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HEARTCRY FOR REVIVAL!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Morning, July 16, 2017

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).


Jeremiah was in prison. He was in jail for preaching that the people of Judah would go into captivity. Jeremiah was feeling hopeless. He thought that his people were abandoned by God. He had lost all hope and he was shut up in prison. Now the Lord spoke to his heart. God said to him,

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33.3).

Last Sunday night I preached a sermon on “ The Battle of Prayer in Revival!” I said we live under a great demon of materialism. I said, “God is gone! He has left our churches. He has left our church…But we don’t want God to come down. Our lethargic sleepiness would rather have a church without the Holy Spirit. Just go through the routine. Why cause a stir? Why bother us? Let us sleep on in our drowsiness. We don’t want to go back to the hard work of prayer and fasting for God’s presence and power.” We had seventeen people saved in a few weeks. Dr. Chan was restored and revived. John Samuel Cagan surrendered to preach the Gospel. Aaron Yancy and Jack Ngann became deacon candidates. Christine Nguyen and Mrs. Lee became prayer warriors.

We had a ‘touch’ of revival. In those days Dr. Cagan and I learned that when God was present people were converted, but when God was not present nothing happened. Aaron and Jack Ngann learned something else. They learned how to wrestle against demonic powers in prayer. Jack said,

‘We began praying for the presence of God. When I began my second prayer, I started feeling light headed and on the verge of fainting. There was difficulty organizing prayers. We felt there was a large demonic hindrance and I was unable to continue. We got on our knees and prayed for God to lift the demonic presence while pleading the Blood of Christ. I ended upon the floor with my face down. We began to pray a third cycle in these positions and we began to sense that God had broken through the gloom and the demonic presence was lifted. We knew that the [evening service] was going to be crucial. This happened at about 4:00 p.m.’

Two hours later, in the evening service, Mr. Virgel Nickell came forward with tears, and Dr. Cagan led him to Christ. Then we knew why Aaron and Jack had such a struggle with Satan in prayer two hours earlier!”

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Spiritual battles are won through prayer!

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).

“Power in Prayer,” stand and sing it!

Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
   Here ‘mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care;
We need revival, souls in despair;
   O give me power, power in prayer!
(“Teach Me to Pray” by Albert S. Reitz, 1879-1966).
I changed the third line to “We need revival, souls in despair;
O give me power, power in prayer!”

You may be seated.

Satan has blocked many of you from praying for revival. I took a vote last Thursday night. I said, “How many of you think I want more people in our church when I ask you to pray for revival?” Nearly half of our people raised their hands. Then I said, “How many of you think I want you to work more when I ask you to pray for revival?” About one third of you raised your hands. It was shocking. Many, many times I have told you, “It’s not for more people!” Many, many times I’ve told you “It’s not for more work!” Many, many times I’ve told you, “There will be less work when revival comes!”

You have to get hundreds and hundreds of names for us to get one visitor now. And that one visitor doesn’t come back! In revival you can get far fewer names and far fewer visitors but most of the visitors will come back. We might even be able to shut down evangelism completely and have far more people coming in and getting saved! At the Chinese church they didn’t have any evangelism. They didn’t arrange any rides. And yet 2,000 people came in and stayed. Why? Because they had revival! That’s why! I’ve said this before, but you didn’t believe me. You didn’t believe me because you didn’t see it. Listen to our text again.

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).

“I will show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Can you believe that? Can you be humble enough to believe that God can do things that you have never seen before? Can you believe that God can do things in answer to prayer that “thou knowest not”? Stand up and sing it!

Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer,
   Here ‘mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care;
We need revival, souls in despair;
   O give me power, power in prayer!
(“Teach Me to Pray” by Albert S. Reitz, 1879-1966).

We work our hearts out to bring lost kids to church. But they can’t feel God when they get here. Why not? Because He isn’t here in power. God is altogether holy. He knows too many of you don’t really believe He can do “great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” You just don’t believe that. You think it’s all a fairy tale. You think I’m an old man, blabbing away about a miracle, a miracle that you’ve never seen, so you don’t believe it.

We have seen so many miracles, but you still don’t believe it! Thirty-nine people paid two million dollars to save this church building. Not one preacher I talked to thought it could be done. But it was done! It’s a great miracle! But you don’t see it! You don’t believe it! We had 17 people get saved in a few weeks last year. But you don’t see it! You don’t believe it’s a miracle! We got John Cagan as our preacher, as the new pastor, even though he gritted his teeth and said, “I’ll never do it!” It’s a miracle. But you don’t see it! You don’t believe it! We have a world-wide ministry in 35 languages – sending out these sermons to the whole world. But you don’t see it! You don’t believe it!

Oh, I pray that you will wake up and pray for the miracle of revival! Oh, that you would not be like the Pharisees, of whom it is said, “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him” (John 12:37).

And I know that your religion has no joy now, and sometimes my heart weeps for you. You have no joy. You have no hope. You just go on grinding as a slave in the prison house like poor Samson. Yes! For some of you this church is a prison house, a prison house where you grind through the services, where you grind through the slave work of evangelism. You hate it so! But you don’t know how to escape! You are bound with spiritual chains, grinding, grinding, grinding with no hope. Sometimes you think of leaving. I know some of you do. But you can’t leave. The only friends you have are here. The only relatives you have are here! How can you ever escape the ceaseless grinding, the hateful drudgery and work of a church that seems like a prison house to you? I want to help you! God knows I do! There is only one way to escape. How do you know, preacher? Because I have been in the same place you are now! I have been chained in a church, grinding, grinding, hating it – but finding no escape! The only way to escape is Jesus! Confess your sins! Why not? Your sins are the chains that bind you! Get rid of them! Repent and be cleansed by the Blood, for only Jesus can loose your chains and set you free again.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed...” (James 5:16).

Confess your fears, your doubts, your sins, your anger, your bitterness, your jealousy. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed...” (James 5:16). One woman did it! And Jesus healed her. One man did it, and Jesus healed him. Just now there is a ray of hope. You think, “Can it be true?” Yes! It is true! Pray for someone to confess their faults and be healed by Jesus.

“Christ said, ‘Blessed are those that mourn’ (Matthew 5:4) which refers to those who feel their sin and weep over it. Sin is always a problem to the Christian who is longing for revival, and revival always deals uncomfortably with those things the world does not see. Revival throws light into dark places...to prepare for revival, Evan Roberts would remind them that the [Holy] Spirit would not come until the people were prepared: ‘We must rid the [church] of all bad feelings – all malice, envy, prejudice, and misunderstandings. [Do not pray] until all offences have been forgiven: but if you feel you cannot forgive, bend to the dust, and ask for a forgiving spirit. You will get it then’”...only the clean Christian can live close to God (Brian H. Edwards, Revival, Evangelical Press, 2004, p. 113)... “Every man forgot every other. Each was face to face with God [as they confessed their sins]... [This is] typical of almost every recorded revival. There is no revival without deep, uncomfortable and humbling conviction of sin” (ibid., p. 116)... “We have an unholy church today because Christians do not feel sin or fear it... Those who long most for revival should begin by examining their hearts and lives before a holy God. If we cover our sins and do not confess it now [we will not have revival]... A holy God makes the Christian aware of even the smallest sin... Those who know themselves to be in the presence of a holy God are always aware of personal sin... This deep work of conviction always leads to freedom and joy in the new-found experience of forgiveness. Following the ‘smiting of the heart’ come outbursts of the joy of salvation” (ibid., p. 120).

“Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psalm 85:6).

We cannot rejoice in our hearts until we confess our sins in tears! That is happening in China. Why not in our church? We are afraid to confess our sins to one another, and pray for one another, that we may be healed. Fear of what others will think stops us from confessing. Isaiah said, “Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die... And forgettest the Lord thy maker...” (Isaiah 51:12, 13).

Sing number 10!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart:
Try me and know my thoughts:
And know my heart;
Try me and know my thoughts;
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.”
   (Psalm 139:23, 24).

Sing number 17!

Fill all my vision, let naught of sin
   Shadow the brightness shining within.
Let me see only Thy blessed face,
   Feasting my soul on Thy infinite grace.
Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
   Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
   Thy Holy Image reflected in me.
(“Fill All My Vision” by Avis Burgeson Christiansen, 1895-1985).

You didn’t confess before. You knew you should, but you were afraid. One woman told me she was terribly backslidden on the phone. Then I looked at her on Sunday morning and she looked at me. I could see she wanted to come. I took her hand and said, “Come.” She came. She had been afraid to come. After all, she was a deacon’s wife! What would people think if she confessed her faults? Forget about what others think! While we stand and sing, come and kneel here and confess your faults. God convicts you of sin, and then the Blood Christ shed on the Cross cleanses you anew.

Sing number 17!

Fill all my vision, let naught of sin
   Shadow the brightness shining within.
Let me see only Thy blessed face,
   Feasting my soul on Thy infinite grace.
Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
   Till with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
   Thy Holy Image reflected in me.
(“Fill All My Vision” by Avis Burgeson Christiansen, 1895-1985).


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. Noah Song: I John 1:5-10.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“O Breath of Life” (by Bessie P. Head, 1850-1936).