gives you up to a “reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28). When God gives you up, you can never be saved. You will live your life and never be saved. 

Lost throughout all eternity. Eternity. Eternity. Lost throughout all eternity.

The prophet Hosea said, “They shall go...to seek the Lord; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them” (Hosea 5:6).

They tried to do it again last year. Six people left the church for good. One young man came into my office, pointed his finger at me and said, “You are what’s wrong with this church, Dr. Hymers.” He will never know it, but those words made me confess my sins. He said those words in rebellion. But God used them to make me examine myself. And I was helped. Then four boys started coming up to my house to pray with me. Aaron, Jack, John and Noah prayed with me every week – and became my friends. Nobody knows how lonely it is to be an old preacher like Hosea, like me! Just when I felt I was going to fail – those four boys came to pray with me. Now they are my friends! God sent them to me – and they saved me by their prayers and by their friendship.

John Cagan said last year was “a year of Hell.” And he was right. The Devil roared. The church shook, my wife got sick, I could not sleep, the church rocked back and forth like an earthquake. Then God came down to us from Heaven. We prayed,

“Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence” (Isaiah 64:1).

God came down to us, in the first revival we have had in 42 years!

I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
   Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
   For His Blood can wash away each stain.

Stand and sing it with me!

I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
   Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
   For His Blood can wash away each stain.
(“I Will Praise Him” by Margaret J. Harris, 1865-1919).

While I was writing this sermon a man in Florida called me rejoicing over John Cagan’s sermon “Revival and the Blood of Christ. He kept saying, “Thank you, pastor. Thank you. That precious boy! His sermon blessed me!” Now this morning Noah Song came back from preaching in China and Indonesia! What a blessing to have these two young men preach to us on the unsearchable riches of Christ!

Now, this morning I will once again give you the Gospel of Jesus. I will tell you again about Jesus, and about the Blood He shed on the Cross to wash away your sin. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “There are Christian preachers who think they are clever in pouring ridicule upon this theology of the blood. They dismiss it with scorn...And that is why the church is as she is [today]. But in periods of revival, she glories in the cross, and makes her boast in the blood...the very nerve, the centre, the heart, of the Christian gospel is this, ‘Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood’ (Romans 3:25). ‘In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins’ (Ephesians 1:7)... [I see no hope among you] ‘save Jesus Christ, and him crucified’ (I Corinthians 2:2)... I see no hope for revival while men and women are denying [or neglecting] the blood of the cross” (Revival, Crossway Books, 1994 edition, pp. 48, 49).

Are you washed in the blood,
   In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
   Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
(“Are You Washed in the Blood?” by Elisha A. Hoffman, 1839-1929).

Yes, the Blood of Jesus will propitiate and absorb the wrath of God. Yes, the Blood of Jesus will give you peace with God. Yes, the Blood of Jesus will give you overcoming power, “In whom we have redemption through his blood” (Colossians 1:14).

Now listen to the words of two people in our church, people who have been saved by faith in the Blood of Jesus.

An Hispanic woman had gone to another Baptist church. Right away they asked her if she wanted to be baptized. She said, “yes.” They did not tell her about Jesus, and His Blood atonement for her sins. They baptized her even though she was still unsaved. She said, “I continued with my life as always, living for myself.” Later her daughter brought her to our church. She said she “thought [we] would ask her to come to all the services, and I didn’t want to because I thought that would take my time from me. I was selfish, thinking God would take away a lot of my time. But God...began to show me in my heart that I was only living for myself...God in His great mercy began to show me that if I died I would be judged for having rejected Jesus, and for all my sins. This made me worry and I had fear”... [Dr. A. W. Tozer said, “No one can know the grace of God who has not known the fear of God.”]. She went to the inquiry room under conviction of sin. Dr. Cagan asked her where Jesus is. She said He was in her heart. Dr. Cagan told her Jesus was in Heaven at the right hand of the Father. She said, “It was then that I came to Jesus to cleanse all my dirty sins with His precious Blood, the Blood that was shed for me...Today I am happy. Jesus shed His precious Blood on the Cross so I could be saved...Jesus paid for all my sins with His divine Blood...Today I am happy to do the work of evangelism...to bring young people [to church] so they might also listen to our pastor. I feel happy when [Dr. Hymers] speaks to the young people about the Blood of Jesus...I have [a] pastor who cares greatly for souls and speaks to them of Jesus...Jesus shed His precious Blood on the Cross so that I could be saved...My beautiful Saviour Jesus!”

A Chinese college student said, “I walked into church and my heart was heavy. God had awakened me to feel I was a sinner...Although everyone around me was cheerful...I could no longer deceive [myself] that I was O.K. and a good person. I was not O.K. and there was no goodness in me. As I sat listening to the sermon [Dr. Hymers preached] I felt as if the pastor was speaking directly to me...Although I thought I could hide my sins from people, I could not hide them from God...I felt like Adam, trying to hide from God...

Then, as the sermon was nearing the end, I heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the first time [although she had come to our church for quite a while she had not listened before!]. Christ died on the Cross, in my place, to pay for my sins...His Blood was shed for sinners. His Blood was shed for me! I desperately needed Christ. Rather than search for goodness in myself, by God’s grace my eyes were lifted away from me. I looked to Christ for the first time, and in that moment He saved me! Christ did not turn me away, as I had done to Him for so long, but He received me, and washed me with His Blood...His Blood covered me and washed away all my sins. Christ clothed me in His Blood. He clothed me in His righteousness. His Blood washed my vile heart and made it new...My faith and assurance is in Christ alone. Now I understand what John Newton meant [when he said] ‘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.’...I was a sinner, and Jesus Christ saved me...He received me and washed me with His Blood.”

Don’t people get tired of me preaching on the Cross of Jesus, and the Blood of Jesus? No, they do not! Not unless they have pastors who baptize lost people – like the preacher in Arleta, California who baptized Lidia Estrada, without making sure she trusted Jesus. Does he even know how to make sure? I doubt it! Away with such false prophets from the face of the earth!

As for me, I will preach on the Blood of Jesus Christ ‘till this poor lisping stammering tongue lies silent in the grave, then in a nobler, sweeter song I’ll sing Thy power to save. There is a fountain filled with blood, shed from the Saviour’s veins; and sinners plunged beneath that blood lose all their guilty stains!

Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains.
   (“There Is a Fountain” by William Cowper, 1731-1800).

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).

If you would like to speak with us about being saved, please come down here to the front, so we can talk about it. 


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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Prayer Before the Sermon by Mr. Aaron Yancy.
Solo Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
   “Saved by the Blood of the Crucified One” (by S. J. Henderson, 19th century).