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IN CHRIST ALONE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Evening, April 22, 2018

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:1, 2).


The meaning of these verses is clear. This is God’s last call to Israel. Soon they would be taken over by Assyria and then taken to Babylon. After they had been smitten and torn they would say, “Come, and let us return unto the Lord.”

Yes, the prophecy was fulfilled, and they were taken captive by the Babylonians. The prophecy speaks of the future. God will heal them in the future. “He will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” In that future day God promised to bring Israel back into the Land and save them. God is beginning to fulfill that prophecy in our time. Israel was declared a nation in 1948. Since that time the Jewish people have been returning to their God-given homeland in Israel. Soon they shall live in His sight, “and so all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26). That is the interpretation of these verses.

But there is more. Someone said, “There is one interpretation but many applications.” Here are two applications of these verses.

I. First, the text applies to Christians.

This passage speaks by application to Christians. A few Christians follow the Lord without interruption. They are steady in their Christian lives. But most of us Christians grow cold from time to time. So God sends us trouble and affliction. He lets problems and trials tear us and smite us. God takes away your peace of mind. God makes you feel depressed and heavy-hearted. Even as you sit here in church tonight. Why has God let this happen to you? It may well be that He has something new for you to do. It may be that God is preparing you to go and help me start a new church next year. Or He may be preparing you to take on new duties in this church. Being human, we don’t want to change. So God tears us and smites us until we are willing to take on different responsibilities. He tears away whatever idols we cling to to make us more useful in His Kingdom. Dr. Tozer said, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a person greatly unless He has hurt him deeply.” If you are converted, God isn’t going to destroy you. But He is shaking you up. Perhaps He is going to use you in revival!

“After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”

I believe that starting a new church will help some of you become stronger Christians. When children reach adolescence they often feel pain in their legs and arms. They used to call that “growing pains.” Don’t be alarmed. After two days He will revive you and give you more faith and more life! Whatever He tears away, He will replace with more of His beloved Son! John Newton wrote “Amazing Grace.” He also wrote this poem.

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

‘Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Then he tells us what God says,

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”
   (“I Asked the Lord that I Might Grow” by John Newton, 1725-1807).

II. Second, the text applies to the unconverted.

My main purpose this evening is to give you a second application, to show you how this speaks to you if you are not yet converted! God is saying to you,

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:1, 2).

Conversion is painful. It is painful because you don’t want to be converted. You may say you want to be converted – but it isn’t true. You may even think you want to be converted – but that isn’t true either! The Bible says, “There is none that seeketh after God” (Romans 3:11). Then why do some people start seeking Christ? The answer is in John 16:8, which tells us that the Holy Spirit “will reprove the world of sin.” “Reprove” is from the Greek word “elengkho” – “to convict,” “tell a fault,” “rebuke,” “to convince.”

No one enjoys being told that they are a lost sinner. But it is necessary to do so in evangelistic preaching. The reason you are not yet converted is that you don’t feel your sin. That is why much prayer must be made, asking God to send down His Spirit, that lost people may be torn, and smitten, and convinced, and rebuked, and convicted of their selfishness, and rebellion against Almighty God. How can you stand before God at the Last Judgment with so much rebellion and sin in your heart? How can you listen to a sermon like this and then go to eat dinner and laugh with your friends in the Fellowship Hall upstairs? How can you go all week without reading a sermon each day and watching one of the videos? You must fear God, the real God, the God who is offended and angered at your cool thoughts and hardened hearts!!! This is serious! There is nothing more serious in all the world. The flames of Hell are waiting for you, and you laugh with your friends right after the preaching! There is no hope for you like that!

Listen to John Cagan, “Before my conversion I felt like dying. I did not sleep. I could not smile. I could not find any peace…I could not stop feeling so tormented. I was thoroughly exhausted. I was so tired of it all. I began to hate myself, to hate my sin and how it made me feel…my sin became endlessly worse and worse. I just could not take it anymore. I knew God was righteous to condemn me to Hell. I was so tired of struggling. I was so tired of everything I was…I still would not have Jesus…I was ‘trying’ to be saved. I was ‘trying’ to trust Christ and I couldn’t. I could not decide to become a Christian, and it made me feel so hopeless.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

I could feel my sin pushing me down to Hell, yet I could feel my stubbornness forcing my tears away…I had to let everything die!”

How did that happen to John? Not by learning to say the right words! Oh God, no! Words could never help him! Not by having a “feeling.” Oh, God no! No feeling could help him.

The Lord “hath torn. He hath smitten!” He has broken John’s heart! He has beaten John down!

Real conversion is painful! You are fighting with Almighty God! You cannot bluff your way out of it. You cannot talk your way out of it! You cannot learn your way out of it!!!

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.

“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12).

Listen to Emi Zabalaga, “I was too wrapped up in self-pity to be concerned with my sin…I can’t fully describe what it’s like to see the blackness and grotesqueness of your heart. I was disgusted and ashamed at what I knew God saw. I was a vile creature in front of the all-seeing God. All I did in the church was rooted in selfish sin. I felt like I was a filthy leper among the clean Christians. But yet I would not trust Christ. Jesus was just a word…someone who was so distant…I was looking for a good feeling…some kind of experience to prove I was saved…Dr. Hymers rebuked the lost for playing with Almighty God. I sat in my seat, shaking with fear. I knew that was me. Dr. Hymers then spoke from the text,

‘Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up… he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight’ (Hosea 6:1, 2).”

Emi said, “My sin stretched out like a bottomless ocean. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to have Jesus! I had to have His Blood!”

The Lord “hath torn. He hath smitten!” He has broken Emi’s heart! He has beaten Emi down!

Real conversion is painful! You are fighting with Almighty God! You cannot bluff your way out of it! You cannot talk your way out of it! You cannot laugh your way out of it!!!

Aren’t you sick of it all? Aren’t you scared? Aren’t you sick up to your neck with religion? Oh God, save them from the flames!

“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12).

Have you been torn by the Lord? Have you been injured by His hand? Have you felt that your sorrow and pain were a sign that God did not love you? Have you felt pain that you could not tell anyone about? Have you felt as alone and God-forsaken as Christ did in the Garden of Gethsemane? Have you said within yourself – “Why has God forsaken me?” The Devil whispers, “Why go on? No one cares about you. No one loves you.” I beg you, “Do not listen to the Devil!”

I am the right person to listen to. I have been through this torment at least six times in my life. Before I was converted, and five other times.

“For he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:1, 2).

Each time I have gone through this turmoil, it was to prepare me to do more for God. Each time the pain was so great I thought it would never go away. And Jesus says to me,

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.

The first time was when I was converted. The most recent time was when I was stricken with cancer. They said, “You have cancer.” They shot me full of medicine. I felt like Moses alone in the wilderness. I burst into tears again and again, in the middle of the night! I thought I was finished. I have been torn. I know how you feel. Each time I have gone through the dark night of the soul, God was preparing me for something new. This time it was to prepare me to start a new church.

Dear friend, God has not forsaken you. Yes, He has torn you – but He will heal you! Yes, He has wounded you – but He will bind you up! He smote you and tore you for a purpose – to make you know that Christ alone can give you hope! To make you know that peace is found in Christ alone! To make you know that joy is found in Christ alone! To make you know that He died to pay for your sins! To make you know that He rose from the dead to give you life anew!

In Christ alone my hope is found; He is my light, my strength, my song;
   This cornerstone, this solid ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
   My comforter, my all in all – Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh, Fullness of God in helpless babe!
   This gift of love and righteousness, Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died, The wrath of God was satisfied;
   For every sin on Him was laid – Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain;
   Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory, Sin's curse has lost its grip on me;
   For I am His and He is mine – Bought with the precious Blood of Christ.
(“In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, 2001).


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:
“In Christ Alone” (by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, 2001).


THE OUTLINE OF

IN CHRIST ALONE!

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:1, 2).

(Romans 11:26)

I.   First, the text applies to Christians. .

II.  Second, the text applies to the unconverted, Romans 3:11; John 16:8;
Psalm 2:12.