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THE SUFFERING OF DR. AND MRS. HYMERS
PRODUCED THIS CHURCH

A message written by Deacon Kyu Dong Lee
and Dr. Christopher L. Cagan
and preached by Dr. Cagan
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, September 16, 2017

“Let the elders [pastors] that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine” (I Timothy 5:17).


Our pastor, Dr. Hymers, is an elder – a pastor – who leads our church well. He faithfully preaches the Gospel from the Word of God. He sacrifices his time and energy for us – to bring the lost to Jesus, and to take care of the Christians. Every one of you knows that’s true! Tonight I’m going to read you an e-mail that our Deacon, Kyu Dong Lee, sent to Dr. Hymers, with a few additional paragraphs written by me. Mr. Lee said,


Dear Pastor:


You are and always will be my spiritual father. As such, our Heavenly Father knows all of your sacrifices. Here are some of the many sufferings and triumphs that stand out in my mind.

You cared about people and loved a lot, many times to your own peril. I would not be here if you had not obeyed God's calling to the ministry. Many pastors would have given up long ago, and many other preachers have laughed at you for trying to convert God-forsaken pagans in downtown Los Angeles. In their eyes, these people are not worth saving. They prefer to “minister” to their own ethnic group of selfish and insulated people. I can say that without doubt. Having visited many churches during vacation and business travel, I have never met a pastor or congregation that truly cared for souls.

[Dr. Cagan added this], “I have visited many churches on vacation, on business trips, and on missionary trips. None of the churches were as near the New Testament standard as ours. None of the pastors were as close to the New Testament standard as Dr. Hymers, not in preaching, not in Biblical and theological understanding, not in prayers, not in zeal for souls, and not in self-sacrificing work. I have never met any pastor’s wife anywhere who came as near to the New Testament standard as Mrs. Hymers. Most pastors’ wives do hardly anything in their churches. Some do nothing at all. Many hold their husbands back. But not Mrs. Hymers! She throws herself into the work of Christ. Many of you wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for her. Thank you, Mrs. Hymers!”

[Mr. Lee continued], “None of the preachers could say they have tried as you have tried. For example, I remember what you did for one young girl. No minister I know would have done what you did to help her. She is not thankful at all for it. Unthankful sinners are the very people that you minister to, and care for. But some, such as John Cagan, turn out to be jewels of God's mercy!”

[Dr. Cagan said,] “I hope those who lead this church in the future will have some of the love and patience of Dr. Hymers. Dr. and Mrs. Hymers now feel that since our church is in a better place, they are being bypassed. Very few people called them and very few cared about the fact that we can go on to another generation, which we owe to them. It was Dr. Hymers, not us, who took an interest in the next generation, so that the church would go on. It was Dr. Hymers, not us, who called us to revival and healing.

Ingratitude is a major sin of our church. We take blessings from God and enjoy them. But we forget about the people who brought the blessings to us. The Bible says, ‘God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister’ (Hebrews 6:10). Brothers and sisters, God doesn’t forget – and let us not forget either!”

[Mr. Lee said,] “You invested and literally spent yourself for our church. The return on investing thousands of hours in prayer, ministering, and preaching have produced some good people by God’s grace. Sure, as a business venture it would be considered a flop. As God's venture, it is a complete success! I am sure Jesus will call Dr. Hymers a good and faithful servant in that Day. Your faithfulness was used by God to bring sinners to repentance and salvation. Remember, I am one of them and I will be thankful – forever. I am sure He is pleased and there's rejoicing in Heaven!” [Dr. Cagan said], “I have seen one person after another, who we thought would never be saved, converted by the preaching and counseling of Dr. Hymers. Dr. Hymers even worked many hours during his so-called “vacation” to strengthen our church! Nothing stops him from working to help you and make our church better!”

[Mr. Lee said], “As a human, you expected more for your labors and we, as Christians, expected just as well. And yet, it's a mystery that God's grace would be this great, long, and patient in allowing us to evangelize and minister to a wicked people with only a few conversions out of millions. But even after the “Thirty-Nine” [the people who paid for our church building] are gone, do us Christians have any choice in continuing anything else? I don't think we do. They need to be like Dr. Hymers in spending sacrificial lives for the sake of Christ's command to spread the Gospel. Dr. Hymers is living proof that spending yourself for Christ is worth it all.”

[Dr. Cagan said], “Although my son’s sermons are more energetic and make more use of strong rhetoric than Dr. Hymers’ later sermons (since he was stricken with cancer), we should remember that all of us, including John, were won to Christ by Dr. Hymers’ preaching, and nurtured by Dr. and Mrs. Hymers. They may not be as energetic now, but they made the church what it is today. You in this room – look around – you are the living proof of Dr. Hymers’ sacrifice for Christ! Dr. Hymers may now be old and weakened by cancer, but all of you are indebted to him for working on and on, when any other pastor would have retired long ago.”

[Mr. Lee said], “The casualties of this war are too many to count. By the grace of God, Dr. Hymers, you survived all the church splits, fights, all the pain and suffering. The Devil did his best to damage your ministry, but Our Saviour sustained you throughout. He gave the victory in spite of the severity of the attacks. For instance, I remember in the late 80's when one leader yelled at you during a stewards' meeting. I thought he would be kicked out and I was shocked you were able to tolerate that behavior. I called him afterwards and tried to convince him to apologize. I was astonished you had the patience to put up with such rebellion. The casualties of that battle was that many of the stewards also followed his example and they rebelled against you as well. I don't think any pastor could have survived such a prolonged attack! You did. You allowed that leader to remain in the church even after such vile attack. Mrs. Hymers is a casualty of that war as well. If she had not spent so much time in taking care of all the Asian girls that are here now, would she be this sick? I don't think so. She would be a healthy and strong lady. But because the afflictions inflicted by Satan and his minions came endlessly, your family has suffered much. It's also a mystery that after all the physical and mental afflictions were over, your whole family is still here serving the Lord! There is a purpose for all the suffering and that's also part of the war.”

[Dr. Cagan said], “Dr. and Mrs. Hymers led the way. All of the “Thirty-Nine” suffered, including my family. But Dr. and Mrs. Hymers led the way, suffering to build the church to be what it is today. By their suffering and example, they led the way for all of us, and brought the church through terrible times to the church we have today.”

[Mr. Lee said], “Your ministry saw potential in the foolish things of this world. The Internet is man's device and in the eyes of God, I am sure, is a foolish thing. But do you remember the day when you asked me if a website could be setup for the church? I still do. Everyone applauded, including those that aren't here with us. I never expected that the website would be used by God as a blessing, even to the saving of souls in other countries! I never expected the website to bring such joy, happiness, and relief to so many fellow pastors and missionaries around the world. After all, the entirety of the website is this – the Gospel. I am very happy that you saw what others could not see.”

[Dr. Cagan said,] “Dr. Hymers is a man of vision. He doesn’t just do his job and go home. He is always looking for new ways to promote the Gospel of Christ – not only to get people saved in our church, but all around the world, and to help pastors in every nation, where they read and preach his sermons in 36 languages! Thank God for Dr. Hymers!”

[Mr. Lee said], “You tried to stop the heresy of ‘Decisionism.’ Once you saw the problem, you tried to warn everyone. You did not simply speak about it once in a while. You denounced it in the strongest terms in books and sermons, and some have listened. I know this heresy will not end easy, since it is two hundred years in the making. Large heresies do not die quick. But you charged ahead without hesitation. You started a movement and I am hoping and praying that more pastors will see and act on it. Few see the truth, and I pray the Holy Spirit will do the rest in the hearts and minds of converted ministers. I am glad you discovered and exposed ‘Decisionism’ and I'm sure God knows your labors. To God be the glory for honoring your fight!”

[Dr. Cagan said], “Almost nobody today sees the danger of ‘Decisionism.’ Almost everyone is deceived by it. It is the great error of the last two hundred years. But Dr. Hymers saw it and answered it and stood up against it! He is like Martin Luther, who saw and fought for salvation by grace through trust in Christ. Many of you do not know how important our pastor is in the battle for the truth of real conversion!”

[Mr. Lee said], “You have emphasized revival. The fact that you did this should make us all thankful. The revival that we have had is what God wants to give, and yes, He gave me a good and wonderful wife who can pray. That is no fluke or flash in the pan. She has become more of a blessing as a result to us all because of the revival! Not to mention all the many young people who have been converted! I feel speechless. Who would have thought so many young people would be saved in a few months? I know many of the “Thirty-Nine” did not believe so many would be converted before the emphasis on revival started last year. To them, they were just children coming to church. But when God came down last year, He started to move in the hearts of brothers and sisters who prayed for them, and many are converted now. He healed me and many who lived in bitterness, jealousies, and hatred. God answered the prayers of His saints because you wanted His presence in revival! It's unbelievable what God has done through you! God still saves the heathen! It's the Lord's work and it's marvellous in our sight! Will we ever have a full blown revival in our church? I pray that He will do so and that you will continue to urge us to have Him and His presence.”

[Dr. Cagan said,] “Dr. Hymers was used by God to bring us revival! He prayed for it night after night. He worked hard preparing his sermons. He came and preached night after night even though he is 76 years old and recovering from cancer. Dr. Hymers preached about thirty times in a few weeks. Any other pastor would have stepped back and spoken on Sunday only. But he wouldn’t have had revival! Dr. Hymers takes the work of Christ seriously! He made himself come night after night, and when he came, he preached his heart out to get sinners saved and Christians revived. And it was his spiritual insight and guidance that brought our church to the revival we have had. I thank God for Dr. Hymers!”

[Mr. Lee said], “There are so many other accomplishments of how God used you, but suffice it to say that in reading what He is able to accomplish with willing servants throughout history, I am blessed just to hear about them. I am sure that in Heaven, John Sung, David Livingstone and Hudson Taylor among others are witnessing what is happening in the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles. I know Dr. Sung had many converts, and Livingstone may have had one, but they were both agents of the Gospel. Like you, they were faithful to their calling until the end.

As life's toils and snares have come and gone, I can always look to your steadfast ways of going into battle with unmatched valor with Jesus as the captain, I thank God that He gave you the courage to go forward!


God Bless You Richly!

In Jesus, Kyu Dong Lee.”


[Dr. Cagan said], “We don’t know, and we don’t appreciate, what we have. Let me explain. Young people don’t understand how much their parents have done for them. Their parents live faithfully together – that doesn’t happen very often today. Their parents live a stable life – that doesn’t happen very often today. Their parents raise them well – that doesn’t happen much today. Their parents pay for their education and their cars – not many young people have that done for them. But all that is in the background. Young people don’t realize how their parents have sacrificed for them. What they have been given is not special to them. It’s background noise. It’s just ‘there.’

And we treat church the same way. Our church is better than any other I’ve seen – but many of you don’t appreciate it. It’s just ‘there.’ The Gospel is preached, and people are won to Christ – but you don’t appreciate it. It’s just ‘there.’ Our pastor is a remarkable man, in his preaching, in his knowledge, in his depth of spiritual insight – but you don’t appreciate him. He’s just ‘there.’ Mrs. Hymers works night and day to bring people into the church – but you don’t appreciate her. She’s just ‘there.’

In our church you don’t realize this very much. You are ungrateful. You take what is given but you are not thankful to Dr. Hymers for what he gave us, guiding us into revival – and even thinking about revival in the first place! But God says to Dr. and Mrs. Hymers, ‘Your labour is not in vain in the Lord’ (I Corinthians 15:58). And God says to them, ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him’(I Corinthians 2:9). And I say to Dr. and Mrs. Hymers, in the words of Deacon Kyu Dong Lee, God Bless You Richly! Amen.”


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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Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Close to Thee” (by Fanny J. Crosby, 1820-1915).