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PEACE THROUGH THE BLOOD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

Lord’s Day Morning, September 10, 2000

"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross,

by him to reconcile all things to himself"

(Colossians 1:20)

 

General Douglas MacArthur was one of the great American heroes of World War II. General MacArthur once said, "Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed." He was right. The Bible says, "They shall seek peace, and there shall be none" (Ezekiel 7:25).

When I was a little boy we were constantly afraid of nuclear war. I can clearly remember lying in bed in my grandmother’s house listening to airplanes flying over. I would lay there and sweat under the covers, thinking that one of those planes was going to drop an atomic bomb on us. I lay there twisting and turning until my stomach was in knots

You young people today don’t have those fears. What we called "the Cold War" with the Soviet Union is over. We are at peace - they say. This is the greatest peace-time America has ever known - they say.

And yet most people I talk to don’t feel peace within themselves. We are at peace. There is no war. And yet we are not at peace with ourselves.

We take drugs to find inner peace. Many sociologists and psychologists are alarmed over the fact that tens of thousands of little children are on prescription medications because they cannot control themselves. They have no peace - even in childhood. Teenagers turn to alcohol and drugs seeking peace. Suicide is the number-two cause of deaths among college-age young people, under the age of thirty. Depression and fear are common traits among young people today. But with all our technology, science, drugs and alcohol, with all of our leisure time and television and video games, inner peace seems to be out of the grasp of most people today, especially young people. "They shall seek peace, and there shall be none" (Ezekiel 7:25).

Young people are afraid of failing in life. They are afraid they can’t make it. They’re afraid they’ll never find the right person to marry. They are afraid they’ll never be truly happy. And, yes, they tell me that they are afraid of death. And nothing they do seems to help.

You can get drunk or stoned - but the fear is still there, underneath. You can go to a night club and dance for hours, you can have sex, but the fear is still there, underneath. Isn’t that right? Isn’t it true that you fear you’ll never find real happiness? Isn’t it true that you don’t have the peace in your heart and life that you know you ought to have?

Now it may seem strange to you that I am preaching about peace from the account of Christ’s crucifixion. There seems to be nothing peaceful about the bloody scene described a moment ago, before the sermon, in the account of Christ’s death given in Mark 15:24-39, which we read. But this passage of Scripture is about peace. It tells us a great deal about having real peace. Our text says,

"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross" (Colossians 1:20).

The crucifixion account tells us several things about finding peace.

 

I.  First, there is no peace to the wicked.

The Bible tells us, "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked" (Isaiah 57:21). And that is clearly illustrated in the account of Christ’s death on the Cross. The crowds that came to gaze on Christ as He hung on that cross were full of anger, bitterness and unbelief. They did not know "the way of peace" (Romans 3:17).

There were the soldiers, the Roman centurions. They nailed Jesus to the Cross and then they knelt down and threw dice, gambling for the cloak that Christ had worn. They were hard, calloused men. Crucifixion was their business. They nailed people to crosses nearly every day. It was the Roman method of execution, and they were the executioners. Their hearts were so hardened and their consciences were so seared that they laughed when Jesus cried out in pain as the nails tore through the flesh of His hands and feet. The Bible says, "And the soldiers also mocked him" (Luke 23:36).

There are people like them today. Hardened, cold, wicked, angry people - all around us. Perhaps you’re like that. The whole idea of religion is one big joke to you. What a laugh! You think Christianity is for old ladies and little kids, not for a smart person like you. Like those Roman soldiers, your heart is so hardened that you can sin without remorse. Your conscience never bothers you - no matter what sin you commit.

But somehow you have not found peace. Outwardly, everyone thinks you feel OK. But inside you are empty and lonely and afraid.

    "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked"

(Isaiah 57:21).

Then, there were "two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand and another on the left" (Matthew 27:38). And the Bible tells us that they mocked at Jesus and yelled at Him. The Bible says, "And they that were crucified with him reviled (or insulted) him" (Mark 15:32).

You may say, "Why would they do that? Weren’t they dying also? Why would a dying man insult Jesus?" That’s a good question. But people do it all the time. You see, we are all dying. We are all going to die someday soon. If you live seventy more years, it will go by more quickly than you ever imagined. All of us are going to die quite soon. And yet some of you mock. You insult Christ just like these thieves did.

And you will leave this service and go back and make a joke out of everything you heard here today. And your friends and relatives will agree with you. They’ll say, "Don’t go back there to that Baptist church. Don’t become a fanatic. Don’t let that preacher brainwash you. Don’t believe everything they say. Don’t go overboard." That’s what your lost friends and your parents and relatives will say to you. And many of you will laugh and joke with them about what you heard in this sermon today. And you’ll be just like those two thieves who insulted Christ that day. Later in the day one of them was converted and became a Christian, but the other one died mocking Christ. "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked" (Isaiah 57:21).

And then there were the religious leaders. The Bible says,

"The chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others, himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him" (Matthew 27:41-42).

These priests and Bible teachers thought they knew everything. You’ll find Catholic priests and Protestant preachers just like them in this city. They may pay lip service to Christ, but they will tell you that you don’t need to be converted. They’ll say, "Don’t listen to that Baptist preacher. You’re OK just like you are."

But they are just as wrong as the priests and Bible teachers that stood near the Cross mocking Christ that day. You do need Christ. You need to be converted. Nothing but a thoroughgoing conversion can give you peace with God.

    "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked"

    (Isaiah 57:21).

     

  1. But secondly, there is peace for those who put their trust in Jesus Christ.

  2. Our text says:

    "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross…" (Colossians 1:20).

Notice how many people found peace that day, as Christ died on the Cross for their sins.

There was Christ’s mother, Mary. She had never fully understood the mission of her Son, Jesus. Oh yes, she remembered the angel. She remembered His strange birth. She knew He was different, that God had called Him. But the Bible indicates that she did not fully understand Christ’s mission and destiny. The Bible says that Christ’s own half-brothers did not believe in Him until after the resurrection (John 7:5). In the third chapter of Mark we are told that His relatives tried to stop Him from preaching and called Him insane. Then his half-brothers and mother came in another apparent attempt to stop Him or get Him to "cool down" His message. But Christ said, "Whosoever will do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother" (Mark 3:35).

Dr. J. Vernon McGee said,

The Lord is saying that the strongest relationship today is the relationship between Christ and a believer. Friend, if you are a child of God and you have unsaved family members, you are closer to Jesus Christ than you are to your own kin, including the mother that bore you. You are more closely related to other believers than you are to unsaved members of your family (Thru the Bible, volume IV, p. 70, notes on Matthew 12:46-49).

The mother of Christ was there the day they crucified Him. She was standing there, looking up at her Son hanging on the Cross. And Jesus looked down at her, and then He looked at the Apostle John. And he told John to take care of His mother (John 19:26).

Christ’s mother and brothers came to know Christ fully after His resurrection from the dead. And His mother found tremendous peace by believing in her Son, Jesus Christ. And you can find that same peace and forgiveness this morning, if you will put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, like she did.

The second thief, hanging on the cross next to Christ, also found peace through the Blood of Christ’s Cross. He had mocked Christ all morning just like the other thief. But as the day wore on, he began to listen to Christ. He heard Christ’s seven words from the Cross. He listened to Jesus as He preached a sermon from the Cross.

Sometime early in the afternoon, this second thief was converted. He put his faith in Jesus Christ and was born again. This converted thief looked from his own cross over to Jesus hanging on His Cross of Blood. And the thief said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:42-43).

And we can learn a great deal about becoming a Christian from this thief. He did not become a Christian by doing good or by being baptized. He was dying, nailed to a cross. He had no time to do good or get baptized. It was too late. He only had time to believe in Jesus. He threw himself on the Son of God. He trusted Jesus with all his heart. And his simple trust in Christ was enough. Jesus saved him.

And Jesus can save you also, if you will trust Him fully. It’s not just believing things about Christ. It isn’t enough to believe that He died for your sins or that He rose from the dead. Those are doctrines, and doctrines alone cannot save you. The Bible says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). And you can believe on Jesus as this thief did. And when you put your complete faith in Christ, he will save you also. He will wash your sins away in His Blood and you’ll be ready for Heaven.

 

III.  And then, thirdly, there is peace with GOD through Christ.

Now that’s what the Bible is talking about here in Colossians 1:20. It’s talking about reconciliation with God - peace with God.

The Bible teaches that mankind rebelled against God. Adam rebelled. Sin became a part of man’s nature. The Bible teaches that we are sinners by nature.

And sin has cut you off from God. That’s why God doesn’t seem real to you. You are cut off from God by your sins. The Bible says:

"Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you" (Isaiah 59:2).

There’s a separation between you and God. You are separated, cut off from God, by your sins.

Now, since you are a sinner by nature, there is nothing you could do to save yourself. Because you are hopelessly lost in the quagmire of sin, you cannot escape from sin by yourself. God had to take the initiative.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

God sent His only begotten Son out of Heaven to die on the Cross. And God sent Christ to die on that Cross to pay for your sins - to reconcile you to God.

How can God be just - true to Himself in His holiness - and yet forgive and justify a sinner? The only solution was for Jesus to die on that Cross to make a payment for your sins by His death, and to wash your sins away with His Blood. His death and His Blood make it possible for you to be reconciled - to be brought back into a right relationship to God.

You can be reunited with God through the Blood of Christ.

"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh (near) by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:13).

"And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross…" (Ephesians 2:16).

"We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).

"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself" (Colossians 1:20).

Mr. Griffith sang this great hymn a few minutes ago:

Paschal Lamb, by God appointed, All our sins on Thee were laid;

By Almighty love anointed, Thou hast full atonement made.

All Thy people are forgiven Through the virtue of Thy blood;

Opened is the gate of Heaven, Peace is made ‘twixt man and God.

("Hail, Thou Once-Despised Jesus" by John Blakewell, 1721-1819)

Now what do you need to do to receive the peace that Christ offers?

First, you need to keep coming to this church. The longer you come here, the greater your chance of believing the gospel and being converted. Conversion isn’t just saying a quick prayer or just memorizing a verse, or just learning a doctrine or two. Conversion changes the whole direction of your life.

And the longer you keep coming to church, to hear this kind of sermon preached, the greater your chances of being converted to Christ.

Now people will try to get you to stop coming. The devil will use them because he doesn’t want you to get converted. The devil wants you for himself - in Hell. So he will move your friends and relatives to try and stop you from coming back to this church.

One Spanish boy was driving without a license. Now his family are Pentecostals. They were supposedly "saved" in 1998. But this young man came to our church for a few Sundays. His Pentecostal brothers tried to stop him. They wanted him to work instead. Like so many new-evangelicals and Pentecostals, they lied to him. They said, "You don’t have go to church to be a Christian." That’s a lie! It’s one of the biggest lies the devil tells people today. You can’t back it up with Scripture because it isn’t Scriptural. The Bible says, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47). That’s the truth! It’s a lie to say you don’t have to be in church to be a Christian!

Now these Spanish evangelicals tried their best to get this young man to stop coming. He was driving without a license, delivering things. But he stopped doing it on Sunday and did it on Saturday so he could come to church. The police stopped him on Saturday and gave him a ticket for driving without a license. Those new-evangelical brothers blew up! They shouted, "Stop going to that Baptist church. If you’d been driving on Sunday, like you were supposed to, you wouldn’t have got a ticket!"

When Dr. Cagan heard about that he said, "Don’t the police stop people and give tickets on Sunday too?" Of course they do. But these lost evangelicals and Catholics won’t use logic. They’ll just use any stupid argument they can think of to keep you from coming back here - to keep you from becoming a real Christian.

So, that’s number one. Keep coming back here.

Then, secondly, listen carefully as I preach the gospel of Christ. Your eternal soul depends on it. Listen to these gospel sermons as though your life depended on it - because it does depend on it!

And then, thirdly, come to Jesus Christ. He is not dead. He has risen. He is alive in Heaven, at the right hand of God, in another dimension. And you can come to Jesus, the Son of God, and He will save you and forgive you and convert you. Throw yourself on Jesus by faith!

"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself" (Colossians 1:20).

Scripture Read Before Sermon: Mark 15:24-39

Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "Hail, Thou Once-Despised Jesus"

The outline of

 

PEACE THROUGH THE BLOOD

 

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"And, having made peace through the blood of his cross,

by him to reconcile all things unto himself"

(Colossians 1:20)

 

Ezekiel 7:25

 

I.  There is no peace for the wicked, Isaiah 57:21; Romans 3:17; Matthew 27:38; Mark 15:32; Matthew 27:41-42.

II.  There is peace for those who trust Jesus, Colossians 1:20; John 7:5; Mark 3:35; Luke 23:42-43; Acts 16:31.

III.  There is peace with God through Jesus, Isaiah 59:2; Romans 5:8;Ephesians 2:13; Ephesians 2:16; Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:20; Acts 2:47.